Galaxy Angel Rune Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Visual USA, Inc.
  • MSRP: 49.98
  • Running time: 96
  • 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. #3

By Chris Beveridge     October 03, 2007
Release Date: October 29, 2007


Galaxy Angel Rune Vol. #3
© Bandai Visual USA, Inc.


What They Say
Episode 7: The legendary Moon Angel Troupe meets Rune Angel Troupe! The members of former Moon Angel Troupe, Milfeulle, Mint, Vanilla, Ranpha, Forte, and Chitose, visit their successor Rune Angel Troupe. Apricot and the other members are huffing and puffing to give them greatest hospitality.


The Review!
Making a full on connection to the past, this volume brings us the original Galaxy Angel gang coming to visit the new troupe.

Audio:
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.

Video:
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. Similar to the second volume, the bitrate on average is essentially in the nine's for the bulk of it. The end result is a very clean and essentially problem free release. On all three displays we have it looked great but it held up the best in terms of overall quality on the 70" set. The show features plenty of stills but also a lot of fast action moments which look very good here.

Packaging:
Using the same artwork as the Japanese release but with a translated logo, this installment is a very busy and active piece that resemble the show quite well. Kahlua and Tequila take the center stage here while more versions of them are in the background along with some nonsensical text and lots of bright colors. Done up in a purple keepcase, it stands out pretty well and certainly draws the eye. The back cover is a bit mellower 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 has artwork by Kanan which is quite good looking and would work just as well as the other front cover. The first volume had just a single insert sheet but this one provides another great little booklet with it that just feels different in terms of paper quality to US booklets. The booklet, done in blue ink for the volume, has various character breakdowns and information on them, a look at various aspects of these episodes and a few four panel comics along with some character bios. It's not a terribly rich booklet but it conveys the feel of the show rather well.

Menu:
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.

Extras:
The big extras showed up on the first volume but there are still some good ones to be found here. The closing sequences for all four episodes are provided in a clean format here so you can check out the differences between all of them. The other for this release is a pair of curious pieces that run about three minutes each. They're live action shorts where one of the voice actresses basically recites a very short story about something, such as the end of a relationship, set to some simple instrumental music. They're called "Sentiment" pieces and are unusual and rather simplistic but fascinating nonetheless as something different from the norm..

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Much to my surprise, the more I watch of Galaxy Angel Rune the more I like it. The first volume didn't give me too much to go on and the second one felt a bit iffy, especially in comparison to the original. With the third volume and now being a fair way into the series, it's been coming together better and I'm enjoying the interactions between the characters. While the silly fun is always the big draw, the way the characters react and deal with each other is what makes it all work so well. Galaxy Angel Rune is just now starting to really find that synergy.

The four stories on this volume do have one problem though and that's that they're all full length stories. The stretching of an overall gag out to a full show works in some series but hasn't worked so well when it comes to the Galaxy Angel franchise. Rune seems to be intent on going with the full length stories which keeps it from being as quick and fresh as it should be. The mystery episode for example is something that should have been more compacted. Watching it in full, the sense of eeriness and atmosphere is good but the humorous parts come too far apart and the end gag is fairly predictable. It does have some really good moments, particularly as it spoofs a number of recent "horror" trends in Japanese cinema, but it lacks the tightness that a half length story could give it.

Sometimes the longer episodes do work out though, such as the last episode. Anise's continual desire for money and fame is what drives her like nobody's business and she's finally found her way into some cold hard cash. Through a bit of divine providence that leads her to walking around with a straw of hay, she eventually comes into a good deal of money that she intends to use, along with Pudding, to become a celebrity and work her way into the truly luxurious life. Anise really gets into this as she starts working her way through the upper crust of society in search of a man she can really score with. The rest of the team wants to spend some good luxurious lifestyle time as well but their plans don't go quite so well. The two stories come together well in a way that only this show can do but overall it was the combination of the comedy and the character interactions that just made it fun to watch.

What bothered me the most about Galaxy Angel Rune from the start was the lack of clarity about the relationship with the original. Maybe it's clearer when you have the manga as a background, but in the show itself it was tenuous at best outside of a bit of name dropping. That gets taken care of in this volume as the original cast is coming to where the Rune troupe resides for a visit. Nobody knows why and everyone is in a panic about. Most of the military is freaking out since they have so much trouble with the Rune troupe as it is, they're expecting the end of the universe if the two are together. And there is plenty of panic within the troupe itself as each of them have varying relationships with the rest. Anise for example is fearful of Mint since she owes her quite a bit of money from a loan. Only Apricot isn't afraid since she's excited about cooking something up for Milfeulle. Getting to see where the old gang is these days is actually more fun than I expected but it is disappointing that there isn't a proper reunion here.

In Summary:
Though Galaxy Angel Rune isn't up to the same level of fun as the original, they've had only nine episodes so far in comparison to the dozens that that franchise has. As Rune is progressing, it's becoming more fun and the characters personalities and quirks are coming together well. This certainly isn't high art not really biting comedy but it is pretty looking and colorful fluff humor that has a place of its own. The biggest hurdle to it continues to be its price which is going to turn more people away than the lack of the dub. The actual product however is exceedingly well done and is something that is pretty much flawless on our system. Fans of Galaxy Angel Rune are getting a top notch product here.

Features
Japanese Language,English Subtitles,Angel Rune Sentiment short movies featuring Satomi Akesaka (Nano-Nano) and Aya Hirano(Kahlua / Tequila),Textless endings (Ep. 6 - 9)

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

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