Reviewby Chris Shepard, Nov 8th 2001
DVD 1 - Avenging Angel
Meifon Li is…
…the head of a major corporation
…the captain of a state-of-the-art space ship
…a formidable martial artist
…a skilled negotiator.
…only 16 years old!
Meifon is an extraordinary girl, with an extraordinary tale to tell. Join Meifon as she and the crew of the Angel Links run a free pirate-fighting service. She's rounded up a crack staff of experts, including the master strategist Valeria and the unstoppable Dragonite Duuz. They're going to clean up the galaxy, and they're not afraid of getting their uniforms dirty!
Angel Links takes place in the ‘Outlaw Star’ universe. Besides that tiny detail, there are very few similarities between the two. Except for a brief interlude during an episode of Outlaw Star involving several cast members of both series, Angel Links and Outlaw Star have nothing to do with each other. The Outlaw Star thing is mainly just a selling point.
Bandai has once again delivered a fine DVD job. I was unable to notice a single problem with either the video or sound quality. The menus, although simple, look and work great as well. Being fast to navigate and easy to work, they were a pleasure to browse. Extras include the always popular textless opener as well as the “First Appearance of Angel Links,” five-minute excerpt from Outlaw Stars where Gene Starwind and his crew are mistaken as space pirates by some of the secondary cast members of Angel Links. This was quite a nice and interesting feature Bandai decided to throw in. Good work.
Angel Links is a very simple show. Each episode on this disc contains the exact same formula. Something has run amuck in space and the Angel Links team must come to the rescue. Usually it's saving something or someone from an evil gang of space pirates. These plots are definitely paper-thin. The objective is pointed out and the Angel Links must achieve their goal. That is all.
Angel Links also suffers from poor character development. Each character is a bland, overly used anime stereotype. Meifon Li is nothing more than a fluff-ball anime girl that turns into a goofy freedom fighter when the situation calls for it. Secondary characters are the same as well; there's the overly silent type, the stranger who's a possible love interest, and so on. Everyone is extremely boring. There's absolutely no development for any of them beyond the stereotypes in which they take after.
So just what kind of show is Angel Links? It's an episodic space-romp made by creators that seem to have had a little too much time and money and not enough imagination. Nowhere does Angel Links really shine. It's easy to tell the series was definitely not created to be taken seriously. This is obvious by the way everything is so exaggerated. From the huge balloon size of Meifon Li's breasts to the gargantuan explosions that take place so often, there is no way this can perceived as anything more than fan service fluff. But where is the fun? The characters are not cool and the action is not exciting. Everything here has been done before and done better.
Angel Links does have one thing going for it: wonderful animation. Spaceships are extremely detailed and the battles look very nice. Everything flows smoothly. The soundtrack contains some good tunes too. As far as the technical qualities go, Angel Links is great
The English dub provided by the Ocean Group works. Some lines are rewritten and the cheese-level has been heightened a tad, but other than that it's not too bad. Some character voices may come off as flat at times but the overall quality is average.
Angel Links is a hard title to recommend. Every positive aspect of the show has already been done many times before and much better as well. The characters are nothing more than over-used stereotypes, the plot lines are paper-thin, and the show isn't exaggerated in the right ways to make it funny. The end result is nothing more than a bland, middling space show. There are many better anime series out there that have to do with action and sci-fi (for example, Outlaw Star), check those out instead.
Overall (dub) : C
+ Great visuals
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