Angel Cop is a six-part original video animation directed by Ichiro Itano, but due to the content of the anime, it's usually considered that the driving force of the anime is actually the writer Sho Aikawa. A manga adaptation written and illustrated by Taku Kitazaki was serialized in Newtype Magazine and reprinted as a Newtype 100% collection in 1990.
Plot in a nutshell: Jewish bankers (Americans in the dub) plot to turn Japan into a nuclear waste dump.
To elaborate: Twenty Minutes Into the Future, Japan's economy is so strong that it's linked to the global economy. This angers a communist terrorist group called "The Red May," who decides that the best way to make the world a more equitable place is to blow up as much Japanese infrastructure as possible. To combat these terrorists, a bunch of elite law enforcement officials licensed to kill are assembled. They include the title "Angel," a buff dude called Raiden, a couple of other token stereotypes, and Da Chief. Things take a turn for the bizarre when Raiden goes missing after one encounter with the terrorists, and then the terrorists themselves are being attacked and murdered by three powerful psychics called "Hunters." Raiden shows back up as a cyborg courtesy of a local friendly Mad Scientist, it turns out most of the government is evil, two of the Hunters join Angel and her team when they realize they're the unwitting pawns of a government conspiracy to somehow profit off of Americans dumping nuclear waste in Japanese territory.
The real reason to watch this anime is for the gunplay, the cars, the gruesome kills, the awesomely-animated displays of telekinetic power being thrown about by the Hunters, and the hilarious profanity in the dub.
- Action Girl: Angel
- Anime First
- Black and Grey Morality: A lot of the supposed good guys do a lot of highly questionable things. Taki's torture of the Red May leader, in particular, is gruesome and blood-chilling, going above and beyond anything "necessary."
- Blown Across the Room
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Lucifer, as it turns out, is really working for the real bad guys and is just killing everyone else to eliminate an evidence trail. She's been brainwashed into thinking that she's actually doing good. Taki suggests that eventually she'll break free of her conditioning and turn against the evil old guys in charge, but he's more willing to bet that Angel, Asura and Raiden can finish her.
- Cluster F-Bomb
- Decoy Protagonist: The title Angel doesn't get to do all that much until the finale, and that's because almost everyone else is dead or disabled.
- Defector From Decadence: Asura and Freya
- Dirty Communist: The Red May terrorist group
- The Dreaded: Both the Special Security Agents and The Hunters are this to the Red May. The latter scares them more than the former to the point where some members are willing to surrender to the Former in hopes to get away from the latter.
- Dubtitle: Since the original Japanese dub was deemed antisemitic and impossible to market in the west, the English sub and dub toned down the Jewish plot.
- Dull Surprise: Hacker has this problem. A lot.
- Don't Make Me Destroy You: Freya whenever she's using her powers. When she's got a terrorist cornered they are screwed, but when innocent people or authority figures are in the crossfire, she tries her hardest not to harm them and even warns them away.
- The Eighties: The whole anime didn't age very well, but Asura and Raiden got the worst of it.
- Enemy Mine
- Engrish: Lucifer in the original
- Establishing Character Moment: Each faction and character has made themselves known through their actions.
- The Red May made themselves known, by rigging a stolen Porsche with a rocket launcher aimed at the American Embassy in Japan. Both establishing their violent intention of World Communism. As well as throwing the audience off as the Dub implies they work for said Americans.
- Raiden has a few: The first being his attitude towards Cops that don't take him seriously. As seen when he shows an officer his badge frightening the man, after he smugly thought he was gonna put Raiden in his place. The second, during a raid on a Red May hideout, his one man assault, showing his efficiency as an officer which enhances when he becomes a cyborg. And third his sense of morality. While the agency has a license to kill, he doesn't abuse it. Killing only when necessary and keeping terrorists alive long enough for him to question them and/or apprehend them. As well as especially drawing the line at having kids in the crossfire. Both notions he berates Angel for being willing to cross.
