What They Say:
Galaxy Angels Reporting For Duty!!
Milfeulle Sakuraba is the newest member of the Angel Brigade, a branch of the Transvaal Empire military whose primary mission is to search for relics known as ‘Lost Technology’. The only problem is that no one actually knows what the Lost Technology is! Relegated to performing menial tasks of the highest priorities: a search for lost kittens, defusing of a talking missile, and delivering an old school I.D The Angel Brigade’s here to save the galaxy…one planet at a time!
Contains all 26 episodes of the TV series
The audio presentation for this series brings us the original Japanese language track in stereo along with the previously created English language dub. The series is a fairly straightforward comedy piece that works a kind of full approach with its mix design as there’s not a lot in the way of directionality or other events. The show has a lot of dialogue to it and some big sound effects at times but there’s little in the way of placement or directionality as it wasn’t looking to work that angle. That said, the uncompressed encode here with the PCM design definitely helps to boost if over the old lossy mixes by a good degree as both tracks come across in a cleaner and bolder way while the music definitely makes out the best. The sound design won’t make this a must-upgrade aspect of the release but it’s definitely a welcome part of the puzzle.
Originally airing in 2001, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio encoded in 1080p using the AVC codec. The twenty-six episodes are spread across two discs evenly as they’re only 15 minutes each with end credit translations. Animated by Madhouse, the transfer here is a significant upgrade over the original as color definition is fantastic with the right kind of pop and vibrancy. It’s a clean looking show that eliminates any of the noise and problems we had with the main show years ago and simply has a very solid look about it that’s like watching a different show. The character designs showcase more detail, the backgrounds have more that’s now visible with some of the darker areas, and overall it’s a strong upgrade. Some of the next episode preview pieces with its tight artwork showcase a bit of line noise but this is from the source material itself as opposed to the encode and is something we see from time to time from shows of this era.
The packaging design for this release brings us a standard sized Blu-ray case that holds the two discs against the interior walls. The front cover has a great image that focuses on the five girls with some ship imagery behind them with the space backdrop but it’s the character artwork that will catch the eye. The designs are great, mild throwbacks to a different time to be sure, but with some great color and definition about them that makes them feel distinct. The logo along the bottom uses the familiar one and it blends well with the layout in general, the blue even tying into the case color a bit. The back cover gives us a fun image of Ranpha and Milfeule along the right and a few circl shots of pieces from the show itself along the left. That’s also where we get the basic summary of the premises along with some production credits and a good breakdown of the extras that are easy to read even with the smaller font. The technical grid along the bottom covers the rest. There are no inserts included with this release nor is there a reversible cover.
The menu design for this release is fairly fun as we get a series of amusing clips from the show playing in the middle with a “windowbox” design that has a starscape along the sides so that it fills out the widescreen design. The clips definitely set the tone and are some of the silly and outlandish pieces. The navigation strip is one that works nicely with the logo along the left and a thin white strip along the right that has the selections in blue. It’s a standard design but it has the right tone to fit the show and it looks great during playback as a pop-up menu. My only frustration is that during playback you can’t tell what episode you’re on as it’s not highlighted when you go into the episodes submenu.
The extras for this release are definitely fun to revisit once again with what we get. The pieces we like are here in the clean versions of the opening and closing sequences as well as a selection of TV spots and promos from the original run. We get the full run of “Now I Get It!” lectures that clock in at about 27 minutes and provide some commentary by Milfeulle’s voice actress about how the world of Galaxy Angel works. Additionally, we get some character bio material and a look at some of the pieces from the opening sequence that breaks down Fotre’s piece and the relationship chart, which is the best way to break these pieces out for fans to get more enjoyment out of.
Part of a multimedia approach back in 2001, Galaxy Angel landed with the short-form anime block where it basically has eleven minute episodes of material. It came out alongside a manga from Broccoli by Kanan and eventually had a couple of games release for it as well. The property was a nice little merchandising bonanza with lots of things that came out and plenty of CDs as well to expand its reach and drive its fans into more love over it. The series saw a relatively quick release in North America from Bandai Entertainment back in the day with a dub and it was an utterly delightful little romp that we took in over four releases over several months. The show has a lot of fond memories for me as it’s one I watched with my daughter, who was four at the time, making it surreal that I’m rewatching it with her now when she’s sixteen.
