Galaxy Angel A Complete Collection (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Release Date: Tuesday, December 27, 2005



What They Say
Contains all 26 episodes Galaxy Angel A in one complete DVD collection!

There's a new upstart squad that's gunning to make the Angel Brigade look bad and take over their work. The girls are going to have to collect more Lost Technology, save more planets, and rescue more lost kittens than this 'Twin Star Team'.

The Review!
Galaxy Angel returns for a third season that's done in two parts with the first part being called the Galaxy Angel A Collection.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The series features a decent sounding stereo mix that has some solid directionality throughout the episodes, usually during the sound effects but also with some dialogue sequences as well. The track isn't really excessive in any way and comes across as a good mix with no noticeable problems during regular playback.

Video:
Originally airing in 2002, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ration. Similar to how the second season of the series was laid out, this season is done in the way of a single opening and ending but with the eye-catch being a bridge between the two separate stories, much like how the original Urusei Yatsura ran. The transfer for these episodes looks good with sharp and vibrant colors. The only thing that very rarely crops up into the transfer that causes any kind of notice is some very light cross coloration but it's so small and far between instances that it's negligible. Overall, this is a really good-looking transfer that will please most of the shows fans.

Packaging:
The three disc release is one thick keepcase where inside two discs are along each of the main panels, secured in m-lock mechanisms, while a flippy hinge is in between them with the second disc that also uses the m-lock mechanism. All three discs are nicely secured in here and no matter how much we shaked and tossed it about we couldn't get any of them to come loose. The front cover, with its title strip proclaiming that it's the complete collection, has a really great piece of artwork that's been used in promotional materials before that has Milfeulle in the center doing her little hop with a smile as the other characters in tiny mode ringed around her with smiles and cuteness abound. The back cover is pretty heavy on the text but there is another common but great looking illustration of the girls together along the right. Next to them is a good summary of the shows premise as it kicks off the season while below it lists all twenty six episodes by episode number and title. The staff and technical information is below that and placed in a few other areas keeping it from being concise and neat. The cover is a bit text heavy overall but it still looks good for a collection. No insert is included with this release..

Menu:
Going with a theme used in the end credits for the show, the menu is designed the same way with a row of names changing in the background while random cut shots from the series playing along the right to the upbeat music. Selections are lined along the left and with the episodes being so short, I'm not sure scene selection is really necessary (I'm not saying chapter stops aren't however). The menus are nicely done and laid out well and very in-theme to the show. The language selection correctly read my players default settings which are also a big plus.

Extras:
The extras mirror past releases as the first volume contains all of them with the clean opening and ending sequences as well as a few clips of the Galaxy Angel Secret Live Concert series.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
If there's one thing that can be said about Galaxy Angel is that there is simply a lot of it. Counted as their original broadcast form, the first season had twenty six episodes while the second season came in at just eighteen. The third season ran for fifty two episodes and even after that a fourth season was underway. The third season which we have here was broken into two separate collections in Japan, the A Collection and AA collection. Obviously, we've got the A Collection here with the first twenty-six half length episodes, which comes down to thirteen regular episodes across the three volumes.

This particular collection is a lot of fun and as much as I enjoyed the Z series, this one feels like it's more true to the first season of the show with its humor and approach. It's hard to define it sometimes wit ha comedy but the cast just feels sharper, the writing more spot on and filled with more cultural puns and language jokes as well as continuing the bizarre and freaky nature of the stories that simply seem like they couldn't be connected with the series in general. That approach in fact is something that I like a lot about Galaxy Angel as it is reminiscent of a lot of older shows where the episode you're watching is all you really need to know about and that's all that counts. There isn't a lot of connectedness to the series and it's a real plus for this kind of writing and set of characters.

The collection kicks off in an amusing way as the Angel Brigade has broken up (once again?) and everyone has gone their separate ways. Volcott is intent on getting everyone back together though and through his persistence and the way he's easily manipulated, he's able to get them working together again for a huge bump in pay and bonuses. The problem for the Brigade this time around, as they've always been considered a huge money drain on the taxpayer, is that a separate group was started up with two guys to handle dealing with the Lost Technology. And as expected, as much as they look just as fun as the Angel Brigade, they're actually more capable in dealing with the Lost Technology and figuring it out without causing massive amounts of destruction first.

One example is when a particular planet finds itself dealing with an issue of giant black balls that are growing and duplicating everywhere. The pair discovers that the best way to deal with them is to minimize the space they have to grow, so they just need to be moved into a contained space and closed in. The Angel Brigade gets their move in first though and they basically transport every building and creature off the planet and onto the moon, letting the black balls take over the planet. The moon of course is far too small for everything so there's the usual problems that come from that, never mind giving up an entire planet to a Lost Technology. This kind of instance happens several times before the two guys basically disappear for the bulk of the series outside of a few quick comedic appearances.

Once they're out of the way, the show really just works through a lot of the standard kinds of stories we've seen where the crew is either in some bizarre life or death situation out of the blue, such as when they're all stuck on a world with nothing but a campfire and nothing to eat so Vanilla starts eating Normad, or the character driven pieces where everyone is trying to be Miss Female Soldier by brandishing their best abilities to the group that's come to observe them. Mint has a number of cosplay episode moments throughout including one that's just priceless as she's told she has a cosplay disease and will die if she wears another costume. As you can expect, each character has a couple of pieces that work just for them and there are a lot that work as a group. This series just feels so much more balanced than the Z series did that it was fun throughout.

Similar to how the show has been done in previous seasons, we're getting a good clean looking show here with lost of bright vibrant colors, original openings and endings and the extras associated with it. Getting this entire season in one box set is very surprising but Galaxy Angel is one of those shows that it works out better for in the long run. In short term releases as we saw in the previous two seasons, the energy sort of dwindles out along the way. Having all thirteen episodes in one set though, we basically flew through this in the course of two days and just couldn't wait to get more of it every time we started up again. Some series work great this way while others will really work poorly, but I think Galaxy Angel is one that definitely fits into the great category.

In Summary:
Galaxy Angel A Complete Collection is a great entry in the overall saga of Galaxy Angel. One of the best things about it is that the show is so completely episodic that you can really put every volume made into a DVD Changer, hit the jukebox option and the episodes won't feel out of order once you get past the very first episode of the first season. This collection can be jumped right into with little knowledge and enjoyed for its wacky humor, fanservice and amusing character interactions. With it being thirteen episodes for thirty five bucks, this is the kind of release that a lot of people should support just so that when a series they do want is coming out it may get similar treatment. Plus, you end up with almost six hours of solid comedy. It's a win win situation even before talking about discounts from retailers. This is a great release and I simply cannot recommend it enough.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Textless Opening, Textless Ending, G.A.A.: Secret Live Concert 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.




Mania Grade: B+
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: 34.95
Running time: 350
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Galaxy Angel