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: 8.591 (scored by 134751 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular TagsNo tags found
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
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 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 were those shadow creatures? And I'm assuming the musical lunch time distraction was merely to promote the actual band? 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 portrayed just a tad poorly (I'll get to 'why' later) and left many questions, but it was still heartwarming nonetheless, and I suppose that gives it justice.
Art 10/10: I think the art was simply remarkable. Very well detailed character design and great animation. It was definitely a very colorful anime as well, might I add.
Sound 9/10: The music in the show 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, stoic even. 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 that 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 of the damn anime had way too many characters. The devs 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 a few more characters some development, 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 sweet 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 and it's strong points AND it's weak points, don't ever look at only one. 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
Apr 3, 2013
I remember watching this in early 2011. I was captivated since the very first scene.
Amazing. Just amazing. It was funny, inspiring, striking, and heartbreaking all at the same time. It may look like it doesn't have continuity, but it actually does. Each and every episode will keep you begging for more. The plot immediately rises from the first scenes in Episode 1, and the all the events that follow will not disappoint the viewer.
Gun animations, piano playing, guitar rocking: it was detailed magnificently. The fight scenes, the angling of a scene, even the opening animations were all amazing. I praise P.A. Works for doing an excellent job in animating the series.
Opening theme and ending theme was perfect for the series. It suits it well. The voices of marina, Lia, LiSA and Karuta were all very magnetizing. As well as the other musical scores that plays, especially Theme of SSS, which was by far the best music ever released by an anime. It's literally my alarm tune.
Yuri, Yuzuru, Yui, and Kanade. They are just a few people who will really put you in tears. Not to mention Naoi, Iwasawa, and the others, too. What made it lose a point for me is that not all the characters had their story told. I would've wished to see and witness all their struggles in life and their determination and decision to finally go on and live their life to full extent. But, other than that, all characters were introduced well, has participated adequately, and were not less important than the others.
Enjoyment? I don't think it had one non-enjoyable part. You'll laugh, you'll be in tears, you'll be rocking with Girls Dead Monster. It wasn't just enjoyable, it was totally enjoyable. It has a high amusement level, and will rise as each scene follows.
All in all, Angel Beats! is an anime worth watching. It's fun, it's inspiring, and besides the action and gun-pointings, it's family-friendly. Lol. Also, once you watch it, you'll have a different view in life. read more
May 23, 2013
Though there are some anime and manga that only fit into either the entertainment category or the philosophical category, Angel Beats seems to fit in both, at least from my point of view. There were parts in the anime that had me at the edge of my seat through the action and fight scenes while there were parts that truly touched my heart to the point that I teared up. However, the message that the anime is trying to convey is actually deeper than I thought it would be. You can't really understand it if you look at it at face value. The characters were fighting against the cruel life they lived because they couldn't accept their fate and death. During the course of the series, they had to struggle with issues like fate, existence, self-worth, death, and finding fulfillment that, in the long run, would help them pass on from the afterlife. In the end, they learned to accept the life they had lived because they as human beings could never really change the things that already happened, no matter how hard they try to fight against it. It had me thinking and connecting the dots during and after I watched it.
Before watching, I daresay that my expectations for this show were high since it was highly recommended by some of my batch mates. It took me a long time before I got convinced to actually give it a shot. Prior to that, I watched some AMV's (Animated Music Videos) about this anime, and I can say that the art and animation is what got me enticed at first sight. At first, I thought that this was merely an anime about music, since I saw girls singing and playing the guitar, and the fact that this angel-looking girl was playing the piano in the opening. By the time I finally watched it, the anime is actually deeper than I thought.
I have to say that the story has great potential, but the packaging seemed to be lacking. It just felt kind of abrupt and rushed, especially the ending. There were still some loose ends that the writer/s failed to tie up. The sequencing was quite messy, and I have to admit that there were some parts in the anime wherein the characters were just wasting their time. And thus, it's quite lacking in character development, as well. I wish they gave focus to all the significant characters more (ex. their past) instead of using them to act like complete retards. The story had a lot of potential, and it has a beautiful message. It could've been fleshed out better, though.
The art and animation was impeccable. The music was in tune to the mood of the series, and that's one of the things that I really love about this anime. I especially loved Iwasawa's "My Song" and the ending theme. The ending theme encapsulates the whole meaning of the anime in a way I couldn't fully comprehend. It brings out a feeling of gentleness and peace after every episode. I also loved the fact that Otonashi, the protagonist, reflects on the things the battlefront went through before an episode ends. The anime gets a plus for that.
Overall, Angel Beats is enjoyable to watch. Though there are times when the comedy gets too exaggerated, the way they stir up your emotions is heartfelt. It's not overly-dramatic, per se. Nonetheless, it will entertain and make you think at the same time. It's quite a unique and thought-provoking experience. 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
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.
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?
May 2, 2013
Overall, Angel Beats is the setting for a wonderful and fun anime that would be enjoyed by everyone. It is enjoyed, and I myself enjoyed it as well. But there's a fundamental problem here. For the staggering number of characters, the intriguing setting, the mechanics of the world, and the character relationships, thirteen episodes is simply not enough.
