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Anime: Burst Angel

(Summary based on the entry on That Other Wiki)

Burst Angel, also known as Bakuretsu Tenshi, takes place in the near future. A rise in criminal activity after a devastating earthquake has forced the Japanese government to allow citizens to possess firearms, while establishing the Recently Armed Police Taskforce (RAPT), essentially Law Enforcement, Inc.. The series follows an Amazon Brigade of mercenaries, who have recently hired Ordinary High-School Student Kyohei Tachibana as their cook. The team's missions put them against mutated monsters with glowing brains, Humongous Mecha with glowing brains, and a corrupt RAPT (which is, naturally, involved with the whole "glowing brains" issue).

Notable for being directed by Koichi Ohata, although it shares relatively little of the qualities of his other (in)famous works.


Burst Angel contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Accent Adaptation - In the English dub, Osaka is pretty much Texas. In the DVD commentary, this was explained as almost being out of necessity because of the strong Western influences of the story. And frankly the Osaka arc seems like it was actively written with Texas in mind.
    • Also of note is the fact that up until this point FUNimation had tried as hard as possible to avoid doing this in any other shows.
  • Amazon Brigade
  • Amnesiac Dissonance - Jo suffers from this trope.
  • Artificial Human - Jo, Maria, the other Genocide Angels.
  • A-Team Firing - In the first episode. Jo and her current mark (a very twitchy purple man) engage in a full-on Dakka contest in an alley. Kyohei ends up cowering in the middle of this leadstorm until his scooter is shot to pieces and the purple guy runs out of ammo.
  • Author Tract - Starting at six minutes and thirty-one seconds into the first episode, the author gives an anti-gun message. It doesn't stop.
  • Badass Biker
  • Badass Longcoat - Jo is a Badass Longjacket; Takane's a Badass Long-seifuku.
  • Bait-and-Switch Lesbians - The manga that serves as a prequel to the series has Meg basically out-and-out in love with Jo and desperately wanting to consummate their relationship at any opportunity. This is very toned down to the point of disappearing by the time the series begins and Kyohei is added. And the same episode where we find out that Sei is a Mafia Princess actually has Meg very interested in the handsome men that have shown up, which leaves her somewhere between this trope and Ambiguously Bi.
  • Bare Your Midriff - Sei, Jo, and Takane.
  • Base on Wheels - Sei's Cool Truck; it even doubles as a hangar for Django.
  • Battle Couple - Theoretically, Meg and Jo. (It's more obvious in the manga.)
  • Beach Episode - Episode 15, set at a water park. Look out for Sei's totally insane swimsuit and Meg spilling out of her top.
  • Big Eater - Meg.
  • Blood from the Mouth - Poor Liang.
    • And Jo in her fight with Maria.
  • Blood Knight - Jo. She's extremely bored with everything that doesn't have to do with shooting at things.
  • Body Horror - The experimentation that turns several Victims Of The Week into Monsters Of The Week.
  • Born Winner: Jo, as far as every other gunman in the story goes. She was hired by Sei because of her 100% success rate as a independant mercenary.
  • Bound and Gagged - Kyohei once, but more to the point, Meg.
  • Butt Monkey - Kyohei and Meg. He's a meek cook who the girls refuse to let go, she gets kidnapped on a daily basis and seemingly can't fight at all.
  • Camp Gay - The "Tour Guide" in episode 10.
  • Captain Ersatz - Visually, Jo; Meg and Kyohei resemble Rei; Asuka and Shinji from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • Chained Heat - Jo does this to herself and Kyohei when she takes him hostage to try to trade him for a yet-again-kidnapped Meg.
  • The Chick - Meg, both in the social interaction sense and the Distressed Damsel sense. Kyohei, in the Non-Action Guy sense.
  • Close-Call Haircut - Meg gets a hole shot through her hair in one episode.
  • The Comically Serious - A good deal of humor in the series comes from Jo's deadpan reactions to the absurd stuff around her
  • Conspicuous CG - For the mecha and vehicles.
  • Cool Big Sis - Sei's role largely boils down to being this.
  • Cool Old Guy - Leo, who designed, built, and performs Mr Fix It duties for Django.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive
  • Creature Hunter Organization - RAPT
  • Crossdresser - Kyohei has to in order to sneak food (and equipment) to Meg during a few episodes when the latter is infiltrating an all-girls' school.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass - Subverted during an episode where Meg has her "hunger" switched around with her will to fight. She spends the rest of the episode mopping up gangsters with impossibly cool kung-fu moves... And then later claims to have no memory of what happened at all.
  • Cultural Cross-Reference - Jo's Cybot Django is a Shout-Out to the Spaghetti Western film of the same name.
  • A Day in the Limelight - Even though he's the first character we're introduced to, Kyohei only really has a single episode where he's the focus character.
  • Delinquents - Takane and her Girl Posse are all former female biker gang delinquents turned police officers.
