is a six-part original video animation directed by Ichiro Itano, but due to the content of the anime, it's usually considered that the driving force of the anime is actually the writer Sho Aikawa. A manga adaptation written and illustrated by Taku Kitazaki was serialized in Newtype Magazine and reprinted as a Newtype 100% collection in 1990.
Plot in a nutshell: Jewish bankers (Americans in the dub) plot to turn Japan into a nuclear waste dump.
To elaborate: Twenty Minutes into the Future
, Japan's economy is so strong that it's linked to the global economy. This angers a communist terrorist group called "The Red May," who decides that the best way to make the world a more equitable place is to blow up as much Japanese infrastructure as possible. To combat these terrorists, a bunch of elite law enforcement officials licensed to kill are assembled. They include the titular "Angel," a buff dude called Raiden, a couple of other token stereotypes, and Da Chief
. Things take a turn for the bizarre when Raiden goes missing after one encounter with the terrorists, and then the terrorists themselves are being attacked and murdered by three powerful psychics called "Hunters." Raiden shows back up as a cyborg courtesy of a local friendly Mad Scientist
, it turns out most of the government is evil, two of the Hunters join Angel and her team when they realize they're the unwitting pawns of a government conspiracy to somehow profit off of Americans dumping nuclear waste in Japanese territory.
The real reason to watch this anime is for the gunplay, the cars, the gruesome kills, the awesomely-animated displays of telekinetic power being thrown about by the Hunters, and the hilarious profanity in the dub.
Along with other "masterpieces" such as Mad Bull 34
, is it directly responsible for the widespread belief in the early 90s that all anime
was just "Gorn
- Action Girl: Angel
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Zigzagged. One of the earliest on-screen deaths is that very graphic handgun lobotomy of a female mook. All of the named women, however, have much cleaner, more dignified demises.
- Black and Grey Morality: A lot of the supposed good guys do a lot of highly questionable things. Taki's torture of the Red May leader, in particular, is gruesome and blood-chilling, going above and beyond anything "necessary."
- Blown Across the Room
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Lucifer, as it turns out, is really working for the real bad guys and is just killing everyone else to eliminate an evidence trail. She's been brainwashed into thinking that she's actually doing good. Taki suggests that eventually she'll break free of her conditioning and turn against the evil old guys, Maisaka and Togawa in charge, but he's more willing to bet that Angel, Asura, and Raiden can finish her.
- Cluster F-Bomb
- Decoy Protagonist: The titular Angel doesn't get to do all that much until the finale, and that's because almost everyone else is dead or disabled.
- Defector from Decadence: Asura and Freya
- Dirty Communists: The Red May terrorist group
- Dubtitle: Since the original Japanese dub was deemed antisemitic and impossible to market in the west, the English sub and dub toned down the Jewish plot. Of course, anyone who knows Japanese can simply overlook the subtitles and listen to the actual dialogue and know what is actually going on in the scene. There is also the problem that even viewers who don't know Japanese can clearly hear the word "America" being said while the subtitles say something else.
- Dull Surprise: Hacker has this problem... a lot.
- The Eighties: The whole anime didn't age very well, but Asura and Raiden got the worst of it.
- Enemy Mine
- Engrish: Lucifer in the original
- Expy: Angel looks more or less like the Major
- Hacker bears an almost uncanny resemblance to Golgo 13
- The Faceless: The Jews/Americans
- Feminist Fantasy: Sorta. Angel exhibits the key traits of the Nineties Anti-Hero to the hilt, delivers zero Fanservice and never undergoes Chickification at the hands of a male character (well, unless you count uncharacteristically hesitating when forced to shoot dead her male partner whom she has developed romantic feelings for). The anime is somewhat unusual in just how little it acknowledges the gender of its female lead; Raiden expresses surprise when he discovers that his partner who just splattered a terrorist's brains across the wall is a woman, but otherwise Angel is essentially written identically to the typical male Badass of 90's Cyberpunk anime.
- Film Noir: The dialogue draws heavily on a film noir influence
- For the Evulz: Angel's motive for killing her targets degrades into this when she is known raging at people who dare to kill them before she does. Taki's taking the torture of the Red May leader wayyyyyy further than necessary also shows shades of this.
- Friendly Sniper: Peace is more amicable than the super-bitchy Angel, but fully capable of blowing people away if necessary.
- Gender-Blender Name: Lucifer.
- Greedy Jew: In the Japanese version; not so much the English version.
- Hand Cannon: A gun so powerful it's got too much kickback for humans to safely use it (it was meant for cyborgs). Firing it risks breaking your hand.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Raiden
- High-Pressure Blood
- Hulking Out: Rare female example: Lucifer goes from silky-smooth to rippling once the gloves are off.
- Infodump: An unnamed narrator explains the situation engulfing the first episode and briefly explains the unshown conclusion at the end of the last episode as well.
- Japan Takes Over the World: Japan is a superpower, which is why it's frequently targeted by terrorists
- Jerkass: Angel
- Kill 'em All: The only named characters who survive the movie are Angel, Taki, and maybe Asura. To say nothing of the the nameless people who got sent to the slaughterhouse.
- Lady of War: Lucifer, arguably.
- Lady Swears A Lot: While precious few if any of the characters are exempt from Obligatory Swearing in the English dub, a majority of them are viciously delivered by Angel.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Emphasis on "ludicrous"
- Knight Templar: Lucifer, definitely. Angel has shades of this.
- Mad Scientist
- Meaningful Name: Asura (subverted in that Asura turns out to be a good guy, contrary to what his name suggests), Freya, Lucifer. And Angel, obviously.
- And Hacker.
- Angel: The name's Angel but don't let that fool you, I can be a bitch if I want to.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Lucifer
- Nineties Anti-Heroine: Angel, to the extreme.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed
- Off Model
- Outdated Outfit
- Playing with Fire: Freya's power
- Power Hair: Lucifer.
- Pretty in Mink: Lucifer first appears with a huge fox fur jacket worn as a Coat Cape.
- Psychic Powers: Lucifer and Asura have telekinesis, Lucifer has some telepathy in the form of a Mind Probe, Asura also has teleportation, Freya has garden-variety telepathy and pyrokinesis
- Psychic Surgery: Lucifer reaches inside her own body to set some broken bones at one point, and also inside other people's heads.
- Red Scare
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog
- Theme Naming: The vigilantes
- They Called Me Mad!: The mad scientist who rebuilds Raiden chortles that those who laughed at his genius will now be destroyed by it! This is one of the few times we see a non-evil mad scientist spout this.
- Torture Always Works: Actually, it doesn't; the Red May leader is tortured hideously, but only breaks when he finds out that three ultra-powerful psychic killers are on his tail.
- Unintentional Period Piece: Hoo boy...
- We Can Rebuild Him: Played straight with Raiden.
- Your Head Asplode: Angel makes her debut by graphically blowing the brains out of a terrorist all over the wall.
- Lucifer inverts this three times, by making every part of a man except his head explode.