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Angel Blade Complete Collection Hentai Anime DVD Review

9 min read

Angel Blade DVDWhen Obari is honest and just makes what he wants, you get some pretty entertaining hentai out of it that also includes a story.

What They Say:
Angel Blade: The amazingly voluptuous super heroine! No criminal has ever withstood her incredible sexiness. But now, the jiggling juggernaut of justice is targeted by a twisted criminal who wants her ultimate domination. Only one thing is certain: our topless heroine will need all her cunning and physical prowess to bring her enemies to heel! Contains both Angel Blade and Angel Blade Returns!

The Review:
Audio:
The audio presentation for this release is fairly standard as we get the original Japanese language track in stereo and the previously created English language dub done in the same, both of which are encoded at 192kbps.The stereo mix for the show is a bit better than your average adult fare as there is much more story and more action involved here than those so the mix exerts itself a bit more and the stereo channels have more flowing through them. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released to video in 2001 and 2002, the transfer for the four part OVA series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The two OVA series that make up this collection are on separate discs so they essentially have the same releases that were done individually before. Part of the Vanilla Series, the animation here is one that looks like it had its budget tripled over the normal releases of the time and it shows through here in the visual quality. From the backgrounds to the character designs, everything here looks alive and vibrant as well as pretty much problem free. Some of the backgrounds show some very light blocking in a few high motion sequences but otherwise it’s a good looking transfer that avoids problems such as cross coloration or the more recent gradient issues that are getting more common. This is an easy show to watch and just enjoy the transfer of.

Packaging:
Sometimes a plain white background will work and I think it works rather nicely with Angel Blade is it lets the focus reside on the character artwork. This version of the show has the lead in her full on skimpy uniform looking quite seductive but also has a strip behind her with some normal character artwork that’s also very appealing in a sexy/cute fashion. The logo along the top is simple but effective and it has a very clean look overall with all the white space. The back cover uses a lot of white as well but it covers it up with more pictures and a very small amount of text. The summary really isn’t one but rather two lines that keeps it all very simple and lets the artwork sell it more than anything else. There are some good looking images here that paint exactly what kind of show it is. The technical grid along the bottom lists everything very cleanly and clearly making it very easy to tell what’s here. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.

Menu:
The menu layout is fairly simple in that it uses the cover artwork of Angel Blade and throws it against a different lightly animated background and puts some music to it and strings the navigation points along the bottom. It’s a decent looking menu when everything is combined but nothing that really stands out much, though it does have English dialogue playing across part of it. Access times are nice and fast and submenus load quickly. The disc also correctly read our players language presets and played accordingly.

Extras:
While the first volume didn’t have any extras, the second installment did as we get a sketch gallery as well as storyboard sequences for both the episodes in the first volume and the third episode that’s on this volume. The show also includes the recap episode that was made to bridge the lengthy gap between the original releases.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Angel Blade was one of the early holy grails of hentai fans in North America since it involved Masami Obari, one of the more interesting stylized directors and character designer of the time. When he dips into the actual adult anime genre, he manages to bring a good budget with him as well as a crew that’s able to produce something that’s much richer looking than your average adult show. Angel Blade keeps up with his usual traditions of skimpy skintight piecemeal outfits as well as large breasts but it cloaks all of it in an intriguing storyline and setting that actually takes some time to tell before it really gets down to the hardcore sex.

Set in some distant future where the world has changed greatly and there are now nintety-nine Grand Cities left in the world that I believe are all above the clouds, humanity survives and thrives in these massive complexes where practically everything they want is all around them. In the Aquatokyo complex, a huge amount of space is given over to a university that’s world renowned for its achievements. Within the campus grounds it’s like a world within a world and everything is at every students reach, right down to lingerie shops. It does appear to be an all women’s campus though but going by how the student body looks it doesn’t really matter if there are men around or not.

