Is Angel’s Egg an Overlooked Masterpiece? – Analyzed and Explained

Chris Stuckmann analyzes Angel’s Egg (Tenshi no Tamago), directed by Mamoru Oshii.

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Quick, funny reviews of movies and games, new and old.

13 comments

  1. CraAaAzy. I saw that as a kid 3:am IN THE 1988 FILM n the Aftermath Is an post encephalitic that changes from live action to animation and the animated parts are this movie. I never saw the original animation Funny that this fim make me look after the character design Yoshitaka Amano, that draw Vampire Hunter D and final fantasy from I to 6. Oh yes. This movie was realesed in america mied with live action sequences directed by Carl Colpaert and narration added is called n the Aftermath

  2. Yeah, I’ve never heard of Angel’s Egg before. It does sound quite interesting because Christianity isn’t something that I associate with anime or even Japan. While the film looks beautiful, I really have to be in the mood for something symbolic so I probably won’t be watching this anytime soon (also due to it not being out in the States).

    • Not exactly.. anime reference Christianity quite commonly.. I don’t say in proper way as in most cases it is highly pouted by Shintoism but still. It isn’t that rare, and not the reason why movie is good.

  3. It is worth to point out that Giant Eye is common symbol in anime.. for example Giant Robo the Animation. Closest explanation what I get is Ameno-Sagiri, a Japanese deity of fog.. but Persona 4 is not exactly reliable source.

    But in this case it obviously represent the God even if technically Spirit of the North Star (Amenominakanushi) is his closest Shinto counterpart..

    • All those eyes are based on the monster Backbeard. Or the picture he was was ripped off of, the Shinjuku Chimera. Which is thought to be influenced by Odilon Redon’s The Eye Balloon from 1878. It’s not a common symbol so much as Japan having always loved eye monsters.

      • No, it is clearly a mythological reference. I find references in Buddhism and Hinduism, but I can’t track exact source of it. Sources you mention could be as well based on those.

  4. If you’re interested in the works of Mamoru Oshii, then I’d love to see you do a review of “Beautiful Dreamer.” It’s not even the best Urusei Yatsura film, but it is impressive that he successfully did something heavily philosophical with a many episode franchise built on being zany and comedic. It’s kinda like doing Miyazaki doing a Lupin movie, or Nolan doing Batman.

  5. I’ve never watched Angel’s Egg, but it does seem like a beautiful movie. From what I got from both the footage and the explanation though, I feel like the girl might be a symbol of Christ or something like that. She appears shortly after the Eye descends (?) and must carry this egg with her at all times. The man joins her in her journey and over time she comes to trust him. He later destroys that trust by crushing her egg, or will, and leaving her behind. She later dies, having reached full maturity, and gives birth to numerous eggs through immaculate conception (okay, this is more of sign that she’s the Madonna, but I still think that’s an interesting point to bring up.) Later, she ascends back to heaven as shown by her statue on the monument, and the Eye cries at the death of the girl. Again, I could be way off since I need to actually sit through and watch the entire film as opposed to the clips shown in this review, but from what little I saw, that is the interpretation that I made. I’d like to also think that this story takes place either prior to or during the events of the manga Seraphim, a manga written by Oshii and illustrated by Satoshi Kon. In the story, the world is cast into an apocalypse by an unknown virus that “induces apocalyptic visions in the afflicted even as it ossifies their bodies into dead, seraphic forms.” Mainly it focuses on a team of men transporting a mysterious girl with some link to the virus to some medical facility, but I think it’s interesting that there are two stories about angels and the apocalypse in a bizarre sci fi/fantasy esque tale written by Oshii. Who knows?

  6. Wow. I remember the fish scene vividly when I caught this randomly on cable around 20ish years ago. Even though I was super young, and before I even knew what anime WAS, it was one of those scenes that just stayed with me. I saw the thumbnail and was immediately like “Is this that animation with the girl and the egg and the shadow whale things that get hooked?”

  7. Trees are also significant in Christian theology, as there are two conflicting trees in the garden. The cross itself is also referred to as a tree, and in the new creation, there is a magnificent tree that bears every kind of fruit (though doubtless symbolic of the pleasures of the life of the world to come). Man’s fall begins and ends with a tree, and his redemption begins and ends with a tree.

    Women – particularly virgins – are also significant in this. A virgin tempted man, and another virgin brought the Son of Man into the world. And another virgin – signifying the Church – will be there at the end. Perhaps that is what the little girl signifies as well: that despite the trials and defeats, faith will always remain, even when seemingly destroyed and the one bearing it dies. Or perhaps she signifies the Blessed Virgin, whose heart must be broken by the death of her own son.

    Feathers and birds call to mind the image of the Holy Spirit, who descended upon Christ in his Baptism.

    Also, the fish also signify Christ. The ancient ichthus symbol is actually an acronym of his name and titles: Iesu Christos Theou Uios Soter, if I remember the Greek correctly.

    • There is also a Tree of Life and feathers are common angelic symbol, but I wouldn’t seriously dig tu deep in symbolism of that movie as most of it is quite basic and not reason why it is so great.

  8. Yes, this really is an amazing movie, and one of the most pure surrealist films.

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