Steel Angel Kurumi

Kotetsu Tenshi Kurumi
Also Known As: SAK
Genre: Romance/Comedy/Action
Format: 24 Episodes
Allegiance: Pony Canyon
Director: Takahashi Naohito
Vintage: 1999-2000
Intelligence Agency Report by: I
Nakahito is a prepubescent Onmyou mystic-in-training who, due to some urging by the local punks, wanders into an abandoned lab. There, he accidentally awakens the bubbly android Kurumi with a kiss and is suddenly subjected to an energetic, pink-haired android calling him “master”, glomping him, and trying to do everything for him, no matter how major or minor the task. However, the military had special plans for Kurumi, and they want her back.

Field Agent Report by: I
Overall 7.50

Reading ADV’s gush about this series, you’d expect it to be the best anime series to reach American shores. However, after actually watching this series, I was left somewhat content but begging to differ with the box summary, as I have seen too many series that were better than this one.Steel Angel Kurumi is a fun and fairly cute anime, but it fails to fully separate itself from every other series of its kind.

After watching the first few episodes, I was easily able to pick up the general feel of the series. The atmosphere seems to be covered by a veil of cotton candy when Kurumi is the center of focus, but when action scenes or serious times move their way to center-stage, the cutesy mood appropriately moves into the background. The characters are stock but likeable and a couple of character interactions seem a bit random and unnecessary, such as the way Saki acted toward Kurumi, but not enough to severely detract from the series. The backgrounds and character designs are well done, the animation is fresh and clean, and Enomoto Atsuko puts a pleasantly ditzy life into Kurumi.

There were some flaws with Steel Angel Kurumi, however, and the major one had to do with a large plot twist near the end of the series, which appeared with no previous warning or foreshadowing whatsoever. It didn’t clash with the already established world the previous episodes had set up, but any other surprising twist could have been used to explain the situation of the series and barely anything would have changed. The episode format (each is fifteen minutes long) does work with the earlier, more light-hearted episodes, but later it begins to get aggravating to have to go through the ending and beginning theme songs again to get to part two of a fight. There’s also the typical problem with out-of-place fan service that seems to be common in this breed of anime.

Despite the somewhat disconnected plot twists and the fan service that sometimes ruins otherwise serious moods of parts of the series, Steel Angel Kurumi is fun from beginning to end. Although you may not be terribly surprised by what happens, it’s worthy of your time while you’re waiting for your Grave of the Fireflies DVD to be shipped.