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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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After quite a long reading with 2-3 breaks I finally managed to complete this series. First of all I'll point out that I'm not a shoujo reader. This is only a second shoujo series that I read (first one being Haou Airen which I hated) and I guess I somewhat liked it.
Well, to start with, the first thing that catches your eye when you start reading is of course the art. I really appreciate that this manga didn't had a typical shoujo artwork for that would surely be a huge let down. Art is beautiful, detailed and rich and it appeals to you in away.
First, to make a remark that I really liked this story epic factor. It really kept me going from a volume to a volume. I didn't like very much that whole romantic aspect and it felt a little boring after a while but that's my personal taste. If you read plot description for this one you will notice that whole setting and war between heaven and hell, good and evil would also fit for some shounen title, just add more fighting scenes and you're close. But the focus of the story is on main character Setsuna and the love he has for his sister. So if you problem with incest in this title stay away from it. The rest of you will surely notice another aspect of the story upon reading. I am talking about the plot gets very complicated with time. This manga is surely the most confusing title I have read so far, so this is the second obstacle for someone trying to finish it. I can see a lot of people reading this and wondering what the hell is going on. But still you should have no major trouble to hold on to this series until the very end.
Oh, the ending. I'll just say that if you're reading this manga and think "Oh this is so confusing", wait till you reach the end. When the story starts to unravel, half the time you'll be asking yourself what the hell is going on. By this time you will probalbly hold on till the very end as you will have only like 2 volumes left.
Now, another point that I would like to make is that the author of this manga obviously lost herself couple of times while making this. If you read carefully you will notice slight dyssynchrony of the beginning and the later volumes. Couple of changes made to the story later on, caused for this series to have plot holes, inconsistencies and some rather illogical developments. For me, this is quite bothersome, but most of you probably wouldn't even notice these things.
The character in this manga are many, and what's especially confusing is that bunch of minor one's often make a comeback after a shit load of volumes. As for the major characters I found a great deal of them unintresting and boring. I could only connect with a few of them like Setsuna, Kira, Rociel, Sevotharte and Zaphikel.
To cut this short, the rating I give to this one is based solely on my personal tastes. Shoujo fan will probably give this a higher rating. Still I found this manga entertaining enough to carry on with the reading till the end and I do not regret this. So be sure to give this one a go in the near future, presuming you already haven't.
i felt like reading the bible after this...
i wholeheartedly agree with zeusosphere....i will never in my entire life re read this manga...it was 1. super confusing 2.i am sorry i hated the Setsuna/Sara relationship....
Spoiler (highlight to view)
i honestly wanted Sara to STAY dead...she was annoying
3. I loved Kira... 4. It was just too much... i put this on hold for 2 years...and i am glad i did...i finally picked it up again as a Freshmen in college...and i still think it is God awful...but i'm glad to cross this one off the list...great art...miserable plot...and KIRA....and like Yuki Kaori's other works...full of angst and tragedy...heavy on the Tragedy...
Gripping but convoluted and heartbreaking
This was the first manga I ever read online... because I had access to paper copies up to the 19th volume or something and it was impossible to stop there.
... Then I finished it and swore never to touch it again.
Mind, this is only my personal taste. Angel Sanctuary has a gripping but immensely convoluted plot, plenty of taboo subjects, and in-depth characterization. It's not bad at all, just hard on the heart.
... plus, my favourite character was Lucifer... >___> and, mind you, that's a very good argument for never reading the series again.
... Last updated on March 23rd, 2010, 2:35pm
I Love This Manga
This manga has amazing art as well as great dialogue and an amazing and original story. Sure it gets a little weird and can be confusing at times but I would definitely recommend this to anyone. If you can get past the whole incest thing it's one of the best mangas you'll ever read.
Some people might complain that the plot was confusing or that it veered off topic, but I thought it gave the story a realistic quality. Life is never as simple as a storybook plot, but I think this manga did a good job showing how in a big picture its the little things that are important. The beginning and ending weren't that great but the entire story was awesome because of the character development.I loved the madhatter and the story of Alexiel and Lucifer.
Disturbing but Nice
Another twisty, angsty, dark and disturbing manga from Kaori Yuki. This manga is very long, with part questioning sexuality and social stigma. That being said, it is one of my favorite manga.
Kaori Yuki has a very lovely art style, it feels gothic but shiny. The characters and setting are all illustrated with extreme attention of detail. The outfits vary from simple to extravagant with fantasy and rock music inspiration(?).
The plot does get a bit confusing at times but is a general get from point A to point B and save the princess sort of thing. There are many subplots/backstories going on during the main plot that are quite interesting to read. I didn't really like the use of "forbidden love", but it's not done badly, there was no choking at the level of clichés used because they were well incorporated to the plot with adjustments and twists. The main character and many of the supporting characters have good development and motivations; especially the main ones, that seem to go through a continuous chain of events without rest and come out leaving a much different impression than what I first thought of them. The plot may be lost at times in a sea of subplots but it always manages to rise back to the main focus.
Overall the art is beautiful, the character are well rounded and the plot is interesting and (for the most part) appropriately complex.
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'd rate it 11 if I could :S
I liked how the heaven was not heavenly at all and partly more rotten than hell that wasn't all bad either. I can sympathize with most the chars, evil or good - well there's no real evil anyway. The story is nicely twisted. Very good fantasy shoujo, best I've read so far.
An Addictive, Delightful Mess
If I have to be unbiased, then it must be said that "Angel Sanctuary" is a convoluted, twisty mess. Yuki Kaori clearly goes with the flow as far as plot development is concerned, and it does make the series at times very difficult to follow, take seriously, or finish. But I still can't help loving "Angel Sanctuary". The characters, with all of their flaws and concerns, are terribly fascinating; the politics and setting of Heaven and Hell are extremely intriguing; and I love the mix of cyberpunk and Judeo-Christian (and Japanese) mythos that forms of the basis of the story. Like any cult series worth it's salt, the reader will either love "Angel Sanctuary" or be unimpressed. And while I see why there are many people who don't care for it, I'm happy to admit that I adore it...about 99.5%.
... Last updated on December 1st, 2008, 8:45pm
I read AS a few years ago. I don't like Kaori Yuki's works that much anymore, but there are a lot of good and bad points in AS.
First, the topic (love between siblings) is interesting, I'm glad it was approached. It was also nice to see her version of the angels/demons, etc., she even made it look interesting to an atheist like me.
One of the less enjoyable facts is the load of characters... it's hard to keep track of every one and I have to admit that I didn't even recognize Arakune when he appeared again around volume 10...
Now that I think back, there were some really touching scenes, but overall, I forgot a lot as well, because the storyline tends to be confusing sometimes... there are just so many things I sometimes lost overview, just like with the characters.