Oh Angel Sanctuary. Hahaha.
I first read this series back when it was first coming out some ten yearsish ago. And while it definitely informed some of my "live and let live" attitude about people's personal choices, I also remembered it being kind of batshit.
I remembered right.
Even just trying to sum up the action of this first volume is difficult. Setsuna and Sara are siblings with a horrible secret - they're in love with one another. In an attempt to keep them from being all incestuous, their mother left their father and took Sara with her, so the two only see one another occasionally after school.
Setsuna's also for some reason a target of bullies - I think party because he's not fully Japanese and looks the part? And the bullies are part of a gang-ish thing under the leadership of Setsuna's friend Kira.
At the same time, a mysterious man named Katan is distributing a computer game to people throughout the city. A game that gets into their heads, talking to them, promising them things and changing their behavior.
So, all of a sudden there's a bunch of angels and... demons, I guess? They call themselves Evils sometimes. Anyway, they're convinced that Setsuna is actually the reincarnation of the angel Alexiel and follow him around looking for signs of it. Meanwhile, the guy who was passing out the computer programs is trying to free the soul of Alexiel's twin Rosiel.
And that's only getting about to the halfway point in this book!
The characters are really well rounded - Setsuna's confusion and self-loathing, Sara's attempts to be bright and sheery when she secretly is sad, Kira's mixed feelings on the people in his life, Kurai and Arachne... just, Kurai and Arachne (They were my favorites bar none), Katan's undying loyalty in the face of everything and Rosiel's detachment all played off one another interestingly. I loved it all.
Now, be warned - the central siblings do have incestuous thoughts and actions, so if that bugs you, you're best staying away. There's also a lot of playing with gender and how one presents. Setsuna is a boy with the soul of a female angel in there somewhere, Arachne is a man who has the appearance of a beautiful woman, Kurai's a woman who seems to be trying to look masculine since she's a warrior, Rosiel's a man who's prettier than basically everyone else in the cast...
I'm really looking forward to this reread :)