  • Decoy Protagonist: At first it looks like Kyohei's the lead but then it very quickly shifts away to the point where he barely appears at all in later episodes.
    • Similarly, the manga has a guy called Takeru. It becomes immediately obvious he does not belong in Jo's world though.
  • Disposable Woman - Meg, except that she doesn't expire.
  • Distressed Damsel - Meg all the damned time. To the point that she hangs a lampshade on this.
  • Easter Egg - The hidden DVD Commentary (for the infamous Beach Episode) in the English version.
  • Evil Twin - Maria to Jo. Maria's "evil" because she's still obeying R.A.P.T. and doesn't have free-will.
  • Fanservice: In case all the fanservicey tropes didn't clue you in, this series does not shy from indulging in cheesecake and occasional beefcake.
  • Fan Service Pack - Sei and Meg go up several cup sizes about halfway through the series; the Beach Episode actually uses both character designs in different parts of the episode.
  • Faux Action Girl - Meg. She gets a Small Girl, Big Gun shot in the opening sequence, and another during the Osaka arc, but is otherwise firmly entrenched in the Distressed Damsel role. One of the trailers for the show actually showed her beating up mooks with the same skill she showed in the Bai-Lan party episode. Averted in a small segment of the OVA that takes place five years after the end of the series, showing a more competent and more badass Meg.
  • Fork Fencing: Played with in the Osaka arc. Jo mouths off to Takane one too many times in the Hanshin P.D.'s holding cell, and Takane tries to stab Jo with her bokutó. Eating a meal at the time, Jo catches the sword with her fork and holds it in place with one hand.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble - Jo is Choleric, Meg is Sanguine, Sei is Melancholic, Amy is Phlegmatic.
  • Fragile Speedster: Django in comparison to the other Cybots. Every Cybot emphasizes huge firepower and armor, while Django was specifically made to be fast and agile at the expense of armor.
  • Gainaxing
  • Gangsta Style - Jo, both when aiming her actual guns and those of her Humongous Mecha. She really ought to know better.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar - In the Beach Episode, there is an environmental group called the "Organization for the Nature Preservation of Tokyo". This gets the acronym "ONPOT".
  • Giant Flyer - Meg gets abducted by one.
  • Government Conspiracy
  • Gratuitous English - In the Theme Tune Rap. Still pretty catchy, though.
  • Groin Attack - Threatened by Jo against Kyohei, with a Desert Eagle.
  • Guns Akimbo - Jo and Django. Maria's Cybot uses hidden arms to fire four "guns" at once.
  • Hacker Cave - Amy has one on-board Sei's trailer.
  • Hand Cannon: Somehow, Jo has the necessary arm and shoulder strength to dual wield Desert Eagles without any kind of exhaustion. For reference, these guns are supposed to be held with both hands, and can cause hefty men to fall over if not properly braced before firing.
  • Heroes Want Redheads - Jo and (red-headed) Meg have elements of this, in the anime, and undeniably in the manga.
  • Heroic Albino - Jo is the Heroic Sociopath version of this.
  • Humongous Mecha - All Cybots, including Django.
  • Ice Queen: Jo. Anyone who is not Meg will get a chilly reception worthy of the Antartic.
  • The Idiot from Osaka - Takane, when she visits Tokyo. All the Osakan characters use the "southern accent" version of the accent trope in the dub.
  • Idiot Hair - Meg, and to a lesser extent, Jo.
    • Takane has three of them.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes - Just about everyone. For instance, Jo's chaps alone should cost several thousand dollars if they're made of real suede, not to mention Amy's chest... ball... thing.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills
  • Law Enforcement, Inc. - RAPT. Also Hanshin Police Department, Inc., owned by the same company as the second oldest baseball team in Japan, the Hanshin Tigers (thus explaining why tigers are emblazoned on their everything).
  • Mafia Princess - Sei, though we learn this later. She's also much more benevolent than most other examples.
  • Magic Skirt - Meg's doesn't do the obvious even when she's hanging upside down from a moving train.
  • Mind Rape - The brain creature that disguised itself as Nadeshiko (in "Wash This Courtyard With Blood") was doing this to Jo when Meg ventilated it with Jo's BFPistol.
  • More Dakka - Jo lives by this, as does Meg to a lesser extent.
    • Jo considers this to be a good approach to get a cat out of a tree.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast - Genocide Angels.
  • Non-Action Guy - Kyohei, while talented in the kitchen, is a serious coward.
  • Off Screen Teleportation: Meg somehow ends up on top of the departing R.A.P.T. train in episode three, despite being shown on the station platform just a few seconds ago. It's rather jarring as it's not played for laughs; it's as if the production team just left a scene out.
  • One-Winged Angel
  • Perpetual Poverty: While Jo and Meg were running Jack of All Trades in the manga, they were never able to get enough money to cover their expenses. This was mainly due to Jo's aforementioned More Dakka habit.