No I'm not saying I'm angry because Angel Beats was bad. Don't get me wrong, I liked it. I'm not angry at what Angel beats was, I was angry at what it could've been. See, with thirteen episodes things are explained rather quickly and the emotional developments and connections built between the characters and the viewer are built slowly in the first few episodes, but are rushed as fast as the speed of light through the next few episodes.
Could the studio have pulled off Angel Beats just right with 13 episodes? Sure. Series like Baccano and Shiki have a vast number of characters and complex mechanics withing their settings, but manage to pull them off by 13 episodes, and rather well at that. In Angel Beats, nothing made me more frustrated that, given 13 episodes to write a beautiful story, the studio decides to add in 5-6 episodes of filler!
I'm extremely disappointed by the decision to add filler to a 13 episode anime. With only a one season run, it's in my (and I feel many)'s belief that the story has to be straightforward and focused. Sure, the filler does give a bit of characterization, but with the exception of 4-5 major characters, development is simply too broad to be considered acceptable. At the end, sure you feel a lot of emotions rushing through you, but if you look closely enough these feelings are tied together rather weakly. They even go as far as to skip all the goodbyes to the characters who weren't the most focused on. That's just....lazy...
So overall, the art is amazing and the OPs and EDs are incredibly addictive. It's enjoyable. I'll give you that. But it could've been much better. If you really enjoyed this anime, I would encourage you to speak out. To demand a remake. This time with more dedication, effort, and focus than the lazy story-telling Angel Beats presented to me. Was it good? Yes. But it just could've been so much more. read more
Apr 13, 2013
Our main character Otonashi wakes up and finds out he is dead, he is thrust into the SSS and begins operations against the mysterious "Angel" as the SSS unravels the mysteries of the afterlife. Angel Beats presents many interesting themes and has a strange take on it's genre and a strange place for it's purgatory type setting to be in: a high-school. I mean, I know whatever the anime type they can correlate it to a high-school, but this is a more bizarre type of plot and setting to set inside a high-school. The premise therefor shows lots of potential, and for the first few episodes it shows a good pace and some nice character development. However that comes to a hault not too far in, many of the characters are left undeveloped or only half-developed and the story's pace becomes erratic. The story rushes to try to get it's themes across and obviously get further into the plot but leaves a lot of things unmentioned and opens up many plot-holes. About a dozen more episodes were needed to further develop the story and setting at a reasonable pace, the plot ends up not knowing where it's going and falls apart because of this, and because a couple of the episodes are spent showing them dicking around rather than trying to develop the story when they are already pressured by the amount of episodes left. The interesting premise was put to waste by lack of episodes, don't get me wrong it was fairly well executed but it's still not enough. I can't give this more than an average score.
At the beginning some nice character development is shown but as I said it only lasts in the beginning and many of them are left undeveloped or only half developed. The main character is the only one who is really fleshed out very much at all and he is about as generic as they get, infact the entire cast is. None of the characters seem very memorable to me at all, well besides T.K. I guess because he was bizarre and interesting, however they throw all of that interest away by leaving him undeveloped and just keeping him as barely more than a background decoration. I know there are lots anime with an entirely generic cast but there can still be a lot done with a generic cast, for example Madoka Magica uses lots of plot devices to develop them in a bizarre and interesting way. Even just developing them naturally would make the characters average by definition, however Angel Beats doesn't even meet that benchmark due to what I assume is it's time constraint. Also a lot of the character's actions seem to not make sense most of the time, or seem contradictive to the little development they've shown and the characters they've been portrayed as. Yuri is the biggest example of this. I honestly don't see how people cared about these people enough to be emotionally impacted which leads me to believe it's because of the event itself that caused the emotions and not because they care for the character(s).
This is where the anime really shines and im sure it aided a lot of those emotional scenes. Angel Beats surely has an incredible OST and it is used exceptionally. To me this is the most memorable part of the anime as many of the songs by themselves gave me an emotional impact. The voice-acting is fine if not a little overdone at some points, nothing to complain about though.
~:Animation & Art:~
The art is fine, I find most of the character designs interesting or appealing. However a lot of the backgrounds or buildings or whatever setting they are at usually seem undetailed and just plain average. The animation is around average as well, it can be amazing sometimes but often in a high-motion scene faces can be distorted or things in the background will be cut out.
~:Enjoyment and Personal Thoughts:~
The series just felt super average to me until the aid of it's music came along. The music carried most of the weight for emitting the emotion needed for scenes however it didn't make up for it's inconsistent, incoherent, rushed plot and lack of character development. I enjoyed it about as much as the average series because of the neat premise and fantastic music, entertainment wise.
