Anime: Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer

aka: Angelic Layer

Angel wings, please guide me and Hikaru!

A typical shounen Tournament Arc series, save that it's done by CLAMP (and was, incidentally, their first series directed at a male audience), has a predominantly female cast without being a Bishoujo Series, and involves fighting dolls controlled by the player's mind.

Suzuhara Misaki is the new girl at Eriol Academy, living with her aunt Shouko in Tokyo after growing up with her grandparents. Her mother, Shuuko, has been so busy with work in Tokyo that Misaki hasn't seen her since she was five years old, but she refuses to feel sad about it or look into her mom's whereabouts, feeling that she'd be a burden. Upon arriving in Tokyo, she sees a crowd gathered around a screen playing an intense match between two fighting dolls, called Angels, in a game called Angelic Layer. With some persuasion from a Mad Scientist, Misaki jumps at the chance to get her own Angel and start competing nationally.

Besides the twists to the formula, Angelic Layer starts out like a regular shounen adventure series of the same mold. Misaki meets new friends, begins to fight and realizes that she has a vast, incredible talent for the game. All the while, the Mad Scientist Icchan is watching her progress in the tournament, revealing to the audience the reason that he cares so much about Angelic Layer and about this particular little girl.

The manga treats certain plot elements completely different from the anime, which also makes big changes to the battle system later on. Either is recommended, as while the anime's changes make more sense later on, the manga is still quite good.

Angelic Layer is either an Alternate Continuity or prequel to Chobits and Kobato.

It is also notable for being one of the first Shounen series to innovatively break genre conventions and feature a female leading protagonist, a trend which eventually caught on and appeared in franchises such as Chrono Crusade and Soul Eater.

Despite the very similar premise, no relation to Custom Robo, which first appeared a mere six months after the manga.

This program provides examples of:

Alternative Title(s):

Angelic Layer