|Episode:||1: Glass Heart|
|"Glass Heart" is a female member of the dreaded "Suzaku Unit", an elite corps of assasins who have been raised since childhood to be heartless killing machines. At age 14 she is congradulated for her fiftieth successful hit, but she has become painfully disillusioned with her line of work and leaps from roof of a building. But the Suzaku Unit isn't ready to let such a valuable member go so easily, and takes extraordinary measures to save her, including the theft of a heart for transplant to her. Yet over a year later Glass Heart remains unconscious--the doctors can only guess that she is subconsciously refusing to awaken. "Master Li" is impatient and gives them one week to bring her around. She repeatedly undergoes dangerous seizures as she relives painful memories of the murders she committed. Back in Shinjiku, Saeko Nogami admits to Ryo that the investigation into the theft of Kaori Makimura's heart is at an impass. Ryo is certain that the organ of his longtime partner, and, at the time of her death, his fiancee, was taken for a transplant--therefore, in a sense Kaori is still alive and will return to Shinjuku someday. Meanwhile, the unconscious Glass Heart finds herself somehow in contact with the spirit of her heart's previous owner...|
I was both eager and uneasy about seeing the first episode of this sequel, since I'm an enthusiastic fan of the original series but have always strongly preferred the comic element over the action, and had heard that Angel Heart would be a "darker" sort of show--would that mean the comedy had been deleted altogether? It was good to see that Ryo hasn't completely lost his usual randiness. Not much comedy here, but it seems that action will be taken more seriously in this series, which is encouraging. Getting used to the altered character designs will take me some time. Someone who had never seen the original series probably wouldn't have much trouble figuring out what's going on here (though some familiarity would certainly help). Altogether, pretty neat! An intriguing introduction to this odd character, a bad girl who will presumably go straight from now on. Searching for stills makes it clear how much of this episode consists of black-and-white memory sequences dealing with her troubled past. I'm eager for the next episode.