A group of female mercenaries known as the Rose Guard patrol a Utah nuclear test site that has been turned into a prison for hardened criminals. The Canyon family, however, has taken control of the prison, and now aims to use nuclear weapons to "cleanse the world with radiation", and only the Rose Guard can stop them.
I feel morally obligated to warn the entire anime community about the flaming turd biscuit known as 6 Angels. Over the years I have seen some god awful anime; Mars of Destruction and Bronze come immediately to mind but I don’t think anything could really be worse than this series. It in all seriousness, probably deserves 1's across the board but a great deal of my completely unenjoyable experience with 6 Angels comes from the terrible subbing job. Because of that I can’t entirely hold its nonsensical story against it since the subs are not the original creators fault.
As I mentioned, the
terrible job with the subs made following the story or even understanding it difficult. Normally I would never even bring up such a thing in a review, however I am also quite confident in saying that I think it sucked pretty bad regardless of whether you are fluent in Japanese or not. From what I was able to follow though, the plot tells the story of a mid 21st century future in which the earth is perched on the edge of Armageddon from a nuclear holocaust. A terrorist, Tone Kane, is operating a base in the Utah desert and threatening the world with destruction from nuclear weapons and waste. It’s supposed to be an anti-nuclear weapon theme and a cautionary tale about the more destructive impulses of our race. Everything else makes no sense. I guess if it does to you, consider yourselves lucky. (I think)
The characters are horrible. We have a team of girls known as the Rose Guard, who are a kind of elite police force. They are completely without substance or personality. Nothing they say or do makes any sense. Trying to follow or understand their place in the world or what their purpose is would not be advisable to the viewer, as it’s likely to result in a brain injury. Enemies, allies, and other supporting characters appear or are killed off with no real understanding of what their point was to the plot.
6 Angels was made in 2002. That’s only eight years. Viewing the animation quality and comparing it with today is like the difference between modern humans and primitive bacteria. It is that bad. I sincerely pray that the people who were behind this series' artwork are no longer in the industry. My eyes and ears may never recover from the audio/visual trauma that this anime inflicted on them.
I am serious when I say don’t watch this. Stay away! While its message may be noble this isn’t even laughably bad, it is just an overall painful experience. From its subtitles to its horrendous artwork and animation, its entertainment value is less than zero. I am seriously afraid that I may have done permanent damage to my brain from watching this. I took this one for the community and I pray that you will heed my words. Don’t do it to yourself.
Show is awkwardly on the "so bad it's good" threshold. MCs are likeable with nice comedic moments. But overall it wasn't bad enough in a way to make the serious story unintentionally funny. I'm also left with an uncertainty whether I enjoyed it or not.
Main themes include human nature, pollution/environmental awareness, & feminism (only slightly about Guard of Rose). The story/message are simple, happy end, but presented in a convoluted, multi-party/betrayal/reconcilation way. Best watch it as a 90 minute film, to connect pieces from the rough & messy editing/directing. [MINOR SPOILER] For example, the MC team's crash land is interrupted by a long multi-scene flashback.
After landing, a few random short cuts of different time & place appear before returning to the team. Exposition heavily relies on dates/text & may seem preachy. Many sudden character actions are confounding. What's their motive, why suddenly change their mind, why betray, etc? Some motives are explained by backstory, best being the main villain Tone, and others you can somewhat imply since characters aren't deep. Another villain explains conflict involving Columbia, Moscow, US & them that remains vague (possibly due bad translation). [MINOR SPOILER] For example, a grounded helicopter's being focus fired on in a large war, but the girls run back into the copter, still trying to fix broken internals, then 2 unarmed random bishounens stroll into the cockpit trying to flirt with them.
Nothing deep, no mc backstories, all likeable. Unique/weird designs, interesting dual-colored hairs. You'll likely enjoy the ride with fun characters + a jolly robot bunny mascot, and hopefully forget the story mess.
Best MC: a jolly robot bunny mascot. He even parodies those preachy texts.
Villain's about the only one with backstory, & tied to the themes. He's not truly evil, but perhaps misguided. Again poor storytelling suggests all the world governments & the villain are all evil. And it gets unclear which government/party has what motive, who's betraying who, why etc.
For 2002, has nice art, but often inconsistent/lazy animation. They try, but with lots of budget corner cuts, and bad fight choreography. It deserved better viewing than my 240p streaming, which was too dark overall, crushing details. Scenery has good scifi feel, & explosions (perhaps too many & smoke everywhere) are well animated. Mechanical designs are thoughtful with details, and not over-the-top. CG helicopters look just a tad more cool. Humanoid mechas look standard but refined & strong. Mecha fighting is hand drawn. 2002 CG is bad, but detailed designs & chaotic war makes up for it.
