Yuri Anime: Shattered Angels, Volume 1 (English)

July 23rd, 2008

Shattered Angels (originally known as Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora) is a story that takes place in the land of Academia – a small country with an abundance of schools, and therefore students (but no teachers, I can’t help but notice.)

In this world there is a girl, Kuu, whose name means “empty” and indeed, she appears to lack mostly everything except incredulity and a childhood dream of a Prince. When Ayanokoji Kyoshiro arrives at the school, dressed in the school uniform of the one school that has been destroyed completely Kuu, like everyone else, is wowed by his princely-ness. So when he grabs her shirt and rips it open, she’s pretty aghast. Of course this being a Kaishaku story, she forgets to stay upset – and all the other girls in the school likewise have no frontal lobes – so when Kyoshiro asks Kuu to come with him, she does.

Immediately she finds herself the center of a battle for…herself. Why, Kuu has no idea and no one really tells her, but that’s not really important because of every character in this series, Kuu is the least interesting. lol And the only characters we want to see are Kaon and Himiko.

So in episode two, Kuu is kidnapped by Kaon, who turns out to be an Absolute Angel, like Tarlotte, the cat girl who was after Kuu, and Setsuna who fights for Kyoshiro. The meeting with Kaon and Himiko is mostly so we can witness them kissing, and they can deny that they are in love, and Kuu can, in her own brainless way, tell us that they are lying and even she knows it.

Then we meet Mika, the evil ojou-sama who “owns” Kaon and Himiko and watch her torture them both a bit in an ill-conceived plan of domination.

Episode three was hysterical, as nearly every character spends time in either bath or shower – even the boys. If the idea of anime beef- and/or cheesecake appeals, this episode is great. For me, it was plain hysterical – especially watching Soujiro, Kyoshiro and Mika in a split frame showing them all in showers as they provide exposition about the end of the world and their Absolute Angels. Episode three also includes many gratuitous random kiss scenes.

The final episode provides us with insight into Kyoshiro’s obsession about his older brother Kazuya, and a lot of crazy talk.

Video extras include the first and second DVD specials. The first shows us just how much of a raw deal Setsuna has signed up for. (Is there anyone watching this who does not feel bad for Setsuna? I know I do. She’s loads better than Kuu.) And the second is a romantic vignette called “Lovers Reunion” that shows us, in no uncertain terms, what Kaon and Himiko feel for one another. No subtext here at all. It’s a sweet and touching extra. Their interactions with each other will continue to be tender and touching through the series, whatever amount of service is layered over them. And I still prefer them to Chikane and Himeko, regardless of the fact that they are not the main couple.

Ratings:

Art – 7
Story – 7
Characters – 7, except for Mika, Kaon and Himiko, who are all 8
Yuri – 7
Service – 7

Overall – 7

I know I’m in a minority when I say this but, I still think that Shattered Angels is a better Yuri story than Kannazuki, primarily because the Yuri relationship does not have violence or insanity built into it. This time the crazy and abusive is confined to the Ayanokojis, so Himiko and Kaon are left alone to have a deep, mostly functional love.

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13 Responses

  1. DezoPenguin says:

    Regarding that first extra…

    When I watched the fourth episode, I thought “Kyoshiro is animated scum” based on how he planned to kill Setsuna when all was done. Then when I watched the first extra and that changed to “Kyoshiro is a jerk, but he and Setsuna have a very, very, very creepy relationship.” Seriously–it gave me chills, which in a minimal-depth show like this is odd.

    The second extra was, of course, much better. ^_^

  2. Anonymous says:

    Gotta agree with most of this review, actually, and I’m quite a fangirl of the other series.

    Hooray for Kaon to Himiko no Sora. What, it has another title?

  3. ajshepherd says:

    I was glad this series got picked up by Funimation after ADV lost the rights, so at some point more in the series will be released.
    When I first watched it in fansubs I found it quite splendidly ridiculous, especially when the main bad guy turns up.

  4. Phil L. says:

    Kaon and Himiko really are the best part of this show, which is otherwise the funniest unintentional comedy I ever watched. Seriously, you can’t not laugh through most of it

  5. HearMeScream says:

    “Seriously, you can’t not laugh through most of it”

    I beg to differ. I wanted to burst my own eardrums every time Kuu spoke. I know it was supposed to be an endearing cutesy voice, for a braindead character, but the “watashi no ouji-sama”‘s got really old, really quickly.

  6. Alair says:

    I remember looking into this one after finding out about, well, as you said the only reason anyone seems to look into it.

    I probably would have enjoyed it more if not for the simple fact that Kuu annoyed the *hell* out of me. We’re talking about someone so vapid it never even seems to occur to her to ask why no fewer than four groups of people want to kidnap her.

    Kazuya was fun though.

  7. Anonymous says:

    XD I agree with you. I like KyoSora a lot more than Kannazuki no Miko, mostly because Himeko and Chikane are more sincere to each other and less annoying or pointless mecha batles. Also, were can enjoy KyoSora without Chikane going batshit crazy of Himeko getting raped with a flute…*shudders*

  8. Fuyumi says:

    Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora is a lot better than Kannazuki no Miko, I agree – it’s seriously LFB, but I loved it anyway, and there were no rape scenes masquerading as expressions of true love… what a relief!

    I actually like Kuu – yeah, she’s a bit bland and stereotypical, but she realizes that she’s a bit bland, which is much more than you can say for any other character of her sort.

  9. jaymiemizuno says:

    Um, it wasn’t a flute (someone keeps spreading that…) but a sheathed tanto. The same one she later uses on the Orochi necks.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I really have to applaud Ayako Kawasumi for her voice acting skills for this one. She really put her heart into it especially in scenes where sometimes it was too painful to even listen.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it yet again. Thanks to the ambiguity of the anime and the complete tepidity of Himeko’s reaction, I’m assuming Chikane made Himeko strip and forced her to watch Teletubbies instead of raping her. Lord knows it explains her reactions much better than rape does.

  12. Sora Ryu says:

    i would like to check out Kaon and Himiko and I am sure that the couple has an easier time the second time around…it’s just that I hate to watch an entire anime just to catch of few glimpses of girl-on-girl love, no offense…….himeko was raped with a flute? sorry didn’t read the magna…i heard the rape scene was more disturbing than in the anime.. where she only got molested and roughed up a bit….i guess the flute explains everything then…

  13. Anonymous says:

    Just a note that the Funimation release of the complete Shattered Angels series does not have all the extras that were on DVD 1 of the ADV release. The only extras that made the cut were the clean opening and closing, so those who want the wonderful Kaon x Himiko short will have to go looking for the ADV’s volume 1 (if they don’t have it already).

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