Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Big Lots $5 Anime DVD Review Blog #1 (part 1)

Angel Tales
#1 Sweet Transmigration
from Bandai Entertainment

(Notice: This blog was originally made for thatguywiththeglasses.com and it has a few inside jokes only fans of the site might get.)
Welcome to the first Big Lots $5 anime DVD review blog. Every so often in the mountains of movies sold in this "closeout prices" store; you'll find a few anime DVDs. You'll be shocked at some of the famous anime titles you can find in this store. Most of these DVDs aren't the first disc in the series but every so often you'll find disc 1. And when I do, and It looks interesting enough, I grab it. Today's topic is the harem/magical girl anime called Tenshi NoShippo Chu, or as it is known in America: Angel Tales. Ah, harem anime. What lonely, teenage boy doesn't love this genre? I don't know the answer to that but I certainly fell in love with one show; Tenchi Muyo. Now I don't know what show started this genre, but Tenchi Muyo one probably the one show that made it well known in America. Even though I loved the show, I'm very aware of how pathetic one guy can look if all he watches is harem anime. Personally, I have only have two harem anime shows in my very small anime collection. Today I will be discussing one of the Big Lots dvds that was given to me as a gift rather than a purchase of my own.

Episode 1
We start off with a narrative from some unknown female about remembering the past. This segment reminds me of those mysterious spots in Clannad; the ones with the girl living in a world by herself who builds a robot that comes to life. It has a grainy-film effect and has a haunting aura about it. This however isn't as surreal as the Clannad spots. We then officially start of this show with a young man stuck in the rain without an umbrella while looking gloomy. Why does a catchphrase from Film Brain suddenly come to mind? Anyway, as he sits there, a fortune teller suddenly appears right by him telling him of all his troubles and failures. In this exchange we basically get our summary on this main character. It's a cheap way to do it mind you, but it saves us the trouble of waiting one whole episode to just get the exposition out of the way.  In this scene we learn that our main character, named Goro Mutsumi, is unemployed and never had a girlfriend. Wow, a brown haired guy with glasses that is out of work and never found love. It's like they based this character off of my.....um....never mind. The fortune teller then tells Goro not to worry for luck will come to him.

Later he returns to his apartment from...walking around in a business suit. Seriously they don't explain why he was walking around earlier in it. Yes, he did mention expecting a job opportunity but I don't think he was heading for it. Okay, Okay I'm nit picking here. After stepping out of the shower, he is then greeted by three women; Ran,Tsubasa, and Kirumi. They explain that they are guardian angels sent by "TheGoddess".  Before Goro can start to ask any more questions we get a sailor moon segment. And what do these girls transform into? Why housemaids of course. Wow, I don't see how anyone can find this offensive.
Kirumi, Ron, and Tsubasa
The next day Goro heads out to a job interview and the angels follow him. During this bit we learn that the angels were pets in their past-life's and have fears based on how they died. Tsubasa was a parakeet who died from trying to fly with a broken wing so she is afraid of heights, Kirumi was a hamster who died from getting lost and not eating so she's afraid of being hungry, and Ran was a goldfish who's tank filter went out and died so now she is afraid of the water. Yes, you heard right. A girl who was a goldfish is afraid of water. While following Goro they accidentally cost him his new job.
Later in the day, Goro plays his harmonica saddened by the lost job. The three angels suddenly recognized the tune and realized that he was their master. He doesn't believe them until they hum the song and images of the past start coming back. Goro then says "Just promise me this. That you'll never disappear again without telling me." I'll admit, even as I write this blog, that scene still makes me tear up.

Episode 2
This is the first episode that we see the opening theme. And boy is it terrible. I could probably put this up there as one of the worst anime openings ever. We start with the Goddess in the spirit world talking with the angels about Goro and how his angels haven't been getting the job done. The young angel Tamani is picked as the next angel to send and aid the others. The Goddess then decides to show Tamani a glimpse of Goro interacting with the other angels. "Look at this" she says and we see Goro getting stripped by the angels in an attempt to help him change. This extremely awkward situation was not played up for laughs. I'm guessing not because Tamani still has that excited and happy look on her face. I guess she's just so happy to get back to her master. In the next scene we get more hi-jinks of the angels smothering Goro with attention; Oh Boy! It's here I learn that Kirumi has a catchphrase or favorite word if you will. She constantly ends her sentences with "Nano" (mind you I watched the English dub).I've tried my best but couldn't find out what it means exactly. I will tell you this: it is nowhere near as cute as "Maho". Goro then gets a call about yet another job interview. On his way, a mysterious man tries to run him over with a truck. In that instance, Goro's cellphone falls out and Tamani suddenly appears. Yeah, apparently the angels work like the ghost from Pulse. Where is the red tape when you need it? For some odd reason this causes the truck driver to swerve and miss both of them. Tamani then passes out. Goro somehow immediately recognizes Tamani. Maybe it's because of the obvious cat-ear like bumps in her hair. Another theme in this show is that each angel has a hairstyle that matches what animal they were in their previous lives. Tamani previously having been a cat in her past life is unsettling to the other angels since they were all natural prey for a cat.
I find it odd that Ran,Tsubasa, and Kirumi are jealous of the attention Tamani is getting from Goro. She is only Ten years old. I doubt she really could be any competition. After Goro leaves Tamani to do more job searching, the angels follow Tamani in an attempt to find out what her fear is. Tsubasa suggest that since they all have fears based on their past lives, then Tamani must have one too. Oddly enough they give up on this when Tamani decides to take a cat nap. I didn't make that pun. The show did. So don't hit me for it. Later Goro returns back to his apartment to find the Tamani hasn't returned with the other angels. He immediately returns to the door, getting his shoes back on in a hurry. When Tsubasa ask why he is so worry about an "agile cat", he simply says,"Tamani died in a car wreck," and rushes out the door. As the angels sit in Goro's apartment, they realized Tamani made a courageous move in stepping out in front of the truck to protect Goro regardless of her fear of vehicles. The next very short scene shows Tamani standing on the sidewalk wanting to cross but scared of every car that passes by.

The three angels then go out and try to find Tamani. They find her at the waterfront and after a while they convince her to go with them. Going with the same ending as last episode, it ends with Goro playing his harmonica and the angels hearing it; remembering there past lives with their maser, Goro. It isn't as impactful as the last episode but it is sweet. Of course Kirumi ruins the moment by mentioning how hungry she is. If you thought the "I'm hungry" joke is funny, don't worry.You'll get tired of it soon.

(Part 2 coming......eventually)