Article first published as Manga Review: Angelic Layer Volume Four by CLAMP on Blogcritics.
Angelic Layer Volume Four is a manga by CLAMP, and it was published in North America by Tokyopop in 2003. The rating for Angelic Layer is “A,” which means the series is suitable for all ages; from what I’ve read of the series, I would agree with this rating.
Volume Four begins with Misaki qualifying for the national tournament. However, before she goes to the tournament, Icchan (the crazy scientist who got Misaki started in Angelic Layer) gives her a DVD to watch. On the DVD is footage of an Angel named Wizard in an Angelic Layer tournament.
Misaki goes to the national Angelic Layer tournament, and she is up first. Her opponent ends up being Ohjiro Mihara, and he is the deus for Wizard. The remainder of the volume focuses on Misaki’s bout with Ohjiro.
The mysterious dark-haired woman appears again, and the reader actually gets to see her face. With what I read in this volume, I’m still convinced that I’ve guessed who she is; however, I will not name who I think she is, because I don’t want to wander into spoiler territory. The mysterious woman knows Icchan, and now I’m starting to suspect that I have an idea as to his motivations in regards to Misaki. Since there’s only one volume of Angelic Layer left, I’m very curious to see if I have made correct guesses for both of these characters.
One thing I really noticed in this volume is the fact that the themes of determination and believing in yourself are emphasized very strongly, especially during Misaki’s battle with Ohjiro. While these themes have appeared in the earlier volumes of the series, they seem to be utilized a lot in Volume Four.
The fourth volume of Angelic Layer is a very quick read, due in large part to the number of action panels that appear during the national Angelic Layer tournament. In a lot of ways, I still believe that this series feels rushed, and I’m a little afraid that Volume Five will ultimately rush the series to its conclusion. I hope I’m wrong on this, though.
If you’re a reader who has already read the previous three volumes of Angelic Layer and enjoyed the series, you should be able to also enjoy reading Volume Four. While I’ve come to appreciate this series better than when I first started reading it, I still think it’s not quite as strong of a series as the other CLAMP titles that I have read.
I wrote this review after reading a copy of Angelic Layer Volume Four that I checked out through the King County Library System.