I'm Gonna Be An Angel Vol. #1 - Mania.com

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Synch-Point
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: I'm Gonna Be An Angel

I'm Gonna Be An Angel Vol. #1

By Chris Beveridge     May 08, 2002
Release Date: April 30, 2002

I'm Gonna Be An Angel Vol. #1
© Synch-Point

What They Say
Cute, loveable Noelle is your average girl…at least she appears to be "normal." But when high school student Yuusuke literally falls on top of her, she's soaring high on wings of love! Now, Noelle is "married" to Yuusuke only she sort of forgot to tell the groom!

Poor Yuusuke is just beginning to learn the depths of Noelle's obsession. Constantly following him everywhere, his "wife" is determined to become the love of his life! And when he gets home, he finds that he has a new house and full of her strange relatives!

But things really start to escalate when Noelle discovers that Yuusuke is really pining away for his "angel" Natsumi, who won't even give Yuusuke the time of day! Now, Noelle's literally decided to become Yuusuke's true angel! If she can ever figure out how to be an angel…

Step 1: Kisses Mean I Like You, I Think
Ever since Yuusuke accidentally kissed Noelle, she has been following him everywhere. Noelle is a girl who came from the Monster World. Calling Yuusuke "Omuko-san/My husband," she follows him around everywhere. But Yuusuke already has a crush, the star of the diving team, Natsumi Suzuhara. However, because of his friends, he's wrongfully accused of taking pictures with a hidden camera...

Step 2: Patched Up Love is Okay With Me!
Between being chased by Noelle and dealing with her crazy family, Yuusuke is worn out. To make matters worse, Natsumi slaps Yuusuke because she thinks he was peeping into the girl's locker room. To straighten out the misunderstanding, Yuusuke tries writing a letter. Then, if things weren't already bad enough, Noelle is kidnapped by a...professional wrestler?

Step 3: Hold Me, Squeeze Me
Noelle asks everyone to help her become an angel. Granny, who dislikes Yuusuke, takes advantage of the situation by telling Noelle that angels must not give into temptation. That means no touching, even though Noelle loves to hug Yuusuke! Enter catgirl Miruru, an old neighbor from the Monster World, with something up her sleeve...

Step 4: Precious Things are... Precious
In order to become Yuusuke's angel, Noelle tries to figure out love. On the way home from school, Noelle runs into Miruru. She wants to treat Noelle to a meal that will bring her happiness but…

Step 5: Not There, but Still There
Papa invites Yuusuke to go to the beach with the rest of the family. But Noelle's older sister, Sara, is nowhere to be seen. Meanwhile, Miruru is hard at work at the seaside to add to the chaos...

The Review!
I’m Gonna Be An Angel, otherwise known as Tenshi Ni Narumon, is the first DVD and TV series release from Synch-Point. While they’ve spent considerable time bringing it to the market, have they followed what changes fandom have been pushing for during then?

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The show features a good sounding pro-logic track that mostly pushes some of the music to the rear speakers during the opening and throughout the show. The dialogue and ambient sound effects are mostly centered at the forward soundstage and sound good. We didn’t notice any dropouts or distortions on either track.

Originally airing in the spring and summer of 1999, the show features some solid looking animation while avoiding that more common digital look shows started to seriously sport around that time. The shows colors look fantastic without being over saturated. Some sequences look a bit soft, but that feels more to be by design going by the color palette chosen for most of the show than an actual transfer issue. Some of the dark blue backgrounds have a bit of macroblocking in them, but the only other problem I noted was the cross coloration showing up in some medium range character shots and a number of close-ups with characters hair.

One place where Synch-Point has paid attention is in the packaging. Sporting a white keepcase, the front cover features Noelle and the two main human characters so far. It’s bright and shiny, it has a volume number on it and it lists the original title under the English translation of it. The back cover features several bright animation shots and a brief summary of what to expect. Episode numbers and titles are included as well as production information and the discs features and extras. All the information you need about this disc is very easy to check out here. To make this cover even better, it’s reversible! The reverse side front cover has Noelle and Yuusuke on his bike together with a more natural looking background. The reverse back cover features even more animation shots, and the other information all rearranged with the exception of the extras and languages. This is a great cover. The packages insert features a new piece with Noelle at the beach while also providing chapter listings. The insert opens up to provide translations for the opening and ending themes in romaji and English. The back portion is essentially an advertisement.

