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Galaxy Angel Z Complete Collection Blu-ray Anime Review

12 min read

Most sequels go bigger but Galaxy Angel Z goes smaller (except for when the girls get bigger).

What They Say:
The five Galaxy Angels are back again with a mission for more gut busting laughs! After discovering the Lost Technology, it’s only a matter of time to see the Angel Brigade fall back into mischief. During their assignment the girls must investigate a haunted mansion but as it turns out, it’s a hide-out for thieves. Raphna receives free tickets to a wrestling match only to face Great Muscle, the strongest man in the universe in the ring! Milfuelle and Mint picks up a tribal leader who has a costume of a fabled creature for the tribal festival. Mint can’t help but to put on the costume, unfortunately, she can’t take it off and becomes the village celebrity!

The Review:
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 nineteen episodes are spread across two discs 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. A lot of it looks like it sits at various spots within the thirties in the bit rate and that really helps to push things forward in a great way. 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 together in their uniforms where it’s all very bright and vibrant with appealing designs that do,admittedly, feel like they come from a different age. The blue background gives it a little extra push as well that I like that complements the character colors. 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 couple more character images along the right and a few circle 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 provide some commentary by Milfeulle’s voice actress about how the world of Galaxy Angel works.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the first season of the series, we had a good bit of fun with the characters and liked the fact that it was for the most part very episodic, without much in the way of real continuity once it got past a few key areas. With so many series being so continuity based, having a couple of simple shows like this really helps to break things up when you watch a lot of shows. The second season, which ran for nineteen episodes, breaks down in roughly the same way with each full-length episode providing two complete stories within it. The continuity is pretty much out the window here as well, as is often episode resolutions.

Things kick off with little in the way of re-introducing everyone and just starts with the comedy. In fact, for a lot of the first episode you don’t even see most of the main cast. Having just succeeded in recovering a piece of Lost Technology, the group stops by at a space ramen port to have a quick bowl before heading off to a press conference about it. Milfeulle, who they need to learn shouldn’t be holding such items, plays with the little container of Technology and comments on how it looks like pepper. You can see where it goes easily enough and everyone but her ends up putting it on their meals and then suddenly they disappear. This is bad enough in itself but it’s how Milfeulle handles it, such as drawing lipstick faces on them and making them all happier than they normally are. When they get called in to handle a quick side mission at a haunted mansion, it’s even easier to guess how it will play out. But even so, the show manages to stay funny and the situations work even if they are projected so far in advance.

Another episode that was a lot of fun was where Milfeulle and Mint were heading off on a mission together but Milfeulle wanted to give someone a ride to a planet that is most definitely out of the way, so she ends up giving him Mint’s seat which causes her to go sit down in the cargo bay. None to pleased about this, she rifles through some of the strange boxes down there and comes across a cosplay outfit of a snake caveman. She can’t resist the allure of such a thing and tries it on, only to have it completely set when they actually arrive o n the planet. Not wanting to be caught in it and unable to get it off other than the mask, she heads out into the trees to try to figure out what to do. Before she can figure anything out, Milfeulle has already taken off and Mint’s finding out that the locals don’t have much love for such a beast here as they’re all picking up their pitchforks and plowshares to give her a proper welcome. Mint is so frenetic here and just far too cute while wearing the outfit. Her energy is a continued draw to the show as is the uber-cuteness of her design and voice actress portrayal of her.

Probably one of my favorite moments comes in another Lost Technology episode where, once again, the Technology is encased within food. This time, a certain kind of chestnut in fact. Milfeulle is baking a cake for everyone who is off on a mission and she ends up getting a bit hungry herself and comes across the chestnut sitting in its own bag out in the main Brigade room. Being who she is, she goes for a taste only to find that its effects are to enlarge her, turning her into a fifty-foot woman in a really confined space. The back and forth between her and Forte when they try to figure out what happened is just hilarious and so on the mark that it had me laughing quite well. With everyone trying to come up with ways to get her out of there without causing anyone to notice since they don’t want to get in trouble for using the Technology, this is a very fast moving and very humorous episode that was just about right at every instance.

