June 28, 2011

Angelic Layer Post Script

Well, two months after my first post on this, I finally finished Angelic Layer. It was not what I expected, which is to say it was exactly what it claimed to be. It's a sports anime for girls, with bit of interpersonal drama thrown in. Its not my personal cup of tea but the story telling is solid and it's got a lot of interesting points. It is definitely aimed at young girls and is unusual in that it does not look like it would be condescending or insulting to them.

I was a bit surprised because I expected something of a change in direction midway through (after the big tournament) but it continues in the same vein with still bigger tournaments. One reason for my thinking this was that Chobbits is allegedly set in the same universe as this series a few years later. Therefore, I was expecting some, development regards sentient machines. The credits promo art and episode eycatches seemed to hint at something along those lines with the dolls. However, this is not the case.

A couple of things really stand out in the show. One is the very high degree of sportsmanship exhibited by most of the participants. Also, most of the tournament opponents are very well realized charachters in their own right. They are presented as not simply obstacles to our heroine, but sympathetic human beings with their own lives and backstories. Misaki, the protagonist, is a like-able person in her own right and does not need to learn to be a good person, she is one (this is CLAMP not Shonen Jump).

All in all I liked it. It is an episode or two too long in order to fill out the 26 episode run, but in that regard it is a FAR less egregious offender than many. It is well above average.

If one has a daughter this is probably a very good show to acquire. With that in mind the dub is decent and Jessica Boone does a fine job in the lead. However the dub does have one peculiar failing that I hadn't seen in years...about midway through the show, the direction seems to have changed and there is suddenly an emphasis on matching 
mouth move-
in the a-
-tion to the di-
-alog. It's understandable but occasionally distracting. The actors themselves, aside from this odd direction do do a pretty good job.

I have a few other thoughts but they involve spoilers.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 10:46 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
Post contains 420 words, total size 3 kb.

1 Mom is much better in the anime than in the manga. And the "dark secret" was added for the anime; there's nothing like it in the original.

The Chobits connection was pretty much eliminated. Among other things, Kaede is Minoru's older sister, so there's not a lot of time for the huge tech-jump from a small number of doll-sized fighting robots to ubiquitous human-sized androids that have been around long enough for Chii's history to make sense.


Posted by: J Greely at Wed Jun 29 10:53:47 2011 (2XtN5)

2 The way I understand it, Angelic Layer is an alternate reality. Chobits was what happened when the Angelic Layer game was a flop. Icchan-san ended up inventing the robots in Chobits, and he and his wife (the landlady) were the ones who created the two chobits.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Wed Jun 29 11:07:34 2011 (+rSRq)

3 Reservoir Chronicle Tsubasa supports the 'alternate reality' version, in that manga one of the realities they visit is clearly the Angelic Layer world, enough years later that it can't possibly also be the Chobits reality.  I don't recall if they visited anything that would be the Chobits universe, but I think they did.

Posted by: David at Wed Jun 29 14:27:05 2011 (/ZaEZ)

4 This was actually a shounen manga, targeted more at boys than girls and published in Monthy Shounen Ace.  The fact that it came from the all-female CLAMP team explains the well-developed female characters. Of course that's no reason why a girl shouldn't enjoy it.

Posted by: Jonathan Tappan at Thu Jun 30 12:53:51 2011 (7wFYN)

This was actually a shounen manga, targeted more at boys than girls

Which just goes to prove that I really don't understand teh wemmings.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Thu Jun 30 13:43:59 2011 (EJaOX)

6 Probably if it were a shoujo manga it would have fewer fighting scenes, more romance and more angst. And possibly some of the male characters would be gazing soulfully at each other.

Posted by: Jonathan Tappan at Thu Jun 30 15:59:11 2011 (7wFYN)


...some of the male characters would be gazing soulfully at each other.

Especially since it is from CLAMP.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Thu Jun 30 17:13:15 2011 (+rSRq)

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