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Twin Angel Break – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「ラブって❤ジュエリー♪えんじぇる☆ブレイク!!」 (Love ❤ Jewelry ♪ Encounter ☆ Break!) by Abe Roppongi feat. Tengoku Meguru & Kisaragi Sumire

「十五歳の船出」 (Jyuugo Sai No Funade)
“The 15 Year Old Sets Sail”

Initial Expectations

Let me preface this post by saying I have never seen the first two instalments of the Twin Angel series. In fact, it’s been quite a while since I last saw a Magical Girl anime. I stopped trying to find a follow up to Madoka Magica every season, once Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou severely let down those expectations in Summer 2013.

Not that I view Twin Angel Break as anything close to a spiritual successor of Madoka, rather it is a refreshing change of pace from the dark and cynical type of stories one has come to expect from the Magical Girl genre. In other words, it’s a straightforward mahou shoujo with no cheap tricks and gimmicks.

First Impressions

Our heroine Meguru Amatsuki (Ichimichi Mao) sets sail from the tropical island where she has lived all of her life, saying her goodbyes and leaving behind everything she has ever known. You will notice that Meguru has a natural state of brightly smiling and having her mouth open in awe, or is doing both at once. Watching a positive bundle of joy like Meguru definitely feels good. Her smile is so infectious and it is impossible not to cheer on her dream of becoming a hero – she is so kind-hearted and sincere!

After soaking in the sights and sounds of the city, she eventually comes to the academy and asks a random stranger to help take photographs for her. By some miraculous coincidence, this random stranger happens to be Sumire Kisaragi (Kayano Ai), who will be our other primary protagonist. It is immediately obvious that the two characters are set up to be each other’s foils.

I understand Sumire is supposed to be disillusioned and stand-offish in order to contrast Meguru’s endless optimism. But I think she cuts in a bit too forcefully, with an edgy remark: ‘I don’t think it’s that easy to become a hero.’ The rooftop scene does slightly redeem her character. It was fairly humorous witnessing Sumire’s attempt to conceal her gluttonous appetite, while observing her more earnest exchanges with Meguru. Hopefully the series will provide more human interactions along these lines, instead of ones that are obtrusively awkward.

The extended cast have a pleasant dynamic going on, and these surprise traps only get more and more convincing as the seasons go by. With the addition of mega-baa, maybe we could have a magical girl investigation agency on our hands. Alongside our hedgehog mascot Milk-chan, it goes without saying that the sheep girl Ukari Koromi is probably my favourite character so far with her cheery catchphrase ‘Baa’. A klutz that is so damn fluffy, Ukari is the only one who continues smiling while getting her soul and energy drained by our villain of the week, who was putting on an epic shamisen performance. He was so derpy that I could not peg him as a villain apart from his creepy plan to abduct Meguru.

Milk-chan demonstrated some courageous pluck, considering she was confronting an adversary wielding a stringed instrument. I can’t say the transformation sequence or the action here was too impressive, considering it mainly consisted of random flashes of colour followed by Meguru comically walk around the stage being chased by goons. Otherwise the animation was generally consistent, and there were a few beautiful panels from time to time. My other criticism is that it did seem beyond beggar’s belief that one of the strongest enemies would already be so easily defeated in one fell swoop.

Concluding Thoughts

Having not seen the first two seasons, I cannot really comment about why a magical coin just happened to be on the floor inside Meguru’s academy accommodation, though it does feel a bit too convenient for my liking. I am also under the impression that the show will follow a standard villain of the week kind of formula. Whether Milk-chan will turn out to be as devious as Kyubey despite her unsuspecting appearance remains to be seen. I mean, you don’t realise what kind of monster people can be until you’ve signed your soul over to them. That’s for sure. So I would wait until Meguru signs some unfair contract before passing my judgement, though she can invoke a Japanese law to invalidate a contract imposed upon a minor if she really wanted to. Ah yes, if you’re reading this Stilts, please don’t misunderstand. I was talking about monstrous stature, it’s got nothing to do with monstrous personality!!! Show Spoiler ▼

Fun but simple, Twin Angel Break does not require too much mental engagement, making for a comfortable viewing experience. But it would be difficult to expect any kind of substance or deeper meaning. I don’t think this is my type of show, though it could be a good pickup for a younger audience or those wanting a light-hearted and cute magical girl show.

April 9, 2017 at 6:15 pm
28 comments »
  • April 9, 2017 at 7:07 pmLyfe

    I’m not familiar with the anime, but I do know that Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel is a pachislot game series from Sammy. I think this is how the anime adaptions came about if I’m not mistaken.

    I can’t see this show gathering much acclaim or rising above average for most people.

    • April 9, 2017 at 7:14 pmZaiden

      Have to agree with you on this not seeing this show gathering much acclaim or rising above average, though it is not impossible for a sudden surprise to exceed our expectation.

