Twelve-year-old Misaka Suzuhara arrives in Tokyo from the country to attend middle school, and is immediately drawn to "Angelic Layer," a battle game played with animated dolls. Under the skewed tutelage of "Mr. Icchan," Misaka assembles her doll Hiraku, begins playing, and immediately wins. Although she never does any school work, Misaka befriends kindergartener Hatoko, her older brother Kotaro, and his rambunctious friend Tamayo. Not surprisingly, all their socializing revolves around the "Angelic Layer" game. This 2001 broadcast series plays like a mixture of Pokémon and Chobits. Both the original manga and the animation are by Clamp Studio, and typify their unremittingly cute style: the character designs suggest Cardcaptor Sakura, but without any mischief to leaven the sugar. Icchan approaching Misaka and her unquestioningly following him may strike American viewers as distinctly creepy. (Unrated, suitable for ages 12 and older: violence, minor risqué humor, alcohol use) --Charles Solomon
All used DVDs have been refurbished and tested before shipping and should play fine on most machines.