Upon the release of Ranma 1/2 on Bluray, Mike takes a stroll through the world of Rumiko Takahashi.
Reviewby Maral Agnerian, Feb 19th 2002
DVD 2 - Fallen Angel
It's business as usual for the crew of the Angel Links as they continue their war against the Pirates in the Oracian star system. However, even the busy crew needs some time off to have a social life. Kosei meets with a Pirate girl, but it's not what everyone thinks – or is it?
And Meifon gets a mysterious invitation to hear "the Song of Mermaids". She's confident that she knows who her secret admirer is, but this date turns out differently than anyone could have imagined!
In Volume 2 of Angel Links, the pirate-chasing antics of the ship take a back seat to the characters' backgrounds, specifically Meifon and Kosei. It's a welcome change, as the first four episodes were rather...well, episodic, with each episode involving the same lengthy recycled take-off sequence and culminating in Meifon yelling 'Links Cannon...SHOOOOT!" every single time. On this disc they thankfully break from this pattern, following Meifon and Kosei into their private lives and away from the monotony of chasing pirates. We learn that Kosei is a *major* playboy (he keeps running into former girlfriends, including one who looks an awful lot like Iris, the waitress from Outlaw Star) and that he's quite a hottie when he's not being Meifon's lapdog and personal tea-server. ^_~ Unfortunately, it's revealed from the opening moments of episode 5 that it's going to be a tragic love story, which tends to ruin some of the suspense.
Episode 6 heads back in time a bit to show us how the Angel Links got started, including the death of Meifon's grandfather and his decree that she should take over the company and start up a free security agency, as well as how all the crew came together. It's a nice informative episode and provides good background, but doesn't really do all that much to further the plot.
In Episode 7 we're back to the present, following Meifon on a date with Leon Lau, the mysterious (and handsome) philanthropist who's taken an interest in her. This episode makes up for the last one as far as the plot is concerned, and raises many questions about Meifon, her grandfather and Leon.
The animation is still really good, with excellent CGI melded smoothly with the clean cel work, and the music is pretty good as well. The menus, however, while easy to navigate, are rather lackluster and boring, and all that's offered for extras are a textless ending (this seems kind of silly, as the ending consists of nothing but falling sakura petals) and 3 commercials (which are actually exactly the same commercial done 3 times with different voice-overs). As for the dub, most of the voices are okay, although they do suffer from the common problem of over-exaggerating nearly every phrase. Some of the minor characters, however, are so bad it's painful, and Kosei's voice makes him sound like some dumb surfer kid. It's not the worst dub I've ever heard, but it's certainly not the best either.
This disc provides interesting insight into a number of characters, while dangling little tidbits of information regarding Meifon's past without revealing the mystery. In that way it's fairly interesting, but the problems with Angel Links as a whole do remain. Meifon's breasts, for example, are a massive (pun intended) distraction and seem totally incongruous with the rest of the fairly serious show--it's like they couldn't decide if it was going to be a fanservice show or not, and as the breasts are not presented as comedic elements it's difficult to know how one is supposed to take them. Almost all the bad guys are so overdone they're ridiculous, and there's still no explanation given as to why Meifon has a winged cat living in her cleavage, or where it came from. The overall impression is that they seemed to think that if they put in all the elements of a 'cool' show it would turn out cool, but it just falls flat. It's not bad, and parts are fairly entertaining, but nothing really grabbed me and demanded that I watch more. If you really have to find out what Meifon's secret is, by all means pick this disc up, but otherwise I'd pass it up for the better sci-fi adventure shows out there.
Overall (dub) : C
Overall (sub) : C+
Animation : A
Art : A
Music : B+
+ nice art and animation, some character development
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