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Shelf Life
Too Dark for Me to See

by Bamboo Dong,
Last week, I was immersed in a review that I was writing when I realized with shock that all I had been doing for the past four hours was stare at a fleck of black paint on my otherwise white walls. Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a splatter of gloss enamel that somehow got there when I painted my Valkyrie (or to make my column look cooler than it is, my Walküre) over Spring Break. Now, my desk is situated 2 feet and 7.5 inches from the West-facing corner of my room. My work plane is 5.7 inches away from the edge of the desk. In order for me to get black paint from my brush all the way to the place on the wall (9.42 inches from the carpet), it has to travel over 3 feet horizontally and have a low enough velocity to hit that low spot on the wall. This is not taking into account the fact the third dimension, which places the black fleck 1 foot, 2.3 inches back from the work plane. The question is, how in the world did that splotch of paint travel all the way from my brush to the wall?

The viscosity of black gloss enamel is approximately 74KU. Not only does the fleck have to overcome the forces holding it to the paint glob on the brush, it has to overcome the static coefficient of friction on the brush hair (assuming that the paint does not slip on takeoff) which is roughly .14. Furthermore, the spring constant of the brush hair must be taken into consideration, although the Colorado air pressure acting upon the paint may be considered negligible. Ergo, with the forces, both conservative, non-conservative, and those associated with the forced undamped spring movement, taken into view, a very simplistic free body diagram can be sketched out to represent the case. We must find the angle of the brush head in respect to the desk top, the initial velocity of the paint glob, and also the horizontal and vertical components of the acceleration of the glob.

It is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer that only a few rudimentary and basic calculations need be performed. Such equations are quite base and can be done by any common 4th grader, and should take no time at all. The results are as followed, and the interpretation of the final deductions is left up to you, as such a simple procedure need not be explained.

See? I told you that was easy. With that enlightening exercise out of the way, on with this week's massive list of releases.

Shelf Worthy

Cowboy Bebop Movie: Knocking On Heaven's Door
Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment 128 min. 1/1 $26.95 06/24/2003

Without a doubt, Cowboy Bebop is one of the most popular shows in anime fandom. Telling the story of a team of colorful bounty hunters and their adventures, as well as the past that envelopes their actions and thoughts, Bebop garnered an even more popular American fan following when it aired on Cartoon Network. It was only a matter of time before a movie was made and gobbled up by ever-anxious fans. Hitherto, the fans knocked, and the producers answered, coming up with Knocking On Heaven's Door, a movie that takes place between the 22nd and 23rd episodes of the TV series (as the back of the box helpfully mentions to prematurely answer any questions fans might have about the timeline), acting more as an elongated episode than anything else. Released by Columbia Tristar, the movie is more or less a lost episode, giving more benefit to people who have already seen the series than those that try to view the movie as a standalone. It starts off with the crew doing their everyday bounty hunting things, but in an interesting chain of events, they come across a deadly biological weapon that can kill hundreds of bystanders almost immediately. At the center of this is a mysterious man named Vincent, but who is he, what are his motivations, and—wait, shouldn't he be dead? Well, if I tried to clear up any of that rambling excuse for a plot summary, I'd give away the storyline, and quite frankly, this is something I'd rather have you see for yourself. As with the Bebop series, the animation is incredible, and with this feature-length release, the fluidity is even more pronounced. What is especially noteworthy about the movie is the music, featuring a fresh set of compositions by the ever talented and ever diverse Kanno. Of course, if the movie itself isn't incentive enough to buy the disc, there're also some great extras to prod you along to the store faster. Amongst the features include several brief shorts about the making of the movie, the inspiration for the music, and so on. There are also two music videos included, one for “Ask DNA” and one for “Gotta Knock A Little Harder,” the latter of which has some fresh animation and some slick concepts. Like I said earlier though, this will appeal more to Bebop fans than anyone else. If you liked the series, then this is a great chance to see another “episode” from the series. If you haven't seen either, then I definitely recommend seeing the series first. With a firmer grasp of the characters, you'll definitely enjoy it more.

