I'm Gonna Be An Angel Vol. #3 - 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: 100
  • 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. #3

By Chris Beveridge     June 22, 2005
Release Date: January 04, 2005

I'm Gonna Be An Angel Vol. #3
© Synch-Point

What They Say
Step 10: The Thing at the End of the Tunnel
Noelle goes to a festival with Yuusuke were he buys her a suspicious mechanical toy, Bun-bun. Miruru, disguised as a vendor, tells Noelle that if she can raise Bun-bun properly it will turn into an angel. However, Yuusuke has his doubts. Although Bun-bun acts innocently when Noelle is around, things are different when she's not...

Step 11: It's Suddenly Time to Say Good-bye
The Durian Comet passes Earth once every 8 years. This is that lucky year! If you put a Durian on your head, your wishes will come true. Everyone at school is preparing for the Durian Festival and Yuusuke and Natsumi have been chosen to be committee members. But something's not quite right with Natsumi...

Step 12: To Like is to be Liked?
Natsumi has turned into a little girl. She is living with Yuusuke and Noelle until Yuusuke can figure out how to turn her back to normal. Wrapped up in taking care of Natsumi, Yuusuke's attention is drawn away from Noelle. But Noelle is still determined to become an angel. And little Natsumi has been asking for her deceased brother. Will the approaching Durian Comet grant everyone's wishes?

Step 13: Round 'n' Round and Back at the Start
Fed up with Miruru's string of failures, Dispel comes to the human world himself! He tries to lure Noelle to him by promising to make her an angel. Yuusuke has been so preoccupied with little Natsumi; will he save Noelle in time? Amid all the chaos, Noelle's halo starts to shine!

The Review!
Nearly a year after the second volume, which was only two years after the first, the release schedule is sped up considerably and the show leaps forward another four episodes.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its English dubbed format. 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.

The front cover goes a bit simple this time with a really nice image of Natsumi in her school uniform that's done against a backdrop of a cemetery at sunset. Noelle sneaks in of course prodding a frog along the way but it's a fairly somber cover and Natsumi just really comes across well here. 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. The reverse side front cover, sporting the original series name of Tenshi ni Narumon!, provides a very busy and bright piece where Noelle and most of the others are at the festival, so lots of green, shops and details that look great. 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 insert features the same shot as the front cover with the same amount of logos unfortunately. The insert opens up to provide translations notes for these episodes. Other than one other panel providing chapter listings, the remainder of the panels are advertisements for their manga or other anime releases.

A nice soft looking main menu features Natsumi close up in her school outfit while animated in-show comets fall across the screen to some nice music. Selections are 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 disc did correctly read our players' language presets and played accordingly.

The extras are fairly weak compared again for this volume. The usual array of items, such as the image gallery and the textless openings are here. The Japanese titled screens are presented here as well for areas such as the eye-catches, next episode previews and so forth.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I'm Gonna Be An Angel was already something of a frustrating show just in general in watching it, never mind including the problems of the lengthy time between the releases causes. The series lead character of Noelle continues to be one of the few characters that makes me cringe and the overly colorful and hyperactive cast doesn't delight but rather has me looking away from the screen. But when you have to add in that with each volume it's like starting over from scratch since you don't remember much of what was going on, or character names, it only makes the experience all the less enjoyable. Maybe when it's all out a marathon session will let the show prove itself. Until then, each volume is really just a chore.

This volume brings forth another four episodes and covers up to episode fourteen. Outside of the first episode which is a fairly standard self-contained piece of filler about how Noelle ends up getting a new little pet that flies and buzzes around making "bun-bun" sounds, the release has a fairly cohesive storyline to follow. Unlike the past episodes that have kept things to one or two characters in addition to Noelle and Yuusuke's relationship, the story arc here covers a wider range of characters and finally works its way to a climactic moment. The second half of the final episode is probably one of the most enjoyable moments of the entire series so far, which makes me wonder what I found enjoyable before.

The storyline focuses around an event called the Durian Festival which happens every eight years. The festival revolves around the arrival of the Durian comet and it has the cute tradition of having people make a wish upon it and that if they do it'll come true. The difference is that during the lead-up to the comet's arrival, people wear makeshift comets on their head with it tied under their chin with a ribbon and write a note on the comet about what they want. So you have all kinds of people running around with these goofy things on their head and it's easy to tell what people want.

The entire situation goes a bit wonky though in a couple of directions. The interesting direction is the one that follows Natsumi who wants to see her dead brother again. She's manipulated nicely by Dispel here so that she ends up reverting in age to how she was when he disappeared and she refuses to grow up or do what anyone says once she's past the initial shock (and the loss of her memory from anything older than that age). Yuusuke tries to take care of her but gets wrapped up in the entire idea of helping her see her brother again so she can get past the mental trouble that it causes.

Noelle's arc focuses heavily on her wanting to be an angel and her using of the Durian Comet festival as a means to do so. She ends up with a rather stinky comet at first on her head but with the help of Lucca, the two work towards really having Noelle achieve her goal, albeit with a mechanical set of wings. Noelle's strong focus on this keeps her away from Yuusuke a lot and the two aren't anywhere near as inseparable as before, giving him more than enough time to go and do things himself and with Natsumi. She and Lucca go through a number of trials and tweaks before everything is put on the line when the two storylines converge and both of those stories have quite a bit of payoff. But again, that's all just in the last ten minutes of the last episode on this disc.

In Summary:
Watching this show was one of the more difficult ones I had to do since my already low tolerance level for Noelle was beaten down further by the delays between volumes. I simply don't have the option of going back and rewatching the previous nine episodes in order to catch up properly for this volume and even if I wasn't doing this I doubt I would have gone back on my own time to do it. The show started off brash and loud and then provided some really good episodic tales in the second volume. This one goes for a much bigger storyline and has a really good payoff, but if the viewer doesn't care, is it truly a payoff?

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Image Gallery,Textless Openings,Japanese Titles

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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