Tenshi ni Narumon
A Parent's Guide to Anime
Parental Guidance Advised
Reviewed by Deborah Ehrick:
Mixing humour and drama and doing it well is a very rare thing these days. Many anime choose on genre to focus on, and many do a good job of it. Tensih ni Narumon, to me, is exceptional in that it has a balance of cute, childish humour and serious, thought-provoking issues.
I watched this series subtitled, and the animation is bright, fun, and stylized. It is now available dubbed and comercially released in America, though I have not seen it yet.
The main area of concern for parents is probably not the brief, suggested nudity of Noelle, the main female character, in the first episode, but the issues dealt with. Shounen-ai (male/male romance) is hinted at, and the ideas of angels and demons are constant.
Tenshi ni Narumon revolves around a high-school aged boy, Yuusuke, who's life changes drastically when he follows the trail of clothes he finds on his way to school. He finds Noelle, a blond, overly pink, competely innocent teenage girl who has a mysterious halo floating over her head.
She and her "family" move themselves into Yuusuke's house. A witch, Noelle's mother, is married to a monster, Noelle's father. Her grandma is also a witch, and her brother, Gabriel (my personal favorite character) is a vampire. Her sister Sara is invisible (making for both some funny jokes [Yuusuke, unknowingly, sits in a chair upon Sara and is called "ecchi," meaning perverted] and some serious issues [how horrible it is to go through life without being seen]), and her sister Ruka is a mechanical genius.
One of the issues that is handled exceptionally well is that one must deal with the past; in essence, one must deal with the truth. It applies several times. Yuusuke's crush on Suzahara-san, an older student on the swim team who cannot succeed in relationships because she can't let go of the memory of her departed older brother.
Silky, the main villain, can not accept the fact that she is who she is: an angel. Mikael becomes obsessed with his desire to be a true angel.
The main point of the show, however, is Noelle gaining more human thoughts. She wants to be an angel for Yuusuke; she loves him innocently with all of her heart, and places him before herself. She eventually learns, though, that she can't be an angel and still hug and love Yuusuke, so she has to make a choice. What she once wanted was not what she imagined it would be.
Throughout the 24 episodes, Noelle's innocence about life and people is uplifting; she places a trust in others that is rarely seen in television.
If not for the plot, the incredibly cute animation, the silly, goofy mecha, and Noelle's fascination with Jell-O is enough to amuse anyone. So...pururun (that's the onomatopoeia for Jell-O jiggling)!
Parent's Guide Rating:
yellow (parental guidance advised)
I think that there are maybe 2 or 3 nude scenes in the entire series. The bodies, when nude, are not detailed.
There is very little violence, much of it comical, and no blood to speak of.
Two characters in Tenshi ni Narumon are presumed to be lovers, and they happen to be both men (Mikael and Raphael). Though a few light sexual remarks are made, nothing is ever shown between them. Parents and children who find homosexuality disturbing will be offended, but I assure you that it is only hinted at and NEVER shown.
There is a fair amount of potty humour (a flying machine powered by the passing of gas and jokes over green onions as a home remedy for diarrhea, for example) but it is nothing that wouldn't be shown on American television for children.
Yuusuke's friends often ask him how far he has gotten with Noelle, and they also watch the girls swimming team, but again, the sexuality is only hinted at.
During the last few episodes, Mikael's obsession with becoming a full angel gets creepy. He never uses force, though, and there is no blood.
The series gets progressivly darker, but in the end, rest assured that everything comes out all right, for EVERYONE.
This anime is appropriate for mature preteens, and definitely teenagers.