Angel Sanctuary – OVA – 3 Episodes

Based on the manga of the same name, this short OVA gives a nice abbrieviation of the first couple volumes of the manga. A lot of things in it were cut for the interest of time, but what is there is critical to the story and gives something that you can’t ignore. Especially in the modern day where many of the issues that are core in the story are very important to what’s happening in the news and culture. The story focuses on Setsuna Mudo, who we find out quite quickly is the reincarnation of the Organic angel Alexiel, who rebelled against God. For this act, she was sentenced to be reincarnated into ill-fated lives time and time again. Setsuna Mudo is simply her more recent incarnation, and true to fashion, Setsuna finds himself deeply in love with his own sister, Sara. Their parents have divorced, partically because of his father’s affair, but also because his mother couldn’t stand Setsuna with his marked tendency to avoid any injury from an accident. Good and terrible fortune in one, and that’s only the beginning. This life, as Setsuna Mudo, seems to be an important one at many levels. It could just be the timing, as Alexiel’s twin brother, Rosiel, is finally released from his imprisonment within the Earth. This is done with the intent that Rosiel, as the Inorganic Angel, equal in power to his twin-sister, second only to God, could rise to heaven to stop the in-fighting happening between all the angels. Rosiel refuses to do so until his twin sister has shaken off her mortal shell and awakened fully as Alexiel. Of course, this doesn’t bode well in the least for Setsuna himself, who simply wants to try to deal with his love for his sister and be left alone simply to enjoy life.

The style of the anime is very close to its shonen origin. With everything in that light, its easy to simply enjoy, and know you’ve got something that holds well enough to its source material. Not too many of the regular anime features are there, they only appear for traces of comic relief, which are well used. The characters are fairly to scale and true to life. This is one of those anime series where one could potentially see all the different muscles and bones when a limb is torn off or when someone suffers a more grisly death.

The soundtrack is one of my favorites, many tracks being well done either in orchestral format or a more electronic one, dependant on what is happening and who is involved. Each part adds well to the overall mood of the scene and it has a surprisingly large OST. There is no lacking in terms of raw material for the OVA to use and it shows. Very few themes will repeat, and those are usually character themes, where it’s quite appropriate to re-iterate them.