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Angels of Death Review Thread


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#1
Petitioner's City

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Hi all, thought I would start an Angels of Death review thread, and the BL forum seems as good as any (especially since it is written by the BL stable). I'll start a Hammer and Bolter one too. 

 

 

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I just watched the first episode; I loved the theatrical nature of it, I have to say. It looked beautiful too.

 

Overall a quiet, intense opening. More thoughts to come.

 

-

 

Some useful info from past WHC articles:

 

Writing and Direction: Breaking the Series

 

Spoiler

 

The characters - probably the most useful for us getting to know these burly bloody folk :D

 

Spoiler

 

The Soundtrack by Jon Hartmann

 

Spoiler

Edited by Petitioner's City, 25 August 2021 - 01:55 PM.

Cinema itself is a trick of time — still pictures passed through a focused beam of light at 24 frames per second. We are reminded of that in La Jetée...

#2
Verevolf

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I liked it, but feel another EP would have been nice as we saw a good chunk of this EP at the announcement. 

Otherwise,

Animation is fine, the mouthes feel a bit off from the words being spoken, but not terrible. Story seems pretty good so far. Looking forward to what we see next, do we know how many episodes it is? 

 

You can feel Richard Boylan's direction, if you have seen seen Helsreach then you will recognise much of the style.


Edited by Verevolf, 25 August 2021 - 01:33 PM.

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#3
Halandaar

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I was very pleased to find it to be almost completely without action, and spent the majority of the time building atmosphere, although I agree that a follow-up episode launching at the same time might have been good. A lot of little touches were really nice and although I do like the style and for the most part felt the quality was good, there were a couple of moments (particularly face close-ups while talking) where the animation felt.. not bad, but noticeably-not-the-best.

 

I feel like I recognized a few of the voice actors from BL audiobook duties; do we have an actual cast list somewhere?


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#4
StraightSilver

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Yes, I also recognised a lot of the voices. A lot of social media feedback has been that people would like proper end credits so hopefully GW are listening.

I loved the first episode. It oozed atmosphere and the art direction was lovely.

I also would have liked episode 2 but then again this was a 18 minute episode and they are supposed to be only 10? So effectively this was 2.

But I really liked it. I wanted the opening credits that we got during the preview though, just because they were so cool.



#5
Petitioner's City

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I was very pleased to find it to be almost completely without action, and spent the majority of the time building atmosphere, although I agree that a follow-up episode launching at the same time might have been good. A lot of little touches were really nice and although I do like the style and for the most part felt the quality was good, there were a couple of moments (particularly face close-ups while talking) where the animation felt.. not bad, but noticeably-not-the-best.

 

I feel like I recognized a few of the voice actors from BL audiobook duties; do we have an actual cast list somewhere?

 

I edited the first post with the cast listed on Lexicanum - now's the time to join A with Z :D 

 

I do wonder if each episode will have the marines saying very loudly one another's name, again, in each introductory scene?


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Cinema itself is a trick of time — still pictures passed through a focused beam of light at 24 frames per second. We are reminded of that in La Jetée...

#6
Wolf Guard Einar

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I was very pleased to find it to be almost completely without action, and spent the majority of the time building atmosphere, although I agree that a follow-up episode launching at the same time might have been good. A lot of little touches were really nice and although I do like the style and for the most part felt the quality was good, there were a couple of moments (particularly face close-ups while talking) where the animation felt.. not bad, but noticeably-not-the-best.

 

I feel like I recognized a few of the voice actors from BL audiobook duties; do we have an actual cast list somewhere?

I don't see much point typing more 100% agreed.


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#7
rookie40K

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This was really enjoyable and I’m glad 40K is getting this kind of animation. It is enriching the universe. Very cool stuff. Colors and different armor types was fantastic. Seeing and hearing a drop pod released was an extra little detail bonus.
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#8
rookie40K

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I wonder if the voice actors used for animation like this one will slow down audio books and dramas. New book audio has been slow as of late and the list for this animation is several of them.

Anyone know how often episodes will be released?

#9
ThatRedOne

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I enjoyed it, but rather than give my impressions, I got my parter to watch it. She's not a 40k fan but has read the Eisenhorn trilogy and plays maybe two games a year.

Her verdict was that it was very pretty but it felt incoherent to her - she didn't realise that the Blood Angels were on the same ship as the human crew for quite a while, and wasn't quite sure why the action taken at the end of the episode was called for.

#10
RikuEru

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That... cameo at minute 3. That was... haunting and nice. Very evocative.

