Angelic Layer

Angelic Layer

The cover of the first volume of Angelic Layer released in English by Tokyopop on June 25, 2002 featuring Misaki Suzuhara and Hikaru.
(Enjerikku Reiyā)
Genre Action, Comedy-drama, Science fiction
Written by Clamp
Published by Kadokawa Shoten
English publisher

‹See Tfd›

Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Shōnen Ace
Original run July 1, 1999October 1, 2001
Volumes 5
Anime television series
Angelic Layer: Mobile Angel
Directed by Hiroshi Nishikiori
Produced by Masahiko Minami
Shinsaku Hatta
Taihei Yamanishi
Written by Ichirō Ōkouchi
Music by Kohei Tanaka
Studio Bones
Licensed by

‹See Tfd›

Network TV Tokyo
English network

‹See Tfd›

Original run April 1, 2001 September 23, 2001
Episodes 26

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 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.[1] North American publisher Dark Horse Comics re-releases Angelic Layer in omnibus format in 2011.[2] Sentai Filmworks will re-release the series under their Sentai Selects label on November 24, 2015.

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 of Angelic Layer is Misaki Suzuhara, a seventh grader who just moved to Tokyo to live with her aunt, Shouko Asami. After arriving in the city, she watches the battle doll Athena on a big screen television outside of Tokyo Station and becomes interested in learning about Angelic Layer, a highly popular game in which players (called Deus) buy and custom-design dolls known as Angels. Angels can move by mental control when on a field called the "layer." Layers are very expensive; most users rent them by the hour in establishments resembling cybercafes.

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 names the angel Hikaru, after Hikaru Shidō from Clamp's Magic Knight Rayearth (a manga in Angelic Layer's world), which she was reading on the train to Tokyo. She wants the angel to be "a short girl, but strong and happy" like Hikaru and herself. In the anime, Misaki names her Hikaru after her favorite doll from her childhood. 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 also begins studying at the Eriol Academy, an educational institution which includes 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.

In the manga series, Misaki's mother does not have multiple sclerosis, nor is she depicted in a wheelchair. The ending to the manga also has different couplings.

The manga series is set a few years before Chobits, a Clamp work in the same universe as Angelic Layer. In the manga, 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 dateJapanese ISBNNorth American release dateNorth American ISBN
01 July 1, 1999[3]ISBN 4-04-713283-7June 25, 2002[4]ISBN 1-931514-47-X
02 March 9, 2000[3]ISBN 4-04-713319-1September 17, 2002[4]ISBN 1-59182-003-0
03 December 1, 2000[3]ISBN 4-04-713375-2November 12, 2002[4]ISBN 1-59182-004-9
04 May 1, 2001[3]ISBN 4-04-713414-7January 7, 2003[4]ISBN 1-59182-086-3
05 October 1, 2001[3]ISBN 4-04-713454-6March 11, 2003[4]ISBN 1-59182-152-5



Opening Theme:

Lyrics by: Goro Matsui
Composition by: Takahiro Ando, Goro Matsui
Arrangement by: Takahiro Ando
Song by: Atsuko Enomoto

Ending Theme:

Lyrics by: HALNA
Composition by: Atsushi Sato
Arrangement by: HAL
Song by: HAL
Lyrics by: Chisa Tanabe
Composition by: Kazuhiro Hara
Arrangement by: Takao Kōnishi
Song by: Moeko Matsushita

All of the background musical scores was composed, arranged and conducted by Kōhei Tanaka, the composer of One Piece and Sakura Wars.


  • Planning: Fukashi Azuma (TV Tokyo), Takeshi Yasuda (Kadokawa Shoten), Tetsuya Watanabe (Dentsu)
  • General producer: Takayuki Nagasawa (avex entertainment)
  • Original story: Clamp (Published in Kadokawa Shoten's "Shōnen Ace")
  • Planning support: Kazuhiko Ikeguchi (Amber FilmWorks)
  • Series supervision: Shinichirō Inoue
  • Series composition: Ichirō Ōkouchi
  • Character design: Takahiro Komori
  • Mechanic design: Junya Ishigaki
  • Design support: Shigeru Morita (Studio Nue)
  • Art directors: Nobuto Sakamoto (Big Studio), Takashi Hiruma
  • Color design: Sayoko Yokoyama
  • Directors of photography: Atsushi Takeyama -> Haruhide Ishiguro -> Shūichi Heisei

  • Sound direction: Yōta Tsuruoka (Rakuonsha)
  • Recording: Satoshi Yano (Studio Gong)
  • Sound effects: Eiko Morikawa (Rakuonsha)
  • Recording studio: Studio Gong
  • Sound production: Rakuonsha
  • Sound production desk: Yoshimi Sugiyama (Rakuonsha)
  • Music: Kōhei Tanaka
  • Music producer: Takayuki Nagasawa
  • Music production: avex entertainment
  • Music production support: TV Tokyo Music
  • Producers: Shinsaku Hatta (TV Tokyo), Taihei Yamanishi (Dentsu), Masahiko Minami (BONES)
  • Director: Hiroshi Nishikiori
  • Animation Production: BONES
  • Production: TV Tokyo, Dentsu, BONES


Angelic Layer cover picture on Newtype magazine

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".[5] 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."

Tie-ins to Clamp works

Clamp is known to reference their various works in different publications, including attempting to unify all of their works together through later publications Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and xxxHolic. :

In Chobits

Chobits is set in the same universe as Angelic Layer.

In Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle

In other Clamp works


  1. "Angelic Layer Complete Collection". ADV A.D. Vision, Inc. Archived from the original on May 28, 2006. Retrieved January 2, 2009.
  2. "Dark Horse Adds Angelic Layer, Tokyo Babylon Omnibuses". Anime News Network. March 7, 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "CLAMP公式ウェブサイト" (in Japanese). Clamp. Retrieved August 20, 2009.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 "Manga+Comics: Book Catalog". Tokyopop. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
  5. Jason Bustard. "Angelic Layer". T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews. Archived from the original on December 17, 2008. Retrieved January 2, 2009.
  6. "Angelic Layer Episode 03". ADV Angelic Layer Website. A.D. Vision, Inc. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved January 2, 2009.

External links

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