A nice soft looking main menu features Noelle and Yuusuke leaning against each other while animated feathers fall across the screen to some nice music. Selections area listed along the right and are set up pretty much as you’d expect them to be. Access times are nice and fast and moving around simple. The languages section proves to be a bit of a problem though. When a language or a subtitle is selected, nothing changes on the screen to indicate that it took. Also problematic is the listing of an “alternate” subtitle track without saying what it really is. While those who’ve followed the release will know that it’s the more die-hard fannish translation with the honorifics and lots of other bits, the casual buyer will wonder what it is, or why the translation is so awkward.

For the first outing, there’s a good selection of extras to be had here, as if the five episodes of the show isn’t enough. There’s a small batch of character design sketches at the top. Karaoke songs are provided, which is essentially the music playing by itself with no lyrics, but romaji subtitles. There’s about eight pages of translation notes for the five episodes which provide massive amounts of useful information. Be sure to read them after the show as it’ll explain numerous cultural items. A couple of neat items though are the audio extras, which has two audio auditions for Noelle’s English voice actress as well as two outtake segments. Hopefully we’ll get textless openings and endings in later releases.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This has got to be one of the busiest looking shows I’ve ever seen. After finishing all five episodes, I felt close to the same way I did at the end of the first volume of Excel Saga. I laughed at things, I found it interesting, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. There’s just something about it that defies description.

The show revolves around high school boy Yuusuke. His life has just changed fairly dramatically as both his parents have left to work overseas and he decided to stay home by himself and continue to go to school. This is something we see in many anime shows, and have to wonder just how many people do this. You never see this in US shows. Anyway, during one of his bike rides to school, he comes across some clothes scattered along the way. Being male, he does his best to reach that pair of panties hanging on the tree over the little chasm. Though he snares them, he plummets a couple of feet to the ground, only to find himself laying on top of this absolutely adorably blonde haired girl. Of course, she’s naked.

He stammers, fidgets and fusses his way out of there before hardly anything can be said. His friends at school don’t believe him, at least until the girl arrives at the school as the newest transfer student. Noelle is positively outgoing. Almost like C-ko from Project A-Ko. And her voice almost matches. Noelle follows Yuusuke all around, calling him her husband and extolling her love for him Yuusuke has no idea at all what’s going on, and can’t wait for school to end so he can get away.

But even then things go wrong for him. When he arrives home, he finds his house completely different. It’s no longer his house at all, but looks like some twisted anime version of Pee Wee’s Playhouse. In the front yard is a varied cast of characters that make up Noelle’s family, from the witch grandmother to the vampire older brother. The mother appears to be an elf of some sort while the father is… well, I’m not sure. Add in a younger sister as well as an older sister whose invisible (outside of a blush or two) and you’ve got something twisted here. At some points, it feels like too much and starts to overwhelm.

While we learn a tiny bit about the origins of the family, mostly being demons who’ve left their dimension/world for some unknown reason, we also follow Yuusuke as he continues to follow his true love, Natsumi. This ends up causing Noelle to change tactics at one point, as she reads the love letter he sent Natsumi, where he claimed she was an angel to him. Noelle’s had a halo since we first saw her, something I wouldn’t think a demon would have. She decides that this is what she needs to do, to be Yuusuke’s angel so he’ll love her like she loves him. And that sets forth the basis of the opening batch of episodes.

The show is a broad mix of cuteness, physical comedy and lots of puns. There’s some hints of darkness around the edges, particularly the way the romance between Natsumi and Yuusuke begins here. There’s lots of other little bits that make their way in as well, such as the other boy at the school who has a book of chaos and the catgirl who shows up to help her master in the nefarious plans he has in capturing Noelle. These segments with Lord Dispel and Silky are nonsensical at this point, and I hope that they become clearer as the series progresses.

I’ve been told that things take some interesting and surprising turns as it progresses, which I’m looking forward to. The first couple of episodes felt like an overload at times with how in your face the characters are. The fifth episode, which dealt with one single character for the most part and with her problems, was by far the best episode on the disc and made me look forward to the next episode a lot. The show definitely has a lot of promise, if it tones down a bit.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Translators Notes,Noelle Audio Auditions,Dub Outtakes,Character Gallery,Karaoke Songs

Review Equipment
Review Equipment:
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.


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