Angel's Egg - Reviews

Alt title: Tenshi no Tamago

VivisQueen's avatar
Nov 2, 2009


After reading some recommendations of Angel’s Egg, then scanning the previous site review and still not grasping what the show is supposed to be about, I figured the only way to find out was to watch it. In short, Angel’s Egg’s biggest attraction is that nobody has a fucking clue what it means. And having just completed it, I still don’t.

I can describe the string of dreamlike sequences, if you will, the waves of creepy sounds like bizarre new age music that accompany it, and I can announce that it’s a work by Mamoru Oshii who directed Ghost in the Shell. Heck, I can at least say that I liked it. But I could never define it for you. Ever seen Cat Soup? Try defining the plot of what is purposefully a plot-less creation.

At the heart of the narrative is a small, spectrally white girl who wanders the alleys of a nightmarish city crammed with deep looming shadows and tall imposing buildings. She appears unafraid and is seemingly used to her bereft surroundings. What really catches the eye, however, is that giant egg she keeps protected beneath her dress, making her look disturbingly pregnant. Maybe she stole it from somewhere; maybe she’s taking it someplace. At a crucial point she meets a warrior whose dead eyes (which he promptly fixes on the egg) hint at a soullessness that contrasts with her glowing innocence. Their relationship is understandably antagonistic at first and full of mistrust, and the anime leaves the viewer to decide what keeps them travelling together. Interwoven through this highly abstracted narrative are overt themes from the biblical tale of Noah’s Ark, with the warrior quoting Genesis 6: 6-7, 7: 4 and fragments of chapter 8.

Being a singular show of immense creative wealth, I can only judge Angel’s Egg against itself. Either the story deserves a rating of 1 because there is no coherent plot or it deserves 10 for being captivating and original in the fullest sense. It is perfect and whole as it is but I cannot recommend it to everyone. Moreover, at over an hour of running time, this is a lot of ‘nothing’ to digest – most arty titles (Comedy, Cat Soup) keep things brief and frivolous whereas Angel’s Egg insists on slow and sombre development. This will no doubt put some – nay, most – people off, but for patient viewers with fringe tastes it will prove a rewarding sojourn for the senses.


Actions speak louder than words, which explains why Angel’s Egg is so expressive. To know what the characters feel, watch their faces; to understand their discourse, read their body language. Moreover, stylistically memorable, emotive and eerily beautiful, Amano Yoshitaka’s (Final Fantasy, Vampire Hunter D) designs offer incredible sequences of challenging scope.


Voice acting? What voice acting? A full twenty-five minutes pass before anyone utters a word, and afterwards the characters are defined predominantly by oppressive SILENCE. What little dialogue there is, though competent, merely fills necessary gaps in the story that cannot be told through animation. That is all.

Nonetheless, the wealth of other noises in this show is incredible. Be it water dripping creepily into a beaker or rich orchestral themes, each sound leads to a more powerful emotional experience than the spoken word ever could.


The protagonists are nobodies. The girl with the egg is simply a girl with an egg. The warrior with the sword is simply a warrior with a sword. They talk to further the plot, their faces express appropriate emotions at the appropriate time, but beyond that they have no relevance. Asking what they want and where they are going is a fruitless exercise. Moreover, it’s irrelevant; even the characters themselves proclaim not to know their identities. Their lack of purpose doesn’t seem to bother them, however, and in light of the numerous fascinating questions the story throws up to compensate, me neither.


Essentially senseless, Angel’s Egg spurns ordinary analysis in favour of subjective interpretation. It is far more interested in prompting questions within its audience’s mind than offering a rational external plot. As such, any attempts to define it will necessarily fail. Still, having absorbed every detail of the movie and finding its overt existentialism thought-provoking, what do I actually think it means? Well, my guess is rebirth. What’s yours?

10/10 story
9/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
2/10 characters
8/10 overall
kamenoko's avatar
Aug 11, 2006

What is Angel's Egg? Is it a post apocalyptic movie? Is it a warning to the Japanese public about the evils of overfishing? Is it a Noahs Ark parable? The beautiful thing about existentialist films such as Angel's Egg is that we can draw our own conclusions, and witness it as a reflection of our own values. At its source this film separates anime fans from motion picture fans, or perhaps brings them together.

