Mania Grade: NA
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: C-
- Packaging Rating: N/A
- Menus Rating: N/A
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Japan
- Released By: Pony Canyon
- MSRP: •5800 @
- Running time: 360
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Steel Angel Kurumi
Koutetsu Tenshi Kurumi
Koutetsu Tenshi Kurumi
What They SayThe Review!
© Pony Canyon
Koutetsu Tenshi Kurumi is a beautifully animated (similar in style to "To Heart" as the same director was involved) TV series involving robots (Steel Angels) with angel hearts. The background setting is of classic Japan similar to the ones in Sakura Wars except with slightly better technology for the millitary. These Steel Angels are not of this time period, however. They're from the future or are created by scientists from the future. Kurumi, Saki, and Karinka are special, especially Kurumi, hence the title Steel Angel _Kurumi_. Any more info would spoil things.
The animation is carefully done probably thanks to the fact that each episode is only 15 minutes long. Animators were under less pressure to churn out cells quickly. As someone who's studied enough to be able to appreciate the art form of anime drawings , I must say, I'll take shorter episodes if the animation quality can stay this good.
I find it interesting that all three main character voices were assigned to relatively new voice actresses. I find it refreshing to hear new voices. They do a wonderful job, especially Atsuko Enomoto who portrays Kurumi. "Kyuu-iin!" There are, of course, veteran voice actors/actresses in this series such as Ai Orikasa (Tenchi Muyou Ryoko fame), Kikuko Inoue (you know) and Hirotaka Suzuoki (Ranma 1/2 Kunou fame). I believe that the previous generation of voice actors/actresses are passing on their throne to a new generation slowly. Houko Kuwashima playing Nakahito gets a special mention because she doesn't sound ANYTHING like she did as Yurika in Nadesico. I thought it was Ogata Megumi!
Opening song sung by the three main voice actresses is ... very ... lovable... or should I say, "kyuu-iin!?" That's the thing Kurumi says to be "cute." I don't think she needs help of a made-up phrase to be cute, though. :) That's the best description I can come up with. BGMs portray the mood of the situations very well. Sometimes grand, sometimes cute, and sometimes just funny. All the music are available on one album consisting of two CDs. Good buy in my opinion.
Main theme of the series is not particularly original nor is the ending particularly surprising, however, characters are quite lovable. There are some very funny moments and there are some disturbing moments. Actually, there are quite a few ecchi moments. It's completely different "ecchi"ness compared to the ones from Mahou Tsukai Tai! (Magic Users' Club). In MTT, it was mostly comic. In KTK, it can be warm, evil, or embarrassing. I have just a bit of problem with it, but not much.
One thing interesting about the story is that there are a lot of fighting and weapons firing, etc., but absolutely no one in the series is the "bad guy." There is no designated "bad guy" in this series. I can't explain it without spoiling the story, but I thought it was interesting enough to mention.
First 5 discs are quite plain with no extra features and with just Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. 6th disc comes in two flavors. One standard and one special edition DTS version with 5.1 channel audio. Special edition disc 6 also comes with a box for holding all 6 discs. They should have made it hold 7 discs because I have both DTS version and standard version. Both of them contain creditless opening sequence and advertisements for the upcoming KTK singles DVDs. I do not have DTS, so I can't comment on it. Video quality is the same on both versions. Limited edition and special edition are mutually exclusive. Limited edition probably means first-pressing. First-pressing discs come with two trading cards each with one of the 3 Angels' pictures on them.
Video is horrible. Colors are fine, however, they did not compress them well enough. I see fair amount of artifacts in fast-moving scenes and staircasing on fast moving edges as well. Some scenes look very low-resolution scaled up too much.
This one is a hard call. If you loved "To Heart" despite the boring story, you will probably like this series just for the characters. Otherwise, you should try to watch them first. For your information, "To Heart" is one of the dearest series to me (oh and I'm just talking about the TV series, not the hentai games). It is culturally important to me.
As a sidenote, unlike "To Heart," I can see this title coming to the U.S. in a near future, so you might want to just wait for it. "To Heart" will probably never make it here. Most Americans wouldn't see why it makes people like me so nostalgic.
Japanese Language,6 disc set (two versions of disc 6 available),4 world's first (as they claim) DVD-singles with epilogue type episodes in them. (not reviewed here),DTS audio on a special edition disc 6 only,Two trading cards on each limited edition pressings,"No Credits" version of opening on disc 6.
4 episodes per disc, however each episode is only 15 minutes long.
Pioneer Elite DVL-91 (combi player), AVScience Crystal Image video processor-scaler, and Davis DL-450 DLP projector onto 80"x60" matte white screen. Audio: Audio Research LS-15 preamp, two Marchand XM-1 active crossovers, two Bryston 3B-ST amplifiers, and a pair of modified Magnepan MG1.6QR speakers.