English: Angel Beats!
Japanese: Angel Beats! (エンジェルビーツ)
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 2, 2010 to Jun 26, 2010
Producers: Aniplex, Dentsu, Key, P.A. Works, Mainichi Broadcasting, CBC, Movic, Visual Art’s, Sentai FilmworksL, ASCII Media Works
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 8.581 (scored by 175351 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
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Oct 1, 2013
Angel Beats started out as a rather unserious anime, that's to say at least. The beginning, which could develop into some thriller or horror story, turned out to be an action story with major elements of comedy. While it looked like an unpromising teen-oriented title, I found myself deeply involved in it soon after the start. The fact that jokes weren't the most clever ones I have ever heard and that anime dragged fast between comedy and drama, which came later, was repaired by elemental sincerity of this anime - and I laughed at it and gazed at it with a fainting heart in some several minutes, going through the pure and simple drama of its characters. And after its only thirteen episodes I could only sit with my mouth open experiencing endless excitement and sedation, sorrow and happiness, one the same time.
There are not many anime that will drag the viewer through insuperable obstacles and tragedy of their characters to bring him a pure soul cleansing. And of these really a few are so sincere, simple, accurate and powerful at the same time that may be engraved in both soul and memory for a long time, if not forever. A studio Key brought us Kanon, Air, Clannad, Little Busters, and in 2010 Jun Maeda, one of Key's founding members, created Angel Beats with original script. While being similar to previous Key's works in many aspects, including the scheme of storytelling and the main idea, there are notable differences which make it stand alone from the others.
Hidden mystical motives always used to be part and parcel of Key's visual novels and based upon them anime. In case of Angel Beats the scriptwriteps went even further with making an afterworld a centre of action. It may seem strange with its contrast of what is normal and what is not in this world, but it creates an ultimately right atmosphere to enjoy the series. Because of the setting and the idea Angel Beats is mostly often being compared to its spiritual predecessor, Haibane Renmei, resembling to it in full many ways. Quite deservedly, I can say.
During the next thirteen episodes this afterworld will be the centre of action for the heroes. While mostly showing us the fates of main characters (Otonashi, Yuri, Kanade), the series doesn't fail to reveal the lives, the problems of its supportive characters. From the beginning it is hard to remember all them and their names but in several episodes one viewer will find himself submerged in the action, associating himself with any or just watching their 'everyday' activities. That doesn't mean any way that they are simply the background. Angel Beats has achieved many negative comments on being too short and not revealing enough all the characters, but that is simply not true. It's just the peculiarity of the series that it couldn't concentrate on each character separately. In that case it would gain severity, but lose ultimately in being so moving and striking. After all, for the only purpose of character revealing one can watch Clannad, the series of the similar mood four times longer.
However, there are several heroes, whose fate was indeed very well revealed. Not to mention all, I would like to shortly tell you about the story of Iwasawa. A leader of supportive group and music band 'Girls Dead Monster', she was a strong individual, who overcame the difficult fate of the past. With her attachment to music she was the first to find her happiness in the afterworld. For a long time will she encourage Yui and many other girls in their dream of having life connected with music.
The music itself plays a considerable role in Angel Beats. Besides the soundtrack, there are many insert songs, preformed by band 'Girls Dead Monster'. Bright, blazing with life and energy, memorable they are all, regardless of being full of protest or resignation; it is no joke that Angel Beats had undone K-on, a popular talk of the town among musical anime of the same year.
Nevertheless, against the background of numerous songs, one cannot underestimate the soundtrack, conveying a substantial part of the series' atmosphere. Needless to say that music experts of Key are brilliant with both so to say 'lively' and 'serious' tracks. Obviously, these are 'serious' tracks that share the spirit of the series and while first were resembling many of Key's previous works in terms of mood, second were indeed something else. Compared to Kanon's and Air's sad and Clannad's sorrowful and depressive soundtracks, the one of Angel Beats was not so melancholic, but more heartfelt and deep. More profound, quite maybe.
Opening and ending are the crowning achievement of the score. The opening, 'My Soul, Your Beats', is contrasting with its harmonic piano beats and mischievous violoncello accompanied by the soft voice of Lia. As opposed to the opening, which is active and playful but common in general, the ending 'Brave Song' by Aoi Tada was soothing and relatively relaxing. Starting with simple melancholic tones, 'Brave Song' accidentally gains depth and feeling and literally knocks down with its emotional openness; a diamond in the rough among songs of anime.
While talking about the anime itself, it is needed to put in a word for the graphics as well. Unlike the 'Holy Trinity of Kyoto Animation', Angel Beats was adapted by young, yet much appreciated studio P.A. Works, also famous for its brand graphics and high quality standards. The very first scenes have shown, that P.A. Works pulled off no worse than Kyoto Animation, with good vivid animation and splendid character transfer from Key's concept art. By the simple fact the art and visual effects didn't look like typical ones, but still were 'recognizable' and easy-going, one can state how skillfully did artists sustain the style.
About flaws... Well, is it really worth talking about flaws in case of Angel Beats? It is usually hated for being so popular while being so 'vacuous' or 'frivolous'. Many will call the drama snotty or unnatural and the jokes will not appeal to everyone. Some will blame it for being teen-oriented. Others will make complains that anime was too short and did not reveal all characters properly. While all this opinions have a right to exist, those touched by Angel Beats will neglect these or consider them as advantages. After all, this Anime is not solely drama or romantics.
My desire is what I will fight for, is what I will be strong for. But what my real desire is? Is it always necessary to be strong? Will I be able to find my way within protest? Will I be able to love following that way?
Someday, I'll forget the days I spent with everyone and be living elsewhere
By then, I won't be strong anymore
I'll shed tears with the weakness of an ordinary girl
Love is not what two people feel to each other. Love is not what mother or father feels for the child and what he feels for them. Love is not what person feels to his brothers and sisters. Love is all above and yet more. It is an affection and sympathy to all people through yourself and person you call beloved. It is feeling compassion and forgiving. A dream of being forgiven came true. A feeling of being strong in your weakness. Your strongest connection to this seemingly cruel and meaningless world and life. Angel Beats truly shows and gives its viewer the best feeling in the world. read more
Jan 8, 2013
by the way, that's a cliché joke in this world where no one can die. So, was it funny?"
I'm at a loss for words...
What could I say? I keep getting surprised with Key's scriptwriters. Who's already familiar with their works, probably heard the name Jun Maeda before. He's the original creator of Angel Beats. You may not like him, but Maeda's (and his coworkers at Key) manner of creating and conducing a story, be it a light-hearted comedy or a melodramatic romance, is definately worthy of praise. Just look around, Clannad, Air, Kanon and recently Little Busters! are all well-known series.
When you see the description and the pictures for this anime, you actually think there's nothing of "special" with it. Guns, girls, music, baseball, god, angels... awesome! But can it all fit together? After a long sequence of Key's emotional stories, I wasn't willing to watch this (aparently) easygoing story with "afterlife" or "purgatory" theme. There's just too much of it nowadays that it's getting boring.
Fortunately I gave it a try and watched the first episode...
Sometimes you find these series with a kick off episode so amazing that throws away all your worries and uncertainties. Starting straight with the OP song, without a preview cutscene, you're introduced to the characters and just a few minutes after it, the story starts to develop. Fast paced like this, the viewers, just like the male protagonist are thrown in this "afterlife world" where those who doesn't want to disapear, or reincarnate as a caterpillar, must fight against god.
I've read a few reviews with really low scores for AngelBeats, the main reason being the "lack of originality" regarding it's story. Let's be fair, the anime industry has been producing series for more then 40 years, it's reasonable to think that some themes would be repeated. However, a recurrent theme doesn't mean the new releases will all be cliché or repetitive, what's important is the way the theme is approached and the individual elements each anime adds to it. That being said, I consider AngelBeats an "original" anime, even tough the basis of its story is not new, the characters, scenario, art and the development of the plot itself, makes it unique.
This series has that kind of sadistic/dark humor that you can't deny, it is funny, but without all that gore you would usually see in a show with this theme. It's tagged as "Supernatural" here in MAL, but it's the "family" kind of anime, that you can watch whenever you want. You won't experience those awkward moments where someone who isn't aware of what's going on see the screen in a not-very-correct moment. (Also the amount of fanservice in AngelBeats is minimal.) With "death" being part of the story it's certain that there would be violence in it, but it's in a level that isn't disturbing. In the end, you could call it a "slice-of-afterlife", since it has all the elements an generic slice-of-life just with a unusual setting.
For those who aren't familiarized with Maeda's animes yet, it's nice to point out that they're all full of symbolism, and this one isn't an exception. You always have two perspectives and some things are left in the open for you, the viewer, to make your own interpretation.
That's why I'd always recommend the subbed version. No offense to the dubbers, they're great. But while watching it in japanese you'll always get more from the dialogue and furthermore somethings become easier to understand.
The plot had some lose ends indeed, but I wouldn't call them "flaws". Considering it's just 13 episodes long, Key and P.A.Works did a marvelous work with it, if you watch it open minded without paying too much attention to the script you won't find a problem with it at all.
One common issue with series where there are too many characters like AngelBeats does is that you get lost within.
It becomes confusing to tell who did what, whose name is that, etc. This is something you won't experience with this anime. The characters -I mean, the PEOPLE- of it, each one of them have it's personality well written and it's own importance in the story (be it a main or supportive character) they all had a carefully written background story that does make you feel like you're watching real people with real problems even when it's something unrealistic as being dead.
