Angel's Friends is an Italian contemporary-fantasy magical girl comic series created by Simona Ferri that made debut in March 2007. On 12 October 2009, an animated series of the same name premiered on Italia 1. A second season of 52 episodes was announced in January 2011 and premiered in Russia on 29 April 2012.
A television film, Angel's Friends – Tra Sogno e Realtà (Angel's Friends: Between Dream and Reality), premiered on 23 April 2011.
In the United States, the show is available via NBC, syndication and many local stations air the program on their secondary sub-channel service to fulfill FCC mandates (at least three hours of E/I related material per week). The second season, dubbed in English, French and Russian, has been uploaded to YouTube by Mondo TV in September 2014.
Four Angels (Raf, Uri, Sweet and Miki) and four Devils (Sulfus, Cabiria, Kabale and Gas) are sent to Earth, in an unused area of the Golden School, where they learn everything they need to become Guardian Angels and Guardian Devils. The Angels and Devils are required to form pairs as part of their education, each of which will have to deal with a human being, known as Earthly Ones, and help them choose between the right and wrong way in life without being discovered. Angels and Devils cannot operate at the same time, so they decide, clashing in the Challenge Room, who will work first. Moreover, they are subject to the V.E.T.O. (Vetoed from Exposing, Touching or Obstructing/Overhearing in the comic – Italian: Vietato Esporsi, Toccare, Ostacolare/Origliare).
While the Angels and Devils are attending their stage on Earth, the planet is threatened by ancient creatures, the Reliveds, lead by a mysterious man called Maliki. He was a Devil who gave up his eternal life because he loved a human woman, named Vera. When she left him, he decided to take revenge on all Angels, Devils and humans. As a result, the Angels and Devils form an alliance to fight against him.
Animated series plot
The evil Neutral, Reina, imprisoned in the Limbo with her slave (Raf's former father) Maliki, wants to take revenge of Angels and Devils who confined her. To get free, a sacrilege is necessary: because of this, she exploits the rising feelings between Raf, an Angel, and Sulfus, a Devil, forcing them to kiss. The sacrilege breaks the chains and Reina, once free, tells the truth about her origins to Raf: she was born a Terrestrial and was adopted by the Tall Spheres when her parents, two powerful sovereigns, died during the struggle between Angels and Devils. The Neutral One persuades Raf to enter in the Hall of Portraits to see her parents' faces: while the Angel is in, Reina steals all of the portraits to control the Earthly One's will. At the end of the first season, using the Prism Fly ability, Raf, the Angels and the Devils manage to defeat Reina. Raf discovers that her real father is Maliki, who sacrifices his life to save her, while her mother is imprisoned somewhere in an endless slumber.
After their Summer vacations, Angels and Devils return to the Golden School to begin the second year of their stage, there new Earthly Ones are given to them. Meanwhile Sulfus is blackmailed by two villainous masked eternals, Cassidy and Kubral, who hold in their possession of Raf's mother, Angelie. In order to make sure Sulfus doesn't try to escape their control, a mysterious girl, Blue watches over him. Raf and Sulfus' love is highly tested with the appearance of these new enemies and more mysteries about Raf's past are revealed.
Differences between the comic and animated series
- In the comic, the main characters are younger: in fact, while in the animated series, they are the same age as Raf (15 "stars", as for the Angels, or "flashes", as for the Devils), in the comic the heroine is 12, Uri 11 and Miki 9; Sulfus is 13, Kabale and Gas 10, Cabiria is 11.
- Sweet (whose original Italian name is Dolce), Misha and Reina don't appear in the comic (but she appears in the animated series), while the Angel Ang-Lì, the Devil Mephisto, and Raoul, the Earthly one loved by Raf, aren't shown in the animated series.
