Bakuretsu Tenshi Soundtrack

December 24, 2009

Hot kick ass babes in tight outfits and on fire. Blasting away wave of adversaries as they come by. At least that is how I remembered Bakuretsu Tenshi or also known as its English equivalent, Burst Angel. But I’m not here to blog about the series again. Instead, I’ll shortly blog about the background music and soundtrack album of this series. I’m not sure if the music stands out or not but there are some pieces that grabbed my attention.
 
Basically the soundtrack album is divided into 2 CDs considering the numerous tracks on it. I guess you can’t cramp it all into 1 CD without trading-off the quality. Plus, I think having a double-sided CD gives a greater impression that you are going to get your money’s worth rather than buying a single CD. I think. The first CD contains 21 songs while the second CD has 25 more tracks. If you do the math, this brings the total to 46 tunes. All the instrumental tracks are composed by Masara Nishida and as always, listed below are my favourite ones in alphabetical order:
 
1) Jou No Theme Part 1
2) Jou No Theme Part 2
3) Ryoute Ni Juu
4) Shinjitsu No Kao
 
Erm… Seriously? Am I serious about this track? Just 4 songs as my utmost favourite? Don’t want to argue with that. It’s hard to choose which among the four songs I like best as I have said they are my favourites. So let me start off with Jou No Theme Part 1 first. In my opinion, this is quite a lively and action piece which I feel is the main theme of the series. Or at least when our heroine Jo goes into shooting action. It combines a good mix of strings and acoustic Latin guitar picking. The tempo is moderately paced and though the bridge slows and quiets down a little, that is just for the dramatic build-up before the explosive finale. Gets you into the action mood. Always.
 
Jou No Theme Part 2 feels like one of those Mexican stand-off. I mean, those you would usually see in cowboy movies. This is mainly a slow-moderate tune as it starts off with easy guitar pickings before those trumpets gradually take over. As far as I remember, this song is usually played for the next episode preview, albeit that is a shorter version. Another exciting and fast piece is Ryoute Ni Juu. This track definitely is suitable for Jo as well. With its faced action pace of the song, you can feel that no doubt this is another one of those action themes. With its trademark Latin guitar play, heavy bass lines and catchy background percussions (are those sounds of hand claps I hear at certain points?). I tried to emulate those guitar parts but up till today I still couldn’t match them :'(. Shinjitsu No Kao feels like a techno and pop version of those Gregorian monastery hymns. You will know what I mean when you hear those monk-like voices in the background which occupies a big majority of this song. After a while, those voices may sound a little monotonous and the track repetitious but it is still nice overall as it is not that heavy.
 
Other tracks on the first CD include Dennou Toshi (a little funky bass lines and screeching electric guitars anyone?), Hakai Kousaku (feels like an enigmatic-cum-eerie piece the way the harpsichord is played. What’s with the strange bass play anyway?), Kyuukutsu No Taion (another eerie-sounding piece using the high pitched end of the piano. I’m not sure what is that glaring noise in the background but that’s what make it creepy), Toshi Densetsu (a very slow piece with a hint of sadness and forlorn), Kurutta Kajutsu (though it starts off weirdly with weird noises, eventually it turns into a heavy rock piece), Sasayaki To Tomo Ni (a slow song using chimes and low strings), Asu Ni Mukatte Hashire (a fast paced funky piece), Tsuiseki No Theme (another heavy rock piece – feels like I’m in a rock concert because of the crazy electric guitar and fast bass lines), Kanzai Bakusou Rengou (an electric guitar driven action piece), Kowareta Tokei (heavy bass riffs take the lead here with drum beats as its accompaniment), Yureru Tsuki (a slow and calming piano piece doing a duo with the bass), Itsuka Yasashii Ame (feels like one of those slow sad songs in the rain using the harmonica), Onmitsu Koudou (a jazzy tune befitting its title – for covert operations, that is), Modashite Gorazu (a slow and light rock piece with the electrical guitar as its lead and then the funky electrical organ for the bridge)
 
