Angel Links

April 24, 2008 on 12:22 am | In Angel Links | Comments Off on Angel Links

Do you remember Outlaw Star? It was entertaining enough, although its ending was one of those bizarre mid-to-late nineties weirdstravaganzas you used to get. In fact, I just reread what I had to say about it and realised how entertaining it was – evil cacti, man!

The point is, Angel Links is the idiot quarter sister of Outlaw Star. It’s only thirteen episodes, and it’s one of those series for suckers: it entertains well enough in the first half, then turns into a giant incoherent mess in time for you to shake your fist but have to tough it out until the end. I checked my order history today, and Angel Links shipped November 23, 2004. Would I have been able to stomach it then? I honestly don’t know. I probably would have enjoyed the boobs more, I guess.

Oh yes, this is a show about a girl who keeps a winged cat that can transform into a sword in her cleavage. That’s all that really needs to be said.

Li Chenho’s dying wish was that a free space pirate protection agency be established as a side business in his burgeoning empire, and that the empire be run by his sixteen year old immodest granddaughter, Li Meifon.
By the end of the first episode, we can tell that not all is as it seems, because Meifon has flashbacks to a younger version of herself being shot in the head and her deputy, Kosei, sees her gravestone, given a future date (although, in their infinite wisdom, the fact that the date is in the future is not revealed until later in the series – the writers apparently having forgotten to tell us when the dang thing is set).

At only thirteen episodes, you wouldn’t think Angel Links would have much room for waste. What it does right, it does fairly well: it had some nice comedy villains, it had a guy who goes everywhere with a pig in his arms and, most of all, it had a really nice crew dynamic. However, around the six episode mark (because it has some dodgy moments beforehand, and a couple of good moments after), the whole thing gets shot to Hell. In our “character” episode quota, we have Kosei meeting a pirate girl who has a shameful crush on him – but it’s one of those artsy “ending is revealed at the beginning” deals, and there’s really no point watching this kind of story if you know what’s going to happen. It came to the point where I would predict a death every episode and I wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up. It would have been dang poetic, see, because she’s like … also sixteen! And a pirate! And … ah, forget it. The other “character” episodes fare little better, with Duuz Delax Rex (or, as I like to call him, Duuz Delax Machina), the resident Dragonite, facing up against Takehito Koyasu – a space racist political rebel with a stupid grasp on biology (“why can’t I see this cold blooded reptile on my heat monitor?!”), and Valeria, the tactician and vaguely Germanic member of a crew consisting of fake Russkies, coming face to face with an old flame and … blowing up? Or not being blown up?

The point is that the main story, while accommodating all of this, reveals the hidden villain to the audience. He then summarily decides to throw subtlety to the wind and just be point blank evil in everyone’s faces, and then he expects us to feel sad for his totally weak arse justification for his actions in death (yeah, the villain dies! Sorry about that!). Even a guest spot from Hayashibara Megumi, who clumsily reveals to Meifon her own secrets, can’t save the show.

I find it depressing that a lot of shows nowadays are out of print (I can’t get Maison Ikkoku? What is wrong with you, industry?), but I really don’t think anyone will suffer from an inability to procure Angel Links. Were it not for the Outlaw Star connection, I know I wouldn’t have bothered to look at it. You can get boobs elsewhere, so there’s no real reason to watch what ultimately amounts to a mess.

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