Friday, October 26, 2012

Animation Review Angel's Friends

Angel's Friends (possible spoilers ahoy)
I haven't done any reviews in a long time and since Tumblr has come back I might as well. I was watching the horrors that is the new Winx Club from Nickelodeon on YouTube when I saw a show called Angel's Friends on the recommended videos side bar. Okay, I was game for it and so here is my review of the show based solely on the first season. I see there has been a second season made but I have not seen it.
First impressions....This is a show that falls into the not W.I.T.C.H. genre as a friend pointed out. It's about a girl named Raf who is also an angel who needs to go to Earth for training and meets up with her friends Sweet (Dolce) Miki and Uri. They must challenge the devils Sulfus, Gas, Kabale and Cabiria.
They each have teachers that are trying to get them to sway their "earthly ones" to do the right or wrong thing respectively. Seems standard enough, until they throw in the mix that Angels and Devils can't violate the VETO. In other words, they cant touch, stop the other from their turns and stop free will.  Well there's a person, I won't spoil it, who wants them to so she can be released from LIMBO so she tempts them into a forbidden love. I'm sure you can guess what happens. (Longest kiss in animated  cartoons for 6-11 I've ever seen.) Things go crazy and there's fall out. The next crisis turns into a "OMG who am I?" when Raf finds out her angel heritage might not be totally accurate. So the entire show is surrounding the Romeo Juliet/ Angel Devil bit that seems swiped from Wedding Peach but I'll over look that one.
The Animation
It's pretty bad for many of the episodes. It seems to be done in 3d with a flat toon shader on it. There are disconnected movements and some coloring errors. For a few it seemed like it was done in Flash with the rigging option. The backgrounds are better than what you would see in Winx Club. There's a lot of sparkling on the costumes though.

I found myself having flashes of Bloom from WINX watching Raf but then the same voice actress contributed to that one. Miki seemed to come in as an after thought despite being a main girl in the original comic's trio. Sweet is my least favorite of the girls. She's annoying and obsessed with shopping. Strange for an angel to do. The devils all seem to fit well. Professor Arkane was a bit creepy and clueless for a higher angel. The ORBs seemed a bit clueless for being omniscient. I liked the design of the Temptress. I thought she was the most unique looking of all of them. I liked her personality.

The characters are distinctive enough but some look out of  place. Where many of the characters have very pointy hair Sweets, for example has rounded hair. It looks out of place. She was added to the cartoon and isn't in the comic the show is based on. The twin earthly ones look bizarre with dots on their faces. Reina's one form is very distracting with her eye color, in the other her face makeup looks a bit ridiculous. Her mask was much better to look at. The girl's new costumes/power ups look a lot like W.I.T.C.H. meets WINX. From what I can tell a lot of them changed for season two and look more like they were animated in Flash so I can't really comment on it.

I saw both versions of the show, in Italian and in English. I think the English had more distinctive voices that sounded more unique to each character but the drawback was the cramming in of words and lines. Sweet's lines were always so compacted. I think her voice actor was the worst of them. Sulfus the devil sounded the best of all of them. There was some recycling of actors from The Winx Club which made it a bit distracting though. The Italian version was okay but didn't have enough to separate the characters. It was distracting when more than one character spoke.
Angel's Friends is one of those strange shows that is crammed into about 12-14 minute episodes. There were some very rushed scenes where you could not quite catch what was going on unless you had seen the previous episodes and knew what was going to happen. IE a character in the portrait hall turned angry or good. I question why these weren't 26x 22 minute episodes instead of the 52 x 12 minute shorts. It would have helped a lot for plot development.
Parting thoughts
It's one of those shows that I think had a bit tighter plot than say WINX but they do have quite a few similar plot points...If you have nothing else to do give it a shot. I found myself frustratingly wanting to know more and kept watching all the way to the end. Sulfus has to be the best thing about the show.

Sketches and stuff

Monday, October 22, 2012

Gold Digger And Steam

This n that

Galaxy Girls

Cherry Lady Death 2

Sailor Moon

Some fan art done a while ago...

Ninja High School

Ninja High School artist trading cards for 5finity. Artists proofs are available.

KItty Ditties and Pretty Ladies

Kittie Ditties and Prerry Ladies artist trading cards done for 5finity.


Some more artist trading cards done for Breygents Transformer card sets...