      • April 9, 2017 at 7:26 pmLyfe

        Perhaps a Kyubey/Fav character might appear? Now that would be a surprise, a devastating surprise lol.

  • April 9, 2017 at 7:18 pmhjerry

    Glad I wasn’t the only one that saw Flip Flappers here. My first thought watching the promos for this was, wait, didn’t we recently already have a magical girl show involving a red haired girl and a blue haired girl team up, where the faced off against an emotionless grey haired boy girl twin combo, and a blonde haired villain?

    • April 10, 2017 at 6:21 amZaiden

      Hey hjerry. Sorry to disappoint you, but I have not seen all of Flip Flappers. Should probably get around to it in the summer holidays.

      Other than that, the comparison was superficial and my final conclusion would be that fun spirit aside, there is no similarity. Flip Flappers is stylistic, creative and over the top. The same can’t be said of Twin Angel Break.

    • April 10, 2017 at 8:15 amNishizawa Mihashi

      The comparison is there because there’s a redhead girl and purple-haired one. And ONCE AGAIN the purple-haired girl just HAD to be voiced by Ai Kayano. Almost every single time there’s a purple-haired girl in anime these days, it’s Ai Kayano. Not that I’m complaining though ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

  • April 9, 2017 at 7:19 pmhjerry

    If anything, at very least, this one should be in contention for the “best trap” award for 2017.

    lol

    • April 10, 2017 at 6:22 amZaiden

      With the rest of the year left, we’ll see. But that would certainly be the case for the meantime!

  • April 9, 2017 at 9:34 pmwaijie666

    Looking at the fights, I can’t believe the fight animation could be this bland. I am not sure why this is airing at a non kiddy timeslot. This season Precure is still miles better than this. I guess I’ll be back to watching Precure for magical girls.

    • April 10, 2017 at 6:44 amZaiden

      Not seen Precure, but I will take your word for it. If Twin Angel Break can’t take the cake with action, then it probably would not be a bad idea to focus on goofy slice of life.

  • April 9, 2017 at 11:41 pmNishizawa Mihashi

    ANOTHER ONE!

    Your impressions and screenshots have led me to believe that this is a show that does not take itself seriously and is goofy to the core. I find that to be, at the very least, amusing. Now what to do with magical girls… Why girls though… Intriguing…

    • April 10, 2017 at 6:50 amZaiden

      Nishizawa Mihashi, count on you to catch my wholesome, handmade memes!

      Disappointed that no one caught my anime reference. Megabaa + Investigation Agency = Dennou Coil. Also the link is a blast to the past in terms of the origination for the snapshot tag on posts.

      My thoughts tell me it would probably be a historical notion tied in with the unspoiled powers of a girl’s intact virginity, though I can’t say I can provide evidence on that.

    • April 10, 2017 at 8:12 amNishizawa Mihashi

      You know, I have yet to watch Dennou Coil. One day I’ll procure the BD set but until then, I must put it on hold. And hmm, so that’s how snapshots began at this site. Frankly, it is an extremely basic but absolutely vital and practical addition. Glad that Patrik took some time to take some screenshots. At least, that’s what I can understand based off that single post.

      Also, “a historical notion tied in with the unspoiled powers of a girl’s intact virginity”… Hmm… What a strange and peculiar idea these old homo sapiens once had… The only thing I’ve heard of is that the magical girl concept was first conceived by Osamu Tezuka, but then that makes you wonder why DID he come up with it to begin with… Needless to say the world has significantly been altered because of that.

  • April 10, 2017 at 4:30 amNikki

    > attempt to take on Flip Flappers

    It’s such a shame Flip Flappers did horribly in sales. No, really. If anything, this is going to be a “I hope we can surpass Flip Flappers abominable sales” series.

    • April 10, 2017 at 6:51 amZaiden

      I doubt this will surpass Flip Flappers in sales. If it does, that would be quite the travesty. And yeah, I also saw those statistics, as a fellow frequenter of r/anime.

      Which actually makes me wonder, has the surging prominence of reddit played a part in the decline of the anime blogging sphere? But that’s probably something to analyse another time.

      • April 10, 2017 at 9:26 amLyfe

        The sales are likely irrelevant for the anime. The anime was probably made to raise awareness of the Pachinko parlour games. It’s not unusual for an anime to be made to promote something else, be it light novels, manga, videogames etc.

        Take Boku no Hero Academia, literally no-one bought the first season. It sold horribly. But it’s currently airing a second season.

    • April 10, 2017 at 8:05 amNishizawa Mihashi

      883… My God… That is quite the paltry number I must say… But frankly such a business model is quite bonkers. Looking at it all from the outside aiming to grab the business by its kintama someday, one can’t help but feel relaxed that one doesn’t have to follow the same model just to fail again and again according to routine. One country’s depression is another country’s astatine mine as the new saying goes.