His and Her Circumstances Vol. #4
Right Stuf International, Inc 150 min. 4/5 $29.98 06/24/2003

Long live Gainax and may they forever be my all-time favorite studio. Even until the fourth volume, Kareshi Kanojo no Jijyo, released as His and Her Circumstances, continues to be a well-written, beautifully presented, angsty, and emotional piece about high school relationships and the people that influence our everyday lives. While Arima is away at Nationals, Yukino is immersed in doubts about whether or not she really loves him and fears about where their relationship is going. When he does return, their reunion is joyous, but tension exists between them as they both stand frightened at the ordeals of love. Arima himself bluntly tells Yukino that he hopes to take their relationship to the next physical level, the surrounding events giving viewers more insight into the characters and their inner emotions. Kare Kano is just one of those shows that almost everyone can relate to in some way, whether it's to the joys and heartbreaks of romance, the quirks of family members, the trials (or nostalgic memories) of school, and everything that encompasses everyday life. Not only are the dialogue and emotions that are displayed on the screen a wondrous gem, but also the creative way that the story is presented. With the alternations between the animation, the still frames, the cartoonish scrawlings, and the silhouetted character cutouts, Gainax has made the story not only visually diverse, but also infused with double entendres that add to the enjoyment of the show. To make it sweeter, Right Stuf has also done a wonderful job mastering the disc, providing even soft subtitles for all the onscreen text to please the fans that dislike digital overlays. This volume is truly a wonderful addition to the series and any fan of the series will want to add this to their collection, or wait for the boxset.

Noir Vol. #4
ADV Films 100 min. 4/7 $29.98 06/24/2003

After a dry spell of boringness, Noir is getting back into gear with new characters and a rash of internal character conflicts. While the girls get closer to finding the origins of Noir, Mireille and Kirika are slowly getting torn apart by contrasting desires and personal motivations. Not much in the way of an exciting plot really interjects the episodes, but the character conflict is interesting to watch. Chloe is definitely an intriguing character to watch, as it's rather hard to tell what her motivations are and what she hopes to accomplish at the end of it all. Noir has since lost some of its magic for me since it first started, as the novelty of the dark, brooding atmosphere and eerie music has died down a bit, but it's still a fun watch. There are still questions that remain to be answered and loose ends that need to be tied, but with three more volumes still to go, we'll be waiting for awhile. Until then, there's still Kajiura's music to keep us busy.

Rental Shelf

Samurai Deeper Kyo Vol. #1
Media Blasters 125 min. 1/? $29.95 06/24/2003
Samurai Deeper Kyo Vol. #1 W/Box
Media Blasters 125 min. 1/1 $44.95 06/24/2003

Let's burn it. I'll be there! Wait a moment! Love deeper! Please welcome! Love me do! I leave it to you, baby. Baby, baby, baby, baby!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm sorry, but the ending theme cracks me up almost as much as the ending for S.CRY.ed. Is it supposed to be sweet? Sexy? I can't tell. Before I launch into the review though, allow me to point out the box. Yes, it's made out of wood. Is that not one of the coolest things you've ever seen next to the .Hack box? Granted, my shelf looks completely unorganized now because of all the weird boxes companies keep putting out, but it's still an interesting concept. Anyway, Samurai Deeper Kyo is a series that is generic, uncreative, with animation that ranges from every density of soup available. So why am I recommending it? Because it's entertaining, that's why. Taking place in the throes of Japanese history, Kyo and Kyoshiro's battle gets interrupted when a meteor smashes into the ground and blasts them apart. Years later, a floozy bounty hunter named Yuya finds Kyoshiro, a wandering medicine man. Deep within him, however, is the soul of Kyo, so every time the duo fights, the demon within Kyoshiro is unleashed. There isn't an explicitly defined plot as of yet, but with shows like Samurai Deeper Kyo, the staff aims for an entertaining experience, and that's what pops out. It's certainly a good series, and I wouldn't mind buying it, but so far, I can't really find a reason to buy it. Maybe when the plot gets stronger, I'll consider doing so, but as of now, it's just something that makes a fun rental.

