Setsuna Mudo is a 16-year-old high school student just trying to get by without running afoul of his bullying seniors. It doesn't help that he's in love with his younger sister, Sara, who only sees him once a month. But there's more to his life than just keeping his head down.
Setsuna is ambushed by mysterious beings, angels, and demons, all professing to know his true destiny. The angels say he is the reincarnation of their leader Alexiel, while the demons claim he led them to war against God himself.
As Setsuna struggles with his identity in such strange times, the eternal conflict between Heaven and Hell threatens to reignite. Will he be prepared when it does?
I take this opportunity to advocate that you go read the manga before you try this OVA. The manga is light years beyond this drek in terms of... well, pretty much everything.
Needless to say this OVA does NOT do the manga any justice. Some of the animation sequences are pretty, but beyond that, this just sucks. The characters come off flat and obnoxious, and the story seems pointless and haphazard--there is no tension, and it feels like there are no stakes. This does not feel like a semi-Apocalyptic war between the forces of Heaven and Hell. It feels like... well... like every other bad pseudo-Biblical
post-Evangelion catasterfuck of an anime.
If you're hardcore Christian and would be offended by a rebellion against God being told from the perspective of Fallen Angels, skip it. If not, skip it anyway and read the manga. You'll be glad you did.
Great, another incestuous gay demon supernatural bishounen bishoujo anime. I find myself being redundant if I say 'another stupid anime made from a sub-par manga'.
First off, the story is awful and had some of the worst plot I ever saw. It basically follows one guy perving on his younger sister and then angels trying to destroy the earth since the demons are ironically the good guys.
It pretty much goes like this:
Boy: I wanna bone my sister!!
Sister: I'm pointless!
Demons: AH, ANGELS!! OMGWTF!
The art was terrible--it looked like every character tripped and fell into Liberace's closet because their colour coordination in their clothes and hair
was totally unfabulous.
The characters are stupid. Literally stupid. They have no other drive than to serve as boring plot devices to shake and not stir up forced controversy. I cannot enjoy an anime for being so ridiculous.
What a pile of trash--I would rather be locked in a toilet that can't flush than watch this ever again.
Angels are God's messengers that protect humans from danger because they are the good guys. Wrong! Unlike most stories, the bad guys (the daemons) are the good guys in Angel Sanctuary. Some viewers may find this OVA offensive and sacriligious; however, it isn't an insult on Christianity. It's a fictional story reversing the roles for once and isn't meant to be persecuting Christianity; just showing the other side of the coin. There are far more films and television shows using crude humour towards Christianity in North America, which are a million times more offensive than Angel Sanctuary. Putting that aside, the mood for Angel Sanctuary
is very dark. It's a gothic drama dealing with the supernatural. It's gory and mature, so younger viewers may not like it.
The animation is very good for the year 2000. It doesn't have any computer graphics but it wasn't necessary: the pencil and ink animation was perfect enough. The low-lights in the hair, also the texture of the hair (pretty much everything about the hair) to characters is very wispy and detailed. Short haired people would be envious of the long, flowy hair that these two-dimensional anime characters possess. There isn't anything bad about the animation other than it's a little out of date. (But not by much)
The sound is simplistic, but sets the mood to the OVA. The music has the dark motif to the OVA, which makes Angel Sanctuary more gothic. Could have used more instruments and a more difficult melody, but the music does what it's supposed to: give the viewer the dramatic feeling.
Although English dubs aren't nearly as bad as many Japanophiles claim, the English dub to Angel Sanctuary was terrible. The acting was alright, the voices were what killed the dub. They sounded way too cartoony for a serious drama that was aimed at a mature audience. Crispin Freeman saved the dub as he showed his genius skills in the role of Rosiel. The voice of Setsuna (Scott Cargle) sounded more like a fourty year old than an older teenager. Watch this OVA in Japanese, it's much better.
The Characters were well developed and didn't have cliche personalities. Sarah's personality is a little too happy, which was the only problem. There is incest in this story line, but Kaori Yuki pulled it off. The incest shows how Setsuna and Sarah struggle to ignore their feelings in a forbidden relationship and not an episode of Jerry Springer. (They know incest is wrong) Like the theme, they are condemned sinners. Without the mood the incest wouldn't work. The bad guys aren't extremely evil as most antagonists are portrayed. Then again, everything is reversed.
Those who are into dark anime aimed at a mature audience would like Angel Sanctuary. It's tragic, but doesn't require a box of Kleenex. (just a couple) The manga has twenty volumes while the OVA has three episodes, meaning the end of the OVA isn't the end of the series. Angel Sanctuary should have been an anime series because the storyline scratches the surface. Also, the OVA hooks you into wanting more. It's a promotion or teaser for the manga. With the exceptional storyline and excellent animation, Angel Sanctuarty is one of the best OVA's made.
When I was a kid and starting to develop an interest in anime and manga, I came across a DVD of Angel Sanctuary at our local Blockbuster. Having never been exposed to much besides a few dime store ADV video tapes, I was thrilled. I took it home and decided that it was probably the coolest thing I had ever watched.
Unfortunately, from an objective point of view, I couldn't have been more wrong. It was childish idealism at the time. Angel Sanctuary the OAV is impossibly hard to review because it is based on what is in my opinion, one of the greatest and
most beautiful pieces of artwork of all time. Kaori Yuki's Angel Sanctuary manga is a stroke of pure genius. Angel Sanctuary the OAV is a twisted, broken, unfortunate piece of nonsense that will turn off anybody who has standards for anime. The real tragedy is that such a horrible piece of animated trash was based on something so beautiful.
I rated the OAV a 5 overall because I had to be fair. It is entertaining and watchable. It just isn't good. It is the equivalent of watching a bad soap opera that you know isn't very good, but you can't get your eyes away from the screen.
My main issue with the OAV is that it is pretty confusing. They attempted to cram the first 3 Angel Sanctuary books into 3 episodes. That is 3 out of 20 by the way. To do this, they not only had to cut corners in explaining a ridiculously confusing and complex plot, but they had to cut some characters out or change them completely (poor, poor Katou) Furthermore, the story never actually comes to a finnish, and the viewer is left wondering what the hell happens to these characters. Unless you are willing to invest your time in the manga...heck, that is if you know the manga exists, you will be spending a good 2 hours watching a ton of drama that never even gets solved. Add on a few dozen plot holes and some pathetic dialogue and you have Angel Sanctuary's OAV.
Something else that I noticed is that Kaori Yuki's famously elegant sexy style just seems creepy in this show. This is an author that is known quite famously for her very obvious hoe yey overtones and extremely liberal opinions on human sexuality. The Angel Sanctuary manga is littered with men lusting after men, incest, transgender characters, etc. All of this is done in a very natural and respectable way. In the anime, the portrayal of these characters can best be described as dirty/creepy. Watching the main characters struggle with his feelings for his sister makes him seem more like an out of control, horny teenaged sex offender rather than a young man in love. The character Rosiel who acts as one of the series antagonists looks and sounds like a rapist. It's somewhat unsettling to watch.
As for the aesthetics, the art is very etchy and old fashioned. I think some of the art they used to advertise the OAV is actually very pretty, but it does not look very nice in show. You can tell that it was done on the cheap.
the AS OAV might be worth the watch if you are a hardcore fan of Kaori Yuki, but even then, it might just make you rage. It's not a horrible show, but it has some major faults that really demolish any value it could have had. My advice to everybody thinking of watching this is to skip straight to the manga that it is based on. You won't regret it.
What does an anime angel look like? Though less than 1% of Japan's population identifies as Christian, popular Christian imagery and mythology regarding angels has nonetheless infiltrated the country's popular culture. Here are 10 of the most heavenly angel anime out there!