~:Final Judgement - 5/10.:~ read more
Jan 10, 2013
Type 1: This anime is amazing. Deep storyline, moving, too touching. I SEE THE WORLD IN A NEW LIGHT NOW
Type 2: I cried more when my fish died, and I didn't even know I had a fish
But anyways, as usual, I'm going to start off this review by saying a very misconception thing in MyAnimeList. I see great reviews, but 0 of 100 people found this helpful, because this review probably gave the anime a low score. So what do people who support the anime do? "It's time to declare war" and spam the Not Helpful button. I'm always like, it's called "Click if you found this review helpful or not helpful" not "Click if you like their rating or don't like their rating"
Anyways, Angle Beats! manages to create a pretty confusing and as well enthralling opening. In fact, I didn't even realize what was completely going on in the first 6 episodes, which is why many people don't like it since they stop watching it because it doesn't give a quick explanation, but once you realize exactly what is going on, you start to like it more. The story is pretty original and the execution I think is one of the best. It starts off by asking some very thought-provoking question such as "Why do I live" "What reason do I live for" "What do I need to do while I am alive". The anime itself starts off with a boy who finds himself in the world after death (the afterlife) and join a group known as the "Rebels Against the God". Unfortunately, he forgot how he died so he basically tries to uncover why. I'm not going to continue and describe because that would spoil it for you. For story I would give it a 9, because I will admit that there was a lot of potential and the execution became a bit rushed at the end.
Art doesn't need to be explained. The animation is all fluid and eye-pleasing. A solid 10 here.
Angel Beats! Soundtrack is probably one of my favorite soundtracks. I found that it really set the atmosphere for the scenes in the anime and the opening and ending theme are pretty catchy. There are some pretty sad songs that really fit with the sad scenes in the anime and some very action-packed soundtracks which fit with the uprising of conflict. I give Sound a solid 10
The characters are quite original in this. The main character (Yuzuru) has a pretty interesting back story. In fact, all the character have their own unique and different back stories and although the anime doesn't focus on other as much as they probably should, they only made this 13 episodes, so for 13 episodes, I think they did a pretty good jobs with the characters. I give it a 8.
Overall, there some parts in Angel Beats! which make no sense whatsoever. And there are many parts which you have to put a lot of thought into in order to understand it and enjoy. If you push through the first 5 episodes, the anime can be very enjoyable and if you get the main part of the what story is trying to put out there. I would give enjoyment a 7, which is still a good rating.
Overall, Angel Beats! is a ground-breaking title with a somewhat expected ending, creative story, excellent execution and tragic end to it, or rather leaving the viewers to decide what happens, and more importantly, what will they do after watching this anime.
Thanks for the feedback, cool beans bro.
Aug 13, 2011
Angel Beats! takes place in a kind of afterlife similar to purgatory. In it, young adults find themselves at a mysterious colossal boarding school that runs like most other schools...with one exception; Yuri and the Afterlife battlefront.
The members of the Afterlife battlefront fight the unfairness of life and also their idealogy of god. Otonashi is the protagonist, after he wakes in the new world with little to no memories about his past life. This may seem cliche, well, because it somewhat is but this works well as a plot device as his motives change because of his memories being slowly regained.
After a long break from Anime this was the series that drew me back in. The mix of action and light-hearted comedy has it's subtle mesh and the Anime is brought together by some truly stirring musical pieces.
The main characters of Otonashi and Yuri work well and the supporting characters are developed in a way that neither wastes time nor feels that they are felt 2D dimensional.
All in all, it is well worth watching. It comes bundled in a short and sweet 13 episode set and leaves you fulfilled. read more
Jun 25, 2010
Haha just kidding. Angel Beats! isn't actually all that special, and I'm writing this review to just try and send out a message to those of you who have not watched Angel Beats! yet. No I'm not trolling, I really hated Angel Beats! and the reason I stuck with it to the end is so I could tell other anime watchers to stay the hell away from it. Note: I don't give a shit about the 'moewave.' I like all genres and types of anime, and if an anime is enjoyable or presents a very powerful story (or both, god forbid!) I'd like to tell you about it. It's just frustrating when I see a review (on this anime especially) and the reviewer goes out of his way to say "I'm going to ignore story and characters because those aren't important." That kind of thing makes me flip shit. It's as if I were to sell you a fancy house, but tell you you couldn't go inside. Is that fair? Hell no! Then here, my review on Angel Beats!, and I promise I won't say anything like "X isn't important" and waste your time doing so.
Otonashi, our walking cliche protagonist as another reviewer pointed out, has lost his memories and wakes up in a new world where he realizes people can't die. There he meets several exciting and interesting one-dimensional characters. Yurippe, the leader (who looks suspiciously close to another KyoAni mascot character) is the loudmouth leader of a fighting squadron that wants to "rebel against god." The only thing Yurippe can think to do to "rebel against god" is to pick on the class president, who is a frail lolita character and to repeatedly shoot her until she is dead (in a world where people can't die... fascinating how KyoAni got away with this). Then entire episodes are dedicated through traversing a 'dangerous underground path' full of 'dangerous traps.' Then we learn that the guns Yurippe gets are made out of dirt (no explanation). Then a whole lot of sobstories come into play. Almost every episode a character reveals their "troubled and emotional" past, and the pacing that introduces it is horrendous and each background story takes around half an episode to go through.
Blatantly, I didn't find the comedy all that funny, seeing as it was just rip offs of other Maeda Jun works, oh and so were the back stories. One of the girls falls into a coma and it is even alluded to AIR.
Seeing as this was anime had so many random filler episodes and insert songs it's hard to really explain the story. Or maybe it's hard to explain because there wasn't one (or if there was it was dastardly weak).