Ai Yori Aoshi Vol. #3: Hugs and Kisses
Pioneer Animation 125 min. 3/5 $29.99 06/24/2003

Allow me to ease the queries that might pop into your head after looking at the DVD cover: yes, the show revolves around fanservice; yes, the contrast between the artwork and the title is supposed to be ironic; yes, the show is about a house-full of bickering girls; yes, the characters shown are drawn widely out of proportion; yes, Aoi looks like Shinobu in a kimono; yes, it's supposed to be funny; no, it's not funny. If you have any more questions, please write them on a slip of paper folded once into the box marked “Recycle” (it's Russian for “Questions In-Box”) and I will get back to you as soon as can be arranged. The thing is, I started off really, really, really liking Ai Yori Aoshi. I was firmly convinced that it would be my next great obsession, but alas, I was wrong. Rather than be a sweet, heart-warming tale about a young couple and the familial hardships they would have to overcome to pursue their love, the show transformed into a fanservice festival, with booths marked for slapstick comedy, undeveloped characters, and rehashed shounen humor devices. Sadly, the plot also changed from a love-seeking hope story into a contest to see how many girls and awkward situations the writers could fit into each scene before the commercial break interrupted them. In the third volume of the series, yet another girl is added to the Hinata Inn cloned scenario. (Un?)surprisingly, she still harbors a childhood crush on Kaoru, but how will that affect things between him and Aoi? To make things worse, the requisite misgivings and misunderstandings episode rolls in and Aoi is starting to feel neglected and doubtful about her relationship with Kaoru. At this point in the series, Ai Yori Aoshi is missing just that—a point. The character development is nonexistent with the exception of the two main characters, and the dialogue is meaningless, resulting in a show that is nothing but fluff and all the parts of a chicken you can order in a restaurant (minus the wings, I suppose). Despite all of that, I keep watching the show, hoping vainly that the series will restore itself to the glorious peak that it was at in the first disc. Anyway, if fanservice filled harem shows are your dish, then this might prove to be a good rental for you. Of course, if you're like me with a load of empty hopes for the series, then you might as well give this a quick peek, too. After all, I still think the opening theme is one of the prettiest songs ever written for a shounen series.

Devil Lady Vol. #5: The Purging
ADV Films 100 min. 5/6 $29.98 06/24/2003

With one more volume to go in Go Nagai's supernatural series, the rollercoaster has once again begun to descend. Throughout the course of the series, my opinion of the show has traversed everything from good to bad and just plain “ugh…” Starting off as a unique nightmarish tale about the evolution of some humans into Beasts and one woman's quest to save them all, it quickly turned into a monster-of-the-week show, and a painfully slow one at that. Leading up into volume five, the pacing of the series had slowed to a crawl, killing the revelations that were made by repeating them over and over again until they were no longer epiphanies, but story filler. The distinctly Nagai flair had reared its strong head, sprinkling the series with gore, random nudity, and stifled sexual situations. In the fifth volume, that flair is still there, continuing the repressed sexual innuendos and the blood spattering violence, but at least the pacing has picked up a bit. Humanity is now rapidly disintegrating as more and more humans are transformed into Beasts. Jun, however, is locked up elsewhere, striving to still save mankind and herself. Meanwhile, her roommate has hooked up with a group of almost-Beasts-but-not-really teenagers and is trying to learn the tactics of survival while the writers are trying to find a reason to still keep her in the show. Of course, when series start running out of things to talk about, what's the only thing left to do? Start a war. With the writers back in the game, a war is being launched against the Devil Beasts, and now Jun must do everything she can to save the essence of humanity, whatever that may be. In the meantime, characters are spiraling into (redundant) revelations about their past. So, with the story picking up, the characters as hopelessly repetitive as ever, and the art crude as before, Devil Lady looks to be one of those shows that might be good for a late night “somebody already rented the DVD that I really wanted to watch” viewing. However, there is one thing that I'm loving about this DVD, and that's the back of the box description: “The fetid breath of destruction warms the night.” Anyone who can pull that off gets a thumbs up in my book.