Galaxy Angel is the kind of SF comedy series that manages to place the right amount of fanservice mixed with cuteness and comedy into a package without going too far over the top to being annoying. When the series was first released on DVD in Japan, its popularity with people I knew was strong, so I had picked up that release since it was cheap, came in a box and had figures. The premise for the show is simply enough as we learn that this takes place sometime in the far future where there’s something like 128 populated star systems that humanity has reached out to. This has allowed for planets to become specialized, such as pleasure planets, casino ones and so forth. During the time between everything happening, a lot of high technology has become lost, so the current ruler in an effort to keep the throne has created the Angel Brigade to handle things like finding the lost technology and handling special situations as they arrive.
Not that you really find that out in the show. The Angel Brigade is made up of four women initially, with a fifth that joins up after we meet her in the beginning of the series. Like any cast show, you’ve got your ensemble stereotypes. The team leader is Mint, a cute blue haired elfin type who is the daughter of a very powerful galaxy-wide businessman. She’s young but smart and decisive and oh so very cute. Usually at her side is the quiet member of the team, Vanilla. We don’t get to know much about her here, but she comes across as unshakeable and the real rock of the team. On the more actionable side of the team, there’s the beautiful blonde Ranpha, who is overly outgoing and highly confident in herself. She’s matched well with Forte, the eldest of the group who comes across as serious most of the time but can panic like the best of them. She’s also the manliest of the group, which confused at least one person who watched this show with me, especially since she’s voiced so low.
The newest member of the group is someone we get introduced to in the first episode via Ranpha and Forte. The two of them are assigned to a job where they have to find a missing cat on the planet they’re at. They think they find him quickly but realize that almost all the cats in the area look the same, so they go on a mad dash to capture as many rogue cats as possible so their odds look better. This causes them to end up meeting a young woman with pink hair named Milfeulle. She’s not the brightest person in the world, but she’s got a really special ability as things always seem to go her way. When Forte and Ranpha realize that Milfeulle had found the missing cat a few days prior, they have to protect them both from a group of assassins that are after them. As it turns out, the cat is actually the ruler around here and there’s a coup attempt underway. But it’s Milfeulle’s special luck ability that happens to keep the situation fluid enough for them to save the day.
As it turns out later on, Milfeulle had just been waiting to be accepted into the Angel Brigade and is the newest member. Her luck ability turns out to be a handy asset when she ends up with Forte and Ranpha who have just tossed their lives into hock on a casino planet, so they use Milfeulle and her luck to try and get out of debt. And later on when a sentient missile that doesn’t want to die needs to be disarmed, who better than to try and do it than her’ Milfeulle becomes the glue that starts holding the team together more and more as well as providing a lot of cute and innocent naive moments throughout the show.
The appeal of the show is that it goes right for the short tales without much preamble to them but also has enough time to flesh things out so that it’s not a mad dash of comedy.The one premise that’s used in several episodes, especially early on, is their continuing search for Lost Technology. One episode has a bit of fun with it when some of the Navy folks are talking up with Vanilla and Milfeulle in their quest to find certain pieces of Lost Technology they’re convinced is on the Angel’s ship. The conversation is amusing just as they try to deal with Milfeulle’s’ lack of comprehension until she tells them she has no idea what Lost Technology is or even looks like. Her complete honesty about it is amusing as is their reaction to it. This lets them search the entire ship though which gives us a tour of the various rooms of each of the characters. That unfortunately only serves to force up the stereotypes even more for the characters, giving them less “character” and more archetype than anything else.
Some of the premises are well done though. When most of the team ends up on a ship they’re sent to investigate, they’re threatened by strange pink ghosts and other strange oddities that keep them on the run. As it turns out, the ship is designed to force-train whoever is on it into hard exercise until they reach what the computer determines to be their proper weight for their build. Of course, you look at these paper thin girls and wonder what they could possibly lose (well, outside of Forte’s massive mammaries) that would put them in so much panic and fear. It’s a cute premise and it’s well played out but it’s flawed by that one, well, fact. The best things involves a product from a company called Full Monty Inc. ‘Nuff said.
As much as I pick on Forte, she does get a decent episode to herself around the halfway mark. On a planet where they’re supposed to be investigating Lost Technology, she ends up being hired by a trio of doctors that have a very sophisticated and up to date practice in the center of town. Their problem is that their competition, a single older doctor manages to capture all of the town’s business for some reason. So they try to hire Forte to force the guy out of town so they can get the business. They’re rather in luck since they have easy access to Forte’s heart when they show her a sizeable gun collection left by their predecessor, weapons that Forte is now drooling over and willing to do anything for. While there are obvious reasons why the bulk of the townspeople avoid one set of doctors and visits the other, it’s not really touched upon all that much and serves as a mild backdrop that isn’t really all that fleshed out. But the fun part really comes down to Forte’s drooling over the weaponry cabinet. And with the show running less than ten minutes, something has to be sacrificed.
