Galaxy Angel Z Vol. #1 - 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 Z Vol. #1

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


Galaxy Angel Z Vol. #1
© Bandai Entertainment


What They Say
The five Galaxy Angels are back again with a mission for more gut busting laughs! After discovering the Lost Technology, it's only a matter of time to see the Angel Brigade fall back into mischief. During their assignment the girls must investigate a haunted mansion but as it turns out, it's a hide-out for thieves. Raphna receives free tickets to a wrestling match only to face Great Muscle, the strongest man in the universe in the ring! Milfuelle and Mint picks up a tribal leader who has a costume of a fabled creature for the tribal festival. Mint can't help but to put on the costume, unfortunately, she can't take it off and becomes the village celebrity!

The Review!
After a successful first season, another shorter season was brought out to keep up the energy and general wackiness of the series.

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 2002, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ration. While the first season was done as twelve-minute episodes that had their own openings and endings associated with it, this season is done more in the way of a single opening and ending but with the eye-catch being a bridge between the two separate stories, much like how the original Urusei Yatsura ran. 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:
Matching the layout and style of the first set of releases but dropping the Platinum strip and adding a Z to the logo, the artwork here looks really good with some very detailed and bright pieces of Milfeulle and Mint carrying food. The contrasting hair colors, the amount of detail and the simple but effective background shading lets the two really stand out nicely here. The back cover is having problems as it thinks it's a Donkey Kong game as there's a strip of summaries for all six episodes where at the side of each there's a small character shot from it. The discs features and technical information is all sort of randomly placed along the bottom and is fairly easy to find but ends up looking a bit messy. The insert replicates the front cover while changing some of the color shading from the background and opens up to a two page spread where they have the maze from one of the episodes for you to try your own hand at. The back of the insert is filled with tiny text that covers the credits, where as a change of pace, the English actors get their credits tied to their names.

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 with one of the Japanese extras that looks to be a constant. Each episode originally came with a "Galaxy Angel Lecture" called "Now I Get It!" The 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.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the first season of the series, we had a good bit of fun with the characters and liked the fact that it was for the most part very episodic and without much in the way of real continuity once it got past a few key areas. With so many series being so continuity based, having a couple of simple shows like this really helps to break things up when you watch a lot of shows. The second season, which ran for eighteen episodes, breaks down in roughly the same way with each full length episode providing two complete stories within it. The continuity is pretty much out the window here as well, as is often episode resolutions.

Things kick off with little in the way of re-introducing everyone and just starts with the comedy. In fact, for a lot of the first episode you don't even see most of the main cast. Having just succeeded in recovering a piece of Lost Technology, the group stops by at a space ramen port to have a quick bowl before heading off to a press conference about it. Milfeulle, who they need to learn shouldn't be holding such items, plays with the little container of Technology and comments on how it looks like pepper. You can see where it goes easily enough and everyone but her ends up putting it on their meals and then suddenly they disappear. This is bad enough in itself but it's how Milfeulle handles it, such as drawing lipstick faces on them and making them all happier than they normally are. When they get called in to handle a quick side mission at a haunted mansion, it's even easier to guess how it will play out. But even so, the show manages to stay funny and the situations work even if they are projected so far in advance.

Another episode that was a lot of fun was where Milfeulle and Mint were heading off on a mission together but Milfeulle wanted to give someone a ride to a planet that is most definitely out of the way, so she ends up giving him Mint's seat which causes her to go sit down in the cargo bay. None to pleased about this, she rifles through some of the strange boxes down there and comes across a cosplay outfit of a snake caveman. She can't resist the allure of such a thing and tries it on, only to have it completely set when they actually arrive o n the planet. Not wanting to be caught in it and unable to get it off other than the mask, she heads out into the trees to try to figure out what to do. Before she can figure anything out, Milfeulle has already taken off and Mint's finding out that the locals don't have much love for such a beast here as they're all picking up their pitchforks and plowshares to give her a proper welcome. Mint is so frenetic here and just far too cute while wearing the outfit. Her energy is a continued draw to the show as is the uber-cuteness of her design and voice actress portrayal of her.

Probably one of my favorite moments comes in another Lost Technology episode where, once again, the Technology is encased within food. This time, a certain kind of chestnut in fact. Milfeulle is baking a cake for everyone who is off on a mission and she ends up getting a bit hungry herself and comes across the chestnut sitting in its own bag out in the main Brigade room. Being who she is, she goes for a taste only to find that its effects are to enlarge her, turning her into a fifty foot woman in a really confined space. The back and forth between her and Forte when they try to figure out what happened is just hilarious and so on the mark that it had me laughing quite well. With everyone trying to come up with ways to get her out of there without causing anyone to notice since they don't want to get in trouble for using the Technology, this is a very fast moving and very humorous episode that was just about right at every instance.

In Summary:
Other than some book-end kind of changes with how the series is presented, there's almost no difference between the end of the first season and the start of this one that most people would notice. Since the first series ended without anything really big happening, it makes it easy to just continue right on here and get into the groove once more. Fans of the first series will find more of the same here and that's a good thing. There's a good dynamic and energy to this show that maintains its episodic nature. The characters continue to be fun to watch, very distinct in their style and the overall setting is just weird enough to keep it completely unpredictable.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitle,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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