  • Phlebotinum Rebel - Jo. This was a accidental rebellion at first; Jo was blown off the ship where the final Genocide Angel tests were taking place. By the time she woke up in the river in New York, she didn't remember how she got there or what she was. Thanks to the time she spent away from her creators, she then fully embraced the rebel part of the trope.
  • Playful Hacker - Amy
  • Professional Wrestling - "Mega Rider" from the Dai-Osaka arc combined this with a Kamen Rider parody. And bore an odd resemblance to Kaiju Big Battel. Notably, Jo is very surprised to discover that it isn't real.
  • Power Tattoo - Appears when Jo is in combat. Purple with lighter "shimmering".
  • Psycho Lesbian - Maria becomes strangely attracted to Meg, and starts to think that she'll be spoils of war if she defeats Jo.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: What Jo amounts to; a cold-hearted assassin who is only really enjoying herself when fighting and who spends all her free time watching ulta-violent movies in an effort to find some way to amuse herself.
  • Red Baron: Jo has a bit of a reputation in the Tokyo underworld. Her moniker is "The Angel from Hell".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Meg (red) and Jo (blue).
  • Redemption Equals Death: Maria finally breaks free of her mental conditioning just to get gunned down by a squad of R.A.P.T. cybots. Her only consolation is that she distracted them long enough for Jo and Meg to fall off the boat.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning - Jo.
  • Refusal of the Call - After the double-kidnapping fiasco in the first two episodes, Kyohei tries to quit the job he accepted as the cook for Sei's group; unfortunately for him, they really liked the meal he cooked as an apology...
  • Rei Ayanami Expy: A little game for you. Take a look at these two images and guess which one is Jo. We'll wait. One episode has another expy who is even closer to the Rei archetype than the blunt and forceful Jo.
  • Ridiculously Average Guy - Kyohei is really only there because apparently someone felt that normal everyday Japanese young men wouldn't watch the series if one of them wasn't in it. He's billed as the central character and protagonist, but could be written out completely without even trying.
  • Rollerblade Good - Django has motorized wheels in its feet for highway travel. When not in use, they look like spurs.
  • Rule of Cool
  • Scarf of Asskicking - Jo wears a yellow one. It keeps veering between yellow and red for promotional artwork.
    • For the finale, she gets a red one.
  • Sixth Ranger - Leo, Takane
  • Smart Mark - Parodied in the first episode of the Dai-Osaka arc, during the "Mega-Rider" show.
  • Sociopathic Hero - Jo would be classified as dangerously violent in pretty much any society on earth, though she avoids Insane Equals Violent.
  • Spiritual Successor - The plot has certain similarities to Bubblegum Crisis.
  • Street Urchin - Meg, during her younger years.
  • Storming the Castle
  • The Stoic - Jo is emotionally dead when not engaged in extreme violence. Sei is, to some degree, the permanently chill version of this.
  • Stripperiffic - How do they not get arrested? Sei's getup in particular is a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen.
  • Super Soldier - Jo, Maria, and the other "Genocide Angels".
  • Take Up My Desert Eagles - Strongly implied to be Meg's eventual destiny after Jo's apparent death and the destruction of RAPT.
  • Talkative Loon - Wong is affected this way by the Hanode drug.
  • Team Chef: Kyohei's one quality is being quite the cook for his age and level of education. He's capable of cooking a good variety of national styles.
  • Theme Naming - The three younger characters share names with characters from Little Women. Sei is the Odd Name Out.
  • Token Mini-Moe - Amy
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl - Jo and Meg
  • The Triads and the Tongs - Bai-Lan
  • Tsundere - Meg
  • Underboobs - Sei
  • Vapor Wear: Most of the women do not bother with this old-fashioned "brassiere" technology in Tokyo apparently. Meg has a semi-justified reason revealed in the manga series: her skin is too sensitive to wear too many clothes at a time.
  • The Voice - Bai-Lan (offscreen, relayed through Sei).
  • Voice with an Internet Connection - Sei and Amy.
  • We Help the Helpless: A great deal of this mercenary group's jobs are helping people or hunting down monsters that threaten their city.
  • Whole Episode Flashback - Episode 14 and the Infinity OVA, both of which revolve around Meg first meeting Jo before they both started working for Sei.
  • Wooden Katanas Are Even Better - Takane kills Hideki with one in ep 13. Complete with Glowing Eyes of Doom.
  • Wretched Hive - The "anarchy district" which is the ruins of Shibuya after a massive earthquake wrecked the area. The government abandoned the area, and the police refuse to go there unless something huge happens. It's only populated by cyborg criminals and black market dealings.
  • "YEAH!" Shot
  • Zettai Ryouiki - Meg uses the skirt + long boots version.

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alternative title(s): Bakuretsu Tenshi; Burst Angel
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