Another place where things worked well had us laughing pretty much from the start where Vanilla is on death’s door after having lost something very important to her, something so important that she’s always clutching it in her hand though we’ve failed to note this before. While everyone else is basically preparing last rites for her, Milfeulle uses the Mother of the Milky Way to give her advice on where to look and she heads out to search for the missing item, something that Vanilla won’t even say what it is. So Milfeulle being the lucky girl she is, keeps bringing back things that may be it. Amusingly, everything she brings back is just more valuable than the last thing, from winning lottery tickets to gem encrusted armor that’s been lost for generations. There are a lot of cute moments in this as everyone reacts differently to the situation and their commander even gets to have a spot of fun. Vanilla still hardly says a word however.
Even the seemingly really goofy episodes proved to be fun. When some of them land on a space station to engage in repairs on Forte’s ship, they discover that it’s seemingly devoid of people but filled to the brim with trash. This is particularly bad in the zero gravity areas. As they investigate so they can get the parts they need, it gets worse when they’re attacked by a large number of monkeys that inhabit the station. Forte versus the monkey in trying to get her hat back is priceless. One episode that’s slightly stranger than usual has Milfeulle and Normad together with a robot that’s escaped from the President’s office with some secret highly important information and is on the run. While the information itself is humorous, the fact that the robot is a chef is hilarious and how they take a break in the middle of being chased to do a bit of baking and have fun with that.
With the last six episodes of the season, this almost seems like it could be the best episodes of the series yet at the same time they don’t. The show continues to be enjoyable but there’s a strangeness to the humor at the same time that it may not exactly be quite as humorous the first time around. And some of the humor works better in one language than the other and vice versa. One of them involves the group checking out some Lost Technology on an island somewhere while Mint is looking for all of them via a telescope on the observation deck that’s at the top of the island. Unfortunately for her, she’s stuck in some silly photo cutout piece and isn’t looking forward to everyone coming back and ridiculing her. As it turns out, the island is actually sinking now due to their presence and the other team members are racing to the top. Realizing that she’s going to be seriously laughed at, Mint goes and sets them all on bad paths to the top where evil things will happen to them. I just loved the evil side of Mint showing up in this way and the way she came to the conclusion that served her best. It’s always the cute ones!
Another really weird but solid episode involves bringing Normad’s past back into play. Volcott’s new assignment for the team is to head into space to defeat a giant die (as in the singular of dice) that’s threatening humanity. They actually get their rears handed to them by this bizarre contraption and we learn from Normad that this is the thing he was built to defeat all those years ago. The Q-cubed have always hated humanity and have spent the ages trying to stop us from getting out into space. Normad’s flashbacks to past instances are very amusing as is his method of dealing with the threat. It was really good to see him get an episode of his own in this volume that brings something of his “arc” to a close.
There’s plenty of fun in the other episodes as well. Having several of them end up as pizza makers and delivery folks or dealing with a fake Milfeulle is almost priceless. In that episode in particular where they have everyone trying to cause distractions and you have things like Forte using huge weapons to chase after a motorized mouse. Even the season ender continues things in the shows own weird way where they have all of the girls changing out as drivers for some mysterious man who is taking a truck ride cross country for some unknown reason. There’s some amusing infighting among the girls who have really gotten close and now play off of each other just right that it’s an amusing way to bring it all to a close.
It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly twelve years since I last saw this series. Returning to it, in complete form and in high definition, is an absolute treat. There are pieces of the show that may not hold up for some and I may have some mild nostalgia for it here, but there’s a lot of fun in a show like this with what it does, especially compared to other short form shows today that don’t achieve anywhere near the same. The characters are fun, the stories are silly, and there are mild touches of growth that keeps you coming back for more. Nozomi nailed it with the look and feel of this release with a great encoding that brings it to life like it never has before. Very recommended for fans and new viewers alike.
Japanese 2.0 PCM Language, English 2.0 PCM Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening, Clean Closing, TV Spots, Promotional Videos, Now I Get It! GA Lectures With On Screen Text Translated Into English for the First Time Ever, Character Bios, Relationship Chart, and Forte’s Wishes
Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B+
Released By: Nozomi Entertainment
Release Date: February 7th, 2017
Running Time: 390 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
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.