- In the comic, the hobbies of Angels and Devils are shown, while in the animated series they are not. For example, Raf is keen on ecological remedies, such as beauty masks and infusions, Miki is a music expert, Kabale loves chemistry, alchemy and numerology. Cabiria likes films, cartoons and comics and she's a director and an illustrator. Gabe is a genius of technology and uses a handheld.
- In the comic, Angels are part of a funk band, in which Raf is the vocalist, Gabe plays the keyboard, Miki the bass, Uri the drums and Ang-Lì the sax. The Devils have their own rock band: Sulfus plays the bass, Kabale the electric guitar, Cabiria the drums, Gas the keyboard and Mephisto is the vocalist.
- In the comic, Miki is repeating the school year because she tried to heal her Earthly one, breaking the V.E.T.O.. Sulfus behaves like a seducer, which doesn't happen in the animated series.
- In the comics, the Challenge Room, as it is known in the animated series, is called Recreational Class.
- The character design of the animated series by designer, Igor Chimisso is far different than that of the comic.
- In the comic, Arkhan and Temptel don't teach "positive Earthly life" and "negative Earthly life", but in the animated series, they teach "positive Earthly infancy" and "negative Earthly infancy", as the characters are younger.
- In the comics, Angels and Devils are forbidden to remove the shield that hides themselves and to interact with the humans: they must instead, advice them by using chibi projections of themselves, invisible, produced by the mascots. In the animated series, instead, Angels and Devils transform into humans in various fashions and advice their protected by talking to them or showing them the better behavior (or wrong) to be taken.
Raf is the main protagonist of the series, the informal leader of the Angel's Friends. She is a 99% Angel who goes to Earth to start her stage in the Golden School in order to become a 100% Angel and win her Radiant Halo. She was born on Earth back in 1800, in Paris, before her birth parents mysteriously disappeared and she was adopted by the High Spheres. Her powers are based on Speed, her mascot is Cox, the ladybug. She is the angel rival of Sulfus, on Season 1 and the movie, she protects Andrew and for a couple of episodes the twins Julia and Helen and on Season 2 she protects Daniel. She is in love with Sulfus which makes their love forbidden.
Uri is one of the deuteragonists of the series, she is part of the Angel's Friends. She is a 99% Angel who goes to Earth to start her stage in the Golden School in order to become a 100% Angel and win her Radiant Halo. She is Raf's best and childhood friend. Her powers are based on Nature, her mascot is Lightning, the firefly. She is the angel rival of Cabiria, on Season 1 and the movie, she protects Jennifer and on Season 2 she protects Sara J..
Sweet (Italian: Dolcé) is one of the deuteragonists of the series, she is part of the Angel's Friends. She is 99% Angel who goes to Earth to start her stage in the Golden School in order to become a 100% Guardian Angel and win her Radiant Halo. She was the one who came up with the group's name. Her powers are based on Technology, her mascot is Butterfly, the butterfly. She is the angel rival of Kabale, on Season 1 and the movie, she protects Edward and on Season 2 she protects Lily.
Miki is one of the deuteragonists of the series, she is part of the Angel's Friends. She is a 99% Angel who is repeating the first stage, making her the oldest character of the eight protagonists in the series, followed by Sulfus. Her powers are based on Defense, her mascot is Lula, the dragonfly. She is the angel rival of Gas, on Season 1 and the movie, she protects Matthew and Julia and Helen, and on Season 2 she protects Catherine.
Sulfus is the leader of the Devil's Enemies. He is a 99% Devil who is repeating the first stage, making him the oldest character of the eight protagonists in the series, followed by Miki. His powers are based on Power/Strength, his mascot is Basilisk, the coral snake. He is the devil rival of Raf, on Season 1 and the movie, he tempts Andrew and for a couple of episodes, Matthew, and on Season 2 he tempts Daniel.
Cabiria is one of the deuteragonists of the series, she is part of the Devil's Enemies. She is a 99% Devil who goes to Earth to start her stage in the Golden School in order to become a 100% Devil and win her Radiant Horns. Her powers are based on Darkness, her mascot is Aracno, the spider. She is the devil rival of Uri, on Season 1 and the movie, she tempts Jennifer and on Season 2 she tempts Sara J.