Shiina and Yui, for example, are both supportive characters, but they're important in the plot just like the protagonists, also their mottos and catchy phrases "how unwise"/"what an idiot" adds that "spice", that extra thing, that were missing to take a laugh out of you at certain scenes. They're not just laying there with the sole purpose of being a side-kick for the main characters.
How often do you see it? A drama anime that manages to keep its direction and focus in the protagonists but still take care of the supportive characters' problems and happy moments?
There's just one opening theme for the 13 episodes. However, there are small differences in it from one episode to another. Remember when I mentioned the symbolism on Maeda's stories? The OP isn't an exception. The piano, the lights and the way the characters are presented, there's a reason for it all. When you realize it, you start to see it with different eyes and that opening that would be boring to watch becomes interesting. The same applies for the ending theme. The animation of it changes according to the story and in a couple of episodes it's a different song. This is a interesting thing to point out, there're some studios that completely fails to make an emotional ending because after the heartbreaking scene they throw the usual ending theme, a 100%-effective mood killer. In Angel Beats thankfully this doesn't happen and the songs choosen for these couple of endings are wonderful.
The background soundtrack made for it is nice. It's none masterpiece but fits well with the scenes. If I were to give prise for something of it, would be the sound effects. They used some really nice ones, from horror movies hollywood-style played with classical instruments to new ones made with synthetizers.
The artwork is nice, atractive and well drawn, but I'd like to open a paragraph here, if I may, for a special topic that isn't covered in the main score neither in the "art" section. It would be for the transitions and visual effects of the anime. This would be all those text boxes saying "in the next day" but also light and angle effects. These are subjects the animators took great care of. All the transitions from one scene to another had, how could I say, "style". Every time the scenario changed, there would be a tag in the corner with the place's name. It becomes even a visual joke in the anime when the characters goes through several places endlessly. The same for facial expressions, you can sense someone put effort on drawing it. From laughing scenes to dramatic ones, they seemed always convincing.
If I were to write a "Trivia" section in this review, it would become too long for it to be read. I'll just say you'll get some really nice laughing moments with some practical jokes, references they make and definately, character quotes. Specially T.K's ones (the english-speaking guy). Pay attention and you may even find "easter eggs" of other Key projects such as Clannad and Air.
I had so much fun with this anime but still I was moved with the emotional scenes. The deeper the story was developing, I was still laughing with the characters but also feeling bad for them. This combination is what makes Angel Beats a masterpiece for me. It's not too dramatic but also not a easygoing comedy, just the exact average between them that I came to love. A beautiful story about life and people.
Angel Beats is a "compact" anime with a clear ending. That's why I don't have hope for the 2nd season, however if it happens to appear someday I will be looking foward to it.
As a final consideration for this review, I'd like to give a advice: Don't watch the special "Another Epilogue" right after you finish the main series. Take your time, relax your brain. Otherwise you'll go crazy on theories and alternative endings. Watch it open-minded, without the "oh, this is so cliché" kind of thought, and you'll have a great time with it. Enjoyment-o'-meter: 100%.
Numeric score: Story:9/10 | Art:10/10 | Sound:9/10 | Character:9/10 | Enjoyment:10/10 | Overall:9,8...just give it a 10 already.
Uhn... I ended up writing a lot. If you read everything, my huge thanks :D
Goodbye Wild Heaven~ read more
May 13, 2010
Basically, Angel Beats is about an afterlife in which a group of dead students refuse to 'move on' to the next life, because they have some sort of peace to make with the world and themselves. There's a unique mix of common school life against the supernatural. It's a setting that I found to be original enough; I also expected it to be a simple tear-jerker, but that isn't the case.
Angel Beats has a duality about it. One part of it is comedy - most of it is well timed, and on several occasions, had me laughing out loud at my screen like a nutcase. The English-speaking, nonsensical TK doesn't even need an introduction anymore. Even the slapstick comedy is quite well done, and usually timed with unfitting music which (for the most part) heightens the comedy.
The other part would be the melodrama. Most of the important characters have a back story to them, which are revealed piece by piece. And, as to be expected, many are torturous, depressing tales. These stories aren't your stereotypical 'my puppy died' stories; in fact, I've found that most of the stories that have been revealed are all original in some way or another, and interesting as well. Their common theme seems to be 'regrets' - especially those of teenagers struggling with family, society and life in general.
Topping it all off and decorating the whole package is a very clean, crisp presentation, and music that can move you from the first time you hear it. The rock concert scenes are some of the finest I've ever seen, with spectacular animation and crisp lighting effects. The music alone made me re-watch the concert episodes over and over. The art is also very pleasant on the eyes, with soft but vibrant colors and simple but effective character styles.
The greatest problem that many people make an issue out of is the transition between the two previously mentioned parts of comedy and drama. Sometimes, the parts can seem fragmented and poorly transitioned. But I only noticed this after I heard the criticisms and look for such inappropriateness. I'm a fan of such shows that mix in different types of enjoyment. Angel Beats also isn't a stupid show; I never felt that my emotions were being toyed with in a rudimentary or heavy handed manner.
What I'm trying to say is that while this may seem contradictory and schizophrenic to some, overall, it seems to be a fairly successful blend to me. I found I actually liked being proven wrong about my guesses as to 'what kind of show this will end up being'. And I know that many scenes will evoke familiar memories from other shows, but really, this show deserves to be considered as it is, by itself.
Let me do some breaking down:
The story is revealed irregularly; some episodes teach you various things about the world, while others spend their time screwing around. I had fun watching those anyway, but I can see how others would think it's a waste of time.
The art is beautiful. Beyond what we've come to expect, the animation is amazing (especially for the concerts), and the lighting effects give the show a slightly washed-out, surreal look - which I'm sure was the intended effect.
It's been a while since I've liked every song in a show. Some of the BGMs are repeated a bit often, but the feature songs are all brilliant. The seiyuu also do a fine job. No voices will annoy you - unless it was intentional.
This one's tricky, as many of the characters' back stories are still veiled. Some characters seem to follow the usual anime tropes, but they work. I definitely felt more interested in a character once I learned more about their past.
There's a very obvious sign as to how much I'm enjoying a show; I get antsy and check for updates every hour. The more I see, the more I want. The concert scenes alone are worth the watch.
I guess in the end, your enjoyment of Angel Beats will depend on whether its various aspects strike a chord with you or not (pardon the pun). For my part, I'm glad to have found a series that keeps me guessing, interests me with its premise, dazzles my eyes, while making me laugh and sniffle in the same episode.
This one's definitely worth your attention, at least until you're absolutely sure you don't like everything about it. Check it out.
After having finished this series, I needed to add a short addendum - because it helped me realize the potential problem of this series. In short, it's a little messy. If you watch the final episode, you'll probably come to realize the main theme of the series (the entire first half of the final episode is dedicated to it). But when you do, you start thinking of ways in which certain story elements could have been developed and presented a little better.
I can't help but compare it to Clannad, a series that expertly manages the drama and the waves of emotion from the viewer. It's almost like the show is psychic, and knows exactly when to say or show something in order to get the maximum emotional impact and reaction. Compared to that, Angel Beats is more than a little awkward; in particular, the final scene - it just didn't hit me as hard as I thought it should. I was affected, but was distracted at the same time by the clumsy dialogue and the sense of too many unexplained factors.
All in all, I'm very glad I spent time with Angel Beats, and will surely miss its presence. At the same time, it pains me to think of how much better it could have been if the show didn't feel so rushed, and if the writers had put a bit more planning and effort into the final moments. read more
Jun 20, 2013
Potential. That is exactly what this show was full of. Admittedly Angel Beats was indeed a good show that I really enjoyed watching. However, the show fell short of what I believe it could have achieved in a 24 episode season.
My God the story. THE reason why this show had sooo much potential. Angel Beats is about a student named Yuzuru Otonashi who finds himself with amnesia and in some sort of purgatory in shape of a high school campus. After meeting "Angel," Otonashi is convinced into joining SSS, where he and other students in purgatory fight off "Angel" to prevent obliteration. Let me tell that to you again, kids in purgatory are fighting off an angel to prevent themselves from moving on. If you aren't intrigued by that I am shocked. To top that off, there is a plot twist later on that completely changes the dynamic of the show. AND since the anime is from KEY, the makers of Clannad, Kanon, and Air, the usual addition of very strong character arcs is present as well. Now, many of you may be asking, "if it has all these things, why is the story only 'enjoyable' to you?" Well the answer in short is that it all felt very rushed. With only 13 episodes, the story progresses very rapidly and tends to skip many important events, expecting the viewer to assume they happened as they are watching. This time restriction also made the romantic element of the show seem completely out of place because the two major romances in the show seem completely random due to scarce evidence that any romance was even budding between any characters until their big confessions. I do applaud the creators though for somehow making Otonashi, Nakamura, Yui, and Iwasawa's short character arcs thrilling to watch. With only 13 episodes there are just too many glaring flaws, plot holes, and important scenes (particularly the ending) feeling more out of place than dramatic. With a 24 episode season I feel that the story could have been much more fleshed out in every aspect, making it a truly spectacular occurrence. But even with only 13 episodes it was still a joy to watch.