      In any case, I wonder if I should try watching it. I initially started watching anime in earnest because of the potentialities for pretty visuals and insane animated movements and creative shot compositions, but it’s been a decade since then and I have come to care for the concept of narratives in general far more than I do for ‘pwetty tings’. Yeap, another dilemma has arrived indeed…

  • April 10, 2017 at 6:25 amToto

    Weighing in as somebody who has seen the previous installments (though I mercifully have no experience with the pachislot games they’re based on).

    This is neither as serious (with a veneer of silly) as the first OVA set or as patently goofy as Kyunkyun Tokimeki Paradise, falling somewhere in between the two so far, but leaning towards the latter ever so slightly. Meguru’s a good successor to Haruka from the previous outings, having a lot of the same cheer and optimism, though time will tell if she scales the same heights of badassitute as Red Angel. Meanwhile, Sumire doesn’t really have much of a wall to climb, as Aoi was always far and away the least interesting character (or perhaps she simply suffers the Cure White curse, where the smart, good girl heroine is given absolutely nothing to do while the tomboyish idiot heroine hogs the spotlight). That said, her stoic personality and apparent want of nothing to do with this mess could open up the potential for some good story material.

    I got my hopes up when the baddie showed up and there was a general (90s TV) Sailor Moon vibe filling the air, which were then raised higher when Meguru gave a distinctly Precure-esque self rollcall. But alas, the fighting was lackluster and the always great Koyasu Takehito was wasted on a throwaway villain.

    tl;dr: TA Break does some things right (Main characters are interesting, atmosphere is fun and engaging) and some things very wrong (pathetic combat scene, wasted villain, side characters are one-note and could possibly get real annoying real fast). I’m gonna give it the three episode test, but as of this point, my opinion’s leaning towards “sadly wasted potential.”

    PS: It is a crying shame that the transformation call isn’t as endearingly silly as “Let’s go fever time! Lovely Angel!”

    • April 10, 2017 at 6:54 amZaiden

      Wow Toto, you just convinced me to put the OVAs on my watch list!

      Glad that someone who knew their stuff about the previous instalments could provide insights such as yourself. For that, you have my thanks!

  • April 10, 2017 at 6:52 amminxy

    hopefully they will both each have male love interests.

    • April 10, 2017 at 6:55 amZaiden

      Doesn’t look like it. I did not see any male characters in the OP sequence.

  • April 10, 2017 at 8:21 amWanderer

    …Why did you link to a meme version of one of your screenshots with the “his creepy plan to abduct Meguru” link?

    • April 10, 2017 at 8:33 amZaiden

      Hey Wanderer. Gotta have at least one wholesome, handmade meme per post for it to be truly high quality.

      Plus the actual context itself was pretty creepy but in a meme-like way XD

  • April 11, 2017 at 4:32 amtheirs

    I watched this after reading this review and I’m still shocked on how easily this guy got defeated.
    http://randomc.net/image/Twin%20Angel%20Break/Twin%20Angel%20Break%20-%2001%20-%2034.jpg
    R.I.P. random supposed to be last boss tier dude.

  • April 12, 2017 at 6:17 amminxy

    its a shame this show has to copy off of something instead of doing its own thing with what it has a la flip flappers. remember that phrase “to one’s own self be true” it applies to writing too. look at magical knight rayearth for example do you see clamp watching tons of fantasy shows suddenly getting “inspired” by them then just copying and pasting their plots. no they researched fantasy elements in order to make their story the best it can be. also hikaru, umi, and fuu were allowed to be close and still have men as boyfriends. unlike nowadays were any type of closeness between women automatically triggers the yuri alert just because.

    • April 12, 2017 at 7:35 amLyfe

      Expecting originality in anime? LOL. That’s rare in any medium, be it TV shows, movies, books etc. Everything copies off of something else.

    • April 12, 2017 at 9:16 amZaiden

      This show doesn’t so much as copy, as try to do what it has always done since 2008. In this sense, it predates the post-Madoka era of Mahou Shoujo, and wouldn’t necessarily describe it as trying to copy anything. Rather it tries to have fun, and I think there’s nothing wrong with that in anime.

  • April 12, 2017 at 6:32 amkrangdoff

    Seriously, I get it to some degree when people compare dark magical girl series to Madoka despite Sailor Moon seeing all her friends get murdered, Madoka being the spirtual successor to Lyrical Nanoha and Minky Momo getting hit by a toy truck and dying.

    But seriously, comparing a by the numbers magical girl parody to Flip Flappers? Why would anyone bother copying something that was basically just a good looking mishmash of anime parodies? That’s getting into copy of a copy of a copy territory.

    TL;DR:
    It may scratch a similar itch, but Flip Flappers wasn’t even original enough to copy.

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