On the second CD, the tracks include Jango Shutsudou No Theme (a trumpet blazing and electric guitar screaming version of Jou No Theme Part 2 – feels like when Jo’s mecha Jango is called into action), Akatsuki No Theme (feels like a dramatic-cum-suspense song of being pursued), Shinrai No Theme (a lively techno-cum-dance song that incorporates the flute I must say), Nichijou No Theme (a lively pop song using the harmonica as its lead and guitars as its accompaniment), Kakeru Koma No Joku (a dramatic theme played when danger is lurking for the heroines), Giniro No Himitsu (a creepy song like as though something ominous is about to happen – employs piano and cosmic sound effects), Nishi Kara No Chinkyaku (feels like an African tribal song and though the music here keeps a low profile, it is enough to give off an intimidating effect), Kagami No Jibun (the whole song keeps you in suspense because of the way the soft music, guitar pickings and eerie strings is played), Nanyou Fukago No Kodou (a heavily timpani or kettle drum driven song to give an intimidating effect), Hakuchuu Yume (another ‘frightening’ piece, I must say) and Gogo No Hanazono (a soothing and slow piece using what sounds like an accordion – makes you feel like wanting to stroll through a flower garden).
 
Then there is also Sentou Taisei (this fast rock music feels like a video game song maybe because the instrument they used reminded me like those MIDIs used for games), Himitsu Jikken (another enigmatic-cum-eerie feel – like one of those uncertain lab experiments), Hangeki Kaishi (just like its name suggests, a heavy rock music signalling the start of an attack), Yuuhi No Gun Human (a slower and acoustic guitar variation of Jou No Theme Part 2), Fuunmei Na Sora (I don’t know whether I should classify this song to be funny or scary. Or both), Juu No Ashiato (feels like one of those olden spy movie songs but with heavy electric guitar towards the end), Shinkirou (sounds with a little suspense – like a mirage), Hakuran No Utage (very Chinese and oriental-like – like a song for the New Year?), Dennou Saimin (slow piano play with the flute and strings in the background), Kibou No Theme (another variation of Jou No Theme Part 2 but the orchestra music makes it sound very grand) and Shiroi Ame (another creepy piece – note the ‘skeletal-like’ percussions in the background)
 
Of course both the albums also have the TV versions of the opening and ending themes of the series. Also a vocal piece from the second CD entitled Hitoshizuku. Sounds like your typical slow pop. Aside from the soundtrack album, there are 4 image albums, each dedicated as image songs to each of the heroines in the series. Not so crazy about them so I didn’t really went and listen. So to sum things up, most of the background music in the soundtrack albums are either rock music or just plain weird or eerie. I suppose it is to fit with the different scenarios in the series. Probably a reason why I didn’t find it appealing when I first heard it. Even if I have listened to it recently, they still don’t really appeal to me except the favourite quartet that I have mentioned earlier on. These are enough for me to remember the nostalgic days when I was watching the series. Now I’m on fire…
 

Bakuretsu Tenshi

Bakuretsu Tenshi

April 2, 2007

I was skeptical at first whether to watch Bakuretsu Tenshi or not. One reason being was that I wasn’t much of a mecha fan. Even when I read that there’s some comedy element in it, I was still unsure. Then I said to myself, what the heck, I’ll give it a try. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the main drive of the series. I mean, most animes has that sort of comic relief no matter how tense or serious, right? I felt ‘conned’ in a way.
 
Also known as Burst Angel, I wouldn’t really say that those babes too attracted me to watch the show. To me, they just look normal and didn’t fall into my bishoujo books. So I can purely say, that it’s the comedy element which motivates me to watch. Yeah, how simple-minded of me. But speaking of the babes, I would like to also mention that some of the ladies here have big (but not oversize) breasts! So much so that when they wear their tight body hugging suits, you could actually see their tits sticking out. Mind you, I’m not a pervert. I just happen to notice it most of the time.
 
With 24 episodes, the setting of this anime is your typical futuristic crime-ladden Tokyo city. Is this what the future of mankind has become? Even though technology has advanced but humans sure did not. They’re still the same as they were back in primitive times. Crime at every nook and corner with almost everybody including grannies possessing at least a firearm. So much so, that the future police of the city known as RAPT, has the power and their robocop mecha, to exterminate criminals on the spot rather than arrest them and go through all that legal sh*t and waste the taxpayers’ money. Good thing, right? Not if you’re a human rights activist, in which there isn’t any too in this series. But still, criminals are like cockroaches. They’re still abundant and everywhere!
 
