[[quoteright:264:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/angelsanctuarysarasetsuna_2096.jpg]]

Angel Sanctuary is a 20 volume epic manga by KaoriYuki, which spawned a series of Drama {{CD}}s and a 3 episode {{OVA}}.

[[FallenAngel Angel]] Alexiel rebelled against God. As punishment, her body and [[OurSoulsAreDifferent soul]] were separated, and her soul was [[{{Curse}} cursed]] to [[{{Reincarnation}} rebirth]] into an endless loop of human incarnations. This is the story of her latest incarnation...

1999 in Tokyo. Setsuna Mudo, a [[TroubledButCute high school boy,]] finds his life interrupted by [[OurAngelsAreDifferent angels]] and [[OurDemonsAreDifferent demons]]. Both Heaven and Hell seek Alexiel's soul, housed within him, but Setsuna has his own life, with his own problems. Not the least of which is the internal conflict of being in love with his [[BrotherSisterIncest biological sister]], Sara.

In the struggle to awaken Alexiel's soul, Setsuna's life is threatened and Sara [[HeroicSacrifice dies]] protecting him. The bulk of this story follows Setsuna's journey to [[OrpheanRescue find and rescue]] his sister's soul; travelling through the [[TheUnderworld afterlife]], through {{Hell}} and {{Heaven}}, with the help and hindrance of [[LightIsNotGood angels]], [[DarkIsNotEvil demons]] and other mythical beings. Through this journey, Setsuna learns important lessons that help him become the hero and saviour that Alexiel wished she could have been.

This series delves into issues such as morality, destiny and social conformity, told through beautiful art and themes inspired by multiple religions and mythologies.


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!!Tropes used in ''Angel Sanctuary'':

* AbusiveParents:
** God is the parent of most angels. [[spoiler: God manipulates and neglects all of His children, although only a few of the angels are aware of this. Rosiel is said to be God's favorite, but this position is only envied by those who don't know what He's really like. God's constant mental, physical and sexual abuse is the main cause of Rosiel's fragile mental state. God also secretly threatens Rosiel's life to blackmail Rosiel's twin sister, Alexiel, just to see how she would behave.]]
** Setsuna and Sara's father neglects them, while their mother is overprotective of Sara and hostile toward Setsuna. A religious woman, she has always found Setsuna uncanny, as though his seeming immunity to injury (related to Alexiel's powers) were caused by a demonic influence. Setsuna's [[BrotherSisterIncest feelings]] for Sara certainly don't earn him any sympathy from their mother...
** Kato's [[spoiler: stepfather hates him because he's the product of an affair. He openly favors his biological daughter, Sae, and beats Kato]].
* AdmiringTheAbomination: Rosiel is always drawn to strange beings. The first time he creates a golem, he gushes over how cute it is. He also has paintings of God with weird creatures on the wall, and he spends some time musing over [[spoiler: Sandalphon's true form.]]
* AIIsACrapshoot: ''Angel Sanctuary -Digital Angels-'' is a computer game gaining popularity at both Setsuna's and Sara's schools. There have been reports of mysterious deaths and strange behaviour, possibly related to the game, but it's not until Sara's friend Ruri gets a copy that they find out the truth: What at first appears to be an interactive A.I. turns out to be [[spoiler:a way to communicate with the Inorganic Angel, and a key component in Katan's plan to break the curse that's holding Rosiel prisoner.]]
* AlwaysSaveTheGirl: Played straight at first, then subverted: The first time Setsuna reaches Sara, [[spoiler: she refuses to go with him, since it would trigger widespread consequences.]]
* AmbiguousGender: Rejecting binary gender is one of Belial's proud rebellious acts against God.
* ApocalypseMaiden: Many high ranking angels have the [[PersonOfMassDestruction power]] or [[WeaponOfMassDestruction technology]] to destroy the world. [[spoiler: This is part of God's experiment - He's waiting to see who will actually do it.]]
* AppendageAssimilation: Rosiel [[spoiler: grafts and transplants all of Alexiel's body parts onto himself, to cover up his true form. Each part cut off her grows back.]]
