I have to admit that I’ve seen a previous version of “Angel Sanctuary” before. Apparently Bandai Visual released a new “special edition” of the anime. However, there’s nothing to really worry about, because this new version offers nothing new.
That’s right–this three-episode OVA (Original Video Adaptation) is nothing really special. Hardcore fans of the OVA can watch the yaoi (uncut boy love) trailers for this series. There are also textless versions opening and ending sequences and galleries. But really, for anyone who has seen this before, there is nothing new.
And for anyone who hasn’t heard of it, “Angel Sanctuary” is a violent and incestuous romance anime. Think of “Angel Sanctuary” as the equally bloody series “X”, only with a love relationship between a teenage boy and his little sister. The series actually has a decent plot–there is an ongoing war between angels, the higher-ups in the world, and the demons. Apparently, the angels decided to kill off all the demons after the humans polluted their cities too much. They sought to chop away all of the evil sinners with their swords, but one angel rebelled against the others. Her name was Alexiel.
That’s right, Alexiel is the woman who stands for the poor. He defended demons from the angels. She would have killed her brother Rosiel, to stop this nonsensical war. Instead, in pity of him, she instead sealed him onto the Earth in human form, leaving Alexiel with his body and mind separated.
While the subject matter is controversial, the series saves itself by showing that this story isn’t exactly about Christianity. Rather, this series is about defying fate, especially about defying an apocalyptic future. And its an impressive range of bloody battles and swordfighting. And overall, even with the incestuous sex scene, the series is more about becoming an individual.
However, many of the characters’ behaviors are questionable. And even though the voice acting is performed extremely well, the action in these angel horror anime series is way too bloody for its own good. The incestuous romance is a little too much, especially for religious folks in the United States. And there are no especially new features. Oh yeah, the English dub is TERRIBLE. I cannot recommend this one. If anyone has nostalgia for angel and demon-killing, feel free to buy it. But I don’t care.
(edit) I received some responses from the anime club, and I have heard that this is a far better series in manga form. In fact, the OVA only scratches the surface. A couple volumes in, the incest issue doesn’t come into play anymore, because the little sister actually transforms into a different angel or creature. And based on their responses, I have reason to believe that if you want a better visual experience of “Angel Sanctuary”, get the manga.
Image courtesy of daeya.org