Angel Sanctuary is a manga series by Yuki Kaori that is currently running in Hana to Yume, a bi-weekly shoujo manga magazine published by Hakusensha. The story is based loosely on the Book of Revelation and incorporates others such as the prophecy of Nostradamus and Paradise Lost by John Milton.
Set in July of the year 1999, in Tokyo, the storyline is focused around a high school student named Setsuna Mudou. The story starts when the battle between heaven and hell nears, because of two demons' strike against heaven in attempt to free the imprisoned fallen angel Alexiel. Alexiel's body has been sealed in a crystal for her defiance to God, and as her punishment, her soul is reincarnated as a human being in a never ending loop where she will die a violent death while still young and live as an outcast from society despised and rejected. This time Alexiel's soul have been reincarnated into a teenager named Setsuna Mudou (labelled as a "trouble maker," he becomes faint at the sight of blood, which is explained later), who is the Messiah prophesied to save humanity in the Black Book of Revelation. Of course, Setsuna doesn't know this until he meets two demons from the Ghenna empire named Kurai and Arakune. It is told that, upon Setsuna's death, so the destruction of Tokyo would come to pass.... Setsuna does not care for the coming battle between heaven and hell but only for his love, his blood sister Sara Mudou, who also shares romantic feelings for him. Because this is forbidden by all laws, they try to not show their love, but they finally decide that they can't live without one another.
Life gets more and more dangerous for Setsuna and the people whom he cares about as the story progresses. The story also revolves around other angels, including Lucifer and Michael, though few are what you'd expect them to be. Now there is anarchy in heaven, and the underworld is falling apart which threatens the collapse of the physical world. The power struggle amongst the angels and the demons begins, ultimately leading to the race against time to save humanity from certain destruction. So who will save us all?
The manga series was published by Flower Toyome Comics. There are also two artbooks, Lost Angel and Angel Cage, as well as postcard book called Angelic Voice.
There is now an OAV series out as well. It's 3 parts and has been picked up by Central Park Media, so it will come to the US soon. The OAV is mostly the events of the manga pushed together to get the story out. Although it's only a small portion of the story, it's good to see the characters in their animated forms. Hopefully, someone will make it into a TV series, but since it's already an OAV, I'm not sure how good those odds are. (Although several series started as OAVs and ended up as TV Series: Vampire Miyu and Record of Lodoss War to name a few.)
The thing that draws in most fans is the artwork. It's extremely detailed and breatakingly gorgeous. What keeps people as fans is the amazing story, the twisting plotlines, and the realistic characters. You may also notice that some of the pictures seem to have sprung up from an episode of Hey! Hey! Hey! Music Champ (a Japanese battle of the bands). If some of the make up or clothes reminds you of your favorite J-Rocker, Yuki Kaori is a big J-rock fan.
Thank you, Yuki Kaori-sama, for an truly exquisite anime. Arigatou gozaimasu.
This is a map of the universe, based on Angel Sanctuary, with Angel Cage used as a reference guide.
I didn't construct this myself, rather I found it on someone else's site.
Lai-chan provided the conventional English spellings for the layers of Heaven.
Characters In the OAV
Setsuna is a confused teen from Tokyo who thinks his biggest problem is the potent crush he has on his sister Sara. In truth, his body houses the dormant spirit of one of the most powerful celestial beings in the cosmos, the organic angel Alexiel.
Sara is the lovely but naive younger sister of Setsuna. She also harbors a crush on her big brother. It may just be childish infatuation, but this bond could be the key that will unlock the awesome power inside Setsuna.
The organic angel Alexiel is an immensely powerful angel who started a revolt against God. She was punished by having her soul sealed in the body of a mortal. She and Rosiel are twins, created from Seraphita, the highest creation after God.
The twisted inorganic angel Rosiel is obssessed with his twin sister Alexiel. In his narcissistic haze, he will stop at nothing to bring about her awakening. He must have this crazed love reciprocated, to affirm that he is as beautiful as he believes himself to be.
Katan is Rosiel's loyal and obedient servant. Rosiel has empowered him to assist with the plans for Alexiel's awakening. Katan adores his master, but he cannot bear to see him hurt by his sister again, so he will do anything to prevent this end.
His name is Seraphita and he is the one being witnessed God's creation of life. He is the first and the last holy one. Seraphita has six wings and is neither male nor female. He also has control over the ancient magic of time.
Kira is Setsuna's tough but cool friend and protector, though his mysterious nature makes his motives seem questionable. His knowledge of the celestial turmoil that is taking place shows that he is no ordinary man.
He was Kira's best friend among the drop-outs. He is a drug dealer while alive, but his body gets taken over by Rosiel. However, from his drug habits, he is able to come out from Rosiel's power at certain points. He also has very strong psychic powers that are hidden.
The child-like Kurai is actually a demon from hell, the Dragon Master of Gehenna. Kurai was rescued from the hands of the angels by Alexiel. Along with Arakune, she is sworn to revive the spirit of Alexiel and carry on the war against the angels.
The mysterious and sexually ambiguous Arakune is a demon from hell, and cousin to Kurai. Very much a maternal figure to Kurai, the two are sworn to awaken the spirit of Alexiel that is buried within Setsuna, and continue the fight against God.
Boys Next Door
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This page was last updated: July 27, 2002.