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Anime / Burst Angel

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From left to right: Jo, Sei, Meg and Amy
Burst Angel, also known as Bakuretsu Tenshi, takes place in Japan in a not-too-distant future. A rise in criminal activity after a devastating earthquake has forced the Japanese government to legalize firearms for citizens to use in self-defense as well as establishing the Recently Armed Police Taskforce (RAPT), to hunt down criminals with lethal force.

The series follows an Amazon Brigade of mercenaries called Bailan, 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 provides examples of:

  • 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: You've got the main group with one male hanger-on, the biker gang that listens to Takane, and the Genocide Angels themselves.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Jo suffers from this trope, having forgotten her memories as a Genocide Angel test subject.
  • 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.
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  • 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 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. Jo gives some hints that she at, the very least, appreciates Meg's company and support. 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.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted right up to the point where this would have made the series AO. The artists did not shy from depicting how everyone wearing skintight clothing being coupled with no-one wearing a bra, reveals that you in fact have nipples. Shocking!
  • Bare Your Midriff: Jo and Takane usually wear outfits that bare their midriffs, Sei takes this Up to Eleven with her outfit revealing so much it actually shows some Underboobs.
  • Base on Wheels: Sei's Cool Truck; it even doubles as a hangar for Django.
  • Battle Couple: Theoretically, Meg and Jo are two romantically involved Action Girls. (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 Damn Heroes: While Meg tends to be useless in fights, she pulls through for Jo where it counts. Their partnership started because Meg stopped her from being messily eaten in their younger days.
  • Big Eater: Meg. The habit stems from her earlier days as an orphan.
  • Blood from the Mouth
  • Jo during 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.
  • Boobs of Steel: Both Genocide Angel we meet are very buxom. Subverted with Jo, who is flat-chested despite being the team's muscle.
  • 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 an independent 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 and 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.
  • Cool Big Sis: Sei's role largely boils down to being this, and both her and Meg act this way for Amy.
  • Cool Old Guy: Leo, who designed, built, and performs Mr Fix It duties for Django.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive
  • Cowgirl: Meg dresses like a cowgirl, complete with a cowboy hat and a revolver.
  • Creature-Hunter Organization: RAPT. When these glowy brain creatures start getting more public, RAPT officially step in to deal with them.
  • 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. And even then, he's the Butt-Monkey.
    • Amy's got one to herself, which doesn't involve as much violence as usual. She spends most of the time in the Internet.
  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: Jo is somewhat like this, though the illustrations gave her a more fair complexion.
  • 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, with Jo usually coming for her rescue. 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.
  • Everyone Is Armed: In this setting, the Japanese gun laws were insanely relaxed in response to ever-increasing levels of crime. This means everyone can legally own and carry firearms at all times.
  • 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.
  • Fanservice 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.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Episode 24 sees Jo and Meg being attacked by Mooks while they're Hanging Our Clothes to Dry, prompting Jo to have to fight them in the buff, with her having Barbie Doll Anatomy if she's not shown with Toplessness from the Back or Shoulders-Up Nudity.
  • 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.
  • Humongous Mecha: All Cybots, including Django.
  • Ice Queen: Jo. Anyone who is not Meg will get a chilly reception worthy of the Antarctic.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • The Leader: Sei is the leader of the mercenary group and the one who hired the other girls into the team.
  • Line-of-Sight Alias: Jo must give Takane her full name, so after seeing someone eating some rice with curry, she comes up with "Jo Kareraisu" ("Jo Curry Rice"). This may also happen because Jo has Only One Name. (In the English version, Jo says "Jo Mamma".)
  • Mafia Princess: Sei is the daughter of a powerful Chinese family who runs a criminal syndicate called the White Orchid Clan. She's 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. Justified in that he's a civilian that never experienced violence before getting roped in as the girls' cook.
    • Amy as well, seeing as she's eleven years old and the computer girl.
  • Offscreen 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: The later monsters that show up usually pull this off to make things complicated.
  • Parental Abandonment: The main four have this. Meg never talks about where her parents are, beyond a melodramatic aside that someone with her genes shouldn't be in poverty. Amy's aren't mentioned either and she seems to be self-reliant. Jo doesn't remember if she has any, and Sei's got her grandfather without her father and mother showing up.
  • 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 an 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.
  • 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, triggering when she's pushed close to death or getting angry. 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 ultra-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.
  • 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 The 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.
  • 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.
  • Scenery Censor: When Meg removes her bra in a locker room, she throws it towards the camera, blocking the view of her chest until she's dressed.
  • Sequel Hook: While unlikely to ever get fulfilled, the ending left a surprisingly subtle one. When Meg found Jo's scarf in the ruins of R.A.P.T. H.Q., that scarf was tied to the pole.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy Jo to Girly Girl Meg.
  • The Triads and the Tongs: Bai-Lan. They act as a sort of mission control for the main characters, giving them jobs and requests to hopefully fulfill.
  • Tsundere: Meg. Very quick to distrust absolute strangers, and only really cools off with people she's known after awhile.
  • Uncertain Doom: Jo's body wasn't found by Meg in the rubble at the end of the anime.
  • Underboobs: Sei's outfit show this, which she wears nearly all the time.
  • Undressing the Unconscious: After Meg and Jo escape an R.A.P.T. ship by diving into the ocean, they end up on an island and Meg strips off hers and Jo's clothing and leaves them out to dry so they won't get sick and get them under some blankets. When Jo awakens, she only has a few moments of peace before they're attacked and she has to go on a Full-Frontal Assault.
  • Vapor Wear: Bras have seem to have gone out of fashion by the time the story starts, as absolutely every woman is clearly not wearing one. Meg has a semi-justified reason revealed in the manga series: her skin is too sensitive to wear anything thicker than her normal attire.
  • 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.


How well does it match the trope?

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