As far as plot goes, it's an existentialist movie, enough said. The plot needs to be inferred through our responses to the images we are presented So the plot will be different for everyone who sees it.
Angel's Egg is very liquid. Many scenes are dominated by water, and how water distorts the world through reflection and refraction. The scenery is for the most part 19th century Gothic architecture; with some Salvador Dali inspired backgrounds thrown in for good measure. Character animations are ... unique, it's something you just have to see. Overall for its day, the animation of Angel's Egg is excellent, scenes are detailed, and once you get past the unique character animation, the fluidity of the animation really stands out.
The weak-point of the anime, but really out of lack of sound to speak of. Most of this movie is silent, with very little background noise at all. Incidental music is minimal and there are less than twenty lines of dialogue in the whole movie. The sound effects were accurate, when they were needed, but there really isn't much to comment on at all.
Speaking of characters, Angels Egg sports three. A young girl whose sole objects in life are: to drink water, to fill potbellied glass beakers with water, and to care for an egg. There is a young man whom carries around a cross, tells stories, and does a few other things. Finally we have the music, whom lets us know in surprisingly subtle ways what we are experiencing. The music of Angels Egg is classical, with a lot of choral movements.
The question to be asked is whether Angels Egg is genius, self indulgence, unintelligible, or all three at once? Ill leave the answer to that question up to the viewers themselves because at this time I do not know, which at least makes Angels Egg interesting. See for yourself.
7/10 story
8/10 animation
6/10 sound
7/10 characters
8/10 overall
hamletsmage's avatar
Jul 1, 2016

I was not enlightened enough to understnad and enjoy this anime. So, from the viewpoint of one who simply went "the hell is going on?" throughout the entire anime, enjoy this review. 

Story: I think it's supposed to be an allegory for Noah's ark, but it could be dissing the fishing markets of Japan. Or it could just be the story of a girl with a magic egg. All I know is the story didn't click with me, I felt bored for the first half, and my brain still feels a bit fuzzy. 

Animation: This is some truly lovely animation. I enjoyed the contrast between the main character's white hair and pale pink dress, and the dystopian dark blue that shades her world. Some of the animation parts don't make a lot of sense, but that's more of the story's fault than the animators'. The only issue I had with the animation is that the characters' eyes look like they are either stoned or as done with the story as a bored teenage girl. 

Sound: Sweeping music, matches the tone of whatever the story was trying to cconvey. The voice acting comes in short bursts, but I didn't have much issue with either seiyu. 

Characters: There are two of them, they are unnamed, and for the most part, they are only instruments of whatever story the anime was trying to convey. They, as characters, are unimportant. A lot about them goes unexplained. 

Is this worth watching? Not really. It's pretty and all, but there are much better movies to watch. 

This Review brought to you by the DAMC

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
5/10 overall
jforrest1980's avatar
Mar 4, 2019

Angel's Egg is the best anime you probably never seen or heard of. It's one of those movies you will either love or hate. There's probably no in between with this one. Angel's Egg more resembles a peice of art, than an entertaining movie.

Some people simply will not "get" this movie, and it's a pretty safe assumption that no one will understand what is happening. For the record, it has been stated that the director doesn't even know what the film is about. There are long discussions online, where the movie is broken down scene by scene, in great detail.

Even with that statement, one thing is pretty evident after a few spins in the old Blu-Ray player, and that is the creator must have been heavily depressed, and probably lost all his faith in religion. There is also a heavy theme of innonence, and loss of innonence.


Don't listen to other reviewers that say there is no story. There is a story, it's just not thrown at you Naruto style with everything explained. There's only about 3 sentences of spoken dialogue in this movie, and that's all it needs. The story is portrayed through the beautful art work, and atmospheric sound. Essentially, the Girl, is attempting to transport a large egg somewhere, through a post apocalyptic, and mysterious land. She then meets a man, and he escorts her. The movie is about protecting the egg, however, it gets MUCH deeper than that.


Again, another one where you shouldnt listen to the other reviews. The art work is beautiful. It's all hand drawn, unlike recent anime, where they use digital tools. So as far as hand drawn art goes, it's about as good as it gets. Giiven the art style though, it doesn't appear as clean as say, somehting like Studio Ghibli, but it is a different art style.