...and I hope it leads nowhere, even if it appears again. (Atleast in Season 1)
Just a reminder those gracious honorable Angels of Baal are THIS close to going fully cuckoo murderspree.

Apart from that...
Yes, some Marine talking animations were a bit janky, but alas...
Generally I like the "characters" we have met so far and their dynamics seem interesting. The overall optics are really nice. I think the black-white-red style works well so far.
Can't wait to see more!

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#11
Indefragable

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It drips style. The “say brother, does that pew look kind of Horus-y to you?” hint was well done. 
 

Agreed that the talking animations were a bit unsynced with the voice acting….it really only stood out when people were being forceful or dramatic, so perhaps the delivery of the voice actors just wasn’t quite aligned with the animators. Also, didn’t notice it with the mortals. 
 

I have a sneaking feeling that the entire show ends up having not that much happen at all, but it’s dramatically cut up and stretched out over 10-20 episodes. It’s only been one episode, but I hope we get a lot more in this show.

 

I agree that the decidedly quiet first episode was well done and a great calm before the predictable storm.  


Call me Indy. It's less syllables.

 

 

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#12
DukeLeto69

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high hopes for this

Edited by DukeLeto69, 26 August 2021 - 06:49 AM.


#13
Petitioner's City

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I really hope we also have gsc perspectives - the trailer suggested that, but it would be very nice to give the cult pathos and humanity
Cinema itself is a trick of time — still pictures passed through a focused beam of light at 24 frames per second. We are reminded of that in La Jetée...

#14
cretacianborn

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Visually I think it looks great, minus the odd lip-sync wobble here and there. The atmosphere, the lighting, it's all very 40k and I loved it. The music was nice in places, and on the whole I did enjoy but...

 

I've got to say though the sound really, really lets this down. I work as a sound designer in games and media so I'm obviously hyper aware of it, and I appreciate not everyone will be but christ, it feels like such a rushed job in the audio department. I'm not sure if Richard was cutting it himself or if GW got a third party to do an audio pass.

 

Off the top of my head after watching last night a few things that really stood out to me were...

 

- Very little to no ambience, extremely sparse and empty environments.

- Dialogue randomly switching from extremely verbed to extremely dry, I'm not sure if this was intended to be the captain talking over the vox but it just felt weird to me.

- Also dialogue randomly switching to mono for the odd line, and some lines being clearly composites of takes, particularly when Salken says "Or by the Emperor you will wish you had".

- The storm bolter clattering to the ground sounded like a Nerf gun. They're meant to be too heavy for baseline humans to lift no?

- The captains power sword when he draws it was just a mess of noise, no impact, no tone, just bleggghhhh.

- The "battle" loop where the Marine is seeing Horus in his vision sounds like a cookie cutter stock-library SFX. I'm pretty certain I could discern the loop point too.

- Zero power armour noise/movement despite seeing smoke pluming out of the back of some of the marines packs.

- Hardly any foley for the marines, or anyone for that matter, and what little there was sounded like leather/cloth rather than ceramite. 

- Some footsteps just sounded like the same Generic_Footstep_01.wav repeated over and over, or again were the wrong material. A Chaplain walking in a marble hall shouldn't sound like a guy in high heels...

 

Like I said above, I'm sure a lot of people won't have even noticed this, or won't care even if they did, but it felt like such a let down to me for what otherwise was very enjoyable. A lot of missed opportunities to really bring the world to life with sound. Unfortunately as happens quite often in the industry I work in, the audio is left to the last minute and receives none of the budget, which is why you end up with this kind of quality.


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#15
jimbo1701

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My only minor crits when I watched it were more canon related than technical. 5-man drop pods with no harnesses have never been seen before and seemed pretty redundant as 10 marines were deploying. The amount of gene seed was excessive for a single battle barge (don’t tell me the blood angels got almost wiped out again) and hardly seemed stored in a safe manner for something so precious.

Other than those minor gripes I enjoyed finally having a warhammer series to watch

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#16
Tyrannicide

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The visuals were one thing, but my favorite part of episode 1 was the accompanying soundtrack. Absolutely lines up with the head-canon tunes that I attach to 40k. The Bladerunner style synth music while they ready for the drop was so sick. I could listen to that and dream all day.

Has anyone purchased the soundtrack and given it a listen?
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#17
Subtleknife

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That was really interesting re the sound. Being an average joe for this it isnt something I would pick up on. Now that you mention it though it is visible 🤣🤣. Crazy how your brain glosses over things when you don't really think about it.
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#18
rookie40K

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The visuals were one thing, but my favorite part of episode 1 was the accompanying soundtrack. Absolutely lines up with the head-canon tunes that I attach to 40k. The Bladerunner style synth music while they ready for the drop was so sick. I could listen to that and dream all day.