Aside from the numerous background errors per episode where the background changed sizes and the costuming errors (WILL BE FIXED IN THE BLU-RAYS HERPDERP), the animation was really good. Yes, I hated this anime, but I'm not going to lie, the animation was amazing. Bullets bounced off things realistically, and everything was really fluid. There was even water used in the last episode that looked so real that it utterly shocked me.
Now the character design pissed the hell out of me. The main character looks no more original than any third-rate anime. He's a normal build, with a normal haircut, and a normal voice and manner of speech etcetc. Then Yurippe was obviously just a Haruhi rip-off. Try and prove me wrong. What? You can't? Just put a picture of the two next to each other and you'll see. Then comes the art. I really had no opinion but I was leaning toward dislike on it. It looked like a blocky version Haruhi, and all the characters looked like tetris blocks when standing still, they all had this square build for some reason.
The opening is awesome. A nice piano piece with Lia as the singer. The ending is okay, I didn't feel much for it, but music is a taste and this part of the review is very opinion oriented.
The voice acting was also really good. The characters (as bad as they were) had voices that brought out what the creators were trying to do. Ototnashi had a normal voice, Kanade (Tenshi or Angel) had a monotone voice. Etc. To be honest I didn't really know a lot of the seiyuu other than Hiroshi Kiyama and Kana Hanazawa (Araragi and Nadeko respectively, both from Bakemonogatari) but I didn't really care - they did good work.
Every character is a cardboard cut out and can be reduced to one word. There's the bland protagonist, the bossy Yurippe, the 'kuudere' (cool) Kanade, a bodybuilder, an egomaniac, a spaz, a dunce, a brute, a fatty, a ninja, and so on.
And then there was TK.
TK is the single most creative piece of work in this entire anime. 90% of his lines consist of broken engirsh and usually make no sense. BUT I'M OKAY WITH THAT! Why? BECAUSE IT'S CREATIVE. There is very very few pieces of creativity in this anime, very very few things that don't follow an archetypal story. KyoAni took a chance and put in something that might be DIFFERENT (oh god what is this) and it simply worked. TK is a funny character and does headspins for no reason and has no background at all. But who cares? He was more developed and more interesting than ANY OTHER CHARACTER. This whole section got a plus one - just for TK.
I'm sorry. I couldn't do it. I couldn't bring myself to like it, and I know a lot of people who write reviews saying that "they wanted to like it, they really did" - and hey same here. The day this anime aired I was so freaking excited. I was ready to call this the anime of the year and I told all my friends to watch it. By episode three I couldn't take it anymore and I absolutely hated it, but I pushed on. I tried to enjoy the next episode. I sat down with my favorite candy (the Hot Tamales) and got myself my favorite drink (a delicious Seltzer) and made sure I watched it when no one would interrupt me. Shit it was hell. Every week. I tried harder and harder and then I realized.
Why am I forcing myself to like this anime, which is pretty mediocre?
And there you have it folks. That's all it is. Mediocre. The visuals can be the greatest on the planet, but that's not going to make me fond of the characters, or become interested in the plot. It's like Avatar by James Cameron, you love it or hate it, and if you love it, you don't love it for the characters, you love it for the explosions and all the pretty doodads and doohickeys involved.
I just averaged the numbers. That's the number I think this show properly deserves. Hey! You may still want to watch this anime. If you do, don't go in expecting too much. If you're able to looks past this anime's flaws in story and character then maybe you're experience will be much different, but if you're bothered by this, I strongly advise against watching this anime. It is not like Haruhi, it is not like CLANNAD, it is not like Kanon, but sure is a blend of them.
The characters refer to themselves as "idiots." And holy crap that is one good definition, but please beware viewer, let me warn you, if you consume idiocy, you become an idiot. read more
Jun 26, 2010
Bold titles refer to other anime series. No links are provided for them as I am a sloppy bastard and it’s nothing you can’t do by yourselves via the search button of the database in 3 seconds.
Spoilers are 90% of the time kept in tags. Minor exposition outside is still present. You have been warned; the author takes no responsibility for your spoilerific curiosity.
I don’t hate you, anime, or the world in general. My stakes are simply residing in the stratosphere.
No Menchis were hurt during the making of this review. Though, a few mosquitoes paid dearly for not leaving me alone to type.
Angel Beats is an original *cough* work regarding teenagers (ooh really?) in a school setting (you don’t say!) doing comical stuff (never heard that one before) with the pretext of staying alive in a bizarre afterlife inside a videogame-like world (although Gantz does not give them kill points after battles).
ART SECTION: 9/10 [ Haibane Renmei meets Suzumiya Haruhi ]
General Artwork 2/2:
The series yells high budget all the way and that means a viewing pleasure of delight. The backgrounds are very detailed and have a gazillion filters to make them look shinny, gradient, and generally like gorgeous sceneries in Key visual novel date sims. Yeah, they made it look like that even if it AIN’T a game adaptation. Yet, the intro video has all the characters posing at you with their names attached on them. This can only mean two things. Either the producers think we are too stupid to remember their names or we are suppose to think this is indeed a Key date sim. Which ends up being retarded after awhile, since it isn’t and there are characters with names in the intro who don’t even speak more than twice in the whole series. Trolled or what?