+ Not really evil villain with unique backstory, comedy, fun non-op/whinny characters, interesting art designs, hand drawn mechas, save the earth theme, random plot twists to keep from boredom.
- Good simple story mangled through poor execution, overcomplication, unclear motives & random events. Lazy animation, dated CG look.
6 Angels had a lot of potential to be great but in the end turned out to be pretty mediocre and forgettable. The story was decent and the characters were pretty good but I felt they didn't truly live up to what they could have been. The main characters were all pretty enjoyable but since this was short you didn't get to see much of them.
The art was also not too bad as the main female characters looked good but the other characters tended to look ugly. The animation included some CG which looked pretty good alongside the animation. There is also some fanservice in
this ova but not too much. The music was not bad but was was not memorable at all. I also didn't care for the inconsistent episode lengths and where each one broke off. Though overall this ova series wasn't that great, if they ever came across making more material for this franchise I would check it out since I definitely saw potential in this series.
6 Angels is a contentious work, it gets a lot of flak from the community, and I feel like much of it is deserved. However, I went into it without any pre-conceived expectations, and in this review, I shall judge the show based purely on it's own merits.
Set in the year 2031, the show tells the story of a special task force named the Rose Guard, who apparently patrol all over the world. However, we never see any of that, as this tells the story of them crash-landing in a specific place and trying to fight off some crazed cyborg terrorist.
The story is kind of
basic, which isn't great, but I would be fine with it if it was presented well... however, it's not. The story is presented in a fairly slapdash manner. One scene jumps to the next, not giving the viewer much time to focus on anything, turning the whole thing into this big jumble of events that felt like the creators just wanted to show one thing, and then another, and then another... instead of taking the time to craft a well-told tale. They also throw a theme into the last episode that feels very forced, coming off more like a public service announcement instead of an actual theme of the show. This is likely due, in part, to how the theme was not even hinted at until that one moment in that last episode, so there's no buildup to it, it just comes out of nowhere.
I feel like it's also impossible to do a review of this show without mentioning just how poorly done the subtitles are. Only one group did the subtitles for this show, and I doubt anybody else will give it a shot in the near future. Still, the poor subtitles aren't the fault of the original creators, so I'm not factoring it into my score. Some may feel like the subtitles play into how the quality of the story is perceived. However, with my limited knowledge of Japanese I was still able to work my way through the subtitles to understand the story well enough, and even in doing so, it still wasn't very good, or well-presented. Thus, I still feel the story is poorly done regardless of the poor subtitles.
The characters are just about as basic as the story, but I feel like they are at least a little bit entertaining. They all have very one-note personalities, but they play off of each other decently and tend to be moderately enjoyable, despite being completely unmemorable. They are also somewhat inconsistent, their motivations from episode to episode don't really seem to mesh, and this weakens them, making them feel just... poorly done. I do think there are a few good character moments here & there, though... so they're not entirely without merit.
The art is pretty mixed. There are moments where the show can look really good, and moments where it looks like total garbage. A lot of the poor side of the art comes from the incredibly outdated looking CGI. The 3D animation looks like some pre-rendered PS1 cutscenes, and it makes some amount of sense based on when this anime was made. However, it clashes so heavily with the 2D elements which altogether look much better.
The 2D art has a pretty decent art style to it, with the main characters having designs that look very common for the era, with a few villain designs that look kind of cool & cyberpunk in some cases, making the art feel almost like a mix of old & new. The few times that they had 2D drawn backgrounds, they looked pretty nice as well. However, in most cases, the backgrounds were done using CG, which kind of ruined the appeal of many scenes of the show.
The animation itself was also a mixed bag, some moments definitely look like they were animated on a tight budget, with still-frames and not much movement, while other moments actually looked fairly good, with nice looking 2D animation that complimented whatever moment it was being used in. However, the latter became less common after episode 3, and the second half of the series felt even less impressive from the animation side of things.
The soundtrack in the show was pretty decent, as were the sound effects being used... however, it's kind of crazy how much lower the volume was on both of these compared to the voice acting. The overall audio mix made the music & sound effects have less impact... despite them actually being somewhat well done. The voice acting was above average, but kind of had an amateur feel to it. Some characters felt more natural than others, but a lot of them seemed to have performances that were just slightly wooden, without as much life as you'd expect. There's a few performances that stand out, but none of them really shine at all, making the voice acting feel very average.
In the end, 6 Angels is an anime that feels like it has more potential than it's actually able to deliver upon. The art occasionally looks nice, but occasionally looks bad. The characters are pretty one-note, but can sometimes be entertaining. The whole thing just feels very inconsistent. If they were able to execute on their premise with just a little more finesse, I think I would have enjoyed this a bit more, despite the horrid subtitle work. However, in it's current form, it's simply a show that had potential and managed to end up as a disappointing pile of garbage... with only a few glimmers of what could have been, remaining present underneath it all.