The story starts off with this young teenager boy named Kyohei Tachibana who has a dream of going overseas to study culinary arts in France so that he could be a pattisier. At least there’re still good kids like him in the future. Unfortunately for him, he can’t afford it. Thus, he has to work part time and save lots of money so that he could achieve his dream. I wonder if inflation is terribly high in the future too.
 
Call it coincidence or fate, before Kyohei arrived at his so called employment agency, he has a short encounter with his would be employers. That is, he saw some violent criminal-taking-down scene while riding on his scooter. Kyohei managed to escape it. And later to his surprise, he has been employed by them to be their private cook. The reason being, the leader of the quartet, Sei, thinks that her team aren’t eating anything decent and with all the junk food that they’re consuming, it’s high time that they get some real food. See, eating right and staying healthy too is important in the future.
 
Sure, no problem. Looks like this is Kyohei’s chance to hone his skills and save enough money for his dream. Unfortunately, the girls aren’t seem what they are. To cut things short, they’re actually a team of mercenaries. Yeah, things may get violent and rough. Better stay away from the line of fire. Don’t wanna mess with them too. Well, all he has to do is cook for them, right? Though it isn’t easy as it seems but that’s what Kyohei’s role in the entire series does besides chipping in a little to help the ladies. But even so, that’s not much. He’s like a side character as most of the focus would be on these ladies. And I thought he would actually make an impact. Sorry, he didn’t. Yeah, he’s just a cook.
 
Anyway a short intro on the 4 ladies first. As mentioned, Sei is the leader of the group who works for the mysterious boss, Barron (I don’t believe I have heard him say anything before nor see him. Even so, it’s probably for a short while), seems to be the ‘nicest’ and most ‘understanding’ one towards Kyohei. Coming from a chinese background, I find that she likes to reveal her lower half of her breasts as the outfits she wear are… ahem ahem. You know. Then there’s Amy, the youngest in the group, who’s actually a computer whizz. She’s pretty good (damn good actually) with all those stuffs at her age. She may display her child-like behaviour at times (duh!) and is a number 1 fan of Kyohei’s cooking and enjoys them.
 
Next we have Jo, the one Kyohei coincidentally met earlier on. Jo is the main action girl of the team. Whenever there’re fights or battles, there’s no doubt that Jo would jump into it. Uh-huh, fight fire with fire. She’s quite cool with her superhuman manoevres and abilities especially when she whips out her double Desert Eagle pistols and fires away. Watch out Lara Croft. Initially, Jo isn’t that talkative nor is she the kind which opens up to others, but with Kyohei around, she gradually does, although it isn’t that obvious. Jo also has weird tatoos on her body and dresses scantily because she mentions that it’s easier to move about without all those fabrics on. She’s got a point. And no dirty thoughts here so don’t go messin’ with this gal. Plus, when the action gets too big for Jo, she would then call and operate their mini mecha, Jango, who also whips a mean double pistols as well.
 
Finally, there’s Meg, who is best friends with Jo. An uncanny friendship there (not sure if it’s a yuri one). There is an episode about how Jo and Meg came to be, in episode 14, that is. Something like Meg who’s the leader of a group of orphans and an orphan herself finds Jo unconscious and tends to her. Though Jo has amnesia but soon after a series of events, the 2 become partners and friends as the other orphans under Meg’s care found a suitable home while she and Jo went on an adventure of their own. Meg dresses in a cowgirl outfit and I seem to notice that she’s the one who’s always getting kidnapped. I mean, let’s look at this way. Those baddies can’t kidnap Jo because she’ll rip them apart in no time. Sei is a no no because she’s always working behind the scene. And they can’t take Amy too because she’s still a kid and if you want to kidnap somebody, might as well be some hot looking chic so that while waiting you can gawk or even do funny stuffs to her. Just kidding. So that leaves… Meg. Fortunately, Jo is always there to save the day and rescue Meg. No knight in shining armour, but hey, at least that’s what best friends are for too.
 