I could argue how silly everything looks during comical moments with the SD and low frame rate during those moments, but it’s perfectly acceptable since it’s supposed to make you laugh and not criticize a Da Vinci sculpture. So overall; great artwork.
Character Figures 2/2:
They went for bijin looks and silly gimmicks and I must say it worked great. All characters are drawn with smooth outlines that hardly look weird. Plus they look like they are fashion models doing a parade, trying to look as cool as possible. Yup, easy way to attract the fans of moe and kawaii. It goes overboard of course but, hey, the setting is supposed to be a virtual afterlife and thus it is excused in-series to be so hunk/hot/drooling (after all, if it sells, why change it?). No worries here; they look great and don’t deform outside of excused comical moments.
Mostly a typical school setting with a few extras like underground passages full of traps, and military facilities full of weapons of mass destruction. I can’t say there is much variety in here and I usually yearn for much more but the type of the story excuses it nicely. For all I know nothing else exists in this world other than an endless schoolyard, where teenagers do endless studying and take part in endless tests. My God, this is Purgatory!
Motion Fluidity & Visual Effects 3/4:
Good but not great. A lot of time is spent on gags with low frame movements and superflat looks, while the use of 3D is not always that successful. Also, fighting scenes are just random magic gizmos appearing out of nowhere while explosions and bullets don’t really seem to damage the backgrounds most of the times. As for battle choreography, having people turning their heads to chat instead of aiming at their enemy is plain stupid. Not to mention all major action scenes don’t last more than a minute. Some are even resolved off screen. None of all these are done terribly, like in a title such as 07 Ghost for example, and the series is not action oriented anyway. Heck, you could remove the guns and the shootings and it still wouldn’t matter as a bullet in this series is equally powerful as a slap. But it still feels cheap at times and ruins a part of the fun.
Still, all these can be countered by the few school band festivals. They are as great as in “that other known series” which by the way has nothing to do with this “original” work. In all, the characters have vividness and move really lively most of the times. It’s just that they overdone it with the comedy SD and stupid action scenes, resulting to taking out a point.
SOUND SECTION: 10/10 [So what is the name of our team today?]
Voice Acting 3/3: This is another one of those series where the characters make a lot of jokes and gags based on stereotypes. That is, they speak in a totally clichéd way, just so another one can pull out a comeback one-liner and create a joke out of it. Not a new approach to anime as it has been done better in older series such as Sayonara Zetsubo or Bakemonogatari … which have nothing to do with this “original” work despite the odd coincidence of the main lead having the same voice actor as in those older shows. But it’s ok, it was still funny and witty to the most part and I did enjoy it a lot. Even during serious moments, the quality of the dialogue is well done and the voices never feel ridiculous at those times.
Music Themes & Sound Effects 7/7: I didn’t lose my mind over the songs. They range somewhere between elegiac and average pop and they are definitely well made but I am not fond of such types to know if they are really good to the ear. I sure have no qualms about them. The thing I liked most is how they used said music themes in slapstick moments (slow motion jokes) and even in-story (a school band playing music to distract the students from the battle raging outside). The rest of the battle or comical sounds are nothing much but thanks to the uniform of music and story, they feel far more relevant and good. Also, it appears that they use a different song in each episode instead of just repeating the same one every time. All these show creativity and variety and for that I give them a perfect score, even if I’m not head over heels about them.
STORY SECTION: 5/10 [ Gantzers meet the SOS Brigade ]
General Scenario 2/2:
Well, the main idea is sure interesting. It’s about people with harsh lives who are killed being sent to an in-between stage of afterlife, where they are students in a school full of NPC people as well as an Angel who is sent by God to kill them. And by “kill” means to just stop them from being rebellious towards the system of this virtual reality. For you see, they are already dead and no matter what happens to them, they come back to life a few minutes later. But if they comply with the school regulations for too long, they disappear entirely. So the main team of high-schoolers has this arsenal of weapons and fights the Angel all the time, while causing chaos in the school in order to make sure they stay alive... or dead… or whatever.
But it turns out all that is just smoke screen. In reality
there is no Angel or God; it’s just them assuming God punishes them for no reason. The Angel is just another dead human like themselves who just wants to make them move on but has terrible communication skills. Thus it is catchy how they refuse by themselves to move on and thus become themselves the very problem that prevents them from being reincarnated, or go to Heaven or something like that. Nice twist I must say.
It’s still a mostly fantasy series and all of the above happen in a very light manner. For example, some can create weapons with dirt or mind-wash others at will. Yet all that are not important, as neither the weaponry nor the hypnosis add anything to the story. They are just flashy extras. It is never shown if the world has boundaries or why the so-called Angel never recognizes in class the people she fights every night. The story ain’t taking itself seriously. Neither did Suzumiya Haruhi’s story but then again it did not prevent that one from becoming a smash hit. The whole presentation is much closer to a school comedy or an anime parody that is easy going to the mind and simply has a semi-serious premise hanging around in the font. Part of catering all tastes; remember?
