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In the current anime market, pure magical girl shows are hard to find—they’re either strictly aimed at young children like the Pretty Cure (PreCure) franchise or are dark re-imaginations of the genre like Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Twin Angel BREAK, the reboot of the Twin Angel franchise, returns to a time when cute animal mascots weren’t evil, wacky villains sucked energy out of schoolgirls for their master, and girls transformed with items you’re pretty sure they yanked from the toy aisle at the grocery store.
The only difference? The main character’s magical girl wand turns into a flail.
Twin Angel BREAK is actually the reboot of the franchise created by Sammy, a maker of pachinko slot machines. The characters from the original Twin Angel first appeared at the pachinko parlor, but went on to appear in their own free fully-voiced visual novel and get their own two-episode OVA—followed by a TV series and a sequel OVA series.
Over ten years have passed since the original pachinko slot machines reached the hands of Japanese gamblers, and now Sammy is breathing new life into their long-running franchise with new characters and a new story (though, the pachinko slot machine element is still well and alive, as you can see in the opening sequence to the anime below).
The tale begins with protagonist Meguru moving from her home to go attend a prestigious school in Tokyo. Meguru’s a happy-go-lucky girl who seems fairly normal, despite not being able to use most modern technology (really—she uses a Polaroid to take selfies). Her most stand-out personality trait is that she aspires to become a hero of justice. What inspired her to become one was seeing the original Twin Angels from Twin Angel: Twinkle Paradise—Haruka (Red Angel) and Aoi (Blue Angel) come to the rescue when a child was drowning in the ocean.
Haruka is given the chance to become a hero by Miruku, a magical hedgehog voiced by queen of tsundere Rie Kugimiya (Familiar of Zero’s Louise, Hayate the Combat Butler’s Nagi) who tells her to transform into the Twin Angel with the power of the magical medallion. After she transforms into Angel Rose and starts beating up the bad guys that are zapping away her new classmates’ life energy for the forces of evil, she is told of the existence of another angel—Angel Sapphire. Unfortunately, Angel Sapphire does not want to fulfill her duties of a Twin Angel and would rather be a normal girl instead. It looks like Meguru is going to have to convince Angel Sapphire that justice is the best thing ever!
Even without her, Meguru—as Angel Rose—beats up the enemies with the power of her magical… flail. As of the first episode, it doesn’t have any fancy magical attacks, but it sure can bludgeon her enemies! And the funniest thing about this is that Meguru just starts using the darn thing—she’s not even surprised that she’s wielding a fairly brutal (but pink) weapon! In this world, bloodshed is not avoidable, it seems.
Despite the inclusion of a weapon to smite the enemies of the angels with, almost every single moment of the anime is an obvious nod to classic magical girl anime, like its predecessor Twin Angel: Twinkle Paradise, which even had its own clone of Tuxedo Mask called “Misty Knight.” In Twin Angel BREAK, a cute mascot runs away from evil and relies on the help of a young girl, just like in Pretty Cure. Then, said cute mascot gives the normal girl the ability to transform into a magical girl in a very well-animated transformation scene, just like in Sailor Moon. And, just like in Wedding Peach, there’s the one member of the group who just doesn’t want to join and would rather go solo instead—not to mention that both angels’ names are Angel (insert cute name here), like Wedding Peach’s Angel Daisy and Angel Lily.
With all the moe archetype characters the girls go to school with and the crowd of males at AnimeJapan 2017’s episode one screening make it obvious that the targeted demographic for this anime is males. But female fans of magical girls can still enjoy Twin Angel BREAK too, for the large amount of references to classic magical girl shows hidden within the show. I myself am more excited to see what kinds of lethal weapons the girls will get their hands on next, though.
Twin Angel BREAK will premiere in Japan on April 7, and will last for 12 episodes. An extra OVA episode will be included with the Blu-ray box for the anime. There has been no overseas streaming announcement yet. The first TV anime—Twin Angel: Twinkle Paradise—is available to watch now with subtitles on Crunchyroll.