The first volume of Angel Sanctuary introduced us to Mudou Setsuna, the human reincarnation of the great angel Alexiel. A couple of demons came to try and awaken him. Meanwhile, Alexiel’s brother, Rosiel was revived by an angel named Katan. Setsuna’s powers awakened for a brief period when his sister Sara, whom he’s in love with, was captured by Rosiel and threatened. We left off with Katan planning on killing Setsuna before his powers fully awaken
The second volume opens with a young man taking some drugs, little suspecting that Rosiel is the one giving them out for a sinister purpose which does get revealed mid-way through the volume. We cut to Sara dreaming about her brother. Her mom wakes her for an important announcement, they’re going to move to England where she and Setsuna can’t do incestuous things. Sara decides to go to Setsuna and let him know, interrupting Rosiel’s plan to seduce him while disguised as her. Our currently most compelling character, Kurai, goes to hell to consult with dragon spirits about Alexiel and she’s told that Setsuna will fully awaken, Tokyo will be destroyed and she’ll have a small window to get to Alexiel when that happens
I will say, on the positive side, the story remains fairly interesting with some really compelling ideas. It’s got a lot of fucked up elements, not the least of which is the budding romance between Setsuna and Sara, but they’re pretty deliberate and they kind of work in context. They also do a pretty good job of wrapping up the Ruri sub-plot from the first volume.
On the downside, the pacing is still painfully slow at times. Once again, we get a lot of build up for things that are coming later and it seems like some of it is going to be kind of pointless. The Ruri sub-plot may very well never be mentioned again and ultimately it’s contributed very little even if it was well done in its own right. The cliff hanger of Katan wanting to kill Setsuna hasn’t advanced at all nor was it really mentioned here. I will say, to the manga’s credit, it will almost certainly get a conclusion later on but it’s pretty annoying to have them leave off on it and proceed to ignore it for six chapters.
Setsuna still hasn’t developed much personality. He’s into his sister, doesn’t want her to know and is experiencing angst over it which is being aggravated at this point due to their mother’s plan of leaving for England with her. There’s still not much reason to care about him. At this juncture, you’re more concerned over the grim prophesied fate of Tokyo. This volume does develop Sakuya quite a bit, including answering part of the mystery surrounding him and he is all the more compelling of a character for it. We also get several new characters introduced, Kirie, Raziel and Zaphikel. It’s hard to judge them as characters at this point since they’ve barely had any scenes thus far.
The art is much like it was in the first volume. With the same kinds of well sequenced action scenes, good imagery and disturbing gore. I will add that the summoned dragon spirits looked really interesting.
Katan seems to have feelings for Rosiel. Kurai’s fixation on Alexiel seems to be giving way to feelings for Setsuna in his own right. The end of the Ruri sub-plot is a bit homo-erotic as well.
The second volume of Angel Sanctuary is pretty decent. It does a good job of setting up some intrigue and keeping things interesting enough that you want to find out where it’s going. Unfortunately, it’s still largely build up and the characters remain largely under-developed. I’d have to give it a 6/10 so far. Of course, there are a lot more volumes to go. So it could still improve or go completely off the rails. We’ll examine the third volume at a later date.