The music is great, and adds a lot of atmosphere to the movie.


This is a tough one, this isn't the type of movie where the characters speak a lot, so it could be easy to write off the characters as not very good. HOWEVER, just because you don't feel a character is likable, or they don't speak, doesn't mean the characters are bad. What DOES matter, is that you feel a great amout of emotion for the main character. You want her to succeed on this mission, that you have no idea what it is.

Overall, this movie is near perfect, and a beautiful work of art. It probably won't appeal the Shonen Naruto and One Piece crowd, but if you are someone that wants something deep, and that you will think about for days after you watch it, then Angel's Egg is for you.

If you think the art looks familiar, that's becasue it's the same artists that has done a lot of art for the Final Fantasy series of video game.

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
Shidira's avatar
Nov 17, 2009

One name: Mamoru Oshii. Between directing and creating, the man who brought about such great animes as Blood+, Ghost in the Shell, and Urusei Yatsura, this was one title I could not pass up. I went into Angel's Egg expecting something very thought-provoking and, to say the least, was blown away by the depth this anime delved. To state bluntly, those who do not enjoy philosophical thought or anime with little dialogue may want to stop reading now and move on to something else. For those still interested, please read on.

Story: Within the first five minutes, in between the interesting things happening, you are introduced to the two main characters. You see a male soldier holding what appears to be a cross-shaped item and a white-haired young girl with an egg. The nameless characters eventually meet, but with two different agendas. The girl seemingly asks the man for help protecting the egg, while he tries many times to destroy the egg, but we are left with the thought that he may or may not have had a change of heart. The rest of the story follows these two travelling and the girl trying to find a safe place for the egg. I will leave the ending for you to watch and see what happens, as it is quite interesting and I do not want to spoil it.

On the surface, it seems a very weird story that makes absolutely no sense, but if you take a deeper look at the story, you will see a very existentialist story with a slew of meanings everyone will interpret differently. Although there was not an obvious plot, I gave this a ten because the undertone of the story was incredible and I was drawn in to what Oshii was possibly saying. The thoughts ran deep for me, giving me much to think on.

Animation: Angel's Egg was released in 1985 and the animation for the time was excellent. Most of the story is based on the actions and reactions of the main characters to each other and their surroundings. The animation had to be well done, especially with facial features, so the ideas of the film could be conveyed. The backgrounds and foregrounds were beautiful. While they were not vibrant in colors, the animation gave off all the right emotions to become involved in the story. I gave this a 10 because of exactly the reasons I stated. I was completely drawn into the emotions swirling all around.

Sound: The sounds used were just incredible. While the main characters spoke no more than a couple times, there were very little sounds, and little use of music, the sounds and music were used at the appropriate times to provoke the greatest emotions at the most critical times. What people will notice is the extreme amount of silence and may find it a downfall of the film, but I firmly believe it is one of this film's greatest assets. It is used to show the audience how the silence seems to be there, crushing down on them, threatening to swallow their very existence. Sometimes silence is the best sound. I gave the sound a 10 because of how hauntingly, chillingly beautiful they were, when used. The music was also very beautiful and worth listening to.

Characters: I had a hard time trying to give this a definitive number, as the basis of the story is not around whom the characters are and what their back-story is, but how they respond to the environment around them and what the final outcome of their actions is. It is true that these characters have very little plot to them and there are people who find that a problem, but this is one of those rare stories that character development is not necessary for the enjoyment of this story. I finally settled on a 6. As stated previously, there is no name or plot to the main characters, but at the same time, I do not feel it is needed, though many will disagree.

Overall: This review has become a bit long and I apologize, but this is one film that cannot be easily summarized no matter how well you try, so I will try my best. The philosophical, ideological, and emotional thoughts and feelings provided by this film are intense. While many may dismiss this film because it does not make sense, I implore everyone to take the time to watch this film and judge for yourself. I do recommend that you watch this when you have time to sit through it and think about what you are seeing. You will be amazed at what ideas flow from this old, but ingenious film from one of the masters of anime.

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
6/10 characters
10/10 overall