Has anyone purchased the soundtrack and given it a listen?


I purchased it awhile back on the Black Library AP. It’s good. Very fitting for the visuals. Kinda world building Sci-fi and less emotional driven like Helsreach. There is a interview I saw awhile back with the guy who created the soundtrack. He’s a fan of 40K
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#19
recon0321

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My biggest complaint was the Blood didn’t seem to follow their own own codex doctrine… 

 

the DW Marine still had his DW should pad and entire arm silver, ( isn’t the DW pad supposed to be moved to the right when the return to the chapter?

 

the apothecary wasn’t in white armor…

 

I know these are minor but it detracts visually for me.  
Great atmosphere overall tho even with the sound issues


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#20
rookie40K

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My biggest complaint was the Blood didn’t seem to follow their own own codex doctrine…

the DW Marine still had his DW should pad and entire arm silver, ( isn’t the DW pad supposed to be moved to the right when the return to the chapter?

the apothecary wasn’t in white armor…

I know these are minor but it detracts visually for me.
Great atmosphere overall tho even with the sound issues


I thought the same on DW arm. Apothecary?

#21
Knockagh

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Can you cast the animations through chrome cast?

#22
StraightSilver

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The apothecary was just filling in though? He was put forward as a Sanguinary Priest but not actually chosen?

After the severe losses they suffered, implied by the amount of geneseed and the fact there are only 11 Astartes left, I guess he was the closest thing they have to an apothecary but isn't fully elevated?

#23
Petitioner's City

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The apothecary was just filling in though? He was put forward as a Sanguinary Priest but not actually chosen?

After the severe losses they suffered, implied by the amount of geneseed and the fact there are only 11 Astartes left, I guess he was the closest thing they have to an apothecary but isn't fully elevated?


Anceaus is described in the text from whc I quoted above - the answers to your discussion are above in spoiler text 😂

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A Sergeant of the Blood Angels and experienced leader, Ancaeus is devoted to his duty and holds his obligations to his Chapter, his battle-brothers, and the Imperium of Man higher than any amount of personal glory. Once considered a candidate for the Sanguinary Cult – the Blood Angels’ own interpretation of a Chapter’s Apothecarion – he believes individual honour is secondary to the safety of his men and mission, and this brings him into conflict with his formerly close friend Kazarion.

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One of the show’s writers, George Mann, explains why Ancaeus is such an important member of the squad.

“Ancaeus is the key to unlocking the whole show. He’s perhaps the character who most typifies the Blood Angels, but not in the most obvious of ways. He’s not struggling, like Kazarion, with the Black Rage. He’s not pious like Rafael. But he’s encoded with a deep melancholy that, for me, seems to encapsulate the truest nature of the Blood Angels.

“He’s a character who harbours a sense of resignation that his life has not turned out the way he planned. He wished to be an Apothecary, caring for the gene-seed of his brothers, but instead came to understand that he was needed elsewhere – his calling was on the front line. He knows he has done the right thing for his Chapter and his brothers, but he carries with him this sense of loss. I found that fascinating to write about, a dimension that we don’t often explore in Space Marines.”

I do feel we all need to reread that article (all quoted above) :)

the apothecary wasn’t in white armor…

I know these are minor but it detracts visually for me.
Great atmosphere overall tho even with the sound issues

See above - he isn't actually an apothecary, just someone who once nearly became one. Instead he's a combat sergeant :)

Edited by Petitioner's City, 29 August 2021 - 05:23 PM.

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Cinema itself is a trick of time — still pictures passed through a focused beam of light at 24 frames per second. We are reminded of that in La Jetée...

#24
SkimaskMohawk

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Ya it's pretty clear from the dialogue that he's not part of the apothecarion, but still feels very close to it; the helix is a reference to his time training.

#25
Petitioner's City

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It's also personal heraldry is a big part of marine design - drawing back on the pseudo-medieval elements of their characterisation. It makes sense someone would retain visual signifiers of a meaningful element of their personal development. In particular one that so powerfully signifies both continuity with the chapter's history and preservation of the chapter's future - that's a powerful, even tragic, visual symbol.

The hygean eagle on his forehead is also a nice way to visually differentiate Ancaeus in battle 😂
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Cinema itself is a trick of time — still pictures passed through a focused beam of light at 24 frames per second. We are reminded of that in La Jetée...




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