Wow. The animation to this show was absolutely superb. One of the greatest art from technological standpoint. The only downsides were the lack of outfits for the characters, and the lack of varied locations. However, these flaws were necessary to the show's setting. Basically this show had top of the notch animation and will wow all those who watch it.
One of the main reasons this show stands out so much. The OP and EDs are fantastic pieces that fit the tone of the show perfectly. To add on to that, the characters in the show actually have a band named GDM that plays fantastic pieces on their own. Really the songs can even make scenes feel very emotional even though they are actually more contradictory and unecessary than emotional (particularly the ending). Like the art, Angel Beats is on another level with its music production. The voice acting isn't anything special however, not bad, but nothing really worth noting in my opinion.
I feel like some of the characters in this show have a good amount of fanboys and girls. I feel this because their designs, along with the superb animation make these characters have a very good look, although their personalities all were clearly lacking. I personally found most of the characters FAR too one dimensional. This is especially true with the very large ensemble of side characters that never seem to get any proper attention or development. With an uninteresting lead, and one dimensional characters, it usually spells trouble. However, the fantastic character arcs for four of the characters were so good that I really can't say the characters were anything worse than above average. These arcs were truly fantastic. However, because the majority of the cast was one dimensional, predictable, and lacked development, the overall score for the characters cannot really be too high.
I really liked this show. Its story was very unique and drew me in and kept me wanting more until the end. However I found some of the characters annoying, and found the plot holes, extremely random and forced romance, and poor ending pretty annoying as well. I definitely had a good time watching this show, but its issues didn't go unnoticed.
From the first episode I was captivated by the unique storyline, and this captivation continued until the last episode. However, the show did feel very rushed to me, and the ending seemed completely outrageous to me due to the randomness of it, and how it completely contradicted an entire half of the season. The show also left too many unanswered questions that will most likely never be answered. Because of the lack of episodes I was unable to do what a truly great anime would get me to do, and that is to connect with the characters. It was able to for short powerful bursts in its small character flashbacks, but those alone were not enough for me to truly care about the characters in the long run. I know this review seems like a negative one, but I'm just trying to address these issues because I feel most people have either missed or ignored them. I did like Angel Beats a lot, but I can't help feeling that if the series were twice as long, most of its flaws would have been resolved, and it could have been brilliant, probably passing Kanon on the KEY rankings (Clannad, Kanon, Angel Beats and Air).
A unique show that was undeniably good, but could have been MUCH more.
+ Concept for the plot
+ Fantastic music
+ Beautiful animation
+ Character flashback arcs are amazing
- Execution of plot was inconsistent
- Romance felt very forced
- One dimensional characters
- Ending is suspect
7/10 - Good
May 17, 2013
Story - 6/10: I have to say, Angel Beats' story was alright, but it leaves anyone who watches it with a lot of unanswered questions. Like, why was Kanade there in the afterlife before Otonashi was? Who exactly was that guy in the computer room where Yurippe shot the place up? How did Kanade come across the database that gave her supernatural powers and why exactly did such a database exist in the first place? Why was the NPC nonsense relevant? What was with those shadow creatures that suddenly spawned simply because "love" sprouted in that world? How did Naoi obtain hypnotic abilities? How come Otonashi's memory loss wasn't further explained? And I'm assuming the musical lunch time distraction was merely to promote the actual real life band? Etc, etc... There's probably more, but I'll leave it at that.
However, I did in fact like the dramatic backstory of some of the characters, especially Otonashi's. I've seen the anime a couple of times and his backstory seriously gets me every time.
I think the strangest part about the show is the fact that it starts off being a silly, over-the-top comedy and then suddenly becomes a dramatic, heartwarming story about letting go of negative lingering emotions and passing on. It was executed just a tad poorly and left many questions, but it was still heartwarming nonetheless, and I suppose that gives it justice.
Art & Sound - 9.5/10: P.A. Works did a remarkable job at the animation. Very well detailed and definitely very colorful as well, might I add.
The music was of course composed by Jun Maeda and it was pretty damn good. And the voice acting for both Japanese and English casts were great. I actually had a few favorites in the English cast, so I was happy to hear them in the show.
Character - 3/10: Okay... This was the biggest problem with Angel Beats. The character development. It, to be honest, was very poor. One reason I say this is because, example: Kanade Tachibana. She was completely emotionless, even stoical. She'd get shot in the knee caps and stomach but look as though nothing happened. And apparently the reason for all of this is simply because she is "inept," as Otonashi would put it. That's another thing. What exactly did Otonashi see in her? Why did he fall so madly in love if she hardly spoke or even showed any emotion whatsoever? And another reason I say the character development was poor is because the damn anime had way too many characters. The producers had to find out how to manage about 30 different characters within a mere 13 episodes. Therefore, almost ALL of them didn't get any character development, nor backstory. Only about 6 characters in the entire show got backstory and the rest were kinda just there. Many of the characters were forgettable and some of them only had a few lines in the show. It's only understandable that they were probably limited because of a tight budget, but instead of wasting their time with the lunch time distractions and the over-the-top comedy, they could have given us more fleshed out character development for some characters, maybe even a couple more backstories. I'd like to see Shiina's past. I want to know why she's so obsessed with cute things, despite her usual attitude.
However, I did enjoy the diversity of each character's personalities. Yurippe was the independent leader, Otonashi was the selfless one, TK was strange, Yui was hyperactive, etc. There certainly was a lot wrong with the character build in the show, but some of the characters were pretty lovable, so there's that.
Enjoyment - 8/10: With all the flaws and screw-ups the anime had, the show was still very enjoyable. I loved the characters (the ones that got development anyway), the plot was very intriguing, the backstories were tragic and/or heartfelt, the ending was sad and unexpected, etc. I did indeed enjoy the anime, but there's no dodging the blatant flaws within it.
Overall - 7/10: Good, but not great. Nowhere near a masterpiece, although I did somehow believe that it was, after my first time watching. I think it was just the spur of the moment feels that got to me, but now I realize what I overlooked. Don't ever conclude an anime is a masterpiece until you've looked at its strong points AND its weak points, don't ever look at only one. read more
Oct 5, 2013
Angel Beats! story is very good and quite inventive, it takes place within a school environment that acts as a sort of purgatory for the characters as they fight against a girl called Tenshi to prevent themselves from being obliterated. What makes the story more interesting are the character's pasts that they have to come to terms with and the ideal of whether they should stay there or run the risk of being incarnated as an insect, that they assume. At first I found the story very gripping but after a few episodes I felt the story went rather flat and it just didn't seem to uphold that brilliance it had in the first few episodes. I did find the story refreshing that it had different tones of drama and comedy, some episodes were serious and some were focused more on comedy. There were some parts of the story that I did question and events in the story that I had no idea why that happened and where it came from, sometimes it felt like a serious scene happened but the characters were acting like 'Okay we're moving on' when you'd think there'd be so much more to it. It did surprise me in a sense and what I did like about the story was the fact that it dwelve in to the character's past and how they died.
The characters were very interesting, particularly Otonashi, the mysterious Tenshi, the Band guitar player and singer, Iwasawa, and of the course the leader of the SSS, Yurippe. I did like the fact that the story went deep into their past and you got to find out more about the characters themselves, I think that is what makes them more interesting and gives them reasons to why they act the way they do. It's interesting to see how the characters
each see their situation in different ways. There are quite a number of characters and I did find that tricky sometimes at first to remember who was who but after some time you do begin to get familiar with them. The one flaw I did find disappointing is they didn't seem to dwelve into as many character's past's as I thought they would. It was as though some of the characters didn't really serve a purpose as to just being there and helping the plot move forward and to make it work.
The Animation I found really good, I found it very easy on the eyes and a joy to watch. The characters and the colours looked good and I was particularly impressed with the night scenes such as the scenes with the Band 'Girls Dead Monster' and the lighting effects. I didn't find any problems at all with the animation.
The Music I was impressed with, the opening 'My Soul, Your Beats!' by Lia I found really gripped me and is quite memorable with it's beats and piano tones, it certainly got me pumped for the episode. The ending song 'Brave Song' by Aoi Tada I felt was more melancholic and soft and I thought that contrasted well with the theme of the anime. There are quite a few
songs played by the band 'Girls Dead Monster' and for that I really liked, it actually played a part in the plot and the songs actually related to how the characters felt, some were upbeat, meaningful and catchy.
Overall I found this anime enjoyable and interesting, I did find it rather disappointing in a sense that I think it could of been so much better. I do think this anime is worth watching as the plot and characters are interesting, the animation and music is all good, I do find there are a couple of bumps along the way but it's worth a watch to see what you think.
Jun 1, 2013
The story revolves around a student, Yuzuru Otonashi, who wakes up one day at an unknown high school campus remembering nothing at all except for his name. Immediately, he meets a girl named Yurippe who informs him that he is in the afterlife and that everyone in this place are people who already passed away from the real world. Yurippe then tells him that she is in charge of a resistance group known as the Afterlife Battlefront, which is a group of students who fight against a seemingly evil girl named Angel as a means of rebellion against God because they are unable to accept their fate from the real world. As Otonashi sides with the resistance group, he starts to learn the true nature of this afterlife and begins to question if their rebellion against God is really something worth fighting for.
