Yuusuke was just a normal kid going to high school. Then one day, the cute and behaloed Noelle fell, quite literally, into his life, naked as a baby and every bit as innocent. Before he can even fathom what's just happened, Yuusuke is inducted into a rather odd family of otherworldly beings.
Papa is a Frankenstein monster with a taste for calisthenics. Mama is a gorgeous lady with a penchant for "round objects" -- really! The eldest sister, Sara, is literally invisible; the brother, Gabriel, is a teenage vampire with an attitude problem; and the youngest sister, Ruka, loves inventing things. There's a disapproving Grandma, who's a witch to the nth degree, and her vulture familiar. All Yuusuke wanted was for the beautiful Natsumi to even notice his attention, but now he has an angel-in-training to follow him wherever he goes. And Noelle, too, has a guide on her path to being an angel, the mysterious Michael.
Tenshi ni Narumon! is an anime series that doesn't really seem to know what it wants to be. It starts off with the premise of a clichéd shounen romance, (boy meets girl in a perverted way, she falls in love with him even though he is interested in another girl) but quickly falls into bizarre, almost childish humor (girl's family is essentially the anime version of The Munsters; an odd villain sends even odder minions [think giant darumas, toy houses, and rice cookers] to capture girl). The series also incorporates serious character drama, families being torn apart and pulled back together, and yaoi. Oh, and
the main character, Noelle, wants to be an angel.
Yeah, it's all over the place. But oddly enough, it works rather well. The comedic episodes are funny, if only in a stupid way. The romantic aspects are well thought out, and the love triangle's resolution feels amazingly natural. When the serious plot comes in halfway through the series, it begins by being intriguing and only gets better until the end. Without spoiling too much, I’ll say that it’s all about identity – what does it mean to be an angel, to be a family, to do the right thing? In all honesty, the only complaint that I can raise about the plot is that many questions are left unanswered, questions that could have been addressed if the plotline had come more into play earlier in the series. Still, Tenshi ni Narumon! is a story of ambition and losses, and the ride is amazing.
Tenshi ni Narumon! was animated via cells, but is still rather recent and, frankly, it's gorgeous. The character designs are a bit unusual, but fit the comedic nature of the show nicely; the way emotions come across on characters’ faces is especially impressive. Best of all, the color pallet used is vibrant and generally looks great, while darker scenes have their own sort of life. One warning, though: half of the series was released on region one DVD... the other half isn't. Unless you speak Japanese, the only way to watch episodes 14 through 26 is via VHS-rip fansubs. Even in super-low-quality, the show looks nice, but if you need your anime to be in DVD-quality, you'll want to avoid this show. Otherwise, though, it’s a pleasure to look at.
The music of this series is great from start to finish. “Datte Daisuke,” the opening theme song, is lively and peppy, starting every episode with a positive spin. It’s one of those songs that can really perk up your mood no matter how you feel. The closing, “Ai wa Umi” is the complete opposite: slow and a bit sad yet hopeful; it’s very pleasant to listen to. The BGM is also a pleasure to listen to and matches the series perfectly, and while it doesn’t stand out much it really enhances many of the series’ scenes. The voice acting is overall very good, and the dub is surprisingly excellent, considering it’s relatively old.
Really, though, the part of Tenshi ni Narumon! that stands out the very most is the characters. The heroine, Noelle, is your standard annoyingly cheerful character, and your enjoyment of the series may depend partially on how much you like her; I personally find her to be cute most of the time. At the very least, she keeps the show’s mood always optimistic. Her love interest, Yuusuke, is another character that’s a bit of a stock personality, as a fairly typical wimpy harem lead. While he may not be very interesting, the rest of the characters certainly make up for it. Noelle’s family, in particular, may be eccentric but they’re all have very distinct personalities and are really very lovable; when their status as a family is eventually threatened you really want them to be able to stick together. Even more interesting are Michael and Raphael, the two men that quickly become Noelle’s friends and teachers, and the many villains of the series. One character who eventually becomes the main obstacle is especially deep, and it’s really interesting just to think about events from her point of view. It’s a big cast, that’s for sure, but one bursting with personality.
In the end, though, Tenshi ni Narumon! is just plain fun. It’s completely stupid at times, but in the way that you can’t help but laugh at. And when the fun is done, there’s a lot of really deep stuff hiding underneath. Don’t give up on the series after watching just a few episodes; stick to it until the end and maybe you’ll see why it’s one of my favorite anime series ever.
Tenshi ni Narumon! is not what I expected, and it's not what you expect if you only watch the first 13 episodes. A typical romance comedy anime about "girl meets boy" and that is what you get, a cute MC who wants to become an angel for her beloved mixed with love triangles, shenanigans, flamboyant villains getting in the way. That's what it seems like really.
It's not that. Tenshi ni Narumon! is an Utena-type anime. Without spoilers it's hard to explain, but it's not what you expect. It turns physiological very fast thanks to characters who aren't the protagonist, Noelle. It reuses
scenes which could be a product of a tight budget but it works somehow.
Of course the anime isn't perfect and leaves much to be desired, unanswered questions and motives, etc. But it does excel in its strange way since it answers the question: Who wants to become an angel? Since the start you believe Noelle is the girl who wants to become an angel, she spends the first episodes doing everything possible to do it. But the twist comes when it isn't her. Or it is her but just a part of her.
The twist comes from the fact that "I'm gonna be an angel!" is not referring to Noelle, but to her mentor, a character who only appears in the last seconds of the anime. Mikael is the true star of the show and it's present in how he changes in Episode 13 upwards when his lover and mentor, Raphael visits him. Mikael was a boy always seen smiling and calm who wants to help Noelle become an angel. Boy, does he change. He turns out to do anything to want to be angel, and the only thing he can do to become one is force Noelle even when she wants to stop trying for fear of hurting her family. The best aspects of the show truly come with the interactions between Mikael and Rapahel and Eros and Silky. While Noelle is happy, her other parts of the angel soul are sad, crazed and desperate. Mikael would do anything to become an angel, and Silky would do anything to not become one. It seems the only one who didn't know they were all part of the same soul was Noelle.
There are many characters that seem like comedy relief (Noelle's family) and including the most prevalent villain: Muse. Of course, your enjoyment of the show depends if you are fine with this characters, I was because they are exactly what makes this anime special, the characters. If you've watched Utena you know that there is a certain character who seems to be only there for strange comedy relief and to be a "villain who always fails" and Tenshi ni Narumon! is no different.
Still, the ending was disappointing. Huge build up only to find Silky disappears without a trace and everything is perfect and good. Many unanswered questions but then again, this was an anime made for enjoyment and not to over analyze. Though I would love to over analyze the complicated character of Mikael.
This anime is about family, about being careful of what you wish for, of love in all its forms, of selfish desires that could hurt other people, what it means to be an "angel".
It's a very cute, fun, entertaining but also strangely dark, physiological anime that deals with a variety of themes in each episode. Don't let the art fool you.