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Review: Galaxy Angel

  •  03-22-2005, 9:33

    Review: Galaxy Angel

    My fascination with anime during my days of young had always been with the mecha and fighting genres. While I would occasionally watch shoujo titles (usually waiting for the mecha series up next on the TV schedule), I never had a genuine fond interest over cutesy lovey dovey magical anime that strike tremendous chords with females. It was thus natural that I grew into adulthood eyeing titles that featured combat and bloodshed and mature themes. None of the girly stuff for me, thank you.

    That was until I chanced upon Galaxy Angel on cable channel AXN while waiting for another series to hit the clock.

    Do not be deceived by a single glance at the artwork and characters; this series is not shoujo per se. (However, it served as the major transitioning bridge that took me across the river into shoujo and kindergarten land.) What is packed into its 26 episodes are a collection of some of the best comedy I have ever seen in all anime. Cute or not.

    The producers clearly knew what they wanted to achieve with this title, and wasted very little resources on the unnecessary. There is no story; only a very simple plot featuring Angel unit, a branch of the Transbol galactic empire specialising in the search and retrieval of Lost Technology throughout the universe. Each episode is a stand-alone skit that is consistently given a cute food menu title - you have to observe one of the characters to understand.

    What is pure gold is the perfect ensemble of completely unique, selfish, and incompatible characters who operate Angel unit - gun junkie Forte Stollen, resident chef Milfeulle Sakuraba, man fetish Ranpha Framboires, costume obssessive Mint Blancmanche, religious Vanilla H, and accompanied by their commander Volcott and one obnoxious missile processor nicknamed Nomad. The chemistry of their quirky personalities, coupled with the sparkling creativity for varying scenarios (they don't always hunt for Lost Technology), produce immense hilarity. Clever screenplay and blowing personal reactions make each and every one of them a joy to watch. The possibilties to how these group of misfits interact, work, and especially conflict and abuse each other almost seem endless.

    Note my use of "almost", because there are a few episodes that appear to "take a break" from the (tiring?) comedy and go all serious in mood. While they are not downright unenjoyable, I was caught somewhat off guard and left with a tint of unpleasant surprise as I expected yet another round of fun and entertainment.

    But make no mistake, it has been fun fun fun indeed. This theme of fun permeates throughout, and very strongly in the music, which eventually had me singing the wacky tunes. If you have a taste for cute comedy, you'd most likely sing along as well. Needless to say those similar to my former self would probably want to steer clear of this colourful universe. Or you could be like the new me, and become a convert forever.

    Overall rating: 10/10
    Yes Perfect cast; hilarious skits; brilliant screenplay.
    No Few episodes carrying unexpectedly serious themes.

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