We have an appealing premise where high school students in the afterlife refuse to be at peace with oneself and instead choose to fight back due to how unfair their previous lives turned out. From the start of the series and as it progresses, there are many different elements thrown into the plot. Which usually is great, but sometimes a few things are left unexplained as the story continues to move on. Also, the pacing of the series can be a little awkward at times since the plot movement starts off pretty slow during roughly the first half of the series, but then suddenly starts to move in a lot of directions with more events and twists during the latter half. Due to the inclusion of so many elements combined with this kind of pacing in a short amount of episodes, the anime feels somewhat rushed by the time it is over. But even then the overall story is still fair and is an enjoyable watch throughout with a really nice ending as well.
Moreover, the series does commendable work on the incorporation of comedy and drama combined with some interesting themes in the story. For the most part, there is a good balance between the usage of comedy and drama aspects with the idea of the afterlife theme and it is great in evoking the intended proper emotions of the viewer during those respective scenes. Also, this mixes in with another main theme of the story which is on the concept of life itself and can raise some reflections such as relating to the quality and fairness of life. In essence, if you are the type of viewer who attentively focuses on themes of a story, Angel Beats has the material to provide for some intriguing thoughts.
Regarding the characters, there are many likeable aspects about them but due to an overly extensive main and supporting cast within this short series, some problems exist as well. We are presented with a cast where each individual can be described as with a somewhat commonly distinguished personality except for a couple interesting and unique characters. However, these types of personalities of each character still really ties in well together and their expressions appropriately match with the overall atmosphere in the anime. Also, the cast as a whole is integrated very well when it comes to the many slapstick comedy moments and other shameless interactions throughout which makes them very enjoyable to watch most of the time.
In addition, most of the development relies on flashbacks of a character’s past life in which each unique tragic back story provides more insight about them and on their motives to continue living in the afterlife world. These well constructed back stories usually prove to be very effective in getting the viewer to feel much more interested and sympathetic towards those specific individuals. The main problem here though is that aside from the main cast and a few others, a good portion of the supporting characters are relegated aside and lack a back story or any sufficient attention at all. For these supporting characters, this prevents them from getting any sort of decent development which makes them underdeveloped throughout the entire series. As a result, even though the characters turn out to be very entertaining and likable, the overall handling and development of the whole cast could have been much better.
The art style and animation is very well done having only really few minor problems. The focus on detail in the setting backgrounds and weaponry mixed with the brightness of colors provide an appealing look and a nice feel. As for the animation, it is at its finest and very well-defined during the few concert scenes, but it is still very respectable with regards to the presented action sequences or any other types of scenes in general and does not hold back the anime. Also, the individual characters designs are not anything too extravagant or special, but nonetheless appropriate for the show and are nicely done for the most part save for a few scenes where the designs can be inconsistent. However, these few problems and inconsistencies do not cause much trouble and overall the art and animation is still a delight towards the viewer.
Arguably, the best aspect of Angel Beats would have to be in the quality of its sound and voice-overs. From the many different tracks played during the many comedic, dramatic, and other scenes, the chosen pieces are very clever and do an excellent job in amplifying the mood of the presented situation. Concerning the voice-overs, they fit in very well with each character personality and are not problematic at all. Also, the melodic and calm opening-ending songs are outstanding and are easily one of the more memorable themes out there. In addition, a notable mention here to the creativity in the composition of songs performed in the series by the in anime high school band, Girls Dead Monster, since their few music tracks that are played turn out to be really good. Comprehensively, all of the sounds implemented throughout provide a very strong feature in the anime and is extremely well crafted.
With all of its features and aspects considered, Angel Beats still turns out to be a really good watch with excellent aesthetics despite a few of its flaws. Likewise, it is a very enjoyable series with interesting themes and often times will fill viewers with much laughter and compassion throughout. So, if you are interested in any of the genres that are included in Angel Beats (especially comedy or drama), you should definitely give this anime a chance since it has more than enough appealing material to accommodate many different types of viewers. Possibly, you might even find Angel Beats to be really something special as the combined material and themes in the series has the potential to make you feel truly captivated while watching it and leave you with a long lasting remarkable impression afterwards.
Aug 3, 2013
- J.K. Rowling
I joined MyAnimeList yesterday, and today I write my first review about one of my favorite animes. In truth, it is only the first because of alphabetical order, but as I sink into my memories of the story and soundtrack, I think its appropriate I begin with this one.
.:.: Story -- 9 :.:.
Angel Beats is about the struggle. Not fights and certainly not the ideals behind them. The setting makes it very clear that it's too late for such things. It's about what to do along their struggle for happiness when not even death can spare them of it. Everyone gathered in this setting have had a terrible life. Their cries for help gone unheard. And their worst nightmares came true.
The premise is that people with horrible lives are brought together through supernatural means for unknown reasons and must struggle against a terrifying supernatural existance: the "Tenshi". Which literally translates to "Angel" in english. In the afterlife, where death means only taking a short nap, they continually struggle what seems to be a hopeless fight with constant physical pain of enduring Tenshi's powers and their own psychological problems from their past, miserable lives.
What particularly strikes me is how the perspective given from the start (our dear protagonist, Otonashi Yuzuru) is that a emotionless supernatural being is out to enslave them, or worse. Out of desperation and being attacked by her after exchanging very few words, Yuzuru agrees to join the SSS ("Shinda Sekai Sensen" or Afterlife Battlefront, if you prefer). But thorughout his adventures he comes to realize that despite how easily they can manipulate things in the afterlife, the reality of life itself remains the same: they must cope with their struggles, both past and present.
I think the message of the story was that communication between people is truly priceless. Words alone can indeed save people.
.:.: Art -- 9 :.:.
The art here is first-class fit for a first-class story. Whether it be the wild chases along the beautiful looking afterlife setting, the eye-catching lighting effects with indoors and otherwise, and the character designs themselves. All of them can be summarized with words like "cool" or "beautiful" if not both.
.:.: Sound -- 10 :.:.
Angel Beats' soundtrack is second to none in the universe of anime. There are noteworthy and/or memorable individual opening themes, tracks and ending themes in many animes out there, but very rarely is the package deal as great this. I dare say that there are only soundtracks AS GOOD as Angel Beats. You can clearly notice the detail and love put into each of them; it's as good as it gets. Hell, Girls DeMo? The musical group within the cast of characters? They're an ACTUAL BAND that had their debut in this show. Those are the reasons I hold Angel Beats' OST in the highest regard. The members are the voice actors for each respective character. How much more awesome can it get? To me, it can't.
.:.: Characters -- 9 :.:.
Since about 50% of any story progresses in regards to the protagonists and antagonists, it's only fair I leave no stone unturned here. Or it would be, but this just so happens to be one of the cases where the back stories of the characters are the ultimate spoilers. And unfortunately so, because while Angel Beats deserves its reviewers to look over all details. What I can tell you is this: the "emotional truth" captured by this show is very impressive.
But their painful pasts aside, there is much to enjoy at face value. They really are that good. Yuzuru suffers from amnesia and goes by means the others in the SSS consider "too radical" to recover them, so far as to attempt communicating with "Tenshi".
Yuri, the leader of SSS, is the unwavering dedicated leader who suspiciously spends a lot of time alone sorting out her thoughts and burdens. It grows even more interesting given how she was given a position of leadership at a young age, and the cost was the curse of the afterlife she shares with the rest of the cast.
.:.: Enjoyment -- 10 :.:.
I don't think I need to say anything to justify this. It's purely subjective, I know, but I don't think any more needs to be said after I've spent so much time evangelizing everything else for you, my dear reader. I wrote all of this because I really think everyone who reads this should watch the show.
.:.: Overall -- 9.4 :.:.
Angel Beats earns a rank of 94% awesome in my book, and I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did. read more
Jun 19, 2013
Story 8/10 - As a whole the stories premise and overall execution is simple yet elegant. It has in its folds the depth and turns I have come to expect from an Anime recommended by my friend Soland; regardless of the white plain parlor that it initially gave off, the overall effect shined with such radiance and beauty that it banishes even the most obvious of flaws and smears. In the end this story though not perfect proves to me one simple fact, a pearl in its sparkling glory is still a pearl regardless of flaws.
Art 10/10 - Visually stunning. The backdrops, colors, animation, and character design are top quality in every way. The pictures that flashed before my eyes were truly crafted by a master, the elegant scenes flowed like the many rivers of color that encompassed my screen, each in turn just as fluid and almost regal in its presentation as the last.
Sound 10/10 - Outstanding. No. That would be an insult; the score for this Anime tugs on the violin strings of my heart, and I as a good instrument hum along to the tunes. From the upbeat opening which conjures forth memories of a youthful spring and the hope, adventure filled summers that follows as the breeze tussles my hair, and my friends laugh and play blissfully away to the powerful ost that makes up the concluding track which takes me back to a nostalgic look on those summer days that have gone by, and the melancholy tears that fill my soul cause me to reminisce, :smile:, no, happily look back on those memories made.
Character 8/10 - These characters are a mixed bag and by that I in no way mean that some are bad. Those that are developed are done well and thoroughly making me care for a bit of animation on the screen more so than most individuals on this planet. Some I feel though are underdeveloped and are placed under the category of interesting yet incomplete. Still this cast is one that all should enjoy, and this family of characters still warms my heart.
Enjoyment 10/10 - Till this point of the review I was planning on an a 9 for this particular segment, but as I key away my thoughts and the story still so fresh in my head causes my heart to dance and my soul to reflect on my life I realize that I cant give it any lower, my own personal enjoyment from this anime is a 10.
