Li Meifon is the head of a free, no expenses paid protection/security agency for escorting ships across outer space. Though only 16, she posesses great skill and leadership qualities while commanding her crew aboard their ship, the "Angel Links." However, some unpleasant memories begin to trouble her and she starts questioning her own past and reason for existence. Join Li Meifon and the rest of the Angel Links crew on their adventures through the Oracion star system as they battle pirates, government organizations, and a Tao master, all while finally uncovering Meifon's dark and mysterious past.
The Outlaw Star spin-off known as Angel Links is a decent show on its own but still in no way compares to Outlaw Star's greatness. Unlike Outlaw Star, this series tends to be forgettable but none the less has a decent level of enjoy ability and sometimes goes into dramatic and heartwarming emotional moments that you don't get to in Outlaw Star.
The connection to Outlaw Star this series has is that it takes place in the same universe with brief cameo appearances of a few supporting characters and stars the pirate fighting organization known as "Angel Links" that was mentioned in episode 19 of Outlaw
Star. The characters Duuz and Valeria who appeared in that episode serve as major members on this team working under Meifon Li, the series protagonist. The music for this series has an outstanding score similar to Outlaw Star's background music. One of my particular favorite's is the exciting song played when the Angel Links ship launches out into space.
The story was fairly ok and gets easier to understand as you progress through it and learn about the struggle of Angel Links and the past of Meifon Li. Meifon Li's past is somewhat disturbing and a character named Leon Lau who has a recurring prescene in the series has some sort of unexpected connection with Meifon and after the series is over has a strange yet acceptable ending. The main characters are pretty unique and can stand out. Meifon Li's development and history is one of the significant point in the series. Valeria and Duuz have their own backstories which we get to see in this series as well. Alongside them are several other minor members but we don't get to see much of them. Other than that most of the episodic characters such as the villains though are forgettable or are ridiculous in an annoying way. Oh and another ridiculous character but is in a leading role iis Meifon Li's pet which is some sort of cat looking fairy thing that hides in her exposed cleavage most of the time and turns into a sword which she uses during the fight scenes.
As regular readers of my reviews know, Outlaw Star is my favorite anime ever. It created an interesting science fiction world, had a cast of eclectic and memorable characters, and was nonstop fun from beginning to end. So imagine my surprise when I found out that Outlaw Star had a spiritual successor set in the same universe. Then imagine my surprise after watching it and finding out I didn’t know about it for a reason.
The first four episodes of Angel Links scared the piss out of me. It was episodic, following the exploits of the Links Company, led by the energetic and goddam annoying Meifon
Li. She provides protection to smaller companies that travel through pirate infested space for the small price of nothing.
Sounds good. Too bad these first four episodes are all exceptionally boring and provide a series of characters so wooden and uninteresting you could replace them with celery sticks and get the same result. Meifon’s boobs seemed like the star of the show and are prominently displayed throughout the series in all their massive glory. Have fun with back problems the rest of your life lady.
After we get past the initial hurdle of those four episodes, we finally get to an episode that’s pretty decent. Can a pirate love a person who fights pirates? It’s not the best executed episode tackling the issue of opposites attracting, but at the same time it manages to be emotional and well-thought out.
And beyond that we get into the most unoriginal plot possible. We find out the bad guy is the guy we knew was the bad guy from the beginning, we get to learn about who Meifon really is, which is surprising and a good twist, until the execution, bringing up memories of Trigun. This all leads to a bloated twelfth episode that leads into a final episode that moves way too fast at the beginning, and then extends the epilogue way too much.
Angel Links isn’t only badly paced, it’s badly written and falls way too much into conventions of 90’s science fiction, as well as getting into some Evangelion-esque ideas and themes. The final half of the series is definitely more entertaining than the first, but it is also more groan-worthy. It’s building on a character, Meifon, who barely has enough character to care in the first place.
This brings me to my next problem. The characters suck. None are memorable, none have any development. Each main character has an episode dedicated to him or her but it doesn’t make them pop. It just makes them float and give them reason to be there. The reason Outlaw Star succeeded in the character department was the fact it had a fun and eclectic crew. The Angel Links crew is slightly eclectic, but just because you have a lizard guy and a Joan Jett and the Blackhearts groupie doesn’t mean you can avoid giving them some sort of characteristics.
