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Burst Angel, vol. 3
A region 2 DVD review by CNash

I feel I've made all of my most pertinent comments on Burst Angel's sound and visual effects in my review for Volume 2; if you haven't already, please feel free to read it.

Burst Angel: Volume 3 (released 8th May by MVM) continues to impress. This volume follows almost the same pattern as the previous volume, with one exception – the first two episodes are stand-alone, instead of being parts one and two of a two-part story (as was done in the second volume).

Volume 3 promises to reveal more about the mysterious government department that's controlling the monsters, and also explain what RAPT (the Recent Armed Police of Tokyo)'s real purpose is. Four episodes are provided here – episodes 9 to 12 of 24:

09: "Party of the Dragon" Sei's grandfather holds a party and invites Bai Lan's Japanese sister organisation, to try to mend bridges between the two clans. What Sei doesn't know is that she's about to be offered in marriage to the leader of the other organisation – and that that leader has some radical plans for the two clans' future.

10: "Uncharted Cyberspace" A mischevious computer hacker targets Amy with his silly pranks – he should've known better. Amy and Kyohei go investigating, but their adventure threatens to take them in way out of their depth.

11: "Eastern Angel, Western Hawk"

12: "Tower of Tears" In Osaka, a bad situation turns worse when Jo's mission fails and she's arrested by Takane, an ex-biker Osakan police officer. When the city is attacked by both a strange bug-like creature and a massive mechanical behemoth, Jo and Sei realise that the culprit is the shady government faction which was also behind the mystery at the private school (episodes 5/6). Can the rest of the team get there in time to stop them? And is Jo strong enough to beat their mecha monstrosity?

One thing I commented on in my review for Volume 2 was the nature of Jo and Meg's relationship, so clearly defined in episodes 7 and 8. Is Jo reacting as Meg's personal guardian, or is there a deeper relationship between the two of them? Sadly, Volume 3 does very little to explore this aspect of the characters. While this isn't the end of the world – there are still twelve more episodes to go! – it would've been nice to have some follow-up. What was followed up, though, was Jo's marked lack of respect for authority figures – she mouths off to her clients, to the Osakan police, and (briefly) to newly-introduced mecha mechanic Leo, who looks after the team's battle robot.

Aside from the insights into the major plot points (of where the "demons" are coming from, and what RAPT really wants), Volume 3 shows us more about the internal politics of the group's parent organisation, Bai Lan – as well as providing some good characterisation for Amy in episode 9, showing the viewer that although she may act tough, under all of her cyberspace know-how she's still a vulnerable 11-year-old.

If you're looking for a great action-based animé with just the barest hint of fanservice, Burst Angel is for you. In fact, even if you're not looking for such a series, give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.

sound and vision

As with Volume 2, the picture is anamorphic 16:9 and a solid enough transfer, with colour, sharpness and contrast all sound without being eye-popping. Also carried over from Volume 2 is that the English dub fares better than the Japanese original, being accoustically superior in its treatment of the soundtrack and voices.

extra features

Features in Volume 3 are very similar to those of Volume 2. There are some radio plays, featuring the Japanese voice cast in their very own radio show. There's a commentary track for episode 9 – "Uncharted Cyberspace" – with Alison Retzloff (Amy), Greg Ayres (Kyohei) and voice director Chris Bevens – I mentioned in Volume 2's review that I was disappointed not to have a commentary with Greg Ayres, as I liked his commentaries for Chrono Crusade – well, it looks like my prayers have been answered! The three spend most of the commentary laughing at the voice-acting and talking about the various double-entendres used in the episode.

You can also view clean opening and closing animations, and watch trailers for Samurai Champloo and Gunslinger Girl. 

Burst Angel, Vol. 3: East Meets West

Japan 2003
100 mins
Koichi Ohata

DVD details
region 2
16:9 anamorphic
Dolby surround 5.1
English – signs only
Commentary on one episode
Radio dramas
Opening and closing animations
release date
Out today
review posted
8 May 2006

related reviews
Burst Angel, Vol. 2
Burst Angel, Vol. 4
Burst Angel, Vol. 5
Burst Angel, Vol. 6

See all of CNash's reviews