It also feels like they ripped off made a tribute to many other famous works. In the second episode for example, you get a Resident Evil scene, in the third a Howl’s Moving Castle reference, in the twelfth a Matrix Reload scene. The lead girl looks like Haruhi and even has an armband with a similar name for a brigade, while her headquarters are almost identical to those in Persona 3 and 4. So imagine taking a hundred ideas from a hundred titles and using most of them as an excuse for a joke and the result is the Gintama counterpart of soft sci-fi. And I don’t know how much you liked Gintama ; I for once found it sub-par to the most part. Based on tastes, you may like the whole insanity and Easter egg hunting, or you may not. All that are after all peanuts next to how it’s…
Form of Development/ Pace of Plot 0/2:
…rushed as hell. With such an engrossing story and a large number of characters, it would take far more episodes to unfold properly. Thus when a new development comes along, it happens so fast that the emotional impact on you is ruined to the most part. One moment they are making jokes, the other drama falls from the sky and crashes them. One day someone disappears, the next day they go make fun at each other like it didn’t matter at all. Mystery exposition happens in long monologues, development is mostly flashbacks, and battles are resolved in seconds. But jokes? Nope, those can last for entire episodes. That alone shows how much they cared about the actual story; doesn’t it? So although the series has a developing story that changes from comedy, to drama, to mystery, to something else in a span of only 13 episodes, it happens so fast and rushed that most of the emotional binding and great story ideas are lost. Which in turn…
Side Stories/Extra Spices 1/2:
…ruins all the importance of side stories and throws to the side most characters. Each one of them is there for a reason but the story focuses on only a small part of them. Heck, most of the times you think there are only 5 people in the entire world. Makes things feel autistic and barren at times. One could of course argue that it was never about all the characters and only about 3 or 4, leaving the rest as minor support. Sure, ok, I agree. They are still useless as characters and exist only to make jokes. I have seen series where all characters take part in the progress of the story and this is not one of them. And for that matter, it ain’t no surprise how most of them…
… were left flat and semi-developed in the end. There is an ending and it could be a great one if it was given at least 5 more episodes to unfold properly. But it didn’t and it felt dried up and almost boring.
CHARACTER SECTION: 7/10 [ Itoshiki Nozomu meets Suzumiya Haruhi ]
It’s all about the looks with this sort of series. Nothing surprising in this “original” work. Yes, they are all attractive, cute, perky, Haruhi rip-offs , and many more. The high budget animation helps to infuse them with great liveliness and thus they feel far better than the average “frozen caricature with a flapping mouth anime character” out there. Of course, all these count as external or superficial attributes, which are very well done, following the recommended pre-constructed package in the field. This does not apply very well to their…
… personalities, which are pretty simplistic and almost uninspiring for most of them. Most of the cast consists of generic archetypes, whose "character" can be described in just 2 sentences. The hypno-guy, the karate-guy, the ninja girl, all these are characters who are just what they appear to be, plus a quirk at best. You can’t add anything to their characterization thus they may be funny but also shallow and forgettable who add nothing to the plot in the long-run (Although TK is extremely memorable for his English one-liners). Still, whatever they do is overall eye-catchy and backed up by their lively voices and witty dialogues. They are imposing to the most part even without actual…
Backdrop & Development 2/4:
… immersion for more than 5 of them. Most don’t have a story or development. Even for the major five, development is nothing else but characters talking to each other about their pasts through mostly rushed flashbacks. AniPlex tried to copy the successful Kyoto Animation formula and that all made it a breath of fresh Air-tv , by following the established Kanon to the letter. They may as well do a Clan Add so the tribe will thrive.
(Angel) Beats me why this superficial form of character exposition is so successful. It probably has to do with anime being notorious for spending a hundred episodes for the most obvious exposition to come along and thus this series creates a huge contrast that hits you with a 2 ton hammer. It is sudden and has such a high shock value on you that (Angel) beats the alternative. I still find it terribly rushed and cheap but then again that is just me.
The main three characters are ok all things considered and they save some face.
Yurippe gets a fair amount of attention and development and she keeps learning about the world around her. But it’s not like anyone else couldn’t be used in her place for that. She had already a lot of things to show and sharing some of those feature with other characters wouldn’t hurt at all.
Otonashi moves the plot forward and has a very strong presence. He began as a generic high school teenager we have seen a million times already, with the amnesia routine we have seen a billion more. But he actually feel better as he goes on. He has some guts (unlike most of his brood) , and his flashbacks flesh him out nicely later on, without the revelation of his lost memory being the key to the solution of everybody’s problem, as it usually is. In fact, he changes things so much than in the last episode he is the exactly opposide of what his archetype suggested at first. Too bad it was all so rushed and ended being silly.
And then there is also Kanade the Angel. Starts as an average cooldere but later on becomes a lot more. Her personality is excused and affects the story beyond her original role as the messenger of God.
There also running jokes about some gimmicks that colorize some of the secondary characters’ personalities (like the glass-guy having a well-built body) but in all that don’t really move them forward. The only thing that actually does…
…is them getting catharsis and disappearing entirely. Weird huh? Shooting a million bullets at you does nothing, yet admitting your fears and hopes leads to your removal from the series. Feels almost like if you like someone, you wish he/she never comes to terms with him/herself or it’s game over. How original… Unless you have watched Haibane Renmei.
