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From Viz: The angel Alexiel loved God, but she rebelled against Heaven when she saw how disgracefully the other angels were behaving. She was finally captured, and as punishment sent to Earth to live an endless series of tragic lives. She now inhabits the body of Setsuna Mudo, a troubled teen in love with his sister Sara. Setsuna's misery mirrors the chaos among the angels, and their combined passions threaten to destroy both Heaven and Earth.
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Very intriguing, but it's not an easy story to digest.
I invested heavily into AS, going as far as to buy the whole series, OVA, and art books. To me, it was a worthy purchase.
Even though the characters were all similar in terms of art, it was still a compelling, deep, and disturbing manga that leaves one excited, upset, utterly confused, and heartbroken.
I give this mangaka a lot of credit for touching on so many uncomfortable subjects, and as long as you don't take this for more than what it is -a manga- you won't feel 'damaged' afterward. (And this comes from a Christian. lol.)
But I would be remiss if I didn't say that many of the complaints people have are true:
If you're bothered by incest -you won't like this.
If a story with 1001 characters bugs you -you won't like this.
If you're religious (and of the Christian faith) and don't have the capacity to separate fact from fiction and view this as a form of entertainment and nothing more -you won't like this.
If you're super picky about art and can't get into androgynous-looking characters -you won't like this.
If a zillion sub-plots irk you -you won't like this.
And this isn't the sort of manga where one can recommend that you read the first few chapters to see if you can get into it; the story becomes too complex and too far away from where it started for that. This is more of a story that you need to just decide that you're going commit to and see where it takes you.
... disturbing, heart-breaking, gruesome and I stopped counting the number of taboos it broke about halfway through.
Though at its heart its a tragic romance where I couldn't guess its ending.
Other posters have listed many of its flaws and I agree with some of them. However, I'll just list what worked for me;
(1) The intricate plot that kept me hooked and I was never sure how it was going to turn out (2) The tragic romance(s) of many of the characters (3) The amazing art (4) It really earned my respect so if you can get past your own prejudices you'll end up rooting for the main players in this manga. (5) I've not read any other manga like it.
... Last updated on October 19th, 2010, 12:54pm
I did really enjoy this manga.. it is a loong one but worth it, it gives time for all the characters to be explored in depth. At times the manga can be hard to follow but with perseverance you understand the whole story Overall, very good and well written!
A master piece
This manga was fantastic! It broke many taboos and was really disturbing, as I expected of Kaori Yuki sensei. I enjoyed it from the beginnig... charmy characters + twisted story+ beautiful draw+ A LOT of drama= Master Piece
P.D: Rosiel ROCKS!!! Love him from the bottom of my heart
Forever a love of mine
It's one of those rare mangas that I'll never possibly grow out of. I loved it when I was a kid and I still love it now when I'm an adult. I'm aware of the weak points of the story - honestly, it's not that great. But I've loved it for over a decade and I doubt I'll ever stop.
One thing that makes this manga standout is the beautiful art and character designs. That alone helped me to slog through the first 3-4 volumes until the story picked up. After that, I thought both the art and story make this well worth reading. The wealth of characters can make this story a bit confusing at first but they often have distinctive personalities and characteristics so that after a bit, you'll soon sort them out. This wasn't one of my favorites nor one I'd highly recommend but it was entertaining and very enjoyable to look at...
... Last updated on December 3rd, 2006, 11:36am
I Liked It
If you can get past the whole brother/sister incest angle which does monopolize the first story arc, this does become a lot less important as things progress. Sure its still there, but it is very insignificant at times considering everything else that is going on.
There are a ton of characters in this one. Some of the Heaven characters are not so nice, and some of the Hell characters are decent folks. There's also plenty of good folks in Heaven and outright evil in Hell, so it's not like this manga makes a blanket statement that evil is good and good is evil. If anything, we're talking about a whole lot of shades of gray of varying degrees.
People who don't like Setsuna, probably should give up on reading this. I'm not saying that to be mean. Angel Sanctuary has 108 chapters that are spread out over 20 volumes. While the story doesn't follow him around to the point that nobody else gets character development if he's not around to see it, he does remain the main character at all times. The manga will continue to revert its focus back to him perodically even if it seems it has forgotten about him for a while.
I do highly recommend reading this one non-stop. I am not suggesting that you do so in one sitting so much as just concentrate on reading only this manga until you've finished it. One of the issues that other commenters have mentioned of the plot getting confusing at times and difficulties in sorting out who is who is a lot less likely to occur if you're not setting it down for long periods of time. [All the volumes have been published here in the US, making this very possible to do now.]
... Last updated on June 12th, 2011, 6:55pm
Warning to younger readers of manga, this may not be for you.
Themes of incest run rampant in the series and with how angels and devils are portrayed, it's very controversal to say the least. I actually didn't really understand it. Everyone looks alike, expect for the main dude with short hair because he's in every scene.
It's very interesting to see that the good guys may not actually be "good guys" and the bad guys may not actually BE that "bad guys." It all depends on how you view them. This manga is very dark but it's illustrations is just superb. It suits the dark and serious tone very well. The illustrations remind me of a gothic tower.
i like it
this manga is really good. I love it. it's so beautiful and it makes you rreally into it. I think it's a great read.
Really kewl story with awsome drawings. Although it gets a bit twisted, it's a definite must read