* AssimilationBackfire: Rosiel [[spoiler:absorbs Sandalphon, gaining all of Sandalphon's powers, but the assimilation doesn't go smoothly. Sandalphon is strong, so it takes a while for his consciousness to be fully assimilated. Also, the stronger Rosiel's own powers grow, the more his body destabilises. Consequently, the massive boost he gets from Sandalphon's powers leaves his body in an awful state.]]
* TheAssimilator: The ability to absorb and assimilate is a fundamental part of Rosiel's inorganic nature. He absorbs Sara's friend Ruri, then impersonates her a few times before getting found out. Since he was interrupted while absorbing Sara's 'data', he was able to look like her, but not convincingly pass for her.
* AttemptedRape:
** This happens to Kurai ''twice'': During the Second Great War, she is saved from a group of angel soldiers by Alexiel. While [[spoiler: Astaroth]] is holding Kurai captive [[spoiler: in Sheol, his twin sister Astarte]] stops him by [[spoiler: taking over their shared body]].
** It's actually the context of Alexiel's first meeting with [[spoiler: Lucifel, who intended to hurt her to get back at God]].
** Setsuna saved Sara from this when they were children. It didn't end well for the would-be rapist...
** If her father hadn't intervened, Kato [[spoiler: would have likely raped his sister Sae when she let it slip that she knew he was the product of their mother's affair]].
** A rare aversion of DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale - [[spoiler: Belial]]'s attempted rape of Raphael led to his misogyny.
* AxCrazy:
** Being murderous and unstable is culturally acceptable in Hell.
** Rosiel commits mass slaughter several times, killing any- and everyone who tries to keep him from his sister.
* BecomingTheMask:
** Arachne [[spoiler: turns out to be one of Kurai's siblings, pretending to be her cousin and waiting to betray her as part of a revenge plot. After spending centuries together, and after the truth is revealed, Arachne says she wishes they really had been cousins. Kurai says she wishes that too, and that their relationship will always remain that way, for her.]]
** Kira [[spoiler: died in a car accident when he was seven years old, and the spirit of Alexiel's sword took over his body from that point on. Having friends and a human life -in particular, being friends with Setsuna and having a father who loved him unconditionally- proved cathartic enough to make him truly love his new life.]]
* BigBad: Rosiel - He wants his sister back. His theory is that if he can make Setsuna's life miserable enough, Alexiel will stop wanting to be this human boy and wake up as her original self.
* BigBadWannabe:
** Sevothtarte - He's a cruel dictator feared by all of Heaven. He's pulling the strings behind puppet king Metatron's back, but the high-ranking angels don't respect him (they don't even bother gracing council meetings with their presence), while rebels are plotting his downfall. Since she openly opposed his policies, he disposed of Jibril [[spoiler:by causing her incarnation as Sara]]. Ultimately, Sevothtarte [[spoiler:is revealed to be Lailah (an angel scientist branded as fallen after she had been gang-raped) and becomes a pawn to Sandalphon and Rosiel]].
** Sandalphon - He does pose a serious threat to almost everyone. [[spoiler:He has the ability to manipulate his twin brother, Metatron, but he is essentially a child, and he overestimates himself. Because God has nicknamed him "Little YHWH" (basically ''God Junior'') Sandalphon believes himself to be superior to the angels from previous sets of twins, particularly Rosiel. Although Rosiel is not as powerful as Sandalphon, he outsmarts Sandalphon, then absorbs and assimilates him.]]
* BigGood: Alexiel - She once promised Rosiel she would kill him before his insanity made him dangerous, but when the time came to do it, she couldn't. She tries to keep Setsuna safe, in the hopes that he will fulfil the promise for her[[spoiler:, but only Alexiel is a match for Rosiel.]]
* BlackAndGreyMorality: As products of a Creator [[spoiler:with no morals]], all anyone does is try to make the best of the hand they're dealt. From angels trying or failing to live up to their holy image, to demons fulfilling or rejecting adversarial roles, and with humankind in the middle, the importance, the quality and even the definitions of morality vary greatly.
* BrokenBird: Alexiel claims that her heart is dead and that she can only bring destruction. Nonetheless, she becomes a mentor to a little demon, Kurai, whose love for her helps Alexiel's heart to thaw a little. [[spoiler:Alexiel made a deal with God - He would preserve her twin brother Rosiel's life, as long as she never showed compassion for him. Faced with her brother's despair, Alexiel shut out all emotions in order to cope.]]