Anyways, as weird as it feels having development as synonym to perm-ban, it is excused and rather gutsy to actually see characters being removed. They sure don’t resurrect with Dragonballs or any of that shounen crap. They stay dead… or better say, they come back to life as reincarnated. Or go to Heaven; I don’t know, the series never shows what comes next. In all, this is a far better variant to the usual Key trope, where a person mentions his/her problems and then becomes background decoration. It is also relevant to the purpose of the world and the core story (and overall thematic). It still happens so fast you feel nothing about most of them but it is still an absolute form of catharsis.
It still happens too fast for most and the truth is none of them “really” ever die, but that is an issue of story and not character.
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 5/10 [There are all Kagebushin no Jutsu; they go poof when you touch them]
Like most titles of its era, Angel Beats tries to cater all tastes by combining the serious with the silly, the humorous with the dramatic, the cute with the gore. It’s not a bad thing if done right as we live in an era where a series which tries to focus too much on only one genre, ends up being ignored by everyone who is not a fan of said genre. In turn, that translates to low sales, cancellation of further projects, firing staff and making people jump off windows to their untimely deaths. So the anime producers thought right while in the making. They threw in as much as they could and tried to cater as many different tastes as possible. They even went mostly for laughs, as we indeed live in cynical times and trying to pull a successful serious series is not easy at all. Not a bad move; most of the best anime of all times are multi-genre and easy-going. Sadly, most of the times instead of a full course dinner, we end up with a soup where all flavors are thrown in the blender and the end result is this gross pulp with a boring taste that drives you to the nearest sink. Unfortunately, Angel Beats is with one foot in this category.
Why, oh, why is that you may wonder? How is that possible if it obviously used the best of what there is??? Look how good the animation and the music are. And it looks like a Key game.
1) Plagiarism: Well, for starters it plagiarizes thematics and looks from most successful commercial anime of recent years. So down to it, it is NOT an original work as most think, despite being labeled as one for not being based on some game, manga or novel. It is a cameo parade! It counts too much on other works to appeal to the viewer and ends up being weak without them. It failed to break out from its origins and become something special on its own later on. No, it remained a work of tribute to all that came before it, unable to stand on its own two feet.
2) Inferior: Compared to all the series it made a tribute to, it’s less interesting. The same elements have been used in the past and in far more smart and successful ways. It feels weaker next to Haruhi (far better moe-feast) , Bakemonogatary (far better witty comedic dialogues) , Haibane (far better atmosphere and well shown theme) , etc. Just think of how simpler those were and yet made a stronger impression on you. This series threw so many spices in the cauldron and the end result was not a super spice; it was another spice far weaker in flavor than the others. But you know what? That is not really a bad thing as nothing seems to be original anymore. It’s just that if it was made special in the way it presented its otherwise unoriginal story, then we could have another goody on the block. And we didn’t.
3) Rushed: You were also force-feeded to swallow it all in a few seconds too, not allowed to savor the taste on your tongue. The story was better fit as a full 24 episode series and yet they run it on nitro, waste a lot of time on comedy and end up catharsizing everyone in a most boring and rushed way.
I really liked all the references they made to anime and movies. It gave a meta-series parody aspect to it. The humor was generally successful too. But the series itself was not some average storyless school comedy. It had a very interesting scenario that was presented rushed, uneven and silly, practically head shooting all hopes of becoming really good. Thus I half-liked it. Well, let’s just hope the next “original” work Key decides to make will take these simple pointers into account.
VALUE SECTION: 3/10
It is NOT a masterpiece or even something people will discuss in 5 years from now. It is a high budget pop-corn work that rehashes other scenarios, like what the Avatar film did with Pocahontas . It is just another easily digestible piece of fiction, poorly made and aimed as fast food. Well; easy come, easier go.
The aesthetics are done great and the tested formula of success is played along nicely. I am almost certain all Key fans will like it… for being a tribute to Key (poor Aniplex; can’t even get a credit). It may end up being entertaining and a commercial success since most are suckers for cool animation and cute girls and the recent moe/ecchi plague makes it look great by comparison. But future generations of fans will almost certainly won’t give a damn about it. Because it was made way too rushed and has less to offer than others that were made fairly close to it. Thus it has less than average value next to the titles it plagiarizes and to the people it targets.
By the way, this won’t become apparent for the next one or two years as the series is still fresh and hyped to the moon by zealots. Which is also nothing “original” in the field.
VERDICT: 6.5 / 10
The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi
See you next time on yet another “original” take on some “original” anime that for some silly reason a lot of people will think it’s great.
Original text by roriconfan. Feedback offered by original members atma and nngai. read more
Jun 25, 2010
The plot centers around Otonashi, a young man who wakes up in the middle of a school yard, with no recollection on how he got there or any memories of his past. He is then confronted by a girl holding a rather large gun, her name is Yuri, the leader of a organization called the SSS, a group devoted to fighting god and his angels. Confused by her offer, Otonashi declines and decides to confront this 'angel', seeing how she appears to be a lonesome little girl. Unfortunately for Otonashi, this helpless little girl somehow manifests blades from her arms and stabs him. After waking up, again, but this time in a hospital. Yuri and the rest of the SSS reveal to him that they are actually stuck in purgatory, and how they can't really die within this world, but if they were to pass on, something Angel intends to make them do, they will reincarnate into another life. Yuri and the SSS rather not pass on, instead, they would rather fight against the god who destined them to have unreasonable lives and possibly reincarnate into water fleas. Otonashi agrees to join Yuri and her group, hoping to regain some recollection of his past and learn the mysteries of this new world.