As the series goes on, one area that’s covered a couple of times that I was glad to see was more attention being paid to Volcott. We get some tales from his youth through both flashback and stories told by others. During one particularly fun segment, the Angel Brigade is out on a mission playing up their Robin Hood part by attacking the Dream Foundation company which has been found of massive corporate fraud but hid it well enough to avoid prosecution. The girls hit them at different areas and basically swipe a ton of money so they can keep a share for themselves and then return the rest to the people on the street.

While their identities are unknown when they do this, Volcott is visited by some fellow officers who want to study what he’s doing so they can understand why he’s managed to become so accomplished. They quickly put two and two together and find that the women in his brigade are basically thieves but they can’t outright accuse him of it. Their expressions of horror as more events get carried out by the girls and Volcott’s nonchalance about it has them believing he’s become an incredible mastermind and can’t believe how cool he is about it. But as he’s said before and reminds the two officers, he learned long ago to not worry about such things because they always work out in the end. Especially since Milfeulle has been around I’d say. Volcotts position and legend grows nicely here and he gets some badly needed personal time on the screen.

The slapstick material gets well played here also. One episode has the obvious dues ex machina about the latest piece of Lost Technology that they’ve brought back where it’s starting to cause problems. These things always cause trouble and you’d think they’d stop leaving it around but this one does the fun job of switching everyone’s body who then get overly protective of their original bodies and some amusing bits of interpersonal play about it. Particularly fun is Milfeulle who gets stuck in Volcott’s body and takes in everything with such a positive spin, which is nicely contrasted to Ranpha in Mint’s body and her complaints about losing her breast size and about feeling like she’s practically being ignored by a lot of people. Most of the others just play up various character traits but it’s fun to watch them all deal with new body types that alters their basic view of the world and of each other.

Normad episodes tend to go both ways but this one proved to be fun as Normad finds himself kidnapped by someone who thinks he must be quite a valuable toy based no how much Vanilla is chasing him to get it back. With Normad basically being as in love as is possible with Vanilla, he’s quite confident about being rescued and Vanilla plays it up perfectly with her pretty much unstoppable onslaught of attempts where her face never changes how she looks. Normad’s taunting of the kidnapper is quite hilarious as well since he’s basically unkillable and can’t be threatened that way, leaving the kidnapper to regret every minute of this. It’s a comical and over the top chase but it is just done with the right kind of wink and nod to it.

Another episode that I liked that surprised me had Forte in the lead as she convinces everyone to take a vacation not at a resort but onboard a boat so that she can go fishing. As it turns out, it’s a legendary fish she’s after that some locals came up with for an advertisement and offer up something like a million in currency for it. Everyone that reads it other than Forte sees it as a highly simple lie used to attract tourists and are upset about not being at a good resort. But when the fish does show up, it’s humongous and Forte won’t let go of it for her life. I normally don’t care for Forte, she’s my least favorite of all the Angels, but she manages to come across good here in that I enjoyed the way she acted and manipulated everyone into her scheme. The fish itself almost stole the show once it really showed up and things went all higgledy-piggledy.

Milfeulle gets a good episode that highlights here this volume as well when she heads down to Transvaal for a vacation day but it’s when her luck gets completely twisted around and she has nothing but bad luck. For a girl where even when she has good luck there’s thing like planets crumbling and other unholy signs of the apocalypse, though they work out for her, when he luck goes bad it’s something where everyone in the Brigade goes as far as necessary to ensure that everything gets taken care of before things go truly wrong and that means keeping Milfeulle stress free for an entire waking day.

In Summary:
While the jokes change and the locations along with it, Galaxy Angel is a fairly consistent series so that you know whether you’re going to be into it or not. It’s also a show that I really recommend watching just a little bit of at a time as opposed to binging it. The show was popular though and there’s still a couple more seasons worth of it to come eventually. Galaxy Angel doesn’t have me in stitches or laughing out loud but it does get me to smile and I like the characters and the way they all interact. It’s really been great revisiting these characters after so long away from them and getting them with such good looking encodes with a high bit rate that really knocks the color vibrancy out of the park. With a solid package and good design overall, this is definitely a great little rescue-revival for fans of the franchise.

Japanese 2.0 PCM Language, English 2.0 PCM Language, English Subtitles, Special Features: Clean Opening, Clean Closing, Commercial Collection, Now I Get It! Galaxy Angel Lectures Featurette

Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B+

Released By: Nozomi Entertainment
Release Date: November 6th, 2017
MSRP: $39.99
Running Time: 285 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
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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