Layla Hamilton (レイラ・ハミルトン Reira Hamiruton) is one of the major characters in the anime Kaleido Star. Until the end of the first season, she was the number one star at Kaleido Stage as well as one of the most hard to work with people in the business who is also the idol of Sora Naegino, as well as May Wong, when she was training herself for Kaleido Stage.
When Sora comes to join Kaleido Stage, Layla is the first to reject her. But with help from Sora's hard work, determination and personality, Layla opens her heart and becomes one of Sora's many friends.
Layla is an exceptionally beautiful young woman who is considered to be attractive that she would be a fantastic super model with waist-length golden blond hair that has a large clump of bangs on the right side corner which has grown overtime with her and ocean light blue eyes.
She changes her outfit frequently.
Layla inherited the blonde hair and blue eyes from Laura Hamilton.
Before Sora Naegino's Arrival
Layla is the only known daughter of the Hamilton family, a incredibly wealthy family. When Layla was about Sora Naegino's age or older, Layla came to see Kaleido Stage with her parents. They went to see Alice in Wonderland, the same show that her future successor Sora goes to see. Whether Layla and Sora are watching the show together is unknown.
But after attending Kaleido Stage, Layla's mother soon passes on and her father buries himself in his work to forget about it. All the while, Layla trains hard at becoming a member of Kaleido Stage since, as she puts it, it was "the place where she heard her mother truly happy". During her time at Kaleido Stage, she became the best performer of the entire company. She and her partner, Yuri Killian soon entered the Circus Festival and won with her Golden Phoenix performance. As time passes, Layla remained at the top until the arrival of Sora...
When Sora Naegino arrives too late for her audition, she begs for a chance to perform. While Ken Robbins is all right with letting Sora try out, Layla immediately rejects her telling her to go home. But while Sora is trying to get Layla's attention, she leaves without looking back or saying another word. She later finds Sora replacing one of the performers in Romeo and Juliet and is upset with her poor performance. She tells Sora that she does not belong at Kaleido Stage and Sora leaves in tears. But Kalos Eido arrives asking where Sora is and that is when Sora is a member of Kaleido Stage. Throughout most of the first half, Layla is the same cruel person that tries to make Sora see she doesn't belong here. But after seeing Sora coming close to perfecting her Golden Phoenix, she decides that Sora has some quality and lets her stay. During one performance of Cinderella, on her birthday, Sora and friends plan a surprise party after the show. While Layla is angered by this, she accepts Sora's cake because it contained a letter from her father (Sora wanted her father to come see her show). She later comes to see Sora perform in the The Little Mermaid and is surprised by how Sora has made the story more happy and less of a tragedy.
During the time when Sora was chosen to be the lead role in The Little Mermaid, Layla was away filming for a movie. When she returns, she is just in time for production of Arabian Nights. While Layla looks to Yuri Killian as her partner, Kalos surprises her by saying that her partner for Arabian Nights is actually Sora herself. Layla automatically rejects the idea and tells him that they should re-write it to make Yuri her partner, without knowing that Mr. Kenneth was the one that strongly suggested Sora and would double their budget if she got the part. Even after Kalos tells her the details behind Sora's nomination as her partner, Layla tries to encourage Sora to deny the role because of her skill level. But Sora still accepts the role and Layla sees the determination within Sora to star alongside her. Feeling Sora may have what it takes to be her partner, she asks Kalos to hold an audition to see if she is good enough to star with her. When it comes time, Layla is surprised to see Sora use her new diabolo skills, which she learned from Rosetta Passel, in her performance and Layla accepts her as her partner. She then tells Sora that she has something that she herself doesn't have, referring to when Kalos told her that someday the audience would flock to see what Sora was up to, and she looks forward to performing with her.
The training for the show is difficult at first with both girls unable to sync with each other for a battle scene on a tightrope. Layla suggests that she and Sora live together to get in rhythm with each other, and it succeeds, while Sora protects Layla from the unseen perverted eye of Fool. Before opening day, Layla and Sora venture into the sea on a ship to practice a real fight since Layla didn't want this show to be the same as always, claiming it is the "mistake" she's been making with all of her performances. The two fight with such ferocity that both are left exhausted after which before a storm comes in and forces their ship to remain out at sea. While waiting out the storm, Layla reveals a bit of her past to Sora, much to both of their surprise. Layla soon believes that Sora somehow has the power to change people's hearts, as she never told anyone about her family before. When opening day comes, Sora and Layla are a hit, even when Sora almost falls during the final fight scene and Layla rescues her, and their show receives a large applause with Layla saying it's been a long time since she heard the audience applaud like this. As the two stand on stage smiling, it is clear that Sora and Layla are now friends.