* BrotherSisterIncest:
** Setsuna worries that this relationship will make Sara's life difficult, but their feelings are mutual. Even though both of them are consistently faced with opposition (whether from human society or from Heaven),[[spoiler: their love never falters.]] They do, through the course of their separate adventures, mature and become aware of the sacrifices their allies are making to help them, and the impact their actions have on the people around them. In the end,[[spoiler: they are reunited in Assiah (Earth.) When Kurai points out that they will go back to their human lives and still be siblings, Setsuna is convinced they'll find a way to make it work.]]
** In Heaven, all close relationships are taboo, and all angels are related. But, with the exception of twins, they don't tend to think of each other as siblings. Though the dynamic is different, it still applies because if any of them have children together, genetic mutations are a valid concern.
* CameBackWrong: Averted - Setsuna [[spoiler:would have turned undead if Belial's fake revive potion had been used on his body, but Arachne breaks it to keep Noise from using it on Voice instead]].
* TheChessmaster: Rosiel has a good mind for strategy and is constantly constructing intricate plans in his efforts to get what he wants. He's charismatic and a good judge of character, and often knows just what to say to gain disturbing levels of loyalty. He also has issues with boredom, occasionally setting up conflicts for his own amusement.
* CouncilOfAngels: The Angelic Hierarchy is God's military, run by a specially created Monarchy. Their job is to keep peace on Earth, but since the latest divinely ordained Ruler is a perpetual toddler, power falls into the hands of his Prime Minister -a tyrannical dictator. Without a competent leader, the angels succumb to class division, and many turn to crime. This also inspires an organised rebellion. Truly holy angels are the noteworthy exception.
* CrapsackWorld: Earth? [[YouCantFightFate Doomed]]. Hell? [[DeathWorld Dangerous for most]]. But hey, it could be [[FromBadToWorse worse]]. You could go to [[{{Dystopia}} Heaven]]...
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Wing clipping punishment for angels. Not only are angel wings very sensitive, they function like an angel's immune system. First the wings are removed, then virus and infection set in, leaving the victim to live out their final days in a starving, rotting, zombie-like state.
* {{Curse}}:
** Earth Command Curse - During the Second Great War between Heaven and Hell, Alexiel uses this curse to imprison Rosiel within the Earth. This essentially [[LogicalWeakness earths]] the 'electric angel', as an alternative to killing him. - This curse is broken by [[spoiler:Katan, one of Rosiel's loyal followers, using forbidden black magic.]]
** Language Power Spell - During the same battle where Alexiel cast her curse on Rosiel, he seriously wounds her, facilitating her capture. This is the curse the Angel of Judgement, Uriel, sentences Alexiel to, during the trial in which she is branded Fallen. Her body and soul are separated; her body imprisoned in Angel Crystal, her soul sentenced to cycles of reincarnation in human lives. Always short, difficult lives, ending in brutal deaths. - This curse is broken by [[spoiler:the Spirit from Alexiel's sword, saving her from suffering by performing a mercy killing in the life she had before she was incarnated as Setsuna.]]
* DarkIsNotEvil: Oppositions like "angel/demon" and "Heaven/Hell" do not indicate moral alignment. There are selfish ''and'' selfless angels, just as there are fallen angels who fight injustice ''or'' who live only for hedonism. In fact, a race of bat-winged, dark-skinned demons (not fallen angels themselves, but descended from them) are called "Evils" - they worship nature spirits and keep to themselves, but their existence is threatened by the violent conflicts between Heaven and Hell more than once.
* DealWithTheDevil: Kurai makes one with Belial. [[spoiler:In exchange for a potion supposed to revive Setsuna, Kurai agrees to marry Lucifer. Belial, however, omits certain details - the potion would turn Setsuna undead, and marrying Lucifer would require Kurai to sacrifice her life.]]
* DemonicPossession: Belial [[spoiler:seals an undead, skeletal beast in a mark on Noise's left hand and a spider-like demon in a mark on Arachne's chest]].