Deep beneath the clouds where nobody knows what’s going on down there, this is where Dark Mother has her own plans afoot for presumably world domination. Using her minions to achieve her goals, she’s setting her plans in motion but is stymied by the continual interference of Angel Blade. After numerous encounters, they figure that her central point of operations must be the Aquatokyo complex, she sends Nailkaizer there to the campus where one of her minions is the Dean and she is instructed to go through as much of the student body as possible to find out who Angel Blade is. The Dean is only too quick to help in supplying candidates with similar body types and having his way with them along the way, but Nailkaizer has a better idea who it may be when she sees the student body president, Hasumi.

Hasumi’s the ultra popular girl, brilliant and athletic as well as gorgeous and she has the look of Angel Blade. So Nailkaizer begins her search for her within the campus and trying to tease her out of her hidden identity, a storyline that runs in parallel with a few others that eventually all merge together. One has a pair of female police detectives that are on the trail of Angel Blade as well but more for the purpose of helping since one of them is a legendary Guardian, someone who extra abilities and strength to help defend against the Dark Mother. Another subplot follows a younger woman on campus named Moena who looks up to and admires Hasumi and wishes she was like her but she’s so much smaller in so many ways that she feels she never could. Of course, this is who Angel Blade really is but she’s never aware of it when she transforms. From her we get into the nitty gritty history of what’s going on in this grand battle and those who are fighting it, using Angel Blade as their weapon against evil.

While there is plenty of plot here, it’s also filled with a lot of great sex scenes. With the cast being all women, they deal with some of the missing elements by bringing in fun things like tails, wings, tentacles and women with not one, not two but three penis’ that come out from within on command. Those working for the Dark Mother have that demonic look to them but it’s the sexy kind, not the ugly critter type unless you’re dealing with one of their mutants that are out and about. Though there are plenty of large breasted women in this show, they don’t feel as over the top as some other recent shows we’ve seen (adult and mainstream alike), rather they fit in the universe that Obari builds around his characters and there isn’t a massive fascination just with the breasts. With three lead female characters on the good guys side, there’s some good variety to be had here, plus great costume design and plenty of interesting settings for all the action.

With the final episode, it deals with Seiru having been captured by those working for Nailkaizer and used as bait to draw out the real Angel Blade since it was once thought she was it. Giving chase to the duo doing all of this, Angel Blade finds that she’s not alone out there in the world as Angel Ender is briefly introduced and there’s an amusing battle sequence throughout the city at night where people see the women in their truly skimpy outfits. It’s comical to watch the battle ensue as the women basically shoot massive power loads of energy from their she-male parts at Angel Blade, often able to strike her down at over two hundred paces. It’d take a super woman to withstand such intensity in the normal method of delivery.

Everything of course revolves around getting back to those under Nailkaizer that are really running the operators and the headmaster finds himself the center of attention in his demonic form after he interrupts a rather pleasant lesbian sequence between Moena and Seiru that firms up their relationship a bit. It turns nasty as the demonic headmaster uses his appendages to eliminate Angel Blade once and for all though and it goes through a series of ups and downs as the struggle to survive is strong. The show has a fair amount of sex to it, much like the first two episodes, but the pacing found here in the third and final OVA is more geared towards pushing towards the plot resolution and getting the last couple of encounters out of the way. The pair chasing Angel Blade at first is fun but it really serves just to get the women into their more tender moments. The final battle is all but a given even in a show like this but it’s still enjoyable to watch.

In Summary:
Critical Mass Video had released the series previously in separate form, much how Anime 18 did when they first acquired it, so getting the show all at once like this and for this price is definitely a treat. With a fun storyline overall and a great blend of animation and character design and some wonderfully fun sex scenes, it’s pretty much everything you could want from a goofy and nearly mainstream hentai release.Obari’s work here is definitely worth checking out and the ending is a good conclusion to the series. Very few companies put out such glossy story oriented adult shows like this and that’s something that Obari should be working more on instead of hitting up the mainstream where he’s got to hold back.

Features:
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Series Recap, Art Gallery, Sketch Gallery, Storyboards, Angel Blade Trailers, Anime Artform

Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: C

Released By: Critical Mass Video
Release Date: April 1st, 2014
MSRP: $19.99
Running Time: 120 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Review Equipment:
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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