Cyber-Cop vs. Psychics: Angel Cop OVA Retro Review

Julien Neaves, Editor

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

Plot: At the end of the 20th century Japan is the most powerful economy in the world. A communist terror group called “Red May” has arisen to topple Japan and in response an elite agency, the Special Security Force, is created and given the ability to act autonomous of the government. But things get complicated when powerful psychics begin targeting the Red May terrorists.

Highway to the Danger Zone
Ride into the Danger Zone

Review: Angel Cop, the six-part OVA created and directed by Ichirō Itano (Battle Royal High School, Macross, Gantz) is the latest stop on my journey into classic anime and the best I have seen so far. I love pretty much everything about this anime. The gorgeous and frenetic animation style is a perfect example of its era (the parts ran from 1989-1994). The character designs are also highly detailed and memorable.

And let’s talk about those characters for a while, because they are super cool. We have the titular Angel Cop, Special Security Force member You “Angel” Mikawa and she is a bad mother SHUT YOUR MOUTH! I’m just talking about Angel. This sexy warrior is a skilled combatant and motorcyclist, has ice water in her veins (she doesn’t care who dies once the job gets done) and a whole lot of devil-may-care attitude. She should come off as arrogant but has a likeable quality and experiences an arc which humanises her.

RoboCop is that you?

Angel’s partner, “Raiden,” gets significantly less development and screentime. He quickly disappears after an early encounter with the Red May and comes back as a cyborg. He is a cool-looking and powerful cyborg, but we barely knew him pre-enhancement and it is therefore difficult to care about him when he starts acting robotically. But I did care about his fellow members, the muscle-bound and thoughtful “Hacker” and sweet explosives expert “Fuse”. At a point the story pivots from Angel to this duo and they are able to both hold their own against corrupt government agents and audience interest. And I felt devastated when they were both killed by powerful psychic Hunter Lucifer. We’ll get to the psychics soon, but just to mention I also enjoyed strong willed Special Security Force head Chief Taki and delightfully kooky and borderline mad scientist Ichihara.

Now on to our three psychic Hunters, a group which did give me some Akira flashbacks. All three are memorable and well fleshed out. Freya’s innocent childlike manner contrasts strongly with her deadly pyrokinetic and telepathic abilities. She has a touching relationship with the stoic Asura who uses his powers of teleportation and telekinesis quite effectively. But the standout is easily big bad Lucifer. This electricity sucking, fanatical, telekinetic and telepathic femme fatale has to be one of the most powerful and delightfully despicable villains of the late 80s/early 90s anime. She was absolutely chilling, devious and I loved to hate her. The nudity on display here is courtesy of Lucifer, but it is mostly in service of the story and doesn’t come off as overly gratuitous.

I just met you, and this is crazy…

If you go into Angel Cop hoping for awesome adult anime action, then you are likely to come out satisfied. Gunplay with heads exploding, massive explosions, white-knuckle chase scenes, pyrokinetic incineration, telekinetic blasts, this OVA has got it all. I truly had a blast with it and the pacing is very well balanced. If I had one complaint, it would be that the final fight against Lucifer goes on just a tad too long, but it is a minor nitpick.

And all the action is in service of a story that is complex and layered without being confusing. Very good stuff from Itano and the rest of the crew. Angel Cop fires on all cylinders and is a must-see for fans of classic anime with edge.

Editor Jules’ Score: 8 out of 10

Are you a fan of Angel Cop? How would you rate it? And you can check our more anime action below:


Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.

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