Burst Angel
Volume 5 - Line in the Sand

Starring (voice): Akeno Watanabe, Megumi Toyoguchi, Mikako Takahashi, Rie Tanaka and Yuji Ueda
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 18 September 2006

The streets have cleared for a showdown, and Jo will learn more about her past than she ever wanted to know. Will Jo rise to the challenge or will her own fate bring a dark cloud over her destiny? Meanwhile, a new cybernetic police unit is put into commission in order to patrol the highways and keep the peace, but the malfunctioning unit has set its lethal eyes on Takane! Will the girls be able to fight off the powerful force holding her under its control...?

Duelling Angels - A ghost from Jo's past forces her to battle for her life. To be honest I found this to be yet another rather dull robot fighting episode. Not only was it painfully boring, but also pretty incomprehensible - it wasn't really clear what on earth was going on. And, in the explosive climax was it my imagination, or did someone use a couple of the Windows Media player graphics as a cheap effects shot?

The Immortal Classmate - Two brothers are at war after one decides to manipulate the other for his own selfish needs. The resulting battle pits man against machine in an explosive duel. Unfortunately Kyohei winds up being stuck in the middle of the battle as one of the brother's is a school friend of his. This is an interesting tale which sees the welcome return of Kyohei (whatever happened to those great episode dynamics where the girls would have fun at Kyohei's expense?) The plot that follows the two brothers relationship is engaging and makes up for the dullness of Duelling Angels.

24 Hour Strategy - Takane falls victim to a mysterious mind control device. It's up to the girls to find and rescue her. This episode features a technology that turns people (mostly kids) into zombies. To get to the bottom of everything Jo must battle against a virtual reality opponent.

Blood Red Highway - A new cybernetic police unit is put into commission in order to patrol the highways and keep the peace. But the unit goes haywire and sets its lethal eyes on Takane. This Robocop inspired episode also features a couple of homages to other well known movies. Did I spot lightsabres as well as a nod to the Terminator? This episode also sees a return of the brothers from The Immortal Classmate. It seems that their fight is not quite over yet.

Extras include Duelling Angels Commentary (with the USA voice cast. There are many funny moments, but I loved the notion that "diarrhoea" is a pretty word when you take away the meaning of it - that "it flows nicely." We also discover that Django is based on a character from an old spaghetti western - which is why the robot seems to be wearing a cowboy hat and spurs); there are three separate interview sections (covering Japanese cast, character design and CGI artist); and trailers.

After the poor offering that was Volume 4, this latest release almost sees the show return to form.

Pete Boomer

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