|Last updated March 23, 2005.|
There's a new Gonzo show coming out called Bakuretsu Tenshi. Some sort of spaghetti western with giant robots, apparently.
I fully support the red-headed character's decision to wear thigh-high stockings and fuck-me boots simultaneously.
The cast list includes Tanaka Rie as Sei; the voice of Parfet from VanDread as the mechanic, Meg; the voice of Sena Robin from Witch Hunter Robin as Jo; and the voice of Kasumi from Hand Maid May as Amy. Yes, if it turns out they have a character named Beth, she will probably die.
Bakuretsu Tenshi is pure GONZO eye candy, whether that be for good or bad. The first episode was fun to watch. It's nothing special, but it looks good, and there are firefights and mecha. I certainly would not recommend it for anyone seeking deep and meaningful stories, but it is entertaining.
The story ostensibly involves an 18-year-old cook who takes a job with a team of bounty hunters or something: 17-year-old Jo, 15-year-old Meg, 11-year-old Amy, and 19-year-old Sei (voiced by Tanaka Rie). But really though—whatever. Pure eye candy, and lots of it. Serve it up, Gonzo.
One thing I found somewhat disturbing was Meg's similarity to Evangelion's Asuka. Visually, one could also argue that Jo looks a little like Rei. It's as if Gonzo saw this picture and decide to make an anime about it. Try not to get sued on your way out, guys.
Okay, I recently re-watched the first episode of Bakuretsu Tenshi (which I'm told means something like "Exploding Angel") again to compare AonE's work with Lunar's earlier release. I am amending my initial impression of the show as follows: Bakuretsu Tenshi is fucking cool.
I suppose I should elaborate on that a bit. But first, I think I should highlight the following qualification: I'm not expecting a lot from this show. I don't expect the multi-faceted, convoluted plot of Time and Tide. Nor do I expect it to be an ambitious production with heavy-handed themes and controversial symbolism a la Neon Genesis Evangelion. No, all I'm asking is that it be Fun to Watch . It just needs to capture my attention and be entertaining and leave me looking forward to the next episode. To that end the first episode of, Baku-Ten succeeded wildly. I guess that's a somewhat sideways compliment, but it was only the first episode. I figure if it turns out to be consistently excellent like VanDread, so much the better.
I didn't care much for the opening credits and its J-Hop sound the first time around, but it and its nonsensical lyrics ("CRAZY BURST ANGEL," I'm looking in your direction) are rather growing on me.
The giant robot gunfight with against the zombie-driven mecha thing was pretty cool, and I thought the CGI was pretty impressive given that this is only a television show. They were less successful in integrating the 3D CGI with the 2D elements later on, though.
I enjoyed the little stylistic touches like Jo's cape flapping in wind as a prologue to Something Happening. Corny? So stipulated. But I still liked it. Likewise, I enjoyed bits of flair like Meg zooming into the foreground as she leans in to holler towards the viewer, and the ariel view of people crashing out of windows.
The second time around, I found the characters to be quite engaging. Meg is an obvious Asuka ripoff, but it'll be interesting to see where they take her character without (presuably) Asuka's genius and deep-seated loneliness. Kyouhei, the cook, is a likeable enough generic male character. Jo and Amy are thus far unremarkable. Sei has a casual easiness about her that works well, particularly with Tanaka Rie's voice. Overall, I thought they had fair chemistry for a first episode, and I have faith they'll mesh together well enough later.
I very much liked the power ballad end credits with the slow pull-back to reveal the collage of photographs. If you take a close look at the individual photographs in the collage, you'll find that it is a fast and cheap way of gathering the basics of each character's personality.
Giant robot gunfights. 'Nuff said.
This is not to say that there aren't any bad parts, because there are certainly elements that need work.
I'm rather tired of the old Desert Eagle cliche, particularly when it involves firing a pair of them at once—one in each both hand. Realistically speaking, a Desert Eagle doesn't even measure up to a pedestrian, old .30-30 rifle. It's a very powerful handgun, but not that special aside from its novelty. I don't really need to see them employed like portable cannons again.
The opening firefight between Jo and the blue-faced scruffy guy was especially bad. I'm okay with suspension of disbelief, but it's rather tiresome to see two people unloading at each other at point blank range with a sub-machine gun on one end and twin pistols on the other—with both sides escaping unscathed, no less. Jo's twin-gun shooting was particularly bad, mostly due to poor animation that made each shot fired from her Desert Eagles too snappy and too low on muzzle blast, like she was firing a pair of twenty-twos instead. Besides being silly, it just looked bad.
That's actually about it. I don't really have many complaints about Bakuretsu Tenshi so far.
CRAZY BURST ANGEL — Wait, what?
Like I said, all I'm looking for from this show is for it to be fun to watch, and that it was. I understand that some people are probably going to disagree with this assessment—some quite loudly—but I have a theory about that as well. Ignoring for the moment that maybe some people are simply expecting too much from their cartoons, you know how movies are better in the theater than on video? Well, the same is true with television viewed on a small computer monitor instead of on an actual television.
This debasement is further compounded when a program is viewed in a tiny 640x360 window on the screen while the viewer is preoccupied with other tasks, like combing image boards for pictures of Jessica Simpson's magnificent cans. In that context, sure, I can see how one might be unimpressed with a show like Baku-Ten, but if you can sit back comfortably in front of the T.V., with the sound piped through the stereo, and the volume cranked up a bit, Bakuretsu Tenshi FUCKING KICKS ASS.
Oh, and I preferred the Lunar sub to the AonE one, although both were good.
P.S. Beth dies.
With regard to Bakuretsu Tenshi, the second episode was much like the first episode. This is hardly unexpected, since with the first episode's cliffhanger ending, the second epiosde was essentially the second half to one long episode.
It turns out that Jo is a bit of a "loud" badass, as opposed to the "quiet" badass a la Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name. Jo makes frequent threats and is quick to anger. Overall, I think this effect causes her to appear less impressive. Bakuretsu Tenshi does try to present itself as a sci fi giant robot action series with a spaghetti western air to it, but westerns aren't supposed to have loud-mouthed protagonists. They don't fit the idiom. So to that end, I think Jo would be a better character if she would talk less.
I'm a bit disappointed by Kyouhei's spinelessness in this episode, though. I was rather hoping that instead of being the a transplanted stereotypical male protagonist from some harem comedy, that he would have some guts. Instead of being dragged along by Jo after having his life threatened, I was rather hoping that Kyouhei would have simply sucked it up and recognized that it was his responsibility to go after Meg since she had gotten captured while saving his life. Now they're going to have to find some excuse to drag him back into the fold during the third episode, too.
There's also the issue with Sei's substantial underboob cleavage which features prominently in the second episode of Bakuretsu Tenshi. There's a wardrobe malfunction just waiting to happen.
Overall, it was pretty entertaining. Again, nothing revolutionary, but fun to watch if you're in the mood for some firefights between giant robots.
I only just noticed that the cook on Bakuretsu Tenshi has the same voice actor as Keitaro from Love Hina.
Speaking of which, I'm glad they managed to get him back into the fold without resorting to some stupid plot device.
However, it does appear that "Meg in Peril" may be a frequent theme on Baku-Ten.
|CRAZY BURST ANGEL|