- Angel herself has her own: Her first appearance shows her getting the drop on a remaining Red May member, preparing to ambush Raiden. Using what Raiden describes as the textbook example of a take down. (Two shots to disable. Two shots to kill.) When she introduces herself to Raiden, she warns that she can be in her own words "A bitch when she wants to." Which is later shown when they both question the remaining Red May members. When one makes a remark of their agency being glorified murderers who are brainwashed, she snaps back at him. Stating that not everyone who thinks differently than their views, is brainwashed and that they are hypocrites for claiming to fight for equality while accusing those that disagree of said brainwashing. All while berating the other member for trying to pull a knife on them both without even looking at him. Establishing both her skills and attitude throughout the OVA.
- Film Noir: The dialogue draws heavily on a film noir influence
- Friendly Sniper: Peace is more amicable than the super-bitchy Angel, but fully capable of blowing people away if necessary.
- Genre Shift: Angel Cop's Genre is all over the place. It starts out as a simple, gritty futuristic noir movie about a special police force hunting terrorists. When the Special Security Force caught wind of The Hunters, it switches to becoming supernatural horror due to the terrifying nature of their powers. When Raiden reunites with Angel to fight Asura, in his new robotic body; it adds Cyberpunk into the mix.
- Gender Blender Name: Lucifer.
- Greedy Jew: In the Japanese version. Not so much the English version.
- Hand Cannon: A gun so powerful it's got too much kickback for humans to safely use it (it was meant for cyborgs). Firing it risks breaking your hand.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Raiden
- Heroic Sociopath: Angel, or at least she tries to be.
- High-Pressure Blood
- Hulking Out: Rare female example: Lucifer goes from silky-smooth to rippling once the gloves are off.
- Japan Takes Over the World: Japan is a superpower, which is why it's frequently targeted by terrorists
- Jerkass: Angel at first. Once she's faced the hunters, she begins to change her tune.
- Kill'Em All: The only named characters who survive the movie are Angel, Taki, and maybe Asura. To say nothing of the the nameless people who got sent to the slaughterhouse.
- Lady of War: Lucifer, arguably.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Emphasis on "ludicrous"
- Knight Templar: Lucifer, definitely. Angel has shades of this.
- Mad Scientist
- Meaningful Name: Asura (subverted in that Asura turns out to be a good guy, contrary to what his name suggests), Freya, Lucifer. And Angel, obviously.
- And Hacker.
- Mind Rape: In the dub, Lucifer actually says the line "I will fuck your mind"
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Lucifer
- Playing with Fire: Freya's power
- Power Hair: Lucifer.
- Pretty in Mink: Lucifer first appears with a huge fur cape.
- Psychic Powers: Lucifer and Asura have telekinesis, Lucifer has some Telepathy in the form of a Mind Probe, Asura also has teleportation, Freya has garden-variety Telepathy and pyrokinesis
- Psychic Surgery: Lucifer reaches inside her own body to set some broken bones at one point, and also inside other people's heads.
- Red Scare
- The Reveal: The OVA has many moments.
- In the opening we see a Porsche 911 launch missiles at an American Embassy, just a few minutes before the Narrator speak. Who in turn reveals the cause of said missle launch as one of many terrorist attacks from the Red May.
- Raiden's reveal to a local cop, his status as a Special Security force. Complete with dramatic sting and an eerie soundtrack.
- While Raiden clears the room, killing all but three terrorists and wounding only two of the three; the last tries to get the drop on him with a gun. Only for a mysterious shooter to shoot her four times. Raiden makes a note that she used 2 body shots to disable and 2 head shots to kill. Believing it to be textbook stuff. As he looks for the shooter, he sees a mysterious figure in biker attire and a helmet to obscure their face. Taking the helmet off the shooter reveals themselves to be a woman named Angel.
Angel: Don't look so surprised, I'm your fucking backup. You should have waited for me before you went off on your own. Let me introduce myself, the name's Angel, but don't let that fool you. I can be a bitch when I want to.
