DVD
Burst Angel
Volume 1 - Death's Angel

Starring (voice): Akeno Watanabe, Megumi Toyoguchi, Mikako Takahashi, Rie Tanaka and Yuji Ueda
MVM
RRP: 19.99
MVD2118
Certificate: 15
Available 09 January 2006


On the crime-ridden streets of Tokyo a new edict has been passed allowing ordinary citizens to openly carry and use firearms. The government body responsible for maintaining law and order in this urban war zone is the Recent Armed Police of Tokyo (RAPT). The crime rate may be on the rise but, as a result of the citizens turning against each other in a constant fight for survival and RAPT dispensing quick and brutal justice on those who step out of line, the city's arrest rate is on the decline. As chaos threatens to reign on the streets, below ground something even more sinister is taking place. Deep beneath the city terrifying creatures are being created in secret labs, as organic cells are fused with machines to create a race of enforcers designed to ensure the citizens of Tokyo become devoid of free will. Into this dark world appear four "angels" - Jo, Sei, Amy and Meg. Enigmatic, beautiful, armed to the teeth and extremely dangerous to those who resist them, they represent the only chance Tokyo has of surviving the impending future of utter lawlessness...

Burst Angel features four of the sexiest gun-slinging crime-fighters ever to strut their stuff on the small screen. This futuristic, action-packed sci-fi spaghetti western plays loose and wild with genre conventions, pitting scantily clad, sharp-shooting heroines against tech-savvy villains and mecha-warriors on the streets of a near-future Tokyo. Adopting an "Annie Get Your Pulse Rifle" attitude and taking it to its ultimate extreme.

Kyohei Tachibana is a student at a catering school who dreams of someday becoming a patissier. He wants to move to France to learn from the best pastry chefs and fulfil his ambition, but he can't afford to. In order to save up the money he advertises his services as a chef hoping to do a bit of part time work as a cook. He ends up working for a group of four girls aged between 12 and 19; Meg, Jo, Amy, and Sei, who Tachibana soon discovers are mercenaries. Meg is a mechanic, Jo is a psychotic sharp-shooting prodigy (as well as the pilot for their mecha, Jango), Amy is a computer whiz, and Sei is their boss, who in turn, works for Bai Lan.

Death's Angel features the the first four episodes (Hell Comes Silently; The Heartless Gunfighter; City Where The Beast Howls; and The Brothers Die at Dawn) of this 24-episode series. The first episode is a simple story designed to introduce the viewer to the world of Burst Angel and the main characters and social conditions. The other three episodes slowly immerse us into the dangerous working life of the mercenaries. It's also humorous to see that no matter how dangerous a situation the girls are in, they always manage to get away without a scratch even though they are scantily clad.

There are plenty of great little moments here, but one of my favourites is the homage in The Heartless Gunfighter to the drinking game in Raiders of the Lost Ark - the one that sees Marion Ravenwood in a drinking competition against a burly man.

Extras include original Japanese radio shows and an extra for the the original CD releases and textless opening and closing titles (including both the Japanese and English language songs for the closing titles).

These episodes show a lot of promise and I'm looking forward to seeing how this series develops.

Pete Boomer

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£14.99 (Amazon.co.uk)
   
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£16.99 (Moviemail-online.co.uk)

All prices correct at time of going to press.