OVERALL 9/10 - Now the verdict, when all the cards are on the table, I felt incredibly compelled to grant this Anime a 10, flaws and all. Yet I can't, a 10 should be a reflection of a truly flawless work, not my own personal view of what is grand. This Anime has caused me to evaluate so many things, and from such a simple and compelling story coupled with the art style and sound design of a god I can't think of anything more befitting of this work than the overall title of GREAT. Please if by any chance these humble views are read and you have made it this far, watch this work of art, watch, listen and enjoy. I implore you, no I plead with you indulge this anime flaws and all for the whole ride and you my friend might just see at the end what has warmed my heart. Thank you. read more
Oct 5, 2013
Angel Beats! Right on the start of this review, I would like to point out that the series are simply amazing. Through the 13 episodes given to us, secrets get explained, as well as the enjoyment rising by every episode. However, the greatest strong-point is in the grand, as well as emotional finish. You rarely get the chance to cry the tears of happiness and sadness at the same time when watching some anime series, and this is one of those times when you can.
The story is quite simple. Students that have died and didn't yet accomplish things they really wanted to in their lives are brought to the afterlife's battlefront. In order to pass on to the other side, you must either allow yourself for that to happen, or supposedly, be forcefully passed by through an Angel. Since the characters we follow didn't get to accomplish what they wanted to, they don't want to just give in and let it finish there, so they fight with every might to prevent from being passed on. Through the story, their opinions on various points change, some of them being really crucial.
The art is really nice. Especially the characters, they are really attractive for the eye to see. Although the graphics themselves do not really focus on the background and terrain, that was quite nice, too. The sound is splendid and did really well in order to emphasize the feelings at certain points of the story and specific powerful scenes.
The characters are amazing! They are funny, dedicated, and simply unique. All the comedy in the show comes from them, and you just cannot be the type that doesn't sympathize with them. They are lovely, and bring full fun and excitement to the series.
I enjoyed every single bit of the series. In all honesty, I cannot find even a slightest drop that would make me unpleasant to see. The comedy was really good at its parts and has made me laugh big time. The emotional parts were even more extreme and great. All in all, if I could enjoy one more series as I did with Angel Beats, it would make me really happy.
Overall, the show is about comedy, romance, emotions, as well as other factors between the characters. Almost everything you will feel when watching Angel Beats has something to do with the connection between various characters. Communication, help, assistance, accepting - that is what the characters do and what fills these series with enjoyment. Regardless of what genres and types of series you like in general, I would say Angel Beats is simply a masterpiece and a real must-watch. read more
Aug 14, 2013
When I say this show changed my life, I suppose that doesn't mean much if I don't describe how it changed it. When I first watched angel beats I had never seen a Key production, or, for that matter, a heartfelt drama anime; I had no expectations, neither good nor bad. However, I needed an anime to watch while waiting for my torrent of Psycho-Pass to load. You could say that my only expectations were biased, concrete, and immovable: I would like Psycho-Pass more so than Angel Beats. Simply put, I wasn’t a fan of, nor well versed in, this genre of anime and I had no intention changing that.
Stunned, overjoyed, and sentimental, this was my reaction to Angel Beats, a show which impacted, diversified, and then liberalized my taste in anime. Jun Maeda took my one ironclad expectation in hand and it melted like butter. He weaved a story on a writer's loom and decades of tempering, rust, and wear were washed away from my personal preferences. I have now seen this show 5 times and it hasn't even been half a year since i first watched it. I've seen it both subbed and dubbed, so my review will refer to both experiences since they were both wonderful.
In most shows it would make sense to begin by talking about plot and the characters affected by that plot. These two factors are, oftentimes, the most important criteria in choosing whether or not to watch a show. However, Angel Beats has such a good mix of elements, and the music and art had such an impact on the show, that it only makes sense to go against the norm in this case.
If nothing else you’ve probably heard that Angel Beats has some fantastic music and concert scenes. This is true enough. Sincerely speaking, I was neither into a lot of j-pop songs nor other more recent music forms based in the Orient. However, this overarching displeasure i once held did not affect my enjoyment of Angel Beats’ OST. In fact, this OST was so good that I couldn't help but develop an appreciation for modern Japanese music.
The OP was well composed and fluid. Unlike most anime where I’m forced to skip the intro, I strongly desired to listen to this opening time and time again (the accompanying animation sequence was beautiful as well). Both the ending and opening tracks fit Angel Beats perfectly as a whole. While the opening captures a sense of the struggles the characters in the show endure whilst on their quest against God, the ending captures the emotions that pervade throughout this tale perfectly. in fact, either tune is enough to make me misty eyed at this point. This is true of many songs in the show, as they have done an amazing job at emotionally loading the themes. Early in the season (episode 3) this emotional loading begins and only intensifies from there. By linking the music in the show with emotionally impacting scenes, the songs themselves will bring up your subconscious memory of those feelings. This technique is quite common and more often than not executed poorly: in Angel Beats, however, it is used artfully.
Additionally, the use of music in comedic moments was playful and humorous, and though the music itself made me giggle, the comedy was also well timed and had me in hysterics. The audio wholly enhanced the show: by the end I was so moved that I sang along to every song with tears framing the canvas of my eyes (well, I tried to sing along.) Finally the dubbing was done well; all of the voice actors did a good job and matched their characters seamlessly. You'll recognize the voice cast immediately from other Key productions and all other sorts of well known anime (in both the sub and the dub.) If I had to give the edge here, it would be to the English voice cast: for some of these well known seiyu it could have very well been their best performance (that I have witnessed thus far.)
Visually Angel Beats was fantastic. The shading in the eye color was beautiful and seemed to capture the soul of each character. The art was pleasing and colorful. Though I did see one or two areas where a visual effect added no value to the overall composition and should not have been included, the stylistic choices were generally sound and significantly complimented the show as a whole. The art was also quite detailed, I'd go as far as to say that some of the scenes were so crisp and stunning that I'd consider them amongst the best art I've ever seen. The rock concert scenes are where the animation really shines. The movements are all precise and well done, nothing was monotonous as per the norm in anime rock concerts. The effects used during these scenes complimented the mood and emotions being expressed quite well: without these rock concerts the emotional strength of certain events early on in the show wouldn't have been near as powerful. Personally, I look for shows where every component is necessary, and Angel Beats is one of those shows. There are some fantastic stories out there with terrible graphics, and sure the story may be worth it, but it would have been so much better had it just been a book or a manga rather than throw superfluous still frames with lesser quality art at me.
Creativity and Execution are equal opposites. I find too often that people regard creativity to be the only important factor in character development. Angel Beats has enjoyable, interesting characters that leave you heartbroken upon their absence. Many of the characters were important toward the story as a whole and I couldn’t help but enjoy every one of them. The entire selection was well constructed. Unlike other shows where you have just one interesting and creative character that blows all the others out of the water, all the characters in AB were memorable. Certain characters such as Yuri, Otonashi, and Kanade to name a few are strong enough characters to blow away your average anime protagonist and could easily have been the center point of an anime; even though these characters weren't the most audacious character types, they were certainly pinnacles of execution.
Because of the overall strength of the character cast, it would be useless and time consuming to describe every single appealing character; so I'll just descirbe two characters. Otonashi is a kindhearted fellow who wants to help others. This character type isn't uncommon in the least, yet they give such depth to his character and so much more meaning behind his kindness than you've come to expect from the kindhearted protagonist: his presence in the show did wonders. Rather than describing Kanade or Yuri, who are by far my favorite characters in the show, I'll discuss a character that could quite possibly be described as the most annoying character in the show.
Yui is filled with such an unnecessary abundance of vitality, energy, and cheerfulness that, originally, I couldn't help but despise her for it. She has a tail and a lock of hair that mimics a tail; her body moves in impossible fashions whilst her twin tails wag and she talks in an unimaginably perky, quick, and agitating fashion. She calls all the characters morons and messes everything up. Possibly the biggest factor that originally made me dislike her character was the character who she "replaces" in the band, Iwasawa (who was a great character for the air time they gave her). They obviously made this replacement just to highlight Yui's faults next to Iwasawa. However, this character type fits her eventual role in the story perfectly, you'd never expect what was coming. My perspective has since improved greatly, and rewatching the show has only proved to make her character more appealing.
Each character choice fits perfectly within the show and has distinct role to play. The functionality of the characters as well as the individual character strength is incredibly high. It is hard to come up with many better character casts, the only 1 cour single season show I can think of off the top of my head that even comes close would be Madoka Magika which did a brilliant job in efficiently building characters as well. In any case this show is one of the most efficient shows in character build I've ever seen. They can build a genuine bond between the viewer and a character in half an episode.
Now, it may seem strange to just be getting to a review of the plot now, but this is mainly because, as with most Key animations, the plot hinges upon the quality of the characters and overall ambiance of the show. Without these elements the story wouldn't have been nearly as enjoyable.
In addition the plot had great potential, but the director made the decision, quite correctly, to use the little time they had focusing on the characters, their lives, and their hardships rather than the concept of the show. Normally the focus in a short story would be on a pithy and enjoyable story; however, this is actually considerably easier and more common than attempting to appeal to the emotions of such a varied viewer base. Personalities vary more than minds, because society has a huge hand in shaping minds from an early age, whereas personalities are controlled to a much lesser degree. I commend them for going done a route with risk, one were there will be a sizable minority of people who dislike the show.