* DeusEstMachina: Though He has a humaniod avatar, YHWH is in fact [[spoiler:an extradimensional Being, interfacing with the universe through a massive super computer.]]
* DiseaseBleach:
** Kurai is accused of having this when she and Arachne attempt to infiltrate Setsuna's (boys') school, but she argues that her hair was always white.
** Sevothtarte [[spoiler:Lailah's black hair turns white after the ordeal that leads to her being branded Fallen -a poetic manifestation of Sevi's dreams of a 'pure white world']]
* DudeShesLikeInAComa: It happens several times, always downplayed.
** After he's rescued her from angels, Setsuna kisses Sara while she is sleeping. He's interrupted by their mother.
** Kira [[spoiler: who is actually Lucifer]] kisses Alexiel's soulless body.
** Rosiel also kisses Alexiel's face.
* DysfunctionJunction: Flaws, weaknesses and imperfections play a large part in what makes all of these characters so interesting and compelling.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: [[spoiler:Despite a setup which borders on a CosmicHorrorStory (coming inches away from a DownerEnding), most of the cast lives to see the world saved.]]
* EmpathicWeapon: An interesting double case. Alexiel's sword, Nanatsusaya, houses a spirit which serves and follows her because she knows his real identity ([[spoiler:Lucifer]]). On one of their adventures, said spirit's human form finds a [[KatanasAreJustBetter katana]] with spiritual powers and sentience, which asks him to follow him around. So, the mystic sword's personified spirit can now summon a mystic sword of his own. Is that a good weapon or what?
* EvilVersusEvil: Although [[BlackAndGreyMorality "evil" is relative]], Setsuna faces hostility from various factions that ''also'' oppose each other - even within Heaven and Hell, respectively. In Heaven, [[BigBad Rosiel]] is plotting to reclaim his throne from [[PuppetKing Metatron]] and [[BigBadWannabe Sevothtarte]] [[spoiler:(Sandalphon eventually joins this conflict)]], while in Hell, [[SevenDeadlySins the Satans]] struggle to cooperate with each other.
* EyesAlwaysShut: Zaphikel, who acts as a (seemingly oblivious) mentor to Setsuna, is usually seen with a smile and closed eyes. He's blind anyway... [[spoiler:However, his smiling face is a facade - he used to be a "rabbit hunter" (exterminating angel children) and became a rebel leader. Regardless of his blindness, he sometimes opens his eyes when he's not feigning ignorance.]]
* EyeScream: Later on in the manga, Rosiel [[spoiler:puts something in Setsuna's eye that let's him take control of Setsuna's body.]] Setsuna reacts by [[spoiler:stabbing out his own eye and acting like it was no big deal.]]
* FateWorseThanDeath: No, not being caught in an endless cycle of reincarnation into cruel lives and brutal deaths each time. [[spoiler:Being imprisoned by God and slowly fed to your children (which makes it no surprise that angels are as messed up as they are) is probably a lot less fun, isn't it Adam?]]
** Rosiel didn't have it easy either. Seems that God enjoyed torturing his closest family the most.
** This is also what wing cutting is said to be.
* FetusTerrible: Sandalphon.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: [[spoiler:Lailah. ''Holy Kadamon''.]]
%%* GodIsEvil
* GreaterScopeVillain: YHWH (God) - Alexiel's rebellion was justified. [[spoiler: The universe was God's experiment, which he deemed a massive failure. To save everyone, God must be 'killed'.]]
* HalfIdenticalTwins: Voice and Noise.
* HealingFactor: Kira, although his recovery rate gets increasingly slower as the series progresses. Also Alexiel and Rosiel.
* HealingHands: Raphael.
* HeroicSacrifice: More than enough, but most notably [[spoiler:Kato's and Zaphikel's sacrifices for the main cast]].
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Raphael and Michael, Setsuna and Kira.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: [[spoiler:Lucifer]].
* ImpossiblyCoolClothes: Particularly in the manga.
* JerkassHasAPoint: Setsuna and Sara's mother is a rather nasty woman who [[AbusiveParents isn't going to be winning any parenting awards anytime soon.]] However, considering her children ''do'' harbor incestuous feelings for each other, her desire to keep them separated is somewhat understandable, even if she goes about it in an extremely dickish way.
* LadyOfWar: Alexiel.
