Article first published as Manga Review: Angelic Layer Volume Five by CLAMP on Blogcritics.
Angelic Layer Volume Five 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. After reading the whole series, I can say that I agree with this rating.
Volume Five continues exactly where Volume Four ended, and it follows Misaki through the remainder of the national tournament. During the tournament, she must battle against two unexpected opponents. I’m sorry for the lack of detail here, but saying too much more will give away spoilers.
However, I can now say with certainty I was correct about the identity of the mysterious dark-haired woman who kept appearing throughout the series. I have to say that since I was able to tell early on who she was supposed to be, it made the revelation of her identity in this volume feel anti-climactic. I also thought her motivations for trying to stay out of sight and not interact with Misaki didn’t entirely work for me.
In my review of Volume Four, I also mentioned that I was starting to suspect what Icchan’s motives were in regard to Misaki; this volume also proved to me that my suspicions were correct. At least it took me a bit longer in the series to figure out his secret in comparison to the secret of the dark-haired woman.
Volume Five was another quick read, due to the amount of action panels that appear in this volume for the national tournament. The only time the volume truly slows down is right at the end of the main story, when the dark-haired woman’s identity is revealed. There are also a couple of chapters that take place after the main story, and they don’t rely on the action panels.
Angelic Layer is a decent manga series for the audience it’s being aimed at and for its short length. However, I wish there had been a way for CLAMP to make the story last a little longer. Even in this final volume, the overall story felt rather rushed.
Readers who have read and enjoyed the previous four volumes of Angelic Layer should be satisfied with how the series concludes. While the series did get a little better for me as it progressed, I still have to say that Angelic Layer isn’t quite as strong of a manga series as some of the other CLAMP titles that I have read.
I wrote this review after reading a copy of Angelic Layer Volume Five that I checked out through the King County Library System.