I know there are a ton of anime out there having to do with a young guy who comes to live with a bevy of beautiful girls and women and all the comedic romantic entanglements and conflicts inherent in the situation. Well, I haven't seen any of them, so Angel Tales' isn't really as much of a retread of old material to me as it would be for fans of series such as Love Hina. I thought this first volume was very funny, at times touching, a tad too sweet at moments, and a little disturbing.
Goro Mutsumi is a young man trying to make it in the big city on his own. The problem is that the company he worked for went bankrupt, he can't even find a part-time job, he's had to beg for money from his parents, and besides that, he's never had a girlfriend before. Just when he's decided he can't take it anymore, a strange fortune-teller appears next to him on the street and tells him that his luck is finally going to change. He goes home not believing a word of it. When he gets out of the shower, to his amazement and shock, he finds three nice-looking young ladies in his house.
It turns out that the three are guardian angels sent down by a mysterious goddess (the fortune-teller?) to make Goro's life better . In another twist the angels were once pets and if they accomplish their mission, they will be allowed to return to their masters. There's Ran, who used to be a goldfish, Tsubasa the Parakeet, and Kurumi the Hamster. All of them have a phobia based on the manner in which they died. For example, Kurumi escaped from her cage as a hamster, and became lost and starved to death, so now, in human form, all she wants to do is gorge herself. It's actually kinda disturbing to know that all these spirits died a pretty horrible death as an animal, whether it was being shot, suffocation, etc. It gives a dark underpinning to what is otherwise humorous comedy. They do find out that Goro was their original master by the end of it.
By the second episode, it seems evident that the angels aren't really doing anything to improve Goro's life. They basically just spend their time trying to see who can get the most favor from him. So, in the second episode, another angel is sent, Tamami the Cat who in turn wants to monopolize Goro and totally defeats the purpose of why she is there. There is also a dark element that shows up in that episode. A strange white-haired man tries to run Goro over with a truck but he is saved at the nick of time by Tamami's appearance.
In the third episode, two more angels show up, Mika the Rabbit and Nana the Dog. Mika has a huge timepiece and tells the group that they must all have scheduled times with Goro, no longer than four hours apiece. The problem is that there's only one Goro, and too many girls. Besides that, the mysterious figure from the second episode again makes an attempt on Goro's life.
In the last episode, after days of utter exhaustion due to the demands of the angels on his time, Goro collapses and falls into a fever. It also might be a result of the influence of the silent assassin that is stalking him. Two more animals show up to help in his treatment, Akane the Fox and Ayumi the Turtle. Of course, you know its trouble when the rabbit and the turtle go shopping together. There's also some conflict between Nana and Akane, seeing as how Akane was hunted down by hounds and killed by hunters.
Well, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this first volume of Angel Tales'. The presence of the animals horrible deaths seemed to dull the sometimes overbearing sweet moments in the show. There weren't a lot of cutesy scenes. It was mostly comedy. The different animals of course have all sorts of problems with each other based on their nature but they are united in their devotion to Goro. It's not seedy. This is not a love slave type of show. It's more about a group of girls that truly want to make Goro's life better. He's been so mistreated by fate and somebody has to step in and help him, even though the angels seem to make his life even more stressful. I'm sure they'll get the hang of it in time. We'll probably also find out who is trying to kill him too. The last episode ends on a cliffhanger.
The extras on the dvd include a character gallery which tells a little bit about each character and a Venomous Tails clip. The clip just seems to be a little anime extra about Angel Tales'.