Gatekeepers 21 Vol. #2
Pioneer Animation 90 min. 2/2 $29.99 06/24/2003

Set in 2001 rather than the 1969 setting of the original Gatekeepers, the OVA sequel is much darker and more depressing. This is good change of pace from the overly bouncy TV series with its characters possessing Boxcar Children-like enthusiasm for new adventures. In the final volume of this short series, Miu is still stubborn about helping AEGIS because of her aversion to hurting people, even if they're Invaders. Of course, things get heated up a new character pops up who loves the idea of hurting people and does so at every opportunity. To make the mood disheartening though, the series doesn't waste time establishing the protagonists as invincible heroes. Rather, they get their behinds whipped rather harshly and they must now learn how to combat the Invaders and their own weaknesses. Along with the darker atmosphere of the OVAs, the background art is much darker, too, utilizing lush backdrops of depressing settings to set the mood. The contrast between the happy nature of Gatekeepers and the dejected aura of Gatekeepers 21 is certainly what helps make the latter more visually appealing and richer in emotional content. If you liked the TV series, then this is something you can't pass up. If you're like me though, and didn't quite think that Gatekeepers was quite your cup of tea, then maybe a rental would be best. It certainly makes for a good viewing experience, but unless you liked the original franchise, it's a little hard to get too enthusiastic about a sequel.

Mirage of Blaze Vol. #1
Media Blasters 100 min. 1/? $24.95 06/24/2003
Mirage of Blaze Vol. #1 W/Box
Media Blasters 100 min. 1/1 $39.95 06/24/2003

Mirage of Blaze has long been a running favorite amongst fans of shounen-ai manga, creating a legion of dedicated doujinshi artists and followers. Based on the long series of graphic novels by Mizuna Kurabara, the anime series that was produced presents a tumultuous love and angst relationship compared by many fans to that of another popular shounen-ai series, Ai no Kusabi. The story kicks off with a high school student named Takaya, a normal everyday kid who before long, runs into some bizarre stuff. He is soon informed of the fact that he is warrior who has been continually reincarnated for the past four hundred years to fight a war that never really ended, but was moved into a more supernatural plane to be fought by warriors reincarnated time and time again. He is the only warrior that doesn't have memories of his past life—with a reason that hints at a deadly sin committed in his last life by the person he bears love-hate feelings toward. The main problem with the anime is that viewers get tossed into the middle of nowhere, with the story left very vague and unexplained. The historical backdrop of the warriors and their century-old turmoil is sketchily explained, unlike the detailed exposition of the original novel series. Whereas Kurabara crafted a richly complex tale of trust and betrayal, love and hate, past and present, the series passes off as poorly animated, everyday supernatural thriller. However, it's only the first volume of the series, and with the backing of Kurabara's carefully written novels as inspiration, the series has the potential to become the emotional love story that it's supposed to be. If you're a fan of shounen-ai or yaoi anime, this will be something you'll want to see for sure. The art is dark and beautiful and like I said, it has the potential to be really good. If this kind of story sounds like something you'd want to see, give it a rental.

