Misaki has just entered middle school in Tokyo and is excited by the idea of one day seeing her mother again there. But she isn’t in the large city for long before she witnesses the fight of a beautiful white angel. Entranced by its grace, Misaki soon finds out that it is not a person fighting but a doll called an angel. Thus Misaki runs full speed into the world of Angelic Layer, a game in which small dolls controlled by humans fight for a chance to see the champion and mother of Angelic Layer, the controller of the beautiful white angel Athena.
Even though this is a “fighting” show, its age group is pretty young so there isn’t any blood in any of the scenes. The angels are usually the only ones who fight and the damage is limited to scratches and torn clothing.
There is no cursing in this show, wonderfully.
There is no real nudity here. When an angel is being made it is only a base form and thus has no clothing. However, it has the same features as a mannequin and thus is not suggestive in anyway. A few of the angels’ outfits are a bit skimpy, but nothing grossly inappropriate. A few short skirts and leotards. Nothing worse than what one would see at the beach.
If one wishes to over analyze this show, Athena might be likened to a symbolic version of a goddess. However, the show never really goes into this any further than calling her Angelic Layer’s queen of queens. It’s never mentioned again and has no holding on the story.
This show is cute and refreshing, though if anyone wants a complex tale, they should look elsewhere. Although the second half of the series addresses the sad details of Misaki’s mother and their strained relationship, the story itself remains very simple. The fighting and music (which is, at times, reminiscent of Pokemon) is sub-par, but it’s hard not to cheer on Misaki and hope for the best for her. It should be noted though that this series was written by Clamp and so there are, on more than one occasion, some awkward moments. Namely, moments between Misaki and other female characters. There’s a lot of blushing for no reason. Nothing ever occurs however and thus the moments just feel very… weird. Also, some characters’ relationships with one another, though clean, are complicated and likely to go over the heads of younger viewers. Similarly, not all characters have the best of pasts making for some surprisingly dark undertones. All in all, this show is a wonderful break from the less appropriate and more violent shows of today. Though watching it may leave behind a strong wish for the Angelic Layer game to be real.
*Note: this series is out of print currently, however you can still get the old DVDs for good prices. ^_^
Personal Rating: All ages