Galaxy Angel Rune Vol. #1 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B-

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  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Visual USA, Inc.
  • MSRP: 19.98
  • Running time: 25
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Galaxy Angel Rune

Galaxy Angel Rune Vol. #1

By Chris Beveridge     June 11, 2007
Release Date: July 10, 2007

Galaxy Angel Rune Vol. #1
© Bandai Visual USA, Inc.

What They Say
Hi! It's nice to meet you, this is Apricot Sakuraba. Please call me Rico! We, the Angel Troupe, are working hard to preserve peace in the galaxy!! Anise-san is especially on the edge because she owes money to people. She's amazing, and maybe I should be more like her. But when I see carefree, cat-like Nano-chan sunbathing, I lose that thought... Kahlua-san is continuing to explode her lab with her magical experiments, but I'm still looking forward to the day she succeeds. Oh, and she promised that when she turns into Tequila, she will show me a good way to overcome my fear of men...but it might be something that our captain, Lily-san may get seriously upset for being "against the way." Anyway, please support us either way!

The Review!
It's an all new crew but still the same wacky galaxy as the Galaxy Angel franchise marches on.

Similar to the majority of the company's release slate to date, this series is presented in a Japanese 2.0 mix and that's it. Done at 192 kbps, it's a good sounding mix but one that doesn't have a lot to really stretch with as it's generally a dialogue piece. The music and sound effects that come into it are designed for a full effect and not much in terms of directionality. Though the mix isn't impressive it does suit the material well. We didn't have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Originally airing in 2006, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. Just as bright and colorful as the previous incarnations of the franchise, this one just shines across the screen. Colors are very vibrant and maintain a solid feel both in foreground and background animation. With an average bitrate in the mid eights and several peaks up to the mid nines, there isn't much else that could be thrown at this to make it look better. The show features plenty of stills but also a lot of fast action moments which look very good here. This episode has a number of moments to it that utilize some fancy effects and they come across just right.

Using the same artwork as the Japanese release but with a translated logo, the first installment is a very busy and active piece that resemble the show quite well. Apricot has the center stage here as the others are mixed in behind her as well as nonsensical text and lots of bright colors. Done up in a yellow keepcase, it stands out pretty well and certainly draws the eye. The back cover is a bit more mellow but that isn't saying much. With a white background, there are a number of shots from the show spread around along with little symbols and shapes. The summary covers some of the basics and the usual elements such as the staff and cast listings fill out the rest. The discs features are clearly laid out and a plug for this being a reversible cover. The bottom portion of the cover has a good technical grid strip along with the numerous logos required. The reverse side which has artwork by Kanan is quite good and would work just as well as the other front cover. This one has a cast shot but without quite the same amount of insanity tied to it in terms of colors and randomness. The reverse side back cover provides a shot of Apricot and Milfeulle together in an embrace. An insert is also included that open up to a four panel piece of character sketches and notes while the other side has a "secret manual" text piece to it.

The menu design for this release is a noticeable improvement over the first round of releases from Bandai Visual USA as it feels more like a traditional piece. Using a group shot of the characters to one side and the navigation strip on the other, everything is available from the top level including language options. Bright and colorful, the only thing that the menu lacks is a bit of background music to get things in the mood a bit more. Navigation is quick and easy with how it's all laid out. Do note that the default for subtitles is dialogue only and that you'll want to select the one with signs as well for the various background elements that show up.

Though a bit deceptive, there's a hefty amount of extras available on this release. The opening sequence and the ending sequence for this episode are provided in its clean form and there's also some promotional trailers for the series release. The big extra on here is the Galaxy Angel Festival-Rune piece which is concert footage featuring the voice actresses. With an overly enthusiastic crowd of what looks to be just men, the actors perform songs for the series for just about forty-minutes. It's a good piece with the group singing together and several solo pieces. It's pretty grainy at times since it's shot at an indoor performance but he video is encoded up at around 8-9 mbps so it's the best it's going to look like this.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the Galaxy Angel II manga series, Galaxy Angel Rune is a thirteen episode TV series of which we get the first episode here. That's right, just the first episode. The series isn't exactly a reboot of the franchise but for whatever reason the cast that's been here since the beginning is out and a new cast has come into play. Everything else remains the same, from the wacky comedy to the costumes and designs.

Unfortunately there isn't much of an explanation as to why there's a change in the cast and that these girls are the new Angel Troupe. An offhand reference or two to Mint indicates that it's a shared universe at the least and that this isn't an alternate world version. The series ostensibly revolves around Apricot, a slightly ditzy girl who is the glue that holds this team together. Along with her is a standard assortment of teammates. Lily C Sherbet handles the actual team leader position as the serious stalwart type. She's often confounded by the lazy and laid back Anise Azeat who is quick to anger and overreact. The cast is rounded out by the cute Nano-Nano Pudding and the split personality of Kahlua/Tequila Marjoram.

Similar to the original cast, they all have different ways of handling each other. The team is often spending more of its time wrangling with each other than with any actual villain or searching for Lost Technology. More often than not the villains simply end up walking up into them, such as what happens in this first episode as Baron Garret tries to turn himself in for building a fleet of ten thousand genocidal ships. The diminutive villain wants to be absolved of his crimes but he's really a masochist who loves to be beaten and abused both physically and verbally. Of course, Apricot comes across him first and she and the others can't find any actual proof of his villainy. Things simply spiral down from there in weird and mildly amusing ways.

Not unlike the previous incarnations of the franchise, Galaxy Angel Rune is a splashy looking piece of vibrant animation. This one has upped the CG animation a bit as it deals with the fleet of ships that Baron Garret has and those scenes look fantastic. Character animation is solid and the designs are appealing even if they do feel fairly derivative of the original cast. The setting is slightly different for where the girls reside so it has more of a traditional apartment feeling to it which gives them all a bit more familiarity. That said, it's quite easy to swap out this cast for the original cast and have very little change between the two.

In Summary:
With only one episode on the disc, there isn't a lot to really say here. Not that there would be to begin with in regards to any Galaxy Angel series. This is a show that while I enjoy it I can take it only in small doses. Having one episode certainly pushes that but I'd much rather it be by my choice of how much to watch in a sitting. The remaining three volumes will take care of that problem as they go up to four episodes per volume. This release is solid across the board in a technical sense but the issues surrounding what's gone into the release " the lack of a dub and the pricing as well as the episode count " are all things that will make this a near impossible sell for the majority of fans. Those that do take a dip into this pond however will love the overall quality of the release.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Angel Troupe Festival-Rune Concert, Textless opening,Textless ending, Promotional Trailers

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 480p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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