A story that intrigues the mind can thus be accomplish much quicker than a story that appeals to everyone's hearts. Key, however, specializes in this sort of show, and has the ability to accomplish so much more than they would with a story based anime. In addition, to give a satisfying portrayal of the concept backing angel beats they would have needed at least a 2 cour season. Otherwise the story would have come out half-assed. The only "problems" with angel beats are actually a direct result of the limited air time the show was given. With more time we could have seen more of the fantastic characterizations and an in depth view of the story's concept. As I said before, however, their choices makes perfect sense for the situation they were in. The only problem here is that, for those people who were dead set on the story or who are in the minority of viewers that the emotions don't appeal towards, this show will not have the desired effect. Unless you have no heart or want a story based show, watch Angel Beats and you will love it.
The idea of an anime based in a purgatory or afterlife is rather overused in recent times. However, Angel Beats presents a unique view on religion, combining elements from various cultures to present a singularly unique situation which inspires the imagination and presents plenty of opportunities to reflect on the meaning of both life and afterlife. All too many shows follow one of the major religion's afterlife model, but Angel Beats blends them and adds some spice to create a unique and peerless presentation of post life events. Within this unique presentation you follow the tales of a battlefront, something I myself wouldn’t have expected to see in an afterlife setting. Of course, with any battlefront, issues arise with morals in terms of the justification behind fighting, but when a group of highschoolers begin popping caps into one another like the soda caps they pop on Friday night, the moral take a slightly sadistic turn, though it has little effect on the show's tone.
These two interesting situations produce chances for a myriad of happiness, comedy, and drama. Unlike most stories it became progressively better until the end, which left me with memories and tears. The only anime that’s made me cry more was Clannad After story (although angel beats has a stronger re-watch effect for me), but Angel Beats! accomplished this with far less time to do so. Comparing the emotional impact, the emotions in Clannad are split up into sections whereas Angel Beats blends together emotions throughout. This has no overall effect on their respective effectiveness. Unlike many emotional shows, (i.e. the ef series by shaft, Clannad, and Kanon) the sentiments are rarely derived from inserted romance sequences and romantic drama. Rather, the emotions are derived from the few concepts the show really focused on, such as the meaning behind obliteration in the series and rebirth. The plot, while containing a decent concept, really has the sole purpose of providing emotional build up through these few conceptual conflicts. In the end, they did a great job with the story given that they had a clear goal in mind and focused everything in the show towards accomplishing that goal; in addition to effectiveness, the story had an interesting concept that engaged viewers early on.
Most anime simply attempt to inspire your imagination or curiosity / excite the mind / generate hype. They seek to capture you and pull you in so they can make money. With Angel Beats, I felt all this and more. They sought to truly make you feel something special with this anime. If you watch it and feel nothing, you’ll have to ask the doctors to put your heart back into your body, because they must have forgotten to do so during surgery.
Around the first time i watched angel beats i had rarely if ever cried... at all. Of course, that all changed. I think that is what was truly well done in Angel Beats; in this anime Jun Maeda became an engineer whose grand invention was the human heart. He has blueprints and schematics and formulas mastered and memorized. He knows just which lever to pull, which parts to replace, and which parts simply need more care. He can push a button and you will shed tears, and he can push another and you will burst into laughter with crystalline tears of sorrow still fresh upon your face. In the last scene I had tears on my face from when I’d been crying; a smile from when I'd been laughing; I had a pit in my heart because the show had ended; and that hole had been filled by a heartwarming ending. read more
Jul 4, 2010
Take Angel Beats as an example.
Any fan of certain Key visual novels (or their KyoAni adaptations), will undoubtedly be familiar with the work of Maeda Jun, whose inimitable style, approach, and methodology to storytelling is clearly on display in Angel Beats, and on the surface this may actually seem like a good thing. Given the whole concept of a high school purgatory one would think there was enormous scope for the tale, and in some aspects the story is delivered very well. The only problem is that as a viewer, I'm kind of getting bored of watching the same thing over and over again.
Here's what I mean. Angel Beats takes the idea of purgatory (to those of you who don't know that word, google it), and places it firmly in a high school setting, something which is familiar territory to Maeda, and while the plot actually works fairly well within that setting, there isn't actually anything that I found inspiring or moving in any way. In addition to this the whole basis of the story is that this particular purgatory is only for young people, however one has to question why this is so, and also why the only young people who get to go there are all people with regrets.
Confused? Throughout the whole series not one character actually displayed any kind of violent or vengeful behaviour in their past life, and this omission place a huge bias on the story. As far as I'm aware, the nature of purgatory is that it exists not only for those with regrets, but also for those whose sins aren't great enough for them to be sent to hell.
Purgatory is, in effect, the last chance a soul has to "get it right", and whilst Angel Beats does kind of show this, the lack of anyone who died for revenge makes the whole story unbalanced. The fact that almost everyone in the story only has regret makes the whole show a bit too sugary sweet, and while the whole series is actually pretty well written, this only makes the areas that are missing more pronounced.
Still, the plot is paced nicely, and the idea is definitely unusual for a high school series. There's also the inclusion of certain elements that are interesting, but the show never really puts them to good use until near the end of the series and at that point it just seems too little, too late.
Moving on to another area of confusion, the art and animation throughout the show is actually pretty decent on the whole. The characters are designed nicely and have a certain look about them that really does remind one of KyoAni's work with Key. The backgrounds and scenery are pretty normal (the high school setting doesn't really allow for much in the way of creativity), and don't really set themselves apart from other shows of this ilk.
The problem is actually the concert scenes. The whole series is designed and animated in a certain style which at first seems pretty decent. Then P.A. Works make concert scenes that not only look better, but have more fluid and detailed animation, are better choreographed, and are just plain superior to the show itself.
Why not do the whole show in this way? It's as if P.A. Works are telling the viewer "this is what we're really capable of, but we're not going to give it to you so you'll have to make do with the leftovers". If the whole series was animated in the same manner as the concert scenes then this would easily be one of the best looking shows in anime, and the fact that the viewer can clearly see that P.A. Works are capable of much greater things is more than a little annoying.
That said, while Angel Beats looks decent where it could have been great, it sounds so much better than one might expect. Given the high school setting there's a wealth of character types on display, including the voices. The acting is pretty decent throughout, but there's very little for the seiyuu to work with as the characters are pretty much one dimensional (more on this in a bit).
What really steals the show though, is the music. Yes, there are very well produced concert scenes, but the music that's actually used throughout the series is pretty good too. Surprisingly, Maeda is also the composer for Angel Beats, while the actual arrangement of the thematic pieces is done by Anant-Garde Eyes. As for the title tracks the OP, "My Soul, Your Beats", is a decent enough pop song, while the ED, "Brave Story", is a rather nice ballad.
As far as the characters go, it's here where Angel Beats begins to suffer from the inherent lack of creativity. While there are some nice ideas and concepts in the show, the fact that Maeda and director Kishi Seiji have opted for the stereotype leaves a lot to be desired.
That's not to say that the characters are bad per se, no, it simply means that they are very much as one would expect, right down to their personalities. Yuri, for example, reminded me of a certain leader from a particularly famous KyoAni franchise. While the similarities between characters from Angel Beats and other shows may sometimes be only skin deep, the fact that no thought was given to trying out something new, especially with the more interesting ideas that the show toyed with, makes one think that the business side of the industry has taken over, at least where this show is concerned.
Now while I've been fairly critical about Angel Beats, that doesn't mean to say that the series is bad, or that I didn't enjoy it. The fact is that this show has something to offer to many people, and while I may not be a hardcore fan of this anime, or hate it with a passion, I can honestly see why those perspective are valid. The simple fact is that Angel Beats truly did have the potential to be something special in anime, and that has been wasted in favour of producing something that will appeal to the existing moe fan base.
Granted, the whole industry needs to make money (and what better way than to milk it from fans who don't know any better by giving them more of the same), but it would be nice if, just for once, one of these creators would actually give us the series that they truly want us to see.
Then again, that's probably nothing more than a pipe dream. read more
Oct 1, 2013
When our orange-haired hero Otonashi wakes up with absolutely no memory of himself or the world around him, he is suddenly thrust into a world of mystery, excitement, and rock concerts, while he tries to understand his own existence. It was a great premise, but 13 episodes simply wasn't enough time to explain it all, and if there's one word to describe Angel Beats! it's rushed. The anime moves from one story ark to another as though it can't make a decision on what it wants to focus on, and by the end if your not confused, you're at least bewildered, because suddenly the anime's over, and you need to start moving your body to get the circulation going again, because you haven't moved for 6 hours.
Personally, character wise I don't have much to complain about. I absolutely adored the cast, but the problem is that the cast is so large it's hard to develop any of them. So what the anime tries to do is focus on a character each episode, and for the most part this works, if barely. It's hard to not get emotionally attached, however. If there's one character I have don't like, it's Otonashi. It's not that he's a bad character or dis-likable, it's just that he fills every single main character stereotype, having next to no personality of his own. And I'm sorry, everyone has flaws, and nobodies that
perfect unless your Barney the Dinosaur or an omnipotent god.