The quartet too has an engineer which fixes and maintains Jango from time to time. He is Leo Jinno and I’m not really sure if he’s officially part of the team. But the good thing is, he’s on their side. By the way, the ladies live and operate in an oversized mobile trailer, which is supposed to be their base as well. I guess, since duty calls, they’ll have to be ready to spring into action.
 
So most of the episodes of the series are something like this. The team are being informed about some weird occurances and such and go on a mission to accomplish it. And in most of the episodes, we see that there’re weird mechas being operated by some glowing brain, giving the mecha some mind of its own. Yeah, you’ll probably figure out that some bad guy or organization is messing with some technology here. But in the end, I still don’t really get it. So lots of mecha action, stuffs getting destroyed and blown up and such.
 
Like how in episode 1 and 2 where Meg gets kidnap and Jo brings along Kyohei to save her because the former thinks that it’s all the latter’s fault. Yeah, initially Kyohei got kidnapped first and when they went to rescue him some mecha kidnaps Meg in the process. But in the end, Jango whups up the mecha and saves the damsel in distress and the gang go back and live happily ever. Not. There’s still more to come.
 
Meg and Jo follows a guy named Wong and in a way got involved in some secret experiment done by some company called Hinode Pharmaceuticals along with Wong’s brother, Liang, as well in episodes 3 and 4. Anyway, Wong and Meg got kidnapped and are on board some train to some warehouse. Then Wong turned into some monster which looked like one from the movie Aliens and is going berserk. Then a funny part whereby Meg was describing to Jo how ooey goey dark and creepy it was downright scary and how there’re brains splattered, blood oozing everywhere. Of course Jo didn’t understand what Meg’s blabbing about and said "What’s that again?". Meg’s reply… "Just hurry up and save me!". Hahaha. So Jo managed to arrive on time to save Meg before Wong with his last sense of humanity decides to kill himself and every darn experiment related to it by crashing the train into that warehouse. Boom.
 
Or in episode 5 and 6 where Jo and Meg infiltrate some all-girls high school by posing as high school students themselves when Barron’s daughter goes nuts. Uh-huh, you guessed it. The girls in this school are subject to some sort of experiment too as it is in the food they eat. Be careful of what you eat these days. Unfortunately, one of the girls turned into a mindless violent monster and fights with Jo. It was quite gross to see the monster’s brain sticking onto Jo’s head before Meg has to blast it off using Jo’s guns, splattering it all over the ground. Eww…
 
Then in episode 7 and 8 some giant crow robot injected Kyohei with some virus and if he doesn’t get an antidote soon, he’ll die. But at the same time, because Jo wanted to go after the crow (because it kidnapped Meg that’s why) rather than follow Sei’s orders to guard somebody of Barron’s, Jo becomes a fugitive and takes Kyohei as her hostage as Sei and Barron’s men track them down. In the end, they manage to solve their differences, destroy the crow and most importantly, save Kyohei or else they won’t be having anything to eat tonight.
 
But not all of the episodes focuses on that glowing brain thingy and concentrates a little on the characters. Like Sei’s in episode 9 where her grandpa decides to marry her off to some guy, Jay, of the opposite clan in an arranged marriage. But Jay is only after for her grandpa’s Seal and that this whole thing was just a setup. But Sei (and Meg using some chinese kung fu chi of hers…?!) managed to thwart their schemes. Yay! Sei’s single and available again. Any takers? Just kidding. And that episode 10 is Amy’s episode as she brings Kyohei along to some electronic shopping area to counterattack some cult who’re obsessed with her after posting multiple superimposed pics of her. Some weird looking robots with computer monitors as their heads as they want Amy to join them. But she and Kyohei entered cyberspace, like in those video games and beat the crap out of those weirdos. Yeah, she’s not joining you guys. Even Kyohei has his own (sort of) in episode 18 when he bumped into an ex-classmate, Akio who’s now half cyborg (like Kano of Mortal Kombat) and working for the yakuza. To save any further character development on this Akio guy, I think they decided to kill him off when his boss betrayed him and they both killed each other in the end. Sad for Kyohei but at least we don’t have to worry about this guy in the future. Sorry.
 