Gun Frontier Vol. #2: Midnight Samurai
Media Blasters 75 min. 2/4 $24.95 06/24/2003

Gun Frontier—for the Matsumoto lover in you! Honestly, if you're a fan of Matsumoto's works, like Galaxy Express, Starblazers, or even the Daft Punk music videos, you'll have a fun time with Gun Frontier. If anything, it's just amusing to watch for the distinct character design style. With some of your favorite characters back for cameo appearances, Gun Frontier is an interesting spin on Western adventures, with plenty of mysteries and conspiracies along the way. In the second volume of the series, our heroes continue to wander the land, seeking answers to their past, resolutions to the unknown, and the way to keep their friends from getting dragged into their problems. The story isn't really explicitly set out so it's a little hazy what exactly Matsumoto is trying to accomplish so far. However, the adventures are interesting enough and not too slow to keep casually watching for a bit. With half of the series left, it'll be interesting to see if the series develops into more than just a wayfaring-wanderer-in-search-of-vague-answers type show, but until then, a rental might be a good way to kill any summer-time boredoms.

Countdown Conjoined!
SoftCel Pictures 50 min. 1/1 $29.98 06/24/2003

After comparing the cover of this DVD and the one for Devil Lady, I've decided that burgundy is much sexier than bright red. However, I can't say that the key of C is sexy at all, but that's beside the point. Countdown Conjoined combines Countdown and Countdown Continued into one DVD (that is a LOT of Cs. Still not sexy.), giving us ample time to learn that Hiroyuki Utatane is a perverted weirdo creative man. Based on his comic series, the episodes fall into the category of “hentai that is so messed up it's funny.” The four episodes have incredibly weak plots and range from random gender pairings, to hormonally imbalanced women that have body parts that they're not supposed to have, to female domination fetish feeding, to some scenes that are just plain depressing. The thing is, the episodes are so incredibly bizarre that they're funny to watch, in that kind of “I have better things to be doing right now. Why can't I tear my eyes away from this bad hentai?” way. To give you a taste of one of the episodes, a woman gets all hot and bothered when she sees two women laying on the mack in some park. As she walks home, she realizes that one of the women is following her (Just a friendly reminder, ladies: people like those are called stalkers, and it's not how healthy relationships should start out), so naturally, a bunch of random sex scenes are going to follow. Then, when they get home, they meet up with her stepson. Naturally, a bunch of random sex scenes are going to follow. Why? I don't know. They're just funny because some of the lines are so incredibly cheesy, and some of the scenes are so far-out and stupid that it's almost enjoyable to watch. This is seriously one of those DVDs you can rent and watch with a bunch of friends and just sit there and laugh at the TV.

Bible Black Vol. #3
Kitty Media 60 min. 3/? 29.95 06/24/2003

I'm rather unsure how to rate this title. If you love hentai, then you'll love Bible Black, no doubt about it. If you don't, then you'll want to stay as far away from it as possible. If you're into hentai at all, there can be no qualms about it that Bible Black is one of the most well-crafted titles out there. It doesn't try to be pretentious and drag out a storyline filled with poorly constructed symbolism when there shouldn't be any, like Bondage Mansion, yet it isn't just a random, plot-less excuse for masturbatory material. It just is. It encompasses all that hentai should be—sex with a story. The third DVD brings the story back to before the days of the revival of the Magic Club, traveling in fact, to its origins. Takashiro is a student that has stumbled upon the Black Book, an occult book that unleashing massively unholy powers onto the student body, transforming everyone into worshippers of this perverted, aphrodisiacal cult. Of course, all hentai series need either a nurse or a maid, and the former is provided by Kitami, who has interesting ties to the Black Book herself. Amusingly enough, the box description tries to draw in viewers with the line, “Find out how Kitami and Takashiro were introduced to the power of sex!” How do you think they were introduced to the power of sex, when there's a school full of sex-crazed teenagers running around? Watching Blue's Clues? I hardly think so. Like all hentai, the character designs feature perfectly formed (if highly unbelievable) bodies and surprisingly detailed genitalia, which make immature people like me squirm in discomfort. Visually, it's very well done, with bright colors and attractive designs, but all the people look the same, so it's hard to tell them apart. Then again, I suppose hentai's not really watched for the plot anyway, so character differentiation hardly matters. One thing that perturbed me a bit, though, was some of the more… uncomfortable looking sex scenes. The whole rape, torture, occasionally hermaphroditic, that-shouldn't-go-there-or-at-least-that's-what-they-told-us-in-health-class thing—well, like I said, it makes immature people like me squirm. I can't say that I'm a big fan of hentai at all, but I can recognize quality when I see it. There're some hentai titles that might appeal to all mature anime fans, and then there's titles like Bible Black that would only, but heavily, appeal to hardcore hentai fans. If you belong in that category, this title's for you.

KO Beast Vol. #1: Password to Treasure!
Right Stuf International, Inc 90 min. 1/2 $24.95 06/24/2003

The KO Beast Century OVAs were first released circa 1992 and over ten years later, are finally getting their first breath of air in the states. Created and produced by the wacky Satoru Akahori of Maze and Sorcerer Hunters fame, KO Beast is a hysterical (read: bizarre) release that is perfect for perking anyone up from the depths of boredom. In a time very far into the future (which makes you wonder why their technology sucks so bad), the planet has been split into several tribes, most of which can transform into a variety of critters like tigers and mermaids and what not. Of course, just to drill in that bit of social commentary, there are the humans, who are power hungry bastards who are trying to reassert their dominance over the world. They go around to all the tribes and steal their magical statues, throwing the inhabitants into prisons as they go. You'd think that if the humans were strong enough to go around stealing everyone's stuff and throwing them into jails, they were already powerful enough to take over the world, but everyone knows that all bad guys want is even more power. Anyway, there's a tiger kid named Wan who meets up with a womanizing bird kid and a mermaid chick, and they get help from this Dr. Password guy so they can prevent the humans from ruining the world. Yeah, that's pretty much it. The scenes are funny though, varying between your regular slapstick to the bird guy running around hitting on every chick with the smoothest lines I've ever heard. Even with the age on the series, the animation is still pretty nice and all the technical aspects of the show well done. It's probably not something I'd watch more than once or twice, but it's certainly something worth seeing. If you and your pals are thirsting for some good laughs at night, this would be a great thing to throw onto your rental list.

Inu Yasha Vol. #07
Viz 75 min. 7/? $24.98 06/24/2003

The repetitive adventures of Inu Yasha continue in Viz's release of the seventh volume of the series. Inu, Kagome, Shippo, and Miroku (apparently all that's changed is another character) are thrown into the woes of battle against Sesshoumaru. Their motivations? Well, in a dramatic change of events, he's stolen the magic pendant from Inu Yasha. What?! Someone else is after the shiny pendant thing, too? No way! Who would've guessed? Well, he's the strongest person they've been put up against so far. With so many episodes left in the series, can they possibly defeat him? In my mind, Inu Yasha is a heavily redundant series that tells nothing new in any of the episodes, even reusing the same jokes and gags repeatedly. On the other hand, shows like that are heavily popular, like Sailor Moon, Card Captor Sakura, Yu-Gi-Oh, and etcetera. Even with the overused scenes, Inu Yasha is still somewhat enjoyable to watch on occasion. To me, it's a show that works wonderfully in a once-a-week setting, but marathoning even more than three episodes at a time is out of the question. By the third episode, it just gets too mind-numbing. For fans of the series, I heavily recommend that you rent this before you buy it. Inu Yasha is an incredibly long series, and unless you're extremely hardcore or extremely, I'd suggest just buying the discs of your favorite episodes.

Virus Vol. #3
Manga Entertainment 120 min. 3/4 $24.95 06/24/2003

Hahaha, Virus Buster Serge is such crap, everyone should see it! I was doubled over with laughter the whole time, and when it's supposed to be a serious show, you know there's something wrong with it. The scenarios (and even character designs) are very much like the AD Police TV series (not to be mistaken for the OVA series), except Virus tries so much harder to be taken seriously. That's probably its downfall. The series stars a bunch of odd-looking characters (let's play the “who can you spot in the cover?” game. I see Julian from Armitage, Lina, and… ooh, did Alexander cut his hair?) that form a squadron called STAND. (JoJo has much cooler Stands). They ride around in Bubblegum Crisis suits and fight these things called Viruses that look like mutated bubblegum monsters. In the third volume, things get rough for STAND when the big guys over them try to dismantle them. As they fight the whims of bureaucracy, they must help each other out enough to fight *gasp* the SOURCE of the Viruses!!! (It's actually called the Incubator!!! I bet it's kept at a steady stream of 37 degrees Celsius with a nice balance of 5% carbon dioxide, too.) I know Masami Obari means well with this series, but it's absolutely ridiculous. The animation is base and with the exception of all the fights and big booms and crashes, there's absolutely no reason to watch this with good intentions. Honestly, if I wanted to marathon a show with a bunch of friends over the weekend, I'd pick Virus. This show is so incredibly, outrageously lame that it's probably the best thing I've seen all week. Give it a rental guys, and get ready to laugh.

Perishable Item

If I See You in My Dreams TV
Media Blasters 120 min. 1/? $24.95 06/24/2003

After being somewhat charmed by the OVA series, I was quite disappointed by the TV series. Comprised of sixteen 10 minute long episodes, it's pretty much the same thing as the OVA series, except more drawn out, and more hopelessly rehashed. Misou is a salaryman who has never had a girlfriend before and when he falls for a schoolteacher named Nagisa, he falls hard. The problem is, he can't seem to get her because misunderstandings always get in the way. This proves to be extremely aggravating for the viewer and ends up being the pitfall of the series. One instance of miscommunication is okay, but when it happens in every single episode, it gets very tedious, and may invoke feelings of violence in some viewers. It's just one of those things where you just want to take a huge baseball bat, step into the television, beat the characters around the head for being so incredibly insipid, and yell into their ear, and—well, you get the point. Not to mention, there's other girls that are head over heels over Misou, but he's too dense to see it. I mean, you have to admire the guy's dedication to Nagisa, but still, it's exasperating to see the characters interact the poor way they do. In addition, the animation really isn't all that great, and with 10 minute episodes, you'd think they'd be terrific. Besides, with the entire series over in a matter of two hours, everything's too rushed. It would've been much better had they concentrated more on developing a solid story rather than finding more ways for the characters to misunderstand each other over and over again. If you want to see this story in action, I'd recommend the OVA series instead. Even with three episodes, it plays out much better than this.

New Angel Vol. #2
SoftCel Pictures 75 min. 2/2 $29.98 06/24/2003

My, what unnaturally big breasts you have. I have yet to decipher whether or not New Angel has a workable plot or not. Most of the time, the story is a sweet exchange between a gentle girl named Shizuka and some guy so forgettable that I just call him Wet Dream Boy. Dubya-D is raunchy pervert who has two states of mind: sex, and the five minutes after sex. He's constantly dreaming about girls, especially his childhood friend Shizuka. This could pass off as a romantic story about the hopelessness of love, but it's punctuated every few minutes by sex, or a twisted ploy to have sex. I just don't get what it's trying to be. If you want to be a sex story, be a sex story. If you want to be a sweet romance, be one. It doesn't quite work if one moment you're having a sweet moment akin to eating toast and marmalade, watching kids fly kites outside, while talking about the upcoming picnic (those events didn't actually transpire, but the same feeling is there) and all of a sudden pull each other onto the stove and start having sex. There's just no natural transition between the sex scenes and the non-sex scenes. However, I will admit that the show is funny, in a well-crafted way (as opposed to a “holy crap, this is so bad it's the best thing on the planet” way). It's just a little unclear what I'm supposed to be watching for. With all the other hentai floating around out there, I'm sure you'll be able to find a title to better suit your tastes. Of course, one thing did pop into my mind while watching New Angel—I did not know that the human body could bend like that!

That's it for this glorious week. I'll see you next time for some more fun! (That sounds SO perverted.)

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