Angel Sanctuary

angel sanctuary

Beginning in Japan in 1999, Angel Sanctuary focuses on Setsuna Mudo, a 16-year-old troubled high-school student in love with his 15-year-old sister Sara. While struggling with his incestuous feelings, he learns that he is the reincarnation of Organic Angel Alexiel, who led a rebellion against her fellow angels after witnessing their slaughter of the Evils, a group of demons, after God’s disappearance. At the conclusion of the revolt, she sealed away her younger twin brother, Inorganic Angel Rosiel, within the Earth, emotionally unable to fulfill his request to be killed before he became insane and destructive. Captured and branded a fallen angel, Alexiel was punished by having her body frozen and her soul endlessly reincarnated as a human whose life is full of misery.

While Rosiel is freed by his subordinate Katan, Setsuna finds his life and Sara’s endangered by various attempts to awaken Alexiel’s dormant soul within him. Realizing they cannot bear to be separated, Setsuna and Sara run away together and consummate their love, hoping to start a new life together. Sara eventually dies protecting him from one of Rosiel’s subordinates, and devastated, Setsuna awakens Alexiel’s soul, causing widespread damage. Adam Kadamon, the angel closest to God, intervenes by turning back time to just after Alexiel’s awakening and freezing time on Earth; she then tasks him with freeing her from her imprisonment. To search for Sara’s soul, sent to Hell for incest, Setsuna’s body enters a near-death state. While in Hell, his soul searches for hers, eventually learning that it has been taken to Heaven instead. Sara, meanwhile, awakens in the body of Jibriel, the archangel of water held prisoner by the angels; revealed to be Jibriel’s reincarnation, Sara is eventually returned to her original body but finds herself impregnated by the malicious angel Sandolphon, who hopes that she will bear him a body. After Rosiel absorbs Sandolphon to gain his power, an act which speeds up Rosiel’s physical and mental decay, Sandolphon’s remnants possess her, causing her to see Setsuna as a monster.

Assisted by Lucifer, the ruler of the demons who is in love with Alexiel, Rosiel unseals the Tower of Etenamenki, where God rests, with Alexiel’s body. Intent on restoring the Earth, Setsuna follows him, with Kurai and the archangels of fire and earth; along the way, he aids an injured Katan, who hopes to save Rosiel before he loses his free will to do so. At the tower, Rosiel kills Katan, only to realize that he had killed the one he loved and tried to protect from himself; he then goes into a state of destructive despair. Awakening in her own body with Setsuna’s help, Alexiel reveals to him that she had always loved him: because he had been born the opposite of his healthy sister, she bargained with God to save his life in exchange for her imprisonment, from which she later escaped with Lucifer, and an agreement to never show him any compassion. She then kills him and absorbs him into her womb so that they will never be apart again. Before dying, Rosiel passes along his power to Setsuna.

Setsuna and his group find Adam Kadamon’s head, used to nourish the unborn angels, and learn that she attempted to prevent God’s plan of destroying humanity by hiding him and the tower from the angels and freezing time in hopes that Alexiel’s reincarnation could save them. Because God draws power through Adam Kadamon, the archangels and Kurai seal her up, while Setsuna confronts God and encounters Sara and Lucifer there. Sara overcomes her possession to cast out Sandolphon, and Setsuna defeats God with Lucifer’s help. Time returns to normal on Earth, where Setsuna and Sara joyfully reunite at last.

Directed by Kiyoko Sayama and produced by Bandai Visual, Lantis, and Hal Film Maker, the Angel Sanctuary OVA consisted of three episodes: “Encounter,” “Awakening,” and “Regeneration.” Satoshi Kubo, Yoshiyuki Itoh, and Katsunori Haruta served as producers, while Junichiro Nishikawa was the art director. Shuichi Shimamura worked as supervising director and was in charge of character design. Hikaru Nanase composed the OVA’s music, with Hideyuki Tanaka as sound director. The opening theme song was “MESSIAH,” while the ending theme song, “Knife of romance” was performed by Phi. Bandai published the episodes individually from 25 May to 25 August 2000.

An English-language translation was licensed in North America by Central Park Media, which published it on 10 July 2001 and re-released it on 24 May 2005. Media Blasters acquired the license for the OVA in 2007, and later re-released it with new cover art.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

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