The story takes place after the first Ariel OVA, corporate aliens have invaded earth but they’re in trouble. They don’t have a proper budget and their ship is in desperate need of an overhaul. They must be financed by the government. When their ship starts breaking down, first accidentally sending obsolete drop units to earth and then starting to crash into it, it’s up to scientists at SCEBAI and their giant robot Ariel to stop the damage. The story this time is a lot more open as a parody and, honestly, it helps it. It frees them to have more fun with the scenario. The exposition dumps are still an issue, but this time they at least inject them with some humour instead of pretending that the plot is serious business during them.
The characters are improved a little. Except for Mia who gets used almost exclusively for fan service and gets reduced to a one dimensional character as a result. Kazumi and Aya are a little more fleshed out as characters, but they stay pretty two dimensional.
The art is about the same, except that they do some really bad battle effects and some of the visuals are kind of shaky. Maybe the studio was in more of a hurry with this one, I don’t know for sure, but the art is slightly downgraded.
The voice work is still excellent and the main cast all deliver strong performances. The music flows well with the action and they added in a humorous parody song.
The yuri factor is a 1/10 again. The girls do interact with female friends this time but there’s nothing in those interactions that indicates that their relationship goes beyond friendship.
My final rating for Ariel Deluxe is a 6.7/10. It’s slightly improved over Visual. If you’re a fan of Ariel Visual, Gunbuster or All purpose cultural cat girl Nuku Nuku this is probably a good choice for you. If you can find it subtitled in a language you understand I recommend checking it out.