Angelic Layer Volume Three 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; from what I’ve read of the series, I would agree with this rating.
The major focus of Volume Three is on the Angelic Layer finals. Over the course of this volume, there are two complete battles and the start of a third. Misaki is featured in the first complete battle and the third battle; Hatoko Kobayashi and Sai Jounouchi are the competitors in the second battle.
Early on in this volume, there is some character development for Misaki’s friend, Koutarou Kobayashi. It was nice to start seeing a little more dimension being added to his character. Unfortunately, their mutual friend, Tamayo, is still rather one-dimensional. It seems that Tamayo is meant to be the comic relief of the series, so I suspect that she may not get much more in the way of any real character development.
The mysterious dark-haired woman who appeared in Volume Two makes more appearances in Volume Three. From some things being said, I think it’s become rather clear who this mysterious woman is supposed to be. I had a feeling of what her identity was by the end of Volume Two, and I believe Volume Three basically clinched my suspicions. I have a feeling her identity will be revealed in either Volume Four or Volume Five. I’m interested to see whether or not I accurately guessed her identity.
I admit that I have started enjoying this series more than I did when I wrote my review for Volume One. However, one thing I’ve discovered as I’ve continued reading is that the series is feeling rather rushed. Knowing that there’s only two volumes remaining, I suspect that this rushed feeling will persist for the rest of the series.
A reader commented on my review of Volume One that they hadn’t read the manga, but that they had seen the anime adaptation. The commenter said that the story they had seen included CLAMP’s philosophy on human relationships, fate, and the destiny of mankind. From these three volumes, I can kind of see the idea of human relationships, and perhaps an argument could even be made for fate. However, I’m not seeing anything about the fate of mankind.
Perhaps all of these concepts will be hit on with full force in the final two volumes of the series. If they don’t, then I’ll be a little disappointed; I really want Angelic Layer to be more than simply another “fighting” manga series.