When Yuri takes over Kaleido Stage and plans to cancel all of the future performances of Freedom, Layla angrily states that this isn't her last show unless she chooses it to be. Despite Yuri's words, Layla stays true to Kaleido Stage and goes on to perform. While she is preparing for their final show, Layla says that she never has had a partner (Sora) that's motivated her this much in all her life. When Sora and friends leave to start their new troupe, Freedom Lights, Layla kindly declines Sora's invite to be a member, despite the fact that her face shows she really wanted to after Sora, Anna Heart and Mia Guillem left. When they are performing at Marine Park, a mysterious figure arrives calling herself the Masked Star, which Sora automatically assumes that she is really Layla. Thanks to her performance, their group is a hit until Yuri convinces the park owner otherwise (he knows that Layla is the Masked Star after seeing her in a news report with Sora). When they attend an performance competition, Layla joins Sora's team before their stage time, much to Yuri's displeasure. During her performance with Sora, she and Sora are an amazing wonder. But Yuri comes on stage furious and not only interrupts Sora and Layla's performances, but tears off Layla's mask yelling to her to not get in the way. She is revealed to everyone, along with her father, who was one of the judges, and runs off.
She is confronted by her father saying that she should be in London for the film shooting. But Layla has postponed her filming telling him that being here was more important. When her father asked why, she tells him that she is sorry but she didn't want to let her friends down. She then realizes that she wants to be a Kaleido Stage performer instead of an film actress and she won't change unless she can perform the "perfect show". And this time, she believes that with Sora being her partner, it can be done. Her father tells her to at least finish the filming and lets her have her freedom after that. Layla asks if he saw their show but he doesn't say another word. Layla tells Sora that she's left her father behind now and she can now see Fool. Fool reveals that she and Sora are now capable of performing The Legendary Great Maneuver, the performance that may be the key to saving Kaleido Stage.
Meanwhile, Yuri invites Layla back to Kaleido Stage telling her he wants to be partners again. But Layla rejects saying that she already has a partner and it's Sora. She mentions their attempt at the maneuver and causes Yuri to disagree and try to be her partner for it (calling Sora an beginner in the progress). But Layla says Yuri is not worthy, probably because he cannot see Fool like she can. When Yuri announces their attempt of the legendary maneuver without consulting the two, Layla makes a bet that if they can perform the maneuver, Yuri returns Kaleido Stage to Kalos. He agrees and Sora and Layla begin training with Kalos in the Grand Canyon. During training, Layla injures her shoulder and attempts to hide it (the reason is Layla was dazed from trying to lose weight). When they return to Kaleido Stage, Yuri announces that their attempt will be useless since the stage will be sold after their performance. Layla slaps Yuri in his moment of insanity, putting more pain on her shoulder, telling him that they will save the stage. While preparing for the maneuver, Sora and Layla have a small talk with one another that actually has both of them laughing together, this being the only time in the entire series that Layla has laughed like Sora or actually the only time Layla has actually laughed in the entire series. When the performance begins, they make it all the way to the end. But the price to be payed for severing their bond together was Layla's injured shoulder becoming worse. As the audience applauds, Layla says that it still feels like she is shaking, a reference to her wanting the perfect show. Another surprise is that her father came out to see the show and he sees just how much of a star Layla is. But due to her shoulder, she is forced to retire from Kaleido Stage which leaves Sora heartbroken and in tears. But before the season finale ends, Layla asks Sora to be her dream, to become a true Kaleido Star.
Layla is mostly absent during the first few episodes of the next season until she invites Sora Naegino to perform with her in her new Broadway show Salome In Vegas. Even with May Wong sneaking along for the ride, the reunion between Sora and Layla is a heart filled one due to the time separation. After the show, Layla tells Sora that seems to be missing that flame that she had when they were partners. Right as Sora and May return to Kaleido Stage, she can faintly see Fool waving on Sora's bag, proving that she is still capable of more. She visits Kaleido Stage to find someone to take her place at the Circus Festival. While she hopes Sora is the one, she ultimately gives her ticket to May because of her Demon Spiral. But Sora manages to convince Yuri to be her partner for the festival in which Layla is the host. After seeing Sora's tearful performance, she tells Sora that she is disappointed that Sora would drop out during the middle of performance, using the same mean tone that she used before becoming Sora's friend.