* LightIsNotGood: Nope. Not at all. Conversely, DarkIsNotEvil. Hell, one of the most sympathetic groups in the manga are a race of underdog demons called the 'Evils'.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: If you use all your fingers and toes you may count the REALLY important ones.
* LotusEaterMachine: Setsuna gets trapped in one very early in the manga. In this dream, Sara is not his sister, but his girlfriend, he is a normal teenager, and the guys who died in the first volumes are alive and well.
* MindScrew: In every way possible.
* MsFanservice: A lot of the ladies take turns at this, but [[TallDarkAndBishoujo Alexiel]] takes the cake.
* TheMole: [[spoiler: Arachne turns out to be one for Belial and the demons, though her heart wasn't really in it.]]
* MurderTheHypotenuse: [[spoiler:Lailah]] [[UriahGambit set up]] her rival to be killed ''by their loved one''. Which he regrets all of his life.
* MySiblingWillLiveThroughMe: Noise cuts her hair and takes up Voice's shoes after his death.
* NotBloodSiblings: Subverted even before the series got going. One of the first scenes in the OVA is Setsuna resigning himself to the fact that he and Sara are related.
* NoWomansLand: Heaven is this. While most men there do not have it easy, women have it worse.
* ParentalFavoritism: And ParentalNeglect. God to everyone, especially the twins or siblings He created.
* PersonOfMassDestruction: The Archangels, Alexiel, Rosiel, Lucifer...
* PietaPlagiarism
* RapeAsDrama: Many times. Worst of all is the punishment and stigma the innocent women have to suffer. [[spoiler:Most importantly with Layla.]]
* RapunzelHair: Many of the main characters have hair that goes down past their waists.
** Sevothtarte takes the cake, though, with hair so long it ''drags on the floor'' and even telling a maid ([[ItMakesSenseInContext that was actually Setsuna in drag]]) to put on some gloves and ''carry'' the hair so it won't get dirty.
* {{Reincarnation}}: Obviously.
* RespawnPoint: Lucifer, willingly ''and'' unwillingly.
* ScrewDestiny: [[spoiler:Fate itself ends up being destroyed by Lucifer.]]
* SharingABody: Alexiel/Setsuna, Lucifer/Kira, Gabriel/Sara - though this also ties in with {{Reincarnation}}.
** [[spoiler:Alexiel and Setsuna ''may'' have been split in the end. Notably, Alexiel's spirit is seen with Lucifer after Setsuna loses his divine powers.]]
* SissyVillain: Rosiel. Kinda. It's hard to call foul when most of the male cast looks and dresses only ''slightly'' less effeminately than he does.
* ShoutOut: Tokyo is destroyed on July X, 1999.
** Setsuna speaks of the ''Film/LadyHawke'' movie, unknowingly speaking about [[spoiler:Alexiel and Lucifer]].
* SmokingIsCool: Most notably Kira and Kato.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Sevotharte/Sevothtarte, Layla/Laylah/Lailah/Laila, Gabriel/Jibril, Noise/Noyz, Voice/Boyz...
* StarCrossedLovers: The leads of course, also [[UpToEleven virtually every other couple in the series]].
* SugarAndIcePersonality: Kira. But Alexiel ''and'' Lucifer are extreme examples too.
* TragicMonster: Where do we even begin?
* {{Transsexual}}: Arachne.
** Subverted, as Arachne is simply [[{{Crossdresser}} crossdressing]].
* {{Tsundere}}: Kurai and Anael.
* WasItAllALie
* WhatBeautifulEyes: Many characters comment on Raziel's and Anael's eyes. [[spoiler: They're mother and son.]]
* WingedHumanoid: Almost everyone, which is not surprising. Some characters have unusual numbers. Adam Kadamon has 6 wings, Rosiel and Alexiel have 3, and Lucifer has 4. This is supposed to be a sign of their power.
** In angelology, some of the higher castes of angels are supposed to have more wings than the lower castes. The idea is overall sound, but it isn't actually accurate. Assuming you believe the really straight angelology stance on this, Lucifer should have 6 wings because he was a Seraphim.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Setsuna and [[spoiler:Rosiel]].
* {{Yandere}}: Rosiel.
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