Angelic Layer follows the story of Misaki who has moved to the big city for the first time to live with her aunt. When she arrives she discovers the world of “Angelic Layer” where people create dolls that they then move with their minds and compete in battles. Misaki instantly falls in love and is swept up in the world, becoming a ringer in the competitions despite her lack of experience. As Misaki goes further in the world of Angelic Layer she finds herself meeting more people and discovering more of what Angelic Layer actually is, and why it was invented.
On the surface the show is seemingly cute and a bit on the shallow side, though beneath that it hides something a little more complex and heart warming. The people who seem to excel at Angelic Layer are usually people that are suffering in other areas in life, this includes the main character herself. The show manages to put the more dramatic stories of the competitors, and their struggles and losses, in a rather cute package. The cute package is there though, and can be grating for some people. The show doesn’t let you get too far without reminding you that Angelic Layer is a place for all people, and somewhere to overcome the struggles of life. It ends up being a weird blend of cute, sad, funny, action packed, heart felt, cheesy, and dramatic.
While the show is not for everyone I feel like it’s often over looked because of the seemingly “cutesy” package. The action of the angel fights is solid, the characters are diverse, and the over all plot is rather unexpected. It has enough of a blend that people will be surprised by what they enjoy, and a good balance to keep the show from swinging either too dramatic or too simplistic. It won’t take many people’s “number one” spot for anime, but it’s entertaining and worth a look (or two, or even more).