Steel Angel Kurumi Vol. 5 – Encore!
Released By: ADV
Release Date: 3/11/03
Special Notes: Review originally published here
Just when you thought that it was safe. Steel Angel Kurumi comes back with a four episode sequel OVA!!
Steel Angel Kurumi was huge when it was aired in Japan. I’m talking big! And when it came over to the US, there was no change… fans loved Kurumi! And so in an effort to capitalize quickly, the creators of this anime released four additional episodes as sort of an epilogue to the first season.
Four additional episodes are on this volume, all of them taking place right after the end of the first season. Now that the enemy has been defeated, what’s a group of heroes to do?? Relax at home of course!
In the first episode, Saki and Kirinka are both working at a restaurant as waitresses (visions of the episode from volume 3 suddenly float to mind) to get away from home simply because it seems that ever since they got home, Nakahito and Kurumi have been very lovey-dovey with each other but this is a day unlike any other as Saki is discovered and becomes the next big star of the big screen!
In the second episode, it’s Karinka’s turn as she receives a letter from a secret admirer. She actually is reluctant to meet up with him but after some ribbing from Kurumi, she decides to do it. At the very least, she figures that maybe it’ll help her get over her crush on Nakahito since he is officially off the market. Unfortunately, a case of mistaken identity causes problems and over the course of a day, Nakahito’s older brother teaches Karinka a valuable lesson about life.
The third episode is one of the best as the group gets a visit from an old friend and Kurumi decides that the reason why Nakahito still isn’t entirely comfortable with kissing her is because he isn’t as attracted to her as he is to say, A traditional Japanese woman. So, in an effort to become more attractive to her master, she changes herself and starts taking lessons in how to be a traditional Japanese woman. This unfortunately has some bad side effects on her system! This was a hilarious episode and easily my second favorite simply because it was so cute to see Kurumi trying so hard and then learning her lesson about just being herself.
The final episode though is the best episode of not only this volume, but the entire series! In this volume, we start off in the fallen Academy where the Angels are trying to rebuild but rumors are flying around that Nakahito has the magic kiss. One kiss from him and an Angel will become more powerful than they ever dreamed! Well, that is just too much temptation and so every single Angel in the Academy decides that they want his kiss!
All the Angels show up at once and then it is determined that the only fair way to decide who gets Nakahito must win a competition and everyone must compete. Including Kurumi! This episode had me absolutely rolling with laughter and I could easily watch it over and over!
The Good And The Bad
I think that it was great to see this volume. The episodes were hilarious, the writing was very good and the whole concept of getting to see what happens to the characters after the main story has ended was a great touch since this is something that you don’t get to see very often.
The only bad thing about this volume that I can really think of is that I would have loved to have seen more than just four episodes but I guess beggars can’t be choosers as I should feel fortunate that I got this much extra.
The music was great in this volume and it even includes a brand new ending theme. Very poppy and cute, it has it’s own unique charm and while it’s not better than the original ending theme, it’s still not something to be skipped.
Dub vs. Sub
As always, both the dub and sub track were excellent but the dub track won me over a long time ago and there is no reason why this would change now. I can’t even choose a standout performance since everyone did so well on this one!
So this time it’s a three way tie between Monica Rial as Saki, Kelli Cousins as Kurumi and Hilary Haag as Karinka.
As always there are tons of extras on this volume to make up for the very short episodes starting with production sketches and extended episode previews. Then we quickly move on and find the clean opening and closing animations followed by Steel Angel Kurumi trailers.
The best extra though is the Commentary with the English voice actresses. The actresses and director decide to give their thoughts on three of the four episodes. These are always amusing and this one is no exception!
Just like the rest of the series, this volume is a smash hit! If you enjoyed the series, you’ll be laughing until your stomach hurts with this great encore OVA. 5 stars and incredibly recommended!