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Angel Beats! June 28, 2010

Posted by coolmikeol in Anime.
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This anime I think is anime of the year for me. It’s got everything a good anime has, a great story, some fighting action, emotional scenes, some laughs, awesome music, and an overall message of embracing the life you have, no matter how bad it was. This 13 episode anime was created by Key and Jun Maeda, the same producers as Clannad, Air, and Kanon, so it’s not surprising to get such a great anime from them (from what I’ve heard. Unfortunately I have yet to watch the above mentioned animes so I apologize if I’m just assuming they are good without watching them.)

Here’s the plot:

“In a world after death, angels fight for their fate and their future. Yuri, the leader of the Shinda Sekai Sensen, rebels against the god who destined her to have an unreasonable life. On the other hand, Tenshi, the chairperson of the student council for the world after death, battles against the SSS members. SSS members utilize armed weaponry to battle it out against the angels harnessing supernatural powers.” – That’s the Wikipedia definition. Basically, in this afterlife world, the people here have regrets about their unfair death and are fighting against god for this reason. Once you accept your life and your regrets are no more, you pass on (disappear) to live a new life again. Gomen nasai, for me using Wikipedia. I suggest watching the anime to learn more about the story.

This anime was truly an amazing experience to watch. Even though it was short, I was anxiously waiting for each episode to come out. I prefer fewer episode animes to longer ones because there is less filler episodes. There are many characters with ranging personalities, giving a good overall cast of characters. (I think Yuri though looks a bit like Haruhi, don’t you think?) I especially liked the music from the anime, especially from the band Girls Dead Monster. I pretty much have all the songs from the anime and GirlDeMo and maybe will pick up some music from the anime soundtrack when it comes out. I liked the back stories of the characters whose story is told of how they died, it really gives more depth, though usually their stories sound more like the everyday deaths in real life. Not every character’s story is revealed.  The most sad character story out of all of them (in my opinion) was Yui’s in episode 10, especially when Hinata came and fulfilled her desire to be married (though not exactly literally).

*SPOILER FOR LAST EPISODE*

I watched the last episode a few days after it came out subbed because I was out on vacation in Las Vegas for the weekend. I was quite excited to watch it, but at the same time wondered how this episode would answer all the unanswered questions and make a memorable ending to an anime. Actually, after watching the final episode, it kind of added more questions than answers. The episode felt rushed to finish the series and in doing so made it anti-climatic. Also the remaining characters behavior changes from finally accepting their deaths and moving on seemed a bit weird, Yuri was not herself anymore, not having that cool leader/big sister feel anymore but more like a girly girl, but I do realize that she has finally found happiness in her life and she knew she should live her final moments in the afterlife happy. I know that the reason for her being like the leader/big sister role was because she was fighting for protecting the members of the SSS, and now that the SSS was gone, she didn’t have to carry that burden of having to fight anymore. The sad part of the final episode was between Otonashi and Kanade, the final two to disappear from the afterlife world. It is revealed that Kanade’s regret in her life was not being able to thank the one person who saved her life while she was alive, the donor of the heart that she received when in the real world, which was Otonashi. In Otonashi’s life, he used to have no real purpose in his life, until his sick sister died, in which he realized his reason for living was for his sister and her “Thank You”s every time he did something for her. I think Kanade resembled Otonashi’s sister in this sense. Once she thanked him, Otonashi confessed to Kanade, telling her that he loves her and telling her not to disappear but does anyway. He is the last one in the afterlife world but it is implied that he does pass on. In a scene after the credits, it seems that Otonashi and Kanade meet again, this time in the real world.

Angel Beats! Characters

The final scene in Angel Beats! definitely made it more worth it. Even though I said the final episode was not what I was expecting, re-watching the final scene between Otonashi and Kanade made me tear up a bit. It had that sad but warm feeling that everything is alright, and promotes the saying that “life goes on” which it definitely does. Even through the good and bad times in our lives, we should still embrace it as you should, because your memories is what makes you you. Once you pass on, the new life you take is not yours, but a new life that will build its own memories. I think that is the message of this beautiful, emotional, powerful, and fulfilling anime.

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Comments»

1. Fabrice - June 29, 2010

The story, however, is rather confusing and keeps shifting gears. We start out in a mysterious world of the afterlife and in a place where not even the characters know what’s going on. Naturally, a state of confusion would make sense– except that most of the world is never really explored or explained. And the explanations we do get are often out of left field, and usually shoved in at the end of the episode.

However, the overall idea isn’t bad at all; it’s just that the accelerated pacing due to the 13 episodes and the fact that the anime seems to not be sure on where it’s going. It just started too much threads.

The most jarring thing about the show is its inability to separate the comedy from the melodrama. It’s often mixed together at the worst moments and becomes very cheesy. The worst case of this is probably the character of Naoi, someone who should be interesting, but I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. Also, frequently the melodrama feels very forced and manipulative because it’s just shoved in there– you’ve gotta develop a conflict or issue for it to have any real impact. This was especially true near the end. But Key fans don’t worry, there’s still some very sweet moments even if it is very messy.

Despite this, Angel Beats is still a very funny show. At first,the humor didn’t click with me, but two words: Rocket Chairs. The silly antics of the protagonists group– the SSS is fun and its enjoyable to see them do silly stuff like that in this world. And of course the character TK himself seems to steal the show every time he utters a line.

The characters are all a fun and likable bunch– typical for Key. Sadly, a lot of them remained underdeveloped due to time constraints. The ones that they do focus on are very well done– the amnesiac Otonashi, the competent commander Yuri who’s not just another Haruhi, the reliable bro Hinata. The enigmatic Angel is also a decent character who explodes the cuteness meter.

Overall, Angel Beats is not a bad show, but it just feels underwhelming that with all the ingredients for success, the show couldn’t make up its mind on what to do.

coolmikeol - June 29, 2010

I agree with you totally. I still think that it’s a great show but like I said before, the ending brings more questions than answers. Also it seemed rushed because of the lack of details of the other characters and of the afterlife world. I think that if there were more episodes then they could of done a better job, because the whole series has potential to grow. Overall though, I give this anime a 8-9/10.

2. Ashley B. Ocampo - July 5, 2010

I loved this anime too ! It was really intense especially at the very last episodes. I can’t believe that the surprise episode is coming in DECEMBER!!! 😀


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