Kabale is one of the deuteragonists of the series, she is part of the Devil's Enemies. She is a 99% Devil who goes to Earth to start her stage in the Golden School in order to become a 100% Guardian Devil and win her Radiant Horns. She is Sulfus' right arm and best friend, she is also in love with him. Her powers are based on Metamorphosis, her mascot is Nosferatu, the bat. She is the devil rival of Sweet, on Season 1 and the movie, she tempts Edward and on Season 2 she tempts Lily.
Gas is one of the deuteragonists of the series, he is part of the Devil's Enemies. He is a 99% Devil who goes to Earth to start his stage in the Golden School in order to become a 100% Guardian Devil and win his Radiant Horns. It is unknown on what his powers are based on, his mascot is Croak, the frog. He is the devil rival of Miki, on Season 1 and the movie, he tempts Matthew and Julia and Helen, and on Season 2 he tempts Catherine.
The publication of the Angel's Friends comic by Play Press began in March 2007 with a monthly publication (later on bimonthly). The paper version was curated by the agencies Red Whale and Yellow Whale, scripted by Bruno Enna and designed by Giada Perissinotto. In the numbers 11 and 12 of the magazine were inserted two chapters. The publication was interrupted in January 2008 with the release of number 12 and of chapter 14, Una Scintilla nel Cuore (A Spark in the Heart).
A second version of the comic, taken from the animated series, was published bimonthly by Preziosi Collection from 2009, in the magazine Angel's Friends Magazine. It was interrupted after the fourth release. In January 2012, was released a special St. Petersburg with four new chapters.
Chapters of Play Press Comics
- Il Giorno Eterno (The Eternal Day)
- L'Osservatore (The Observer)
- Solo Due Passi (Only Two Steps)
- Un Piccolo Male (A Little Evil)
- La Città Degli Angeli (The City of Angels)
- L'Ombra di Sulfus (Sulfus' Shadow)
- Il Neutromante (The Neutral)
- Spiffera-Segreto (Secret Blurts)
- Il Custode (The Guardian)
- Mai Più Insieme (Never Together)
- L'Altra Faccia dell'Amore (The Other Face of Love)
- Il Punto Sensibile (The Sensitive Point)
- Tra Sogno e Realtà (Between Dream and Reality)
- Una Scintilla nel Cuore (A Spark in the Heart)
Chapters of Preziosi Collection Comics
- Ricorrere il Vento (Chasing the Wind)
- Le Cose Non Dette (The Unspoken)
- La Temptesta (The Storm)
- Fra Bene e Male (Between Good and Evil)
Special: St. Petersburg
- Matrimonio Fatale - Prima Parte (Fatal Wedding - Part 1)
- Matrimonio Fatale - Seconda Parte (Fatal Wedding - Part 2)
- Matrimonio Fatale - Terza Parte (Fatal Wedding - Part 3)
- Matrimonio Fatale - Parte Finale (Fatal Wedding - Final Part)
Books and Novels
- Angel's Friends - Diario segreto, Giunti Junior, 2009, pp. 130 pages.
- Rosalba Troiano, Il mondo di Angel's Friends, Giunti Junior, 2009, pp. 132 pages.
- Rosalba Troiano, Segreti e ombre alla Golden School, Giunti Junior, 2009, pp. 288 pages.
- Rosalba Troiano, Tutta colpa di un bacio, Giunti Junior, 2009, pp. 256 pages.
- Rosalba Troiano, Tra sogno e realtà, Giunti Junior, 2011, pp. 128 pages.
In Italy, the first season reached an average share of 8,2%, with peaks of 11%. Despite being a series aimed at female targets (between 6 and 13 years), 30% of the audience consists of males.