Angel Beats starts off with great promise, interesting concepts and likeable characters, but ultimately fails to live up to anyone's expectations. People put the blame on the fact that everything in this series is restricted to only 13 episodes. But personally, I put the blame on the writer Jun Maeda. His work in visual novels is quite apparent in this series, as it seems like he's only good at writing scenarios, not a straight linear storyline. A competent writer should find a way to string these characters and events in a organic matter, instead of turning it into a nice jumbled mess.
Everything in the show feels episodic. It presents 'important' plot points and characters, but by the next episode, it disregards all previous plot points in favor for this new one. Rinse and repeat over the course of 13 episodes. As a example; the series also introduces a new villain about mid-way through the series, but over the course of a single episode he joins the SSS. Because of this, the story of Angel Beats feels aimless. It has no conflict, no resolution, doesn't center on a particular character or even a villain. Jun Maeda blames that he 'wrote too much' for Angel Beats, which is why it turned into a cross media project, but why couldn't he craft a storyline just for the anime, and leave everything else to the small series of light novels or the manga?
The one thing that does shine in this series is it's diverse cast of characters. Like I said earlier, they are all very likeable and surprisingly memorable. Even more so with a fan favorite called TK, a mysterious english speaking character who's constantly dancing. Because of this, the humor and interaction between the characters works really well, it makes for some enjoyable moments. But isn't it a little sad when the humor is more enjoyable than the drama in a supposedly 'character driven' series?
Speaking of the drama, it's nothing but forced. It's mostly used for the sake of making the viewer feel sad or a weak attempt to feel something for a otherwise unlikable character. This of course is done in a series of flashbacks into the character's lives, before their new lives in the SSS. Does it have any real impact on the storyline? No. Does it add anything to the characters? It does in a few cases, but not all. Most of the time you'll be wondering what was the entire point of that sequence, as it only serves as a weak selling point to feel empathy for the character. Which I hear is more apparent in Jun Maeda's other work such as 'Clannad', but I have yet to seen that series nor have interest in it.
Something I feel like I should point out is the finale, I won't reveal any spoilers, but it does start with a lick of promise and is touching in a sense, and it leaves on such a bittersweet note that could have left the viewer feeling satisfied with the conclusion. But there's a added scene after the ending credits that almost destroys everything the series is built around. Instead of teeing the story together, it just leaves you with more loose ends and questions. Now, there's a 'unaired' episode that will be included with the DVD and Blu-Ray release, but I doubt it will add much of anything to the ending.
Overall, Angel Beats has nice characters and good looking animation, but the episodic pacing and muddled story leaves the entire experience a little left to be desired.
I find it a little hard to recommend a series like Angel Beats, because of the reception for it seems to be quite mixed. People who are fans of Key's past works seem to enjoy the series, but think it's one of the weakest ones they produce yet. While people like me feel like it's one of the most underwhelming anime's to premiere this season.
Check out if the show somehow interests you, but don't expect much. read more
Mar 29, 2013
(Note, the following contains spoilers, swearing and has not been edited for spelling or grammatical mistakes. Furthermore it may be a bit awkward out of context, but bear with me here.)
The story is absolute garbage, what little there is of it. The series has five/six/seven different stories throughout the 13 episodes and none of them are connected or have any relevance to eachother. It's not like Cowboy Bebop or other episodic shows because Angel Beats tries have an overarching story. Guess what, it fucking doesn't. Of the 13 episodes maybe, maybe, only the last two have any relevance at all. Seriously, the first four episodes about the girl band? Fucking useless, not to mention the guild episode where they all are in an underground tunnel. That episode established nothing but say that they can create shit from nothing. And guess fucking what, they never bring this up again. Weapons for fighting Angel? That sub.plot is dealt with within six fucking episodes. Then there's the episodes about the SSS foiling Angels tests and (yes, this actually happens) someone some fucking other useless guy comes in and is a complete dick towards everybody. How he died? Fucking pottery. Next episodes, fucking Angel Clones. What do these episodes do? Fucking nothing except force her into a coma which forces Otonashi's forced flashback. It's so bad I could kill someone. Next episodes, some shadows 'n shit. Do they mean anything? OF COURSE THEY FUCKING DON'T this is Angel Beats, NOTHING MATTERS IN THIS SHOW, everything is fucking pointless. And then there's the ending, oh god. It tries so hard to be tragic and dramatic and it just fails because the characters are all shit except for maybe TK. What role does he have in the story? None because Jun Madea is fucking incomptent. So yeah, the story is absolute shit.
And then there's the fucking characters. Jesus Christ they could not have come up with any more unoriginal characters even if they tried. The three main protagonists consists of the most bland main character in fucking history, a dandere and a Haruhi rip-off.
Otonashi is fucking stupