29 user 16 critic

Angel's Egg (1985)

Tenshi no tamago (original title)
A mysterious young girl wanders a desolate, otherworldly landscape, carrying a large egg.


Mamoru Oshii


Yoshitaka Amano (story), Mamoru Oshii (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Credited cast:
Mako Hyôdô ... Girl (voice)
Jinpachi Nezu ... Boy (voice)
Kei'ichi Noda Kei'ichi Noda ... Narrator


a young girl is the sole protector of a very precious, large egg. her lair is near a large, abandoned, decaying gothic city inhabited by restless shadows. a mysterious young man arrives one day, and eventually wins her trust. they converse sparsely about obscure philosophical and theological topics, and she shows him some astonishing fossils and works of historic and scientific art. the ending is a bit shocking, and very ambiguous, leaving many unanswered questions and tons of room for interpretation. Written by Rev. Elgaroo Brenza

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

avant garde | anime | girl | egg | gothic | See All (80) »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Was released in Australia in an edited form under the title "In the aftermath: Angels never sleep" with some obscure live-action footage included. See more »


Boy: Maybe you, I and the fish only exist in the memory of a person who is long gone. Maybe no one really exists and it's only raining outside.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the South Korean version, all the names are in Chinese character form, but the status ranking is in hangul though. The Japanese version slightly changed the Korean names. See more »


References Solaris (1972) See more »

User Reviews


Angel's Egg has haunted me for many days since I saw it, it is a film to adore. It seems to have much to do with the internal struggle of the director, who loves life, with the teachings of Christianity. But beyond that it is just staggeringly beautiful. When you watch an animation movie, you know that a huge effort has gone into each frame. In a live action feature a camera can simply be pointed at a dark pool for a few seconds and you have a take, in Angel's Egg it's much more deliberate, the animator at one point shows several different ways of illustrating the surface movements of the water and its reflections, and when they're doing that they are truly contemplating darkness. It is not throwaway. Every part of an animation oozes intention, and it's clear here, it is a film where the substrate is blatantly tattooed rather than absorbent.

Angel's Egg tells the story of a small white haired girl who looks to protect a large egg, and a mysterious taller male youth also with white hair who follows her around a bizarre landscape. Delirious bafflement is a perfectly reasonable response to a plot lite movie, but I think the movie is trying to say something. Christianity's treatment of the afterlife is quite opaque, if you are good you go and sit with God. But what does this make you, a voyeur, a vestige, a carapace? Does anything enjoyable happen in Heaven, is their rebirth? As a neutral rational observer the Christian Heaven seems a weak idea excused by the message that it is too great for a mortal to understand. Other religions can seem to have much more desirable afterlives, or suggest more of a cycle of life (note that this is not necessarily incompatible with Christianity's core teachings). Oshii's feelings about heaven seem to be reflected by the gigantic spaceship in the form of an eye festooned with grey statues, an inactive God and his array of crud angels.

There is a hunting of fish-like shadows with harpoons, and this seems to me to be to do with the Biblical story of Leviathan, who can't be caught or stopped by humans, a figure of evil or a representation of Satan. It's a representation of injustice, the imposition of a malevolence against which we are impotent.

In a very simple graphic way the young girl is old beyond her years, she has white hair already, and the hiding of the egg underneath her robe mimics pregnancy; she is a very poignant figure. I wondered if there was a comment on gender, women's role is to create, men's to destroy. Like any comment on this film it is hard to know whether your interpretation has anything to do with Oshii's intent.

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Release Date:

22 December 1985 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Angel's Egg See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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