In 2011, Renee Summers, American child and teenager psychotherapist, wrote a very positive review about Angel's Friends, writing: "I can strongly endorse this series as both developmentally appropriate entertainment for the 13–16 year old viewer and as an educational and maturational aid to this age group. Angel's Friends has an upbeat yet straightforward tone. [...] The characters are dealing with universal teen concerns: clothes, the opposite sex, going to parties, relating to adults and school work. [...] The series shows this period [adolescence] as a time to face challenges and choices that are often complicated, to believe in oneself, do what is right and often to resist temptations. Angel's Friends values good friends, who are there to support and help. Yet, ultimately the series seems to say that action has to be done by oneself. Bullying is looked down upon as well as external attempts to mask/hide insecurities. Angel's Friends sees growth as involving introspection but also promotes facing inevitable developmental changes head on and with a belief in oneself. Peer pressure is presented as a powerful force that is difficult for the adolescent to resist, but Angel's Friends adopts the viewpoint that above all else one must be true to one self. [...] The clarion message of the film is that to act in accordance with one's convictions of what is right is not only the developmentally mature stance, it is the way to experience enduring pride in oneself."
- Main article: Angel's Friends (album)
Transmissions and International Adaptations
Angel's Friends was deployed in several countries from around the world, such as Spain, Portugal, Latin America (Brasil, Mexico, etc.), Belgium, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, former Yugoslavia, United States of America, Canada, Thailand, Vietnam, Russia, Japan, South Africa and Tunisia. In September 2011, the license was sold, totally, in 56 countries.
|Albania||Bang Bang||Miqtë e Engjëjve|
|France||TéléTOON+||Angels, l'Alliance des Anges|
|Greece||Star Channel||Angel's Friends (Φίλοι των Αγγέλων)|
|Israel||Canal De Los Ninos|
|Italy||Italia 1, Boing||Angel's Friends|
|Malaysia||Ntv 7||Angel's Friends|
|Mexico||Canal de las Estrellas||Angel's Friends|
|Peru||Frequencia Latina||Angel's Friends|
|Poland||TVN Style||Aniołki i spółka|
|Portugal||SIC K||Angel's Friends|
|Russia||Teleteen, Multimania||Друзья Ангелов|
|Spain||Cartoon Network, Telecinco, Boing||Angel's Friends (Amigos de Angel)|
|U.S.A||RTV, NBC||Angel's Friends|
|Turkey||Smart Çocuk, Planet Çocuk, Kidz/Animez, JOJO||Melekler Okulu|
The Spanish version has got an opening with the same adaptation of the Italian one, but with a translated text, sung by Sol Bontempi. A similar situation was found in the French adaptation, where the theme song is performed by Gisella Cozzo and the series were renamed Angels, L'Alliance des Anges; yet in here, some Earthly Ones have got different names (Romain instead of Andrea, Julia instead of Ginevra, Arthur instead of Edoardo and the twins are named Zoé and Léa).
In the American version, the episodes were gathered in pairs, with a total of 26 episodes with 25 minutes each. It has got some differences from the original Italian, as the inclusion of episode clips from flashbacks and the change of a few names (Urie is named Uri, Dolce is Sweet) and some other censures.
The adaptation of the U.S.A has also been used in Greece. The opening song is the one sung by Gisella Cozzo and the names of attacks and characters change: Dolce is Glichià (which means exactly "sweet"), Sulfus becomes Thiafis (means sulfur), Gas was renamed Aerios (which means exactly "gas"). It was also broadcasted in 4:3 and not in 16:3. The Greek version has got a foreign edition to the U.S.A edition: the final scene of episode 52, in which Raf cries over the death of her father, was never released. It were cut over 45 seconds from the episode.
In Czech Republic, Dolce is called Lakotka, Kabale is Kabala and Sulfus becomes Siarkus.
In other adaptations, the names were generally kept unchanged, except Dolce, whose name was translated into several languages.
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