Galaxy Angel Party Vol. #02 (Mania.com)

By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Saturday, January 14, 2006
Release Date: Sunday, January 01, 2006



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Various Artists
Translated by:Chinatsu Gallegos
Adapted by:

What They Say
Things are getting a little weird for the Angel Troupe.

Mysterious forces haunt the Elle Ciel, wrecking havoc on Mint's favorite dessert. Worse still, the Angels are sent on a mission to the Planet of No Return, and Vanilla has to adjust to the responsibilities of motherhood. But none of this can prepare the Angels for the strangest thing of all: Forte has a date!

What kind of party is this, anyway!?

The Review
Packaging:
Typical of a Broccoli Book title, Galaxy Angel Party has some of the highest production values in North American manga. First, the cover is great. This volume features all of the original Angel Troupe members on a star-filled yellow background. The image is vibrant and the colorful stars give the cover a light atmosphere. The Galaxy Angel logo is above them with the multi-colored “PARTY” in a festive font. The opposite cover has short volume description above an image of a super-deformed Mint climbing out of one of her costumes. The spine has a framed image of Ranpha on it, as well. The spine is done in the same format as GA, but is magenta colored instead of red. For some reason it lists Kanan as the mangaka, though.(???)

Inside is where Broccoli really shows off their superiority. They have a full color volume header to start the volume. That is followed up by character intros for almost the entire GA cast (games, anime and manga). The printing is perfect, but that is expected since Broccoli uses original source materials for this title. They also have the luxury to be able to include a ton of extras – comments from each of the mangaka featured, translation notes, a preview of Galaxy Angel Party #3 and a lot of fan art.

Readers can also send in a questionnaire included at the end of the GN with $1.50 in stamps for a Galaxy Angel handkerchef! Not a dust jacket, but still nice.

Artwork:
It is really hard to describe the art of GA Party since there are more than a dozen artists featured in this GN. Like the other Broccoli anthologies out there this one allows the mangaka to use Kanan's character designs as a basis for how they draw their versions. Artist include Kotomi Nekoma, SEARA, and Suzuki Aruto. The level of cuteness varies from sugary-sweet (Nakasa Sayakasa) to macho-masculine (Chisa Mori). Seriously, this manga can look like a moe title one page, standard shonen on another and like a yaoi title on others. I don’t know how the mangaka were selected but this volume shows the wide range of GA fans out there.

SFX/Text:
SFX are all translated in subs that reflect the art used for the original SFX but in a smaller size. They were all very easy to read but ever so often, some of them were translated into actions instead of onomatopoeias.

The translation here is very good. The translation is simple; no overuse of slang or Americanization, but it is still able to maintain the personalities of each of the Angels well. One of the ways they do this is by using honorifics. This shows how these characters interact with each other and how their social structure is set.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
There is another GA Party going on and this time the Angel Troupe has to be prepared for the worst - over-eating, binge drinking and the possibility of being stuck raising children. Seriously, four young women and a galaxy full of possibilities, who knows where a wild enough party can take them.

Vanilla knows that GA Partying should not be taken lightly. She came out of one of these parties with two kids. Raising twins can be a full time job for most adult couples, but a for a thirteen-year-old this is almost impossible. Feeding them, grooming them and all of their training and education could completely take her away from her Imperial Force responsibility. If there was only some way she could get rid of at least one of them? Sounds like she is becoming a capable parent already!

Looks like Forte has a really huge following. The gun maniac parties hard on a regular basis. She drinks heavily, eats heavily and does not mind being loud and putting her bosoms into people's faces. She will be courted by men, women and machine in this volume. But none of them seem to understand that all of the guns in the universe cannot buy her love (sure get you close though).

No great party is complete without some party crashers. You know the kind of people who seem to crawl out of the woodwork to "have a good time" and then end up bringing a party down. Well somehow "the thing" made a few appearances in this volume. Some people say "the thing" is an urban legend; simply made up to scare the weak hearted. Some think "the thing" is really a series of practical jokes played by modern day pranksters looking to get a rise out of people. Others seem to literally be haunted by "the thing" and they know its true horrors. Whatever "the thing" is one thing is certain, it knows where the ladies are and it knows how to get under their skin.

GA Parties seem to come once a year and once again you are invited!

Comments
More than a dozen GA loving mangaka come back to share their unique takes on this quirky property. Like in the previous volume there are no rules and there is very little consistency. This is really a party for mangaka as they have so many characters to choose from and as this is such an irreverent title there stories and settings are limitless. In each of the 19 shorts (which range from 4-12 pgs in length) GA characters are placed in the mangaka's ideal GA worlds. Artists are free to have characters crossover from universe to universe within the canon. Occasionally the artists even decide to take these character completely out of any of the existing storylines. Nothing is sacred and that gives readers a chance to see how diverse GA fans are and how much fun people can have with these characters.

In all truth, anthology collections are really made for fans of the title they are focusing on. The shorts are either filled with inside jokes or are just too random to understand if you are not familiar with the characters. I can say, that not knowing the Twin Star brothers threw me off a bit. New fans can definitely enjoy the art and they can sample new artists they never heard of before. However, if they are looking for any insight on the world of GA or if they want a plot they will not find it here.

I really ended up enjoying another one of these as I got to see a nice helping of Forte stories and a share of chapters set at space beaches. Reading manga from some of my favorite unknown artists - Nekoma Kotomi, Sakanaya Nakasa and Mikami Yoshie - was a treat as well, especially since they don't usually work on titles like GA often (if at all outside of these collections). Broccoli's extras - especially the mangaka notes - really made this even more enjoyable, as I felt I really got to see the motivations and the personal stylings of each artist involved. So while some chapters might have been a bit flat, as others completely had me rolling, I always ended up leaving with a fresh fun perspective on how to see GA. With the light nature of this series and the humor coming out of nowhere for all of these vignettes made this a great supplement to a fun property.



Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: Broccoli Books
MSRP: 9.99
Pages: 192
ISBN: 1-932480-27-7
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left