The characters’ sucking is compounded with the unbearably bad dub. They don’t even make an effort to synch the voices with the lips. Meifon screams every line as if she’s talking to someone across a canyon rather than across two feet. Names are mispronounced constantly. Then there are the sound effects, which are also goddam terrible. Men who are obviously carrying machine guns get the laser gun sound effect. At one point, a sword is drawn and there is a lightsaber sound effect. Oh, and there’s also a terrible opening and ending song.
But hey, at least the animation is…
Oh goddammit Angel Links.
Outlaw Star had a lot of problems with its’ animation but none as bad as Angel Links. Meifon’s face is terrifying, some mix between Lain and the Toxic Avenger. The lizard guy’s eyes change colors a lot. Characters are just…ugly.
But design-wise, I can appreciate the space ships and the thought that went into all the sci-fi pieces. This is a well realized universe full of Chinese influences. The series has a couple cameos from Outlaw Star characters and a lot of the ideas of that series carry over here. That doesn’t excuse the fact Angel Links sucks fucking balls.
Fuck you Angel Links. Fuck Meifon’s face, and the boring bad guy, and that cat thing that turns into a sword, and especially those flesh melons in her exceptionally revealing clothes. If you put more time into developing an idea instead of the physics of her fucking titties you might have had something.
There’s really nothing good to say about this anime. Avoid it. Deny its’ existence. Pretend that you never heard the name. Do like I’m about to do and run as far away as possible.
I watched Angel Links largely to scratch an itch that I've had for years. When I was first discovering anime, I remember seeing ads in Wizard Magazine for various animes, one of which was Angel Links. I didn't think much of it at the time, but as I watched Outlaw Star and then expanded into the world of subs, it always kind of lingered at the back of my mind. Outlaw Star is one of my personal faves, so even if this show isn't as good as that, it couldn't have been THAT bad.
Unfortunately for me, it was that bad.
Angels Links is a very
sombre and oddly paced sci fi show. Most animes tend to follow a basic formula - the first episode introduces everyone, they spend a few episodes getting to know the cast, and then we move into the Main Plotline. Links follows this pattern...to a degree. Main cast members Kosei, Valeria, and Duuz all get episodes based around them, but they're really sparsed out, add nothing to the characters, and feel just odd. None of the characters feel like well rounded individuals; they're just a cool visual, and this is especially true of lead character Meifon Li. She's close to being a "standard" shonen lead - she's violent, quick to anger, flaunts convention, and a bit dumb. And she has a mini-skirt and boobs, which I think are meant to literally round out her character. It isn't until the last few episodes of the show, literally episodes 8-13, that we get ANYTHING interesting happening with her character. Even then, it's handled in such a ham-fisted way that it just hurts to watch.
Which isn't to say that it's ALL bad. When the background of the anime is revealed, along with Meifon's secret, the show jumps up a notch of Interesting. The reveal could have added so much more character depth to Meifon and would have worked better as a starting point than an ending point. Even if the show had been shortened - perhaps into a 3-episode OVA or a pair of movies - I think it could have conveyed it's story in a much better way. As is, Angels Links is drawn out, meandering, and lacks impact. We spend 2/3's of the show watching the Angels Links defeat pirates and it's mind-numbingly cliched.
There are slight plot holes which may or may not affect viewing. They bugged the crap out of me, but I'm a detail guy, so not knowing those things kills me.
The show looks fairly good otherwise. It's a late 90's show - 99 specifically - so it just started to integrate computer work into it, largely for explosions or laser blasts. Our lead characters DO stand out in that they're all very odd looking. They make you want to learn more about them, IMO, and that's why I'm disappointed that we get so much nothing on their personalities or lives. I loved the design of the Angel Links ship; just as odd a standout as the Outlaw Star. The animation looked good for the most part; the episode that featured Kosei is perhaps the only one that I remember looking particularly bad. There are some REALLY nice hand-to-hand battles and sword fights in the show as well if laser blasts aren't your thing.
Overall, I feel like I got what I thought I'd get - a sub-par sister show that's all flash, no bang.