Angelic Layer (Japanese: エンジェリックレイヤー Hepburn: Enjerikku Reiyā) is a manga series released by Clamp. The manga is published in Japan by Kadokawa Shoten, and in English originally by Tokyopop, but has since been re-licensed by Dark Horse Comics. It is the group's first work to use a quite different art style unseen in any other CLAMP series, which uses a more distinctly pared down style. There is less emphasis on detail and more on accentuated posing and gestures. This kind of artwork would later be used in series like Chobits and Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle.
The cover of the first volume of Angelic Layer released in English by Tokyopop on June 25, 2002 featuring Misaki Suzuhara and Hikaru.
|Genre||Adventure, comedy, science fiction|
|Published by||Kadokawa Shoten|
|Original run||July 1, 1999 – October 1, 2001|
|Anime television series|
|Angelic Layer: Mobile Angel|
|Directed by||Hiroshi Nishikiori|
|Produced by||Masahiko Minami|
|Written by||Ichirō Ōkouchi|
|Music by||Kohei Tanaka|
|Original network||TV Tokyo|
|Original run||April 1, 2001 – September 23, 2001|
The manga was adapted into a 26-episode anime series produced by Bones titled Angelic Layer: Battle Doll (機動天使エンジェリックレイヤー Kidō Tenshi Enjerikku Reiyā, lit., "Angelic Layer: Mobile Angel") which aired on TV Tokyo from April 1, 2001 – September 23, 2001. Seven volumes of videos were released by ADV Films on VHS and DVD in 2003. It was re-released in 2005 as a five volume box set. North American publisher Dark Horse Comics re-releases Angelic Layer in omnibus format in 2011. Sentai Filmworks will re-release the series under their Sentai Selects label on November 24, 2015. Anime Limited announced they would release the series in the UK in 2018.
Angelic Layer takes place in the same universe as Clamp's later work Chobits, which similarly deals with the relationship between humans, human-created devices, toys, and godlike power. Several characters also appear in Clamp's Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle including most of the main characters, as well as the angel Blanche.
The primary protagonist is Misaki Suzuhara. Despite her short appearance she is a seventh grader who just moved to Tokyo to live with her aunt, Shouko Asami. After arriving in the city outside of Tokyo Station, Misaki watches a battle between two dolls on a big live-screen called Angelic Layer, a highly popular game in which players (called Deus) buy and custom-design dolls known as Angels that are moved by mental control when on a field called the "layer."
Interested in learning about Angelic Layer, an eccentric man wearing a white lab coat and glasses, calling himself "Icchan" (いっちゃん), encourages Misaki to purchase and create her own angel. She wants the angel to be "a short girl, but strong and happy", and names it Hikaru, based on Hikaru Shidō from Clamp's Magic Knight Rayearth (a manga in Angelic Layer's world). Even though she's clueless about the game, Misaki soon competes in tournaments and is assisted and watched carefully by Icchan. Later, Icchan's identity is revealed as Ichiro Mihara, the co-creator of Angelic Layer.
Misaki begins studying at the Eriol Academy, an educational institution which include grades from kindergarten through high school. There she becomes friends with Hatoko Kobayashi, a very intelligent and mature kindergarten girl who is a famous Deus and an Angelic Layer expert. Her incredibly fast angel Suzuka is a favourite contender in tournaments. Misaki also befriends Hatoko's older brother Kōtarō and his friend Tamayo Kizaki, a girl fascinated by martial arts. Both turn out to be Misaki's classmates.
While adjusting to her new surroundings, Misaki is also gripped by her past. Her thoughts often dwell on her mother, whom she has not seen since pre-school. Eventually, Misaki learns that her mother was key in the development of Angelic Layer, which she worked on in an attempt to develop a perfect prosthesis for her multiple sclerosis, which has confined her to a wheelchair. Her mother is also the Deus of Athena and the champion of Angelic Layer.
The differences in the anime series: Misaki names her angel of her favorite doll from childhood. The ending to the manga also has different couplings. In the manga, Misaki's mother does not have multiple sclerosis. Icchan plays an important role in the Chobits storyline, but this connection was reduced to a single scene in the anime; the Chobits anime was also made by a different company. Kaede's younger brother Minoru is also a Chobits character.
|No.||Japanese release date||Japanese ISBN||North American release date||North American ISBN|
|01||July 1, 1999||ISBN 4-04-713283-7||June 25, 2002||ISBN 1-931514-47-X|
|02||March 9, 2000||ISBN 4-04-713319-1||September 17, 2002||ISBN 1-59182-003-0|
|03||December 1, 2000||ISBN 4-04-713375-2||November 12, 2002||ISBN 1-59182-004-9|
|04||May 1, 2001||ISBN 4-04-713414-7||January 7, 2003||ISBN 1-59182-086-3|
|05||October 1, 2001||ISBN 4-04-713454-6||March 11, 2003||ISBN 1-59182-152-5|
- "Be My Angel"
- Lyrics by: Goro Matsui
- Composition by: Takahiro Ando, Goro Matsui
- Arrangement by: Takahiro Ando
- Song by: Atsuko Enomoto
- "The Starry Sky" (☆the starry sky☆)
- "After the rain" (雨あがり Ame Agari)
- Lyrics by: Chisa Tanabe
- Composition by: Kazuhiro Hara
- Arrangement by: Takao Kōnishi
- Song by: Moeko Matsushita
Angelic Layer has received mixed reviews. THEM Anime Reviews on the other hand gave Angelic Layer a 5-star rating, noting that the character designs were well presented and the animation was colourful, also that Angelic Layer portrayed the concepts of friendship and how "through common interests, even very different people can be friends".Angelic Layer won the Animation Kobe Award for TV Feature in 2001. Anime News Network however, was less kind, comparing it to Pokémon and Digimon, and calling it a glorified tie-in to "a toy you can't purchase." 
- "Angelic Layer". Sentai Filmworks. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
- "Angelic Layer Complete Collection". ADV Films.com. A.D. Vision, Inc. Archived from the original on May 28, 2006. Retrieved January 2, 2009.
- "Dark Horse Adds Angelic Layer, Tokyo Babylon Omnibuses". Anime News Network. March 7, 2011.
- "MCM LONDON COMIC CON MAY 2018 NEWSWIRE #2 – SUNDAY NEWS ROUND-UP". Anime Limited. May 28, 2018. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
- "CLAMP公式ウェブサイト" (in Japanese). Clamp. Retrieved August 20, 2009.
- "Manga+Comics: Book Catalog". Tokyopop. Retrieved August 18, 2009.[dead link]
- Jason Bustard. "Angelic Layer". T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews. Archived from the original on December 17, 2008. Retrieved January 2, 2009.