2001 CLAMP. TV Tokyo.
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Suzuhara Misaki had just arrived in Tokyo when she first caught sight of a beautiful, snow-white "angel" on a big screen. This brief interlude prompted her to buy an angel of her own from the toy store and start working on its classifications. She named this doll "Hikaru".
What started as a fascination for the fighting doll soon grew to a more worthwhile hobby. Misaki finds that she has a talent for winning in the games she had only recently started playing. And the possibility of her going a long way in the tournaments doesn't seem so bleak after all. Because if there's one thing Misaki learned in between battles, it's that neither age nor height matters out there in the layer . What's more, a lot of opportunites open up to her as soon as she started playing "Angelic Layer". One can only guess what her victories will bring her next...
Sugoi! >>> by thundersenshi
I honestly did not expect to like this anime so much. When I first saw it, it actually reminded me of Card Captor Sakura (it was only after many episodes later that I noticed the name "CLAMP" in the opening credits... sou desu ne). But what can I say...after seeing the first few episodes, I was undoubtedly hooked! I had expected to do 5 episodes per sitting, but it turned out I didn't notice that I kept on going...I had to stop when I realized I had to sleep.
Angels are fighting dolls who are as unique as its owners, called Deuses--the ones who control them using images of the mind. This is because Deuses design their angels as soon as they are out of the package, giving them their suit, gear, special attributes and distributing parameters to strength, speed, agility, defense and the like. Angels are pitted against each other in Angelic Layers, where they are left to the Deus' style, imagination and quick-thinking to win fighting challenges. What a cool concept! I mean, man...I wish I thought of it myself! The story and plot may seem simple enough, but I liked the whole concept of Angelic Layer that I gave it a perfect 10.
I got so involved in watching this that I was practically screaming (mentally, though, because my sister was watching another anime at the same time so I had to keep quiet) in my excitement. I was silently chanting to myself--"Kick! Punch! Sweep her, you foooool! No, no, don't do a flying kick! You are so done for!" for the duration of the whole series. In between opening and ending credits I was moaning to myself--"Why can't I have my own angel?"
I think part of why I love this so much is because I'm a video game otaku as much as I am of anime. I can already imagine myself tinkering with a fighting doll's attributes and developing special abilities...it's almost like playing around with battle systems and character settings in RPGs. I could not help but wonder that if Angels en masse were possible with today's technology, just how much I'd be spending on that. I'd be addicted...and broke.
Lastly, one other reason why I enjoyed this is...well, it's been a long time since a geniune feel-good anime has crossed my midst. Angelic Layer is simply light and endearing...literally, there's nothing left to do but sit back and enjoy. I must confess, though, that seeing it in its entirety makes me want to do crazy things (urges I haven't felt for a very long time despite me being an animanga fan)...like look for plastic angel toys that couldn't possibly match the ones I saw on screen, search if there are movies or OAVs...and make a webpage. Ja ne!
Note: It is interesting that Angelic Layer's Hikaru and Magic Knight Rayearth's Hikaru look alike...and they have the same name, too. CLAMP was the maker for both anime titles.
Individual Rating: Art/Animation 9; Story 10; Characters 7; Sounds 9