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ADV Films presents
Steel Angel Kurumi 2 #2.1: The Lips of a New Master (2002)

"Nako's lips are supposed to be mine, so to whom do my lips belong?"
- Uruka Sumeragi (Mie Sonozaki)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: October 07, 2003

Stars: Atsuko Enomoto, Houko Kuwashima, Rie Tanaka, Mie Sonozaki, Kotono Mitsuishi, Unshou Ishizuka, Rikako Aikawa, Kelli Cousins, Luci Christian, Rozie Curtis, Monica Rial, Allison Keith, Hilary Haag
Director: Naohito Takahashi

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (17+ for mild animated violence, nudity, mature situations)
Run Time: 01h:26m:24s
Release Date: August 12, 2003
UPC: 702727044021
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

For those unfamiliar with the series, Steel Angel Kurumi is the story of an android with a Mark II heart, who becomes indentured to the first person to awaken her with a kiss—intended or not. In the first series, this happened to be Nakahito, a boy who lives in a shrine, but the fun really started when Kurumi's sisters Saki and Karinka arrived. This second series moves the timetable into the future a bit and resets the clock, as ADV delivers the first of two discs in the series with six mini episodes.

Nako Kagura is a shy ninth grade student who helps raise money for the shrine where she lives with her mother, Misaki, by performing on the cello. Her neighbor and best friend, Uruka Sumeragi, is a year older, and the daughter of a multi-billionaire whose sole purpose in life is protecting his daughter's happiness at any cost. Nako is a typically awkward and reserved young girl, which Uruka chides her for with her seniority, but Uruka's true feelings for Nako are brought to the fore when the pair stumble upon a secret buried in the catacombs beneath the temple. Here they first discover Kyanwan, who on first sight seems nothing more than a cheerful puppy, but what really sets things off is the figure hidden within a great flying Buddha, the dormant Steel Angel Kurumi, who is reawakened by an accidental kiss from Nako. Kurumi now has a new master, an event that sparks Uruka's jealousy, which in turn sparks her father into summoning his powers to restore his daughter's happiness.

A keystone in the first series was the ongoing jealousies between the characters, with Kurumi loving her master, and her sisters loving Kurumi, a device which returns here. As the series progresses, Saki is brought into the picture once again, this time setting up a love quadrangle with Nako in the middle. Uruka's father's obsession adds the adversarial element, and Kyanwan also brings a new dimension to the show as his real abilities are exposed. There are a few hints about Kurumi's past, but whether there is a real tie-in with the TV series is yet to be revealed.

I really enjoyed the first TV series and its follow-up OVA, and although these episodes are quite entertaining with all the cuteness and humor, there is just something that doesn't quite have the same charm of the original. The all girl twist does make things a bit more interesting, allowing more embarrassing moments for Nako, but I find Kurumi to be just a bit too bubbly for my liking here, which becomes fairly grating after a while, perhaps curable if taking in the show in smaller doses. With the series being fairly short, things are moving along pretty briskly, which also causes the character elements to suffer a bit. As an add-on to the original it is fine, but unless the final episodes do something substantial with the plot, this is more of a indulgence for Kurumi fans, rather than a standalone piece.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The image quality here is excellent, with strong, vibrant colors and solid contrast. Aliasing is minimal, and there is no sign of rainbows or obvious compression artifacts. A great looking transfer.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japanese, Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Audio is available in both Japanese and English stereo surround. The soundfield is well utilized, with a nice mix, clearly articulated dialogue and appropriate directionality. There are no technical issues to call attention to. The opening song from the original gets a rework.

Audio Transfer Grade: A


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 6 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Najica Blitz Tactics, King of Bandit Jing, Neo RangaSakura Wars TV, Those Who Hunt Elves II, Eden's Bowy
Packaging: Flexbox
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Clean opening and closing credits
  2. Character gallery
  3. Extended episode previews
  4. Reversable/perversable cover
Extras Review: A nice slate of extras is included, even if it doesn't measure up to ADV's treatment of the TV series.

There are clean opening and closing credits, plus extended episode previews for the second to seventh episodes.

A character gallery plays as a 01m:48s slideshow, and contains a collection of images including Kurumi in various outfits, Kyanwan in his various forms, plus promotional and uncensored DVD artwork.

Trailers include Najica Blitz Tactics, King of Bandit Jing, Neo Ranga, Sakura Wars TV, Those Who Hunt Elves II andEden's Bowy.

The most interesting extra is in the packaging. The cover is reversable, with a somewhat censored piece of full cover artwork on the inside, but it is also "perversable," as the school outfits the girls are wearing are actually printed on clear mylar, and are removeable, leaving them in their underwear. A second costume sheet is also included inside featuring Kurumi and Nako's more traditional costuming.

Extras Grade: B-


Final Comments

In much the same way as some other popular franchises, Steel Angel Kurumi 2 puts a different spin on the original, featuring an all girl cast in a shorter series format. Laughs and fanservice are in abundance, but the depth of the original is somewhat lacking. Still, there's lots of fun in these six installments, and Kurumi fans should find it enjoyable.


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