Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: A
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Japan
- Released By: Bandai Visual
- MSRP: 3800¥
- Running time: 25
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Angel Links
Angel Links Vol. #1
August 25, 1999
Release Date: August 25, 1999
Angel Links Vol. #1
What They Say
© Bandai Visual
A spin-off show of the blockbuster anime ''Outlawstar''! This time, a beautiful girl is the hero of the series. Directed by Yuji Yamaguchi of "Gaogeiger" fame. Hardware design by Kazuki Miyabu who did Macross.The Review!
Angel Links is a new mini-series based in the Outlaw Star universe, which was broadcast on the Wow-Wow satellite channel in Japan early this past summer and is now being released to DVD by Bandai. It's a fast paced science-fiction series with a lot of the visual splendor of Cowboy Bebop (also by Sunrise) and even a touch of Nadesico.
This series has piqued my interest for months. I was captivated by early promotional artwork featuring the beautiful, almost shoujo character designs in this decidedly non-shoujo anime. This is something that I think really works well and is a refreshing change.
Almost from the moment I popped this disc in I knew I was in for a treat. The opening animation has sequences where comparisons to Cowboy Bebop are inevitable; a fast paced hand to hand combat sequence done in silhouette plus the impressive mechanical and pyrotechnic effects ? many things which impressed me when I saw them in Cowboy Bebop. Thankfully the soundtrack on this is infinitely better than Cowboy Bebop's ? though I have to admit it doesn't take much to achieve this. I absolutely despise that hideous jazz soundtrack.
Angel Links is a starship captained by the young and beautiful Meifon Li (pictured here on the DVD keepcase) who normally wears a sort of abbreviated Chinese dress as her uniform. Meifon reminds me a bit of Yurika of Nadesico in that they both are approximately the same age and are ship captains, though Meifon is quite a bit more dangerous than Yurika and a lot more level headed. Oh and there's plenty of fanservice in here as well, complete with intriguing camera angles, Gainax bounce ? and the interesting hiding place Meifon Li's mascot favors.
Anyway, Angel Links pretty much goes around saving the day as it were; rescuing besieged freighters, kidnap victims, etc., and I found the story in this first episode to be well paced and a lot of fun to watch. It introduces the characters quickly and doesn't waste any time before getting to the action. The episode ties itself up neatly; it's self-contained with no cliffhanger and can be enjoyed on it's own. But it does have an interesting scene at the episode's close which will probably tie into the next episode.
The video on this disc is just flawless and I couldn't detect any problems with it at all. I was also extremely impressed with the audio. Great sound effects full of dynamic range and clever use of the soundstage despite the lack of surrounds (Dolby Digital 2.0). The disc comes in a Amaray keepcase like all recent Bandai DVDs so I have no complaints with the packaging. Bandai leads the way in Japan for actually releasing discs that mesh well with Region 1 releases, unlike Pioneer Japan's insistence on using jewel cases and Beam's use of the slightly larger Hong-Kong style keepcases when they aren't using jewel cases themselves. Also much like other Bandai releases, Angel Links includes some nice add-ins such as a foldout character design guide.
The menu is very well designed and offers easy access to both scenes and various promotional commercials for both the series and related merchandise (manga and soundtrack CDs). There's also an art gallery though it isn't as extensive as I would have liked ? basically colorized versions of still more character designs. Still I can't complain!
In closing, this is a solid title that I'm very excited about and am looking forward to collecting in its entirety. Loads of fun!
Japanese Language,Art Gallery(accessible through menu),Character Design Foldout