I picked up this anime because I wanted to watch something lighthearted and innocent. And this one just seemed to fit the budget. While Angelic Layer did manage to remain lighthearted and innocent throughout the entirety of its 26-episode run, so much about it pissed me off. Now, this anime had some very positive aspects as well, they just weren’t present enough to get it a better score from me.
It starts off with some potential, the young girl protagonist goes to live with her aunt in Tokyo, becomes interested in a game she saw on TV, decides to try it out, and makes some friends at school. I was really enjoying it all at first. But then it became all about Misaki winning EVERY battle she’s in. Okay, she loses once, ONCE! It’s a shame as I liked Misaki, but the plot was making her into a Mary Sue. Actually, she was able to avoid that title because of one thing; everyone feels the need to criticize her fighting style. I mean EVERYONE, even her FRIENDS! I just wanted all of them to SHUT UP, especially that stupid Hatoko! They all just keep telling Misaki that she’s not good enough to play Angelic Layer and that she MUST find her weak spot. WHAT GIVES THEM THE RIGHT TO ACT LIKE SUCH JERKS TO HER WHEN SHE HAS NOT ONCE TOLD THEM HOW TO PLAY WITH THEIR TOYS?!?! What’s worse is that they all call themselves her “friends”. I’m not kidding, according to this series, the most immoral thing you can do is not believe in the strength of your doll. If people don’t think you BELIEVE hard enough in your doll, they will all talk you down, to your face or not to your face. THEY ARE JUST FUCKING DOLLS! ISN’T IT MORE IMPORTANT TO CARE ABOUT THE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE? Besides, the dolls can’t actually do anything by themselves. The owner must use their minds or something (I’m pretty sure they changed the rules at some point) to control the damn things. You can’t believe in something that is totally dependent on you. And of course a mother who abandons her daughter for 7 years is still considered to be a wonderful person and a good mother just because she showed mild remorse and made tears come out of her eyes. Honestly, I was relieved when episodes focused on going to the beach or the love triangle instead of Angelic Layer because of how annoying everyone gets during the tournaments. They were a much needed breather so that I could once again, suck up my gut and get through more tournament crap later on. I will say that the best episode though, was the episode explaining the origin of Angelic Layer. It was very interesting, deep story that focused on my favorite character. That one episode was all I needed to say, “This could have been something unique and moving, but they chose to take the tedious route and only put in a small fraction of the character insight and development that could be used here”. Needless to say, the story sucked when it really didn’t have to.
So maybe the character designs and backgrounds were generic. It all looked really nice. There were no pressing flaws for me to tear to pieces. I’m actually a little surprised that this is a 2001 anime. Anyway it’s good, moving on!
Truly this anime’s strength is in its opening theme. I could not get enough of it, I loved it so much! Really, it was awesome! The two ending themes fit in pretty well too. Although, something about the second ending theme’s lyrics rubbed me off the wrong way. What else was great was that I heard so many of my favorite seiyuus voicing the characters including, but not limited to, Kotono Mitsuishi, Masaya Onosaka, and the late Tomoko Kawakami. The only voice I really took issue with was Misaki’s voice. They of course HAD to make it high pitched just like with any other shoujo heroine, but Misaki’s voice got really grating. I was surprised to learn that her seiyuu is the same woman who voiced Yukine Miyazawa in Clannad since I found her voice to be very pleasant, but I guess it also explains why the opening sounds good when she’s the same person singing it.
I will say this now; the only character who really deserves any sort of credit is Icchan. His main function is as a comic relief character, (which he does really well, by the way) but he also has a lot of depth to him. You actually learn how he thinks and what he actually wants. It was great! The only thing working against him is his terrible taste in women. Everyone else is just flaunting their one or two character traits. And those blessed enough to have two are usually the worst because one of those character traits happens to be being a jerkface. Icchan will definitely make it worth your time though, so come watch his comedic gold and everything else that is great about him!
The biggest surprise for me here is that Angelic Layer is a BONES PRODUCTION! Considering some of the GREAT anime that has come out of that studio, it’s a little hard to believe they made something that couldn’t even dream of reaching the same quality as their other stuff. Oh well, it can be called the grayish-sheep in their collection I guess. I mean, it was still somewhat enjoyable and partially worth my time. Maybe you’ll like it, despite its apparent flaws.
So I just finished Angelic Layer this afternoon between classes after having bought the first DVD at Edward McKay on Sunday afternoon. I have to say, I liked it. I watched it quicker than I have since I watched all of Yu Yu Hakusho in 3 days.
I was a little disappointed that the romantic relationships were not resolved, and that it seemed like Kotaro got with Tomoya, when I think Kotaro should have been with Misaki. Ojiro can have Tomoya. I was also sad that we never found out if Misaki's mother said yes to Iichan or not...
I was excited about it from the first episode, though. I make easy assumptions during the first episode of every anime, so I had assumed that the "White Angel" Athena was in fact Misaki's mother, and that Iichan was her father. Though I wish I knew what happened to her father, I was surprised to find that Iichan was not. I was extremely blind-sided by Misaki's mother's story. It was incredibly creative based on other anime I've seen, and I did not expect it.
Although I can't really see myself watching the anime again, I do not see myself, however, returning the DVD that I bought. Overall, I give it a 4 out of 5.
This is a wonderful series I would encourage anyone to watch. It's very exciting and entertaining, as well as makes you wonder what will happen next! The main character is easy to root for and the anime makes you feel like you are right there along with her.
The ending is very touching and uplifting, I really enjoyed this anime, and I think anyone else would also! I definitely recommend this anime.
Angelic Layer was one of the first animes i watched, and its one of the oldest. The story is good, the characters are fresh and the action is unique!
HIKARU! HIKARU! HIKARU! That's what you will be saying once you watch this anime. Hikaru and Misaki are the rookie team of Angelic Layer: Battle Doll and they manage to talk it all the way to the CHAMPION!! Misaki is one of the youngest players in the game and was trained by the youngest player overall.
How did she get started? First of all, the only reason she came to Tokyo was to find her mother, but ends up seeing an 'angel' fight and gets hooked. She buys a whole bunch of 'angel' products and makes her own.