She doesn't see Sora again until the set up for May and Leon Oswald's comeback show begins. She stays at Kaleido Stage after May asks her to train her in entertaining the audience. While with Cathy Taymor, Layla begins to realize that Sora isn't the same determined person she was and she feels as if she was wrong about Sora after the festival. Soon, when Leon wants Sora to perform the Angel's Maneuver with him, Layla sees this as a chance to make a comeback. She trains alone for the maneuver and returns to challenge Sora for the lead of Odette in Swan Lake. The two old friends duel and Sora comes out the victor after Layla sees how much farther Sora is in skill over her. She watches Sora and Leon's performance and is the first to clap after seeing Sora's Angel's Maneuver cause the entire cast to perform together (which was Sora's dream to have a stage with no competition). After the show, Sora asks Layla if she can still call herself her dream. Layla says she can't, but what she is now is Layla's pride and joy. Sora thanks her with tears in her eyes as Layla and Cathy return to Broadway. She makes a short appearance in Kaleido Star's first OVA when Sora called her to tell her about Rosetta's lead role in the next production.
Unable to find her true inner phoenix, Layla decides to leave Broadway for a short while to go on a bike adventure across the states where Sora Naegino and the others find her and she returns to Broadway to take the lead in the Phoenix performance while Sora does the same at Kaleido Stage's version, Legend of Phoenix. The last scene is the two of them smiling on their respective stage.
~ Note: This is the only OVA where Layla has her hair cut short.
Kaleido Star OVA 3: Good da yo! Good!
Along with Sora Naegino, Anna Heart, Mia Guillem and Rosetta Passel, Layla takes part in singing the opening theme of the OVA. In the first short segment, she is learning to cook under May along with Sora. Before they start, Layla tells May that she is counting on her and May agrees to do her best, which causes her to try and show off in front of Sora. Sora instantly freaks out when she sees Layla holding a large chopping knife. Layla states that even though this is her first time cooking by herself, Layla is willing to take the chance. This causes a short moment when Layla's presence causes the entire audience, as well as May and Sora, to be entranced. It's followed by a short scene between Sora and Layla in their Legendary Great Maneuver outfits calling to each other before May's angry barking ruins it. While on stage with Sora and May, Layla is nervously trying to chop vegetables with her eyes locked on it. When May offers a taste of her spicy dish, Sora can't handle the spice and is comically seen flying around with a burning mouth. But Layla sits there calmly and says "It was spicy..." which amazes Sora.
Performances Through the Series
- Romeo and Juliet - Juliet (Lead, partnered with Yuri Killian)
- Cinderella - Cinderella (Lead, partnered with Yuri)
- The Little Mermaid - Mermaid (Lead)
- Arabian Nights - Pirate Captain (Lead, partnered with Sora Naegino)
- Freedom - Lead, partnered with Sora
- Marine Park Performance - Masked Star
- The Legendary Great Maneuver - Lead, partnered with Sora
- Salome in Vegas - Salome (Lead)
- Phoenix - Lead
Songs Featuring Layla
- Ray of Light - Layla Hamilton - Kaleido Star OVA 2: Legend of Phoenix ~Layla Hamilton Monogatari~, Kaleido Star Vocal Album ~Minna no Sugoi Character Song~
- Golden Phoenix ~Nando demo~ - Layla Hamilton - Kaleido Star OVA 2: Legend of Phoenix ~Layla Hamilton Monogatari~
- Yakusoku no Bashe e - Layla Hamilton, Sora Naegino, Anna Heart, Mia Guillem and Rosetta Passel - Kaleido Star OVA 3: Good day yo! Good!
- Enchanted Rainbow - Sora, Anna, Mia, Layla and Rosetta - Kaleido Star Vocal Album ~Minna no Sugoi Character Song~
- The name Layla means "night", "dark beauty", "wine" or "intoxication" in Arabic.
- This was the name of the object of romantic poems written by the 7th-century poet known as Qays. The story of Qays and Layla became a popular romance in medieval Arabia and Persia. The name became used in the English-speaking world after the 1970 release of the song 'Layla' by Derek and the Dominos, the title of which was inspired by the medieval story.
- Layla's surname Hamilton means "crooked, mutilated" and dun "hill".
- It can also mean "treeless hill".
- Layla is 5 ft. 6 inches.
- She is one of the few characters to be able to see Fool.