The animation is brilliant, and I don't want to take anything away from the brilliant visuals and attention to detail, but what I really want to talk about is the music. The opening is fantastic, and every concert scene was a feast for the ears and eyes. The tunes that play through the series aren't half bad either, and give a good atmosphere to the show.
I'm not sure how to describe Angel Beats! Technically it's a drama/comedy/romance/action/ but that takes too long to say, so I'm going to say, as before, rushed. The plot, if given time to mature, could have been great, but what the anime's is forced to do is cram the last few story arks and plot-points into the last few episodes, and it's all very disjointed.
Angel Beats! isn't going to slink out of the door without a recommendation, and it's defiantly worth your time. The comedy is funny, the drama is dramatic, and the action is entertaining, and no area is weak. All it needed was more time to tell its story, more time to develop its cast, and more time convince me it deserves more then a 7. But we got what we got, and I'll defiantly take it.
Final Verdict: 7/10 read more
Sep 17, 2010
As mentioned earlier, Maeda’s stories are very formulaic. First, he establishes a cast of one dimensional, but likeable characters, and a zero dimensional main character who is designed to be a self insert for the viewer. He then lulls the viewers into a false sense of security with a couple of comedic episodes before dropping a tragedy bomb. In time the main character recovers from the tragedy and an asspull miracle occurs, to ensure a happy ending and negating any kind of character development. Angel Beats follows this same formula to an extent, however due to last minute budget cuts; this had to be crammed into 13 episodes making the production feel rushed and uneven.
A lot of fans will defend the show by saying that it would have been more coherent had it been given 26 episodes. I don’t buy this. Maeda had a lot of options. He could have told half the story and left it open to a probable second season. He could have cut some of the characters or spend less time recycling the same gags (suicide rushes, rocket chairs, etc.) to make more room for character growth. It’s possible to tell a great story in 13 episodes or less. Haibane Renmei told a similar purgatory story in 13 episodes, and the world was much deeper, and the characters more sympathetic. Baccano had a huge cast, yet all the characters got their time to shine, without taking away from the story.
In addition, there is never a really good explanation for why they’re fighting Tenshi. They make her out to be evil incarnate at first, but quickly find out that she’s actually a normal girl. Yet rather than do their research, Yuri somehow convinced everyone to build an underground factory, stockpile weapons, and hold rock concerts just to fuck with everyone’s dinner time. If you stop to think about it, the war on Tenshi was nothing more than pointless bickering started by a petulant bitch. Using the budget cuts to defend the trainwreck of a story is like when high school student complain that they would have done better on a test had they gotten more time. Sometimes, you just have to admit that you didn’t know what you were doing.
While the music for the show was decent, part of me felt it was a ploy to milk more money out of the show. Some of the early episodes focused on a band called Girls Dead Monster who played music as some sort of distraction. However, because they weren’t central to the plot, and because singles were being released so frequently while the show was airing, it all felt like a cheap cash-in to ride the wave of success of K-ON.
So if I hated the story so much, why did I stick with it? Simply, it’s because I’m a big fan of the director, Seiji Kishi. He previously did Seto no Hanayome and Tentai Senshi Sunred, which are two of my favorite comedy series. I could see that a lot of effort went into the animation. The lighting and movement was dynamic and smooth. The backgrounds were nicely detailed and had a pleasing color palette. Unfortunately, none of this could save the production from its terrible story. Part of me feels the director was overcompensating for the terrible story by blinding the audience with pretty pictures. This seems to have worked on a large portion of the fanbase since a lot of reviews I have read comment on how pretty it is while glossing over the failure of the story.
After watching Angel Beats and seeing the audience reaction to it online, I feel like it’s done its job of manipulating its audience with false emotions. Because of the heavy marketing done for this series, it feels like nothing more than a cheap ploy to get to peoples wallets by tugging at the heart strings of people who probably have never experienced real romance. It’s a formula that has worked for previous Key works, and their sales of figures and dakimakura prove it. Fans of the show that actually finished this review rather than marking it “unhelpful” and moving on, watch the show again. Is it actually unique, or is it the same trite, repetitive crap that’s been plaguing the anime industry for years? Does the story make sense, or is it full of more holes than a cheese grater? But most importantly, is it actually good or are you still lying to yourself?
Jul 16, 2013
I really loved this anime, because it gives you so much heart filled emotions. The stories plot was amazingly detailed and just kept on adding to it, like you didn't expect some things to happen. That's where misunderstandings develop. Though without the misunderstandings the story wouldn't progress right and it wouldn't turn out good. So, thank the misunderstandings! *applauds*
The ending is like a good punch to the face that makes you want to burst into tears, so look out for that! That punch was good, though it made me fall off the bed crying. Don't forget to watch the after credits in the last episode! If you do, you'd miss something awesome that will make you thank God!
Oct 17, 2012
First hearing about it, I thought it would be just amazing. I mean, everybody was making a huge deal about this thing, telling everyone everywhere how sad and amazing it was, how it was even better than Clannad: After Story. Now, of course, I had to try it.
I really shouldn't have gotten my hopes up. Now, not to say that Angel beats was a bad anime, because it wasn't. But it really wasn't anything special.
First off, we have the characters. Long story short, they were bad. Each and every one of them had no personality, was a complete, almost offending stereotype, was extremely, EXTREMELY similar to a character from another anime, or was a character that I've seen way too many times to the point that I know every single thing about them and they're not interesting at all. Plus, there were like 15 characters, and only around five or even less of them were actually important to the story. The others just sat around and did basically nothing. No, seriously, they didn't do ANYTHING.
One character (I won't make an effort to remember or even look up his name, I don't care that much) even has a one or two episode arc that has NOTHING to do with the plot and tries desperately to cover up the fact that it is a huge filler. And right after his arc, he just joins the SSS Brigade like nothing's happened and is completely pushed off to join the already overflowing number of background characters that we know the names and possibly, if we're lucky, one personality trait of.
Though, I have to say, a few of the characters I really liked. *cough*Iwasawa*cough*
The art was great, actually. The style was nice, and they never got noticably lazy with anything. The fight scenes, though, were obviously not very well choreographed. The color pallet also seemed really cold to me, though it was probably something that only I noticed.
The sound was pretty good, too. The opening song was great and the ending song was amazing. Both the English and Japanese voice actors did nice jobs, too.
The story was what really flopped this anime. The plot sounds good; I mean, stuck in the afterlife, trying to fight this angel thing, with angsty regrets about your past life? Sounds like it would make a good story. But it was sad how horribly it was executed.
The pacing was way off. They drag the unimportant parts on way too long, actually put some really unessecary filler into the story, and then end up completely rushing the important parts. And they did this to the extreme. Basically a whole 7 or more episodes is filler and extremely unimportant stuff. For a thirteen episode anime? That's a huge no-no.
Remember how I said I heard that this anime was sad and heartwarming? Well, it wasn't. At all. It didn't even come close to pulling any of the strings of my heart. And that brings me to my next point. Angel Beats never pulled ANY strings. It didn't do anything creative, anything different, ANYTHING that I've never seen before. They just fight and go on missions, eventually reaching an ending that everyone else said was sad but really wasn't at all.
I mean, seriously, they're in the AFTERLIFE, the writers can at least do something creative and put the idea to good use. But, no, what could have been a thought-provoking theme was ruined and wasted.
Despite how it sounds, I did find a bit of enjoyment in this anime. Putting my feelings aside, it seems like most people who watched this anime actually did love it for some reason, so go ahead, give it a go.
Oct 18, 2013
A lot of people waltz around giving Angel Beats a 10/10 rating acting like it is some sort of masterpiece. Angel Beats is enjoyable and it accomplishes its overall goal for the most part, but it is also very flawed and it most certainly is NOT worthy of a 10/10 rating, or even a 9/10 rating.
The premise for Angel Beats is actually pretty compelling. Several high school students who have lived unfulfilled lives die and awake in a purgatory-like setting where high school never ends. The students who have appeared here are fighting off an "angel" who is trying to "obliterate" them, meaning force them disappear form the world and move on to the next life. Coming from the same people behind simplistic plots and environments like Clannad, Kanon, and Air, that is very complex plot.
The story actually has a fair amount of twists and emotional moments, but it has a major problem in the sense that it feels rushed. This is an example of an anime that needed to be 24-26 episodes long to effectively accomplish it's goals; not a measly 13.The shortness of the anime really hurts Angel Beats in the departments of pacing and character development (more on characters later). The story was enjoyable, but it never felt cohesive or coherent. The writers seemingly picked random episodes to dedicate to the plot, random episodes to dedicate to comedy, and random episodes to dedicate to individual characters. The story of Angel Beats is a classic example of having so much you want to get done and having so many things you want to put in your anime that you bite off more then you can chew.
Don't get me wrong though, I still thought the story-line was compelling and interesting throughout. When the show finally decided to slow down and focus on character development, it started to look more like the "masterpiece" everyone says it is. There are a few legitimately emotional moments later on in the anime when the backstories of some of the characters are explained. The problem that these moments don't happen until the very end of the anime and they all happen way too quickly in succession. If the pacing was better and the anime was longer, Angel Beats could have easily gotten 10/10 in this category.
All you have to do is watch the opening sequence to Angel Beats to know that the animation is fantastic. The characters and backdrops look fantastic at all times. Certainly one of the better quality animations you will ever see. I considered giving it a 10/10, but I'm very stingy when it comes to art ratings I guess.