- After Raiden gets wounded from chasing the remaining Red May members, Angel chases them down. When she returns to check on him she finds that his body is gone and the scene of the crime has been cleaned up. Later on, when Angel is facing Asura for the first time, a mysterious man appears, fighting him off and berating Angel for her willingness to let a child hostage die. In a similar manner to when Angel introduced herself, Raiden takes his helmet off revealing himself to be a Cybernetically enhanced Supercop.
- When the Hunters first reveal themselves, it's at an underground rock concert. Asura escorts Freya to a dressing room where we see Lucifer for the first time, with wires sticking out of her body and hooked into a small personal computer. Which she uses to drain electricity and information to charge her abilities. Showing that these Hunters are no ordinary humans.
- It turns out that Tachihara, the new head of the Red May, as well as the Hunters are working for Maisaka and a corrupt American company. Tachihara's role in this is to cause enough trouble for the global economy in Japan so that forces like the Special Security can be funded. Which in turn allows an arms deal with an Americans and allow them to pay Maisaka in turn to let them dump Toxic Waste in Hokkaido. The Hunters in the guise of hunting Red May soldiers not yet found by the Special Security force; are really just going after targets that know too much. Which would have been successful had Lucifer not snapped and deemed cops and innocents as sympathizers, justifying her bloodlust.
- At the end, Tagowa and Maisaka confident in Taki's death after torturing him for information, sends two goons downstairs to make sure he bleeds to death. One of them finds themselves holding Taki's cigarette pack recording device, as they flee with their helicopter. A red light flashes seconds before the Helicopter has gone down in flames. We get a pan inside the headquarters and are lead to believe Taki died with a last laugh. Only to find one of Maisaka's goons strapped to Taki's chair with IV tubes hooked into him and his fellow goon, laying on a table in his own blood. Taki is nowhere to be seen.
- Rule of Symbolism: Before Angel and Asura confront Lucifer in the Generator Room, she is seen strung up by wires that use the generator's energy to charge her psychic abilities. Six wires are seen protruding from her back to the generator, making a pattern similar to a pair of wings. Symbolizing her namesake as a former angel. When Asura and later Angel fight her, the wires are now down to 6 nubs. Which symbolize broken wings. Making Lucifer a fallen angel.
- Theme Naming: The vigilantes
- They Called Me Mad: The mad scientist who rebuilds Raiden chortles that those who laughed at his genius will now be destroyed by it! This is one of the few times we see a non-evil mad scientist spout this.
- Took a Level in Badass: Angel takes two and Raiden takes one. Raiden after a chase gone wrong left him wounded, gets taken in by Ichihara who modifies his body to become a cyber enhanced super cop. Angel's first level is when she, Freya and Asura fight Lucifer in the highway; she's equipped with a hand gun that is so powerful the recoil could break a grown man's arm. Courtesy of Ichihara. She uses it anyway to get the drop on Lucifer which cuts her face and spraining Angel's arm. Later on when the Swat Team tries to kill Angel, Raiden, Ichihara and the remaining hunters, Angel uses the gun again to clear a group. Which in turn not only hurts her arm but sends her against he all. When preparing for the final fight, Angel is given some armor, two rifles. One of which is a powerful laser, a sword and a spare cyber motorbike. All of which come in handy, when she faces off against Lucifer again.
- Torture Always Works: Actually, it doesn't. The Red May leader is tortured hideously, but only breaks when he finds out that three ultra-powerful psychic killers are on his tail.
- Would Hurt a Child: The Red May have no qualms taking kids as hostages. Whereas Angel is also an example, boasting that she is willing to Shoot the Hostage on kid hostages to get a fatal shot on a Red May member. Reasoning that if the kid is held hostage, his death either way is on the terrorist rather than the authority figure. Raiden is naturally disgusted at Angel for it.
- We Can Rebuild Him: Played straight with Raiden.
- Your Head Asplode: Angel makes her debut by graphically blowing the brains out of a terrorist all over the wall.
- Lucifer inverts this once, by making every part of a man except his head explode.