Middlefield shelver Jenna returns with her Manga Spotlights.
Angel Sanctuary by Kaori Yuki
Setsuna Mudo is a student struggling with unfriendly classmates and forbidden emotional attachments just trying to get through life. But when he learns that he is the reincarnation of the angel Alexiel who once led a rebellion against her fellow angels, Setsuna’s life becomes infinitely more complicated. Caught up between a struggle between demons and angels with angels who want to use him and revive their leader, Setsuna has to decide where he stands in the battle and what he wants to fight for.
Angel Sanctuary, like all of Kaori Yuki’s works, contains dark themes and exploration of the negative side of human nature – this time with a skewed religious commentary alongside it. As the story continues, the struggles among the angel ranks become the central plot and Alexiel’s history and enemies define where the story goes. While the series ends on a fairly happy note, it isn’t the series of choice for someone looking for a more lighthearted exploration of fantasy and supernatural themes.
Complex Age by Yui Sakuma
26-year-old Nagisa Kataura has a job, an apartment, and a secret. While to her coworkers, she seems to have nothing much going on in life outside of her job, Nagisa actually spends her free time cosplaying. Making her own costumes and striving to embody her favorite characters, Nagisa – or ‘Nagi’ as other cosplayers know her – enjoys nothing more than donning her costumes and becoming someone else for a while. But she can’t share this part of her life with her coworkers, and when she meets a first-time cosplayer who looks like she could have been a double for the character Nagi prefers to cosplay, Nagi’s insecurities over her age and the acceptability of her interests creep into her life.
A Complex Age takes a look at Japanese fan culture and social pressures, asking the question, do you grow out of the things you love? It catches that point in life where the question of what it means to be adult meets what makes a person happy. Characters in the series each ask themselves these questions and find different answers for themselves.