This just might be the best disc in the whole series Angelic Layer. There are four episodes on the disc, and both are two-parters. The first two involve Misaki's fight against Kaede and Blanche, while the last two are about Sai and Shirahime. This has been a long time in coming.
For pretty much the whole series now, we've been wondering just how strong Sai and Kaede are. They are always on the sidelines watching the matches, and they always seem to know who is going to win. They are masters of the game. So naturally the fights between them and Misaki with her Hikaru do not disappoint.
In the first episode we have our attention split between Misaki's desire to reunite with her mother and the fight that's about to take place with Kaede. Misaki is so consumed with worry about possibly meeting her mother that she fails to notice the strange tactics Kaede is using until it is too late. The entire fight is awesome, perfectly paced. And the episode ends with a cliffhanger (and things looking BAD for Misaki and Hikaru).
The second episode focuses mostly on the amazing story of how Angelic Layer came into existance. It's a wonderful story, and it shows us why Misaki's mother is the grand master, as well as why a certain mad-scientist in a white lab coat is so devoted to her. Of course the ice on the cake in this episode is the awesome conclusion to the fight between Misaki and Kaede, which ends in a new closing theme for the series!
The third episode is awesome. It hints at the Sai's past, and shows us an unbelievable battle between Shirahime and Hotoko's angel. With the tiny child grandmaster and the stoic Sai going head to head in a winner-take all duel, the result is truly one of the great moments of the series. Anyone who has ever played a fighting game against a true grand master will recall fights that work out exactly the way this one does. Awesome. And the conclusion of the episode is quite emotional as well.
The final episode is one of the best, if not THE best in the entire series (in my opinion). Misaki takes on Sai in a match that exploits Hikaru's weak point, and Misaki is forced to overcome it in order to come to terms with Shirahime's perfect form and flawless strategy (to say nothing of crushing attacks). The real reason why I love this episode though, is that we finally get to learn about Sai's past in depth and why she is the way she is. When you see how much she loves her little sister, and must helplessly watch as she slowly dies despite her enormous strength of mind, it breaks your heart. You can truly understand why Sai fights the way she does. She is not fighting for herself. She is fighting for her dead sister, and can seemingly never get over the pain of her loss. Truly an amazing episode. And again, the fight is good too.
If you have been following Angelic Layer this far you definitely need to watch this disc. These are some of the best episodes in the series (and arguably in anime history). Definitely not to be missed.