08 January 2006

Angel Sanctuary: Incest + Power = Revelation

When I first heard of the series "Angel Sanctuary", I was immediately drawn to the title. I am addicted to the concept of angels, and not just in the traditional Christian sense. NGE makes reference to angels, as they are the primary "enemy" in the series. I am also in the middle of watching a series called Haibane Renmei which is about angels. So yes, I am addicted, and so I was drawn to the concept also of an Angel "Sanctuary". Why would they need a sanctuary?

Angel Sanctuary apparently was cancelled, because there are only 3 episodes. They are pretty conclusive, so I'm not sure how much of a plan there was to continuing the series.

The series focuses in on a human character Setsuna Mudo and his sister Sara. You find out early that this series is about God vs Demons, Heaven vs Hell. Rosiel, a beloved Angel of God, is obsessed in "waking" his twin sister Alexiel. Alexiel led a revolt against God upon his disappearance, and was eventually punished for this by having her spirit imprisoned in a human body: Setsuna Mudo.

This series, like the movie Dogma, gets you thinking about which side is "right". Even though Rosiel is the beloved of God and works for Heaven, he's twisted and sick. The Angels are portrayed as monsters when they are shown slaughtering demons.

What also makes this anime unique is that Setsuna has an "unnatural" attraction to his sister. The both of them love each other deeply, more than any brother and sister should love each other. So not only does Setsuna have to deal with his incestuous sinning, he must now deal with the fact that he's the reincarnation of one of the most powerful Angels in existence: The three winged Alexiel.

I could spend a lot of time trying to explain all the backstory to this series. Fortunately, there are sites that have summarized much of the information already such as Fallen Angel and this site which is complete with pretty music, but I don't agree with some of their information such as Rosiel working for Hell.

Please don't shy away from this series because it involves incest and an argument against conventional Heaven and Hell. It is beautifully illustrated and well presented. There aren't any blatant incestuous sex scenes; the series instead focuses on the love that exists between these two people and thus the struggle that they are going through because their relationship is not accepted. There is also a hint of that anime-esque philosophy, where Setsuna must choose between a fake world where he can live life as he dreams it versus a real life of struggle.

This is a 3 episode, 1-disc series that I would definitely invest in and own. I highly recommend this series.

A note on the animation: Some repetition for emphasis, but they did well in not falling into the pit of reusing shots. There are also some still shots and artwork that are positively beautiful.

Plotline: Excellent
Characters: Excellent
Music: Good
Animation: Good


Post a Comment

<< Home