Angel Tales Vol. #3 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: C-

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Entertainment
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Angel Tales

Angel Tales Vol. #3

By Chris Beveridge     October 25, 2004
Release Date: October 26, 2004

Angel Tales Vol. #3
© Bandai Entertainment

What They Say
Goro finds a perfect part-time job that pays like a full-time job, but how perfect can it be? While Mika tries to have Goro all to herself with her usual sexy tactics, Ran is torn between her feelings for Goro and her duty as a guardian angel. But when they find out that some of the angels have been kidnapped, they unite as one and prepare for the battle!

The Review!
As the second half of the series gets into play, I'm shocked to say something of a plot is introduced into the series. Can a harem series with as many girls as this actually have a plot?

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. For the most part, the show is fairly quiet on the dialogue front but picks up as it goes along. The early episodes sounded good and you can hear the distinctness of the audio placement more easily than in later episodes where there's so much more talking and yelling going on that ends up filling up the entire soundstage. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and the music sounds solid during regular playback. We only spot checked the English audio track and had no issues there.

Originally airing back in 2001, the transfer for the first four episodes of this twelve episode series looks very good. With as many characters as there are in here with the varying uniforms, the color palette is richly filled and there's a great depth and solidity to them. Cross coloration is very minimal, creeping into only a few areas and aliasing is minimal in general. There isn't a lot of action in the show and mostly just mildly moving characters so the transfer doesn't run into many issues with the encoding. Backgrounds look great and maintain a very solid look and avoid pixilation.

Similar to the first cover in more than a couple of ways, this volume has three more of the angels getting some time on the cover with some nice clean and simple artwork set against a pale pink backdrop. The character designs are pretty decent and likely catch a few eyes if it's facing out. The back cover has only one small area of shots from the show but manages to squeeze in half a dozen images. The back cover is pretty full with a summary and a large section of small print production credits. The episode numbers and titles are clearly listed though (along with volume numbering on the spine and front cover) and the discs extras and basic features are prominently listed. The insert replicates the artwork from the front cover and opens to a two-panel image in the same style but with two of the younger girls and their "mother". The back of the insert has a surprisingly clean and open spaced listing of the main staff of the show and a bilingual cast list with full English credits for the actors.

The menu layout is very simple with just a shot of three younger girls/sisters on one side with selections in using halo icons, all of which is set against a pink/blue background and to some instrumental piece from the show. Selections are quick and easy to navigate with immediate episode jumping and fast access times. The disc properly read our players' language presets as well.

There are only a couple of extras on this volume. The Venomous Tails extra is here again with a few more "mini" episodes of the cast doing things in super-deformed mode and just acting goofy or somewhat out of character. Unfortunately, the extra isn't dubbed and is in Japanese only with soft subtitles. It's a mildly amusing piece but nothing terribly critical to the show as it's basically the four panel comics done to minimal animation.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the bulk of the cast here now and their stories told, some more quickly than others, the show actually gets to try and do something about having a plot, or at least something more than typical "slice of life" material found in most harem comedies. With twelve girls living with you, slice of life just doesn't apply anymore really and those plots just end up being really contrived. Angel Tales hits this a few times in addition to the larger storyline that's now becoming apparent.

Everything gets kicked off when Tamami comes back to the apartment with a job notice that's pretty specialized; looking for someone of Goro's type, glasses and all, who wants to do some light labor work for 3500 yen an hour but you must apply by the end of the day. Everything screams fraud and fake but the allure of that much money per hour is just too much. So after a bit of domestic fun with Ran setting up his oversized lunch pack, Goro heads off to discover just what this high paying job is all about. When he gets there and you see that the project is being headed by the three male "creatures", you know it's not going to be good.

Apparently, Goro the useless is useful for something and his presence is required at this location so that the three can bring to life their fourth brother, the one who will help them destroy all of humanity since he can't stand the stench of humanity. His resurrection is the main focus of the show early on which then leads to the rest of the plot for the next couple of episodes which has the four of them, god help me in saying this, choose their brides from among the women that live with Goro since they're not really human but animal reincarnations. Getting to learn their tastes for such is amusing though they seem to want them mostly to control them and consolidate their power and to provide action sequences of friend versus friend, jiggling breasts versus jiggling breasts.

In between all the evil that's afoot, i.e. the kidnapping of the brides, there's the attempt at the slice of life material. One of the events has the younger trio of "sisters" winning a prize of numerous tickets to the local pool. So with Goro in hand, the bulk of the girls head off to the pool. Not going though is Ran whose love for Goro is apparently stronger than all the others. She's having a hard time spending time with him because the others are always all over him, some more than others, but also because she's really unsure about whether she can express that she feels the way she does or that it is actually more than the others. Of course, she's got her water fear too so she's not going to go near the pool.

The pool episode is pretty fun in general with some of the ways the characters act, particularly the exchanges between the younger girls when Ayumi becomes mistaken for their mother and they latch onto the phrase like made. The way those four end up going back and forth is just really cute and was well done. The usual fun of girls in bathing suits is also done here, and with it being only a portion of the cast it's allowed to play out nicely enough so that it's not completely overwhelming. The episode is also filled with misunderstandings and emotional issues, mostly in relation to Ran, that try to build up that potential relationship a bit more but as usual nobody can be honest about anything related to feelings so it's just a lost cause.

In Summary:
While I got a few more chuckles out of this volume, mostly in relation to the second episode, this series continues to leave almost no impression on me. Even while watching the show it's hard to retain the characters names unless they're actually said to each other. By the next day, most of the show has turned into a fuzzy memory at most. The fanservice factor in this volume goes up nicely and there's the amusing transformation and fighting sequences that start coming into play due to the arrival of a dark evil plot, but in the end Angel Tales still feels completely forgettable. That's the only part of it that I'll remember after a few days.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Illustration Gallery,Venomous Tails Extra Clips

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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