This is so insane, I hardly even know where to begin.

The first volume is hard going, with confusing panel layout and scene transitions. In fact, it is so incomprehensible that it put off the series for several years. There's a poorly explained computer game that makes people's heads explode, but luckily it goes away soon. But once you get past that, the manga is full of gorgeous art, fabulous crack, and the best brother-sister incest couple since Annabella and Giovanni in John Ford's Tis Pity She's A Whore.

Setsuna Mudo is a high school student who seems to have no problems other than that he's madly in love with his sister Sara. But that's before he finds out that he's the reincarnation of female Organic Angel Alexiel, kicked out of Heaven for rebelling against God, currently pursued through many lifetimes by her twin brother Inorganic Angel Rosiel, who can't seem to decide whether he wants to kill her, kiss her, re-start the war in Heaven, or just bring about an apocalypse in Tokyo.

Rosiel has a minion, Katan, whom I loved immediately because he looks like Riff from Godchild/Cain Saga. Later his incredibly tragic backstory and Sekrit Identity is revealed, which just makes me love him even more. (This is the sort of story where anyone of note has at least one Sekrit Identity. In some cases, their Sekrit Identities have Sekrit Identities.) Katan is currently a mass of writhing flesh and computer cables (it's a long story) but I'm sure he'll be better soon.

There are not only angels and demons, but also evils. At first I thought this was a bad translation for demon, but apparently not. Two evils come to Earth to protect Setsuna/Alexiel: Kurai, an adorable tomboy, is madly in love with Alexiel and less than impressed with Setsuna; Arachne, a male transvestite, seems mostly along for the ride.

Setsuna has a friend, a tough guy named Kira, who early on remarks about him, "Even before he was born, he was my girl." Kira is awesomely cool beyond cool, and the reveal of his Sekrit Identity is even more excellent than one might expect.

I already love Kira, and also Kurai, Katan, Setsuna, Sara, and Alexiel. Setsuna is definitely the little black dress (goes with everything) of Angel Sanctuary, as I am shipping him madly with both Sara and Kira. (Cutest incest ship ever! Cutest boy-female angel/bad boy-[massive spoiler] ship ever!) Also, Alexiel should marry Kurai, though I'm not sure how that will work out for Setsuna.)

This series is so insane that perhaps the best way to give you a taste of what reading it is like is to just quote some bits.(Not sequential.)

"You're that computer-code, blood-splattered angel from Ruri's place."

"I will go to Hell, and take my tainted heart with me!"

"I'd even thought that if I could kill you and embrace your body as I died, I'd be a happy man."

"Today was just plain weird."



EEEEEEEEE! Kira is Alexiel's sword! Kira the sword has his own spirit sword! Hello, Rachel's kink buttons!

I am bored by the goings-on in Heaven. And wow, is it awful up there! Sort of like SFWA!

I was tremendously amused by Rosiel's plan to destroy Setsuna by... papering the school with blackmailing incest photos! A bit mundane for an archangel!

The revelation of Katan's origins, with the grigor dying for the angels' amusement, was the creepiest thing ever. Heaven is clearly evil. Which means that Heaven's rules, like "don't fuck your sister," are clearly bogus.

Wonder who Sara's the reincarnation of. Was she the samurai in Kira's flashback?

Usually I hate the "save one person you love" vs. "save the world," because the heroes always pick "save one person," which is a choice I cannot respect. But when Setsuna phrased it as "The world I want to save has Kira in it," and "How can I be a savior if I can't protect the ones I love?" I respected that for the first time. Especially as he decides to go for both the ones he loves and the world. Go, Setsuna!

Please, no spoilers past volume 4.
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