Galaxy Angel Vol. #4 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • 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: 29.98
  • Running time: 90
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Galaxy Angel

Galaxy Angel Vol. #4

By Chris Beveridge     September 15, 2004
Release Date: September 14, 2004


Galaxy Angel Vol. #4
© Bandai Entertainment


What They Say
Life is never easy when you're a Galaxy Angel. The Angels must always make tough decisions like sacrificing their teammates to save them selves from humiliation or giant destructive dice. Just getting a slice of pizza takes a large-scale operation. Poor Vanilla can't walk down the street without comedic hitmen trying to make her laugh. They can't even manage to drive through the desert without causing disaster. It may be their job to save the galaxy, but first the Galaxy Angels need to save themselves!

The Review!
Bringing the first season to a close, Galaxy Angel continues with its own quirky style of humor and slapstick right up to the end.

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 2001, Galaxy Angel is a series that was done in the twelve-minute episode format. The transfer for these episodes looks good with sharp and vibrant colors. There's a hint of some cross coloration trying to get through on our setup, noticeably mostly in some slight shimmer around the edges of some characters hair, but it's not strong enough to be all that noticeable. Overall, this is a really good-looking transfer that will please most.

Packaging:
Part of Bandai's Platinum Edition line, the cover for this release looks very cute with full color shots of a detailed Ranpha and Forte while little animal sketches are in the background. The contrasting hair colors plus the darker feel to much of Forte's outfit looks good here The back cover goes for a traditional SF menu style layout with a mix of shots from the show and the summary of what to expect. All six episodes are listed by their episode number and title while the features and extras are nice and clearly listed. The insert replicates the front cover without the Platinum part or the volume name and opens up to a two page spread character profile for Mint and Volcott with their essential knowledge items. The back of the insert is filled with tiny text that covers the credits, where once again fans of the English actors get shafted by not having them tied to their roles.

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, including individual episode access which takes you to scene selection instead of immediately starting the episode. 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:
This volume continues to have a solid number of Japanese extras. Each episode originally came with a "Galaxy Angel Lecture" called "Now I Get It!" The last six of those are on this volume, which allows you to select the lectures individually or do a play-all on them. These are cute little pieces that basically take parts of the show and break them down into quick little summaries as read and performed by the voice actress for Milfeulle, complete with her wearing the Galaxy Angel uniform. In addition to those we get a number of brief commercials for the series as well.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the last six episodes of the season, this almost seems like it could be the best episodes of the series yet at the same time they don't. While the show continues to be enjoyable, there's a strangeness to the humor at the same time that it may not exactly be quite as humorous the first time around. And some of the humor works better in one language than the other and vice versa. Having listened to this almost three times now, each language really has its advantages with this kind of show.

There are some outright solid episodes here. One of them involves the group checking out some Lost Technology on an island somewhere while Mint is looking for all of them via a telescope on the observation deck that's at the top of the island. Unfortunately for her, she's stuck in some silly photo cutout piece and isn't looking forward to everyone coming back and ridiculing her. As it turns out, the island is actually sinking now due to their presence and the other team members are racing to the top. Realizing that she's going to be seriously laughed at, Mint goes and sets them all on bad paths to the top where evil things will happen to them. I just loved the evil side of Mint showing up in this way and the way she came to the conclusion that served her best. It's always the cute ones!

Another really weird but solid episode involves bringing Normad's past back into play. Volcott's new assignment for the team is to head into space to defeat a giant die (as in the singular of dice) that's threatening humanity. They actually get their rears handed to them by this bizarre contraption and we learn from Normad that this is the thing he was built to defeat all those years ago. The Q-cubed have always hated humanity and have spent the ages trying to stop us from getting out into space. Normad's flashbacks to past instances are very amusing as is his method of dealing with the threat. It was really good to see him get an episode of his own in this volume that brings something of his "arc" to a close.

There's plenty of fun in the other episodes as well. Having several of them end up as pizza makers and delivery folks or dealing with a fake Milfeulle is almost priceless. In that episode in particular where they have everyone trying to cause distractions and you have things like Forte using huge weapons to chase after a motorized mouse. Even the season ender continues things in the shows own weird way where they have all of the girls changing out as drivers for some mysterious man who is taking a truck ride cross country for some unknown reason. There's some amusing infighting among the girls who have really gotten close and now play off of each other just right that it's an amusing way to bring it all to a close.

In Summary:
While at times I can't find this show to be a laugh out loud comedy, it's one that actually grows on me the more I watch it. This is amusing in itself since I watch this with my four year old and she finds it to be positively hilarious. Then again, Vanilla is her favorite character so that may explain a lot. The final volume of this season is really no different than early volumes and provides a good amount of fun and laughter, some solid extras and overall a good presentation of the materials. What will be the real challenge for people who enjoyed this season is whether they found it amusing enough to keep going into the second shorter season or not.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Commercials,Galaxy Angel Lectures

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.

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