As I mentioned previously, all you have to do is watch the OP. The music is fantastic and it is the perfect compliment to the anime. The voice acting is also above average in my opinion. No complaints in this department.
The characters in Angel Beats are the opposite of what they should be; the main characters are under-developed and lacking in personality while the supporting characters are WAY more entertaining and WAY more interesting.
The protagonist, Otonashi, is an average character I suppose. The only thing unique about him is his tragic backstory, but since EVERY character in Angel Beats has a tragic backstory, even that doesn't really make him stand out. He is only involved in comedic moments when it is initiated by other characters and he fails to demonstrate any real dynamic traits with the exception of a romance he has with another character, but even that feels rushed and poorly executed. There is no reason to like or dislike Otonashi, and that is his biggest problem.
Yuri is a character that has been done a million times before. She's the leader of the group, extremely stern, and doesn't take shit from anyone, but (shockingly!) she is a good person on the inside. Yet again, she is okay, but nothing special.
Angel is actually a decent antagonist. She is intriguing in the beginning because she is shrouded in mystery and her motives are unclear, but once everything about her is revealed, she's a bit boring. She has her moments, but Angel has a very underdeveloped personality, which is a missed opportunity.
Then, of course, there are the supporting characters, and boy are there a LOT of them. Angel Beats has WAY too many characters for a 13 episode anime. The obvious result of that is that 90% of them are underdeveloped and never have their backstories revealed. However, they still are successful characters because nearly all of them are funny and they all have a distinct personality. TK, Yui, Irie, and Fujimaki all made me laugh multiple times during the anime and all have distinguishable personalities. The supporting characters of Angel Beats are constant sources of comedic gold, but because Angel Beats is so short, none of them have a chance to be properly developed, which is a damn shame. I was more interested in the supporting character's backstories then I was in Otonashi's! But we never get them, and that is the reason this category only gets 6/10.
In case I haven't exaggerated this enough; Angel Beats had absolutely no chance of accomplishing what it set out to do in only 13 episodes. This anime needed to draw on it's great supporting characters by developing them and it needed fix all of it's serious pacing issues to get anything higher then a 7/10. Angel Beats is probably still worth a watch, but it feels like a bit of a missed opportunity. If it had a bigger budget, it could have been the 10/10 anime that everyone wants it to be. read more
Sep 24, 2013
However, there are some set-backs when dealing with a show that has a concept such as this. The main protagonist, Otonashi, while having a very moving backstory about his life on Earth, is ultimately quite a dull character to begin with. Though he does slowly evolve into a good character, he’s still far from a saving grace as the shows lead, and often has to rely on the whims of Yuri, Angel, or another side character to save the episode. Also, given the show’s running time of only 13 episodes, you really feel like the show ended way too soon, and honestly deserved more episodes to soak in. It would’ve been great to have around 26 episodes, because it would give us adequate time to get to know each member of the Battlefront more personally, and provide more funny botched operations.
Regardless, I still had a blast with “Angel Beats!”. While it isn’t the greatest show that many lead it to be, there are plenty of great aspects to grasp, such as the lively bunch of members, the fluid and very high-quality animation, and some of the best comedy you’ll ever likely find in anime. The ending of the show also leaves much to be desired, though its quite an emotional bat to the head that Key is so famous for, so bring plenty of tissues. Also, while Otonashi isn’t interesting, he is kinda saved by his backstory which gives him a bit of weight. Though you’ll yearn for more episodes after getting through it’s very short running time, it’s still a wildly entertaining trip that deserves praise for being tongue-in-cheek, cleverly written, and a lot of fun. read more
Jan 23, 2013
Story: I absolutely love the story and I think it is very unique how everyone starts off dead instead of living. Even if some of the episodes are filler and not important to the main story, they still add a lot of feel to it. 10/10
Art: The art was among the best I have seen in any anime. The water in the river to the way the sun was setting. The characters were drawn very well and were very detailed. Everything was done beautifully and was very crisp 10/10
Sound: I thought everything about the sound was great. Girls Dead Monster performed some amazing songs throughout the series and all of their songs were upbeat and brought a cheerful mood to the plot. The opening and ending were very good too. The opening was more of a happy toned song where I felt the ending song was slow paced and made me a little sad. 10/10
Character: In a 13 episode anime, we get introduced to a lot of characters. The only complaint I have about Angel Beats! Is the slight lack of character development. Out of all the characters we see, only about 4 or 5 are developed well enough for a 13 episode anime.The other characters were just in there. 9/10
Enjoyment: This show was very enjoyable for me and for all my friends who I have gotten to watch this show (witch is 3 at the moment). I never regret watching this series and as corny as this sounds, it really made me think that "life is worth living" and has honestly changed the way I act. There were no boring parts in any episode and drew me in within the first 45 seconds. 10/10
Overall: I love this show and most of the people who watch it also do too. It quickly evolves from a funny and comedic show to a dramatic and heartwarming one. I STRONGLY recommend Angel Beats! to anyone. 10/10 Overall. I truly love this series.
Thank you for reading this and enjoy the rest of your day ^-^ read more
Jul 17, 2013
-One of my favorite songs, and one that for me, got a new meaning in Angel Beats!, one of the best and most symbolic/dramatic amines I have seen so far this year, and I have seen alot of them by now.
-First let me tell you that as most of you, when I first discovered this anime, I had a concept of what it was (sci-fi with girls, guns and dramatic scenes) and surprisingly, I was wrong at some aspects of it, as I never had read the description of the anime.
-The concept for this series is original, rebellion against "God" on an Afterlife Battlefield (a limbo you may say), and in the center of the rebellion we have the people that died without fulfilling their lives or/and having lived unfair lives, all in the end died! Despite of everyone that takes part of this rebellion being already dead, they still fight, they fight against being erased, they want to live on this Afterlife and they don’t want to be reincarnated to a new life, due to the unfairness of their previous lives, this makes them collide and fight against Tenshi, the president of the student council of the high school that they "attend", that is basically where this Afterlife-limbo is located.
-The anime is a mix of action scenes, drama, physophy of life, with comedy and seldom some romantic scenes. It is all very well crafted together, the balance between action, drama and comedy is "set on the right spot" and I never thought that a scene needed more of this, or more of that. I was even surprised for the quality of the comedy on this anime!!
- The story was well told with some surprises left for the watchers to discover, itself this story is full of meanings and hidden truths and teaches of the value of life, and of "the unfairness" of it, after all not everyone gets to get his happy ending, dying surrounded by their closest ones, and on death we are all alone... let’s just say, it will make you cry at some parts, and laugh at others, while it will make you debate and think about the concepts that the anime lives on.
-The art of the anime is outstanding, and being this something that partially makes me enjoy anime so much, it made the anime flow very well, thus the emotions it meant to create on us, were wonderfully expressed!!
-The sound at first was a bit odd, I didn’t know a thing about this anime, and so I didn’t understood the OP at first, but after the first episode, it gets to you, and for me I never skipped the Opening and the Ending, the Ending maxed out the emotions that I felt through each of the episodes, and there is even some nicely done songs that are song in the episodes not counting the EP and the END, so on this category it won’t disappoint, it will fuse very well with what the anime is about and the struggles the characters face and have faced through their previous lives.
-The characters are one of the strongest aspects of Angel Beats! thought at first you don’t care about the main protagonist, Otonashi Yuzuru, he will develop more and more, and (little spoiler) when I saw his previous death, I burst into tears… , as for the other characters, I didn’t found anyone boring, everyone of the "main gang" has a unique trait to them, either T.K. with his dialogue, the hacker likes to be called Christ, Yui is very cheerful, and Yuri... I really liked her character, and Tenshi whose name is Kanade (means tune, soft song), you will get to know her better too, for good or for bad I won’t say! Another enjoyable character is the only thing I can say about Kanade, since I don’t want to spoil too much about it, and I forget about the "macho" who likes to take of his shirt to show us his build... just LOOL!! It is very funny trust me, you think he may be smart with his appearance and then this… Conclusion with such high grade of quality of characters, like this, you will spend alot of happy and sad moments...
-The enjoyment, I finished the anime 3 hours ago, saw the OVA (won’t discuss here, it is just very funny to watch :) )... I WANT TO GO ON AND REWATCH THIS!! I have saw lots of animes by now, and of all of those, this had some of the best moments to it! It makes you care for the characters, for how they died, for their previous hardships, you just want them to be happy to have fun, to have a new opportunity in life, to feel accomplished for what they had done on their lifes and rest in peace, because they deserved it!
-Overall if you want a great anime, that is diverse, unique, with great sounds, animation, characters and give lots of emotional moments (by happier or sadder), I can’t see where you could go wrong with this, one of my favorite amines of all time!! The only bad thing, it is that it only has 13 episodes (not counting the OVA)...
(I would be FREAK IN happy if the author done a After Story of this, after all his previous After Story (Clannad’s) was something…else)
If you embark on this journey:
It is a journey of reflection through life and the so called Afterlife, redemption and of salvation, self-knowledge and acceptation of yourself, of past mistakes and new begins, a journey that I lived with my heart, it felt heartbreaking on various scenes! And like a "soft tune, a melody" it all ended, and I just wanted more and more!! My heart beat”ed” to this rhythm of awesomeness, I hope yours to be the same, to the beat of the angel!
Angel Beats! came and left, and the impact was something that I m proud to call: REAL ART!!