Angelic Layer Volume One is a manga by CLAMP, and it was published in North America by Tokyopop in 2002. The rating for Angelic Layer is “A,” which means the series is suitable for all ages; after reading this volume, I would agree with this rating.
The protagonist of Angelic Layer is Misaki Suzuhara, a middle school freshman. She’s a young woman who is easily distracted and can be rather flaky and a little too trusting at times. She has just arrived in Tokyo to live with her aunt in order to attend a better junior high school. When she arrives in Tokyo, she sees a competition going on between two robotic-looking toys. It turns out she’s watching a competition for Angelic Layer, the biggest rage in the toy industry.
As the competition finishes on the screen, Misaki is approached by a man wearing glasses and a lab coat. He tells her to call him Icchan, and he takes her to a nearby toy store in order to purchase an Angelic Layer egg and the various accessories; this causes Misaki to spend all of her money.
After Misaki customizes her angel, which she has named Hikaru, she meets a preschooler named Hatoko Kobayashi who is really into Angelic Layer. Hatoko’s older brother, Koutarou, is in Misaki’s class, and they become friends; Misaki also becomes friends with Koutarou’s friend, Tamayo Kizaki.
It seems like CLAMP was trying to set up Angelic Layer to become a “fighting” manga property in the vein of Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Dragon Drive, etc. My biggest problem with this series is in the initial setup, because no motivation is given as to why Icchan suddenly approaches Misaki out of the blue. Yes, he probably saw her getting excited when she watched the tournament on the screen at the beginning of the story, but is that truly enough motivation for him?