More comic inanity from the Angel Brigade is this fourth season that shows no signs of letting up from the funny the earlier episodes brought.
What They Say
The wacky adventures of the Angel Brigade continue as they spread mayhem and mischief across the galaxy. As always, Milfeulle is so scatter-brained that she rarely has a clue to what's going on but her infinitely good luck gets her out of trouble. She's accompanied by her teammates, the gun-crazy Forte, man-hunting Ranpha, cosplay-obsessed Mint, ever so pious Vanilla and her AI companion Normad.
For this viewing, I listened to the English 2.0 dub. A Japanese 2.0 track is also available. There is little to this mix, as there is very little directionality to anything, but for a show based on wacky comic mischief, it really is not necessary. The sound, music, and dialogue all come through clear, with no dropout or distortion, and it all sounds really nice.
This series looks really pretty. The Galaxy Angel design is highly colorful, with a decent amount of special effects for space and other sci-fi elements, and it all looks beautiful here. Color is bold and lining is clean, and there is no distortion, cross coloring, or aliasing present. This has a great transfer.
For such a basic design, I love the packaging for this collection for one reason: all four discs are contained in a single, standard width amaray case. The front cover has a shot of all five members of the Angel Brigade, while the back has a series summary, episode and extras list, technical details and a couple screen shots. All of this is set to a pink background. The interior of the case has two disc slots on each side, with one disc overlapping the other. Whether it is a financial or a design decision, I really like how more and more collections are taking shelf space into consideration when putting the package together. This one will take up no more space than a single disc.
On the flip side, I was disappointed in the menus for this release. The earlier releases had some nice design to their menus, with animatics, music, and other aspects that speak to the attitude of the show. The menus for this release have a static image, with the selections along the right side. No music plays at all while on the menus. While still colorful and befitting the series, it is a bit of a disappointment that the menus got the shaft on this release.
Not a whole lot of extras for this release. Besides the standard openings and closings, there are a number of “Secret GA Concert Clips” which are footage of the various Japanese VAs singing songs from the show in a concert setting. The best extra is probably on the last disc, which has a fifteen minute bonus episode. Much like the rest of the series, this episode adds nothing to the overall effect, but it is just as fun as any other episode. This is not on the actual extras menu, but rather is lumped in with the other episodes, playing automatically when the last ‘official’ episode comes to a close.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Galaxy Angel AA is the second season of the Galaxy Angel A series, and the fourth overall after Galaxy Angel and Galaxy Angel Z. Like the earlier seasons, Galaxy Angel AA offers virtually non-stop zaniness and a complete lack of anything resembling a plot.
Galaxy Angel follows the exploits of the elite Angel Brigade and their efforts to find and protect the legendary “lost technology.” Depending on the episode, the lost technology could be a powerful weapon, a jar that grants wishes, or even a jewel that grants happiness. The lost technology is never truly defined, but more often than not, it creates nothing but problems for the Angel Brigade.
Not that that ever stops them from wanting to try it out. The Angel Brigade is about as eclectic a group as there could be. Milfeulle is the luckiest person in history, which is a good thing since she is potentially the most air-headed person ever as well; Ranpha spends her time chasing every eligible bachelor she can find in an effort to find true love and a life of luxury; Forte will not be happy until she owns at least one of every gun ever made; Mint is an image conscious, cosplay lover; and Vanilla does nothing that would be against her devotion to her undefined religion.
Between the five, and at times their commander, Colonel Volcott, they can usually find a reason to test any new lost technology out. The first episode introduces what to expect fairly quickly, as the lost technology du jour is a magic wand that theoretically grants wishes, though legend claims that entire civilizations have been lost due to wars fought over it. Therefore, nobody has been willing to try it. Until the Angels get their hands on it, of course. One-by-one, the Angels dress up in what they feel is proper attire for a magic user. What follows is a parody of any generic magical girl show, as after each fails, they band together out of friendship and love to train and figure out the use of the wand. Many episodes follow this sort of idea, and the fact that many of the stories are set to the deadpanned backdrop of “the fate of the universe is in balance” just adds to the absurdity.
A reoccurring theme through this season is the Angel Brigade’s rivalry with the newly installed Galaxy Twinstar Brigade. Led by Major Mary, the Twin Brigade is another group setup to find and protect lost technology. Ten year old twins Malabu and Kokomo are cocky, child prodigies who wish nothing more than to gain glory and rub their superiority in everybody else’s face. In fact, they act as a sort of foil to the Angels. While the Angels are silly and a bit unruly, they somehow always seem to complete the mission; on the other hand, the Twins are the very definition of military geniuses, but somehow seem to get outstripped by the Angels each time.
Regardless of the Angel Brigade’s adventures, there is no real plot to this as virtually no episodes have any bearing on any other. For Galaxy Angel, an episode is actually half the length of a full length show, and for the A and AA series, two a put together to make a full episode. Each mini-sode starts as if nothing has ever happened, any dead characters return to the land of the living, and the Angels press on trying out new lost technology in funnily disastrous ways.
Every once in a while, an episode will break from the inanity and present something a little more serious, as when Ranpha tries to save a loudmouthed pirate from certain destruction at the hands of space barracuda (believe me, it is a rather serious episode), but if anything they usually just reinforce the silliness of every other episode. The final episode is the only exception to this, as the two mini-sodes together involve the Angels and the Twinstars attempting to track down an escaped convict who was responsible for the deaths of millions of people 500 years previous. This arc contains nothing of the humor or hijinx that litter the rest of the series, and is an odd closing to this season because of it. While still good, the differences are a bit jarring.
What impresses me with this series is that through four seasons, it is still just as good as when it started. When a series is centered on a never ending string of ridiculousness, it can be hard to get right. The fact that Galaxy Angel not only got it right, but has kept it right for 104 half-episodes is nothing short of amazing. Each episode generally follows a formula set out from the beginning, and somehow it works each time.
If I have anything really negative to say about Galaxy Angel, it is that really did not care for the introduction of the Galaxy Twinstar Brigade. For me, it was certainly a case of ‘taking something away’ as I found myself wanting to move onto the next episode just about any time they showed up. Instead of wanting to see them get their just due, I just wanted to see them go away. That said, by the end of the set, I had grown accustomed to them, and while I still did not care for them, they did not irritate me as much, either.
Galaxy Angel AA just provides more of the insane humor that the previous seasons were built on. Virtually non-stop laughs are the order for the day here. It is really a show that you either ‘get’ and enjoy or ‘don’t get’ and fail to see all the fuss. I do not think there is any middle ground to be had. I would be tempted to say that if you have not seen any Galaxy Angel series, then you might want to start with an earlier set, but with each episode unrelated to every other one, I am not sure that it really matters. If you like inane, absurd humor, than you cannot do much better than Galaxy Angel. Recommended.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Secret GA Concert Clips,Textless Opening&Ending,Final Episode Textless Ending,Bonus Episode: Shamefully Overfried Fried Oysters
Magnavox 37MF337B 37” LCD HDTV, Memorex MVD2042 Progressive Scan w/ DD/DTS (Component Connection), Durabrand HT3916 5.1 Surround Sound System