The second volume of Angel Sanctuary gave us the prophesy of Tokyo’s destruction and we saw Setsuna temporarily transform into the spirit of Alexiel in order to eradicate a creature of Rosiel’s. A creature who used to be human. Rosiel replaced Katan with Kirie, a younger and more naive angel. We also learned that Sara was going to be taken out of the country buy her mother in order to get married to some guy she didn’t know to keep her away from her brother. Which is a worthy cause.
Volume three opens with some backstory on how Sakuya and Setsuna first met. this volume actually has a lot about Sakuya, his back story and history with Alexiel. I will give Yuki credit, it is really good stuff and it doesn’t come across as stilted or overly exposition-oriented. We quickly learn that Setsuna is being investigated for the death of Rosiel’s minion.
Kurai approaches Sara in an attempt to get her to be honest with her feelings and Sara gives her the cheap ring that she’s treasured all this time because her brother got it for her. Kurai returns it to Setsuna and tells him that she doesn’t want such a cheap thing. This prompts Setsuna to run after Sara, declaring his love for her just as investigators close in. Sakuya blocks their way so that Setsuna and Sara can escape and be deranged together, confessing to the murder in the process. While that screwed up romance stuff is happening, we learn Katan’s back story and aspects of heaven’s hierarchy. We also find out that he’s given up his plans to kill Setsuna, nice to see that that subplot ultimately went nowhere. Kirie has her own plans to get into Rosiel’s good graces and Setsuna could very well suffer for it. We’re also briefly introduced to two high-ranking angels, the childish Metatron and his minister, Sevothtarte.
The same problem that we saw in the other two volumes is still evident. The story’s getting somewhere, but it’s taking its sweet time at it. There are some parts that get kind of repetitive and some others that we really don’t need. The biggest example is seeing Kirie practice for her plan shortly before she goes out to do it. We really don’t need to see the precise details of her plan. We can figure out what she’s trying to do when she actually goes into action.
On the positive side, the manga is still good at keeping your attention and adding interesting plot lines. I am curious to see how Metatron and Sevothtarte ultimately contribute to the narrative. This manga is also really good at ending its chapters on suspenseful notes to keep the audience invested in what’s going to happen in the next one.
Setsuna and Sara are still pretty stagnant as characters. They spend most of this volume getting creepily affectionate. On the positive side, both Katan and Sakuya get developed and fleshed out pretty well. We also learn a bit about Kirie. Katan and Kirie’s back stories also help flesh out Rosiel a bit, making him more compelling as a character. So, we are getting some interesting supporting and antagonistic characters going.
This volume cuts down a bit on the otherworldly imagery. there’s still a bit and the artwork remains a strong element with interesting character designs and well done action sequences.
There isn’t much in this volume. At most, you can say that the way Sakuya and Setsuna’s relationship is developing is a bit suspect. Just snog the boy, Setsuna. It’ll be healthier than going after your sister.
In spite of the slow pacing, this is the strongest volume thus far. I’d have to give it a 7/10, bringing the overall score for the manga up to a 6.3/ 10. I’ll look at volume 4 at a later date and we’ll see if the manga continues to improve.