But the girls get an unofficial ally by their side. She’s Takane Katsu, an ex-leader of an all-female motorcycle gang and now a police personnel from Osaka who wields a pistol and carries a wooden sword around with her while riding her motorcycle and in that trenchcoat outfit of hers makes her look cool. In episode 11, Jo’s supposed to guard some wrestler-cum-sentai of some famous wrestling kind of show. It was a little funny to see that the ‘bad guy’ of the show who has turned into a monster because of that glowing brain, beating the crap out of the supposedly hero of the show. And that guy thinks it’s all out of the script. Yeah, he realized too late that the monster is real! Then it’s action time as Jo confronts with the monster and this is where she also bumps into Takane as they take out the monster.
 
Of course those 2 didn’t get along very well as in episode 12, Takane arrested Jo and is having some mock interrogation (Takane being mocked, that is) at the police station. Luckily Sei came to bail Jo out. And before you know it, some mad guy wants to take over the Osaka police force and unleashes glowing brain mechas to attack the city. As usual, Meg gets kidnapped and more mecha gun busting action from Jango to save the day which stretches up till episode 13. Also, Leo fitted Jango with wings so that it could fly. Maybe he should add laser beam eyes as well. Anyway, Takane recalled all her ex-female motorcycle gang members to find that bad guy’s hideout. And with a little team work, more mecha fights, crashes and explosions as Osaka is gonna need all the rebuilding and reconstruction funds allocation very badly and everything goes well in the end for our girls with Takane having a more favourable view of the team and would gladly come and assist them if they ever need her help. But so sad that a good cop that Takane looks up to has to perish in it. *Sniff sniff*.
 
I wonder if Takane’s helping them since it looked like she’s needing the girls’ help like in episode 19 where she and Leo visited some filming of a television series when Takane goes insane because some glowing brain is controlling the minds of children including Takane (I think Takane’s a kid too despite her teenager looks. Just kidding on that) and attacked our heroes. But once the glowing brain is destroyed, everybody returned back to normal. Then in episode 20, Takane gets attacked by another of those glowing brain mechas controlling a RAPT vehicle on the freeway and it even called on several mechas to take her out and endangering innocent people in the process. Don’t worry, Takane won’t go down that easily and it’s a long highway too. And with the help of our usual lovely quartet heroines, all those mechas are obliterated.
 
And there’s the filler episode or what most people would say fanservice episode 15. That’s because the gang heads to the seaside amusement park in their swimsuits. Yeah, you can imagine them in it already, huh? Unfortunately, some giant mecha glowing brain squid threatens to ruin it all and destroy the park. And you might have guessed it already… Jo pilots Jango to save the day. Whopee! Just like Osaka, this amusement park will have to be shut down indefinitely for repair works and I wonder who’s footing the bill?
 
Then it gets a little illogical in episode 16 and 17 when Jo gets separated from the gang while chasing a mysterious mecha and meets with a mute samurai warrior. Since that mecha destroyed that village the mute samurai’s protecting, he’s seeking revenge on it. Then they got transported to another dimension and we find out that the mecha is being piloted by Jo’s ex-experimental comrade, Maria, who also posses superhuman abilities like Jo. Things get a little illogical when the mute samurai’s actually a dead spirit unable to rest in peace until he defeats that mecha. Uh-huh, with some magic sword kinda aura resemblance, he managed to defeat that mecha and finally gets to rest in peace with the other ladies manage to arrive and bring back Jo. I suppose this is a prelude of things to come about Jo’s past.
 
Yup, that’s what happened in episodes 22-23. We get to see Jo and Maria’s past when the the former is kidnapped by those experiment scientists. Well, at least it isn’t Meg. Maybe the producers decided to give her a little rest. So we see Jo and Maria were supposed to be the results of some terror-merror ultimate killing machine bio-tech weapon. And the 2 were the only survivors of the death game to decide which of those several experiments would be the strongest. But then, true to Meg’s nature, Maria then kidnaps both Jo and Meg and decides to finish their battle to see who’s the strongest on some abandon ship. But before Maria can kill Jo (probably because of her inner humanity and consciousness which made her hesitate) those RAPT mechas blasted the ship killing Maria in the process as Jo and Meg managed to escape by diving into the ocean.
 
But before all that in episode 21, it seems that Barron has joined forces with the RAPT police force and thus the quartet has been disbanded. So we see some flashback of how Sei assembled the team as she gathers them all for 1 last mission and that is to assassinate some mutated governor.
 
And in the last episode 24, Jo and Meg survived those RAPT attack and were washed ashore. Jo’s thinking of going to settle things once and for all but Meg wants to tag along because of that we’ll-always-be-together friendship thingy. Unfortunately, for Meg’s own safety, Jo apologizes and knocks her out, leaving her behind. Meanwhile, Sei too decides to settle things. I’m not really sure but the bad guy behind that glowing brain thingy all this while is some high level position guy in the RAPT force. I don’t remember his idea for doing it too. But I think it was some sick idea.
 
While Sei confronts that baddie in some high rise tower, Jo enlists the help of Leo, Amy and even Takane to help her get there. So lots of explosions and action as the RAPT mechas try to stop them. Then the trailer that Leo, Amy and Takane crashed during the attack but not before managing to send Jo right into that high rise tower. So the thing is, did those 3 died? It wasn’t clear in the end either. So in the building, Jo and Sei meet up to take down the baddie with Sei getting a little injured. Then finally they blew up the whole damn building. And the thing is, did those 2 died too? Not sure either.
 
Later when Meg comes to, she heads back to the city only to find the place real demolished. Maybe Jo’s really dead when Meg saw her scarf fluttering around. Then this part I don’t get. The last scene shows Meg replacing Jo and a red Jango behind her and saying "Goodbye Jo". What the? What does it all mean? Can she be and live up to Jo’s level and not be that kidnap victim anymore?
 
And what about Kyohei? I mean, Sei releases Kyohei before she disbanded the team and after that we just see Kyohei looking out from the employment agency, having that reluctant I-wish-I’m-still-with-those-girls feeling and nothing more. Yup, he’s really just a side character.
 
Overall, as I said, I’m not much of a mecha fan. And the way they end things like that leaves an even worse bad aftermouth taste. It’s like so unfulfilling and unsatisfying. So much so that it made me feel that if the producers ever wanted to make a second season, with such an ending, they could do so. But so far, no there’s no word about the second season. There’s an OVA for it, Bakuretsu Tenshi – Infinity, announced long ago but as usual nothing much has been said about its release or whatsoever.
 
Because of the glowing brain thingy and mutated monsters, some may find that the series to be a little gruesome at times. Also, since it’s not your happy futuristic show, there are scenes which are dark and gloomy. So this may not be intended for younger audiences. Not to mention sexy looking babes.
 
Though the mid-intermission is quite short, probably about 1 second or less, I noticed that the sound effect that they used for the mid-intermission is supposed to be gunshots, but somehow it sounded like firecrackers to me. At first, I thought it was popcorn popping out from the oven or somebody slapping his/her own tighs or clapping their hands. And at one time, a cacophony of people farting! Oops. Nothing to it actually.
 
So did I regret watching this series? Not really. If I’ve never watch this series, then I would never have known a handful of cool BGM soundtracks. Yeah, there’re a few catchy tunes although majority of it doesn’t appeal to me. The one I like most are those that sounded like Latin or Spanish flamenco guitar style playing. Which is usually played when Jo is firing away with her double pistols (which is the action scene that I like most). And for the next episode preview, the BGM sounded like some traditional cowboy one-on-one gun face-off showdown. You should listen to it if you want to know what I mean.
 
Thus, if you like buildings being demolished by mechas, I suppose this one is okay as there are better mecha series out there. Plus, I felt that the storyline here is rather thin and doesn’t amount to anything much. I still wonder why buildings are a must when giant robots or monsters clash? Can’t they fight somewhere more barren? Maybe the fun is in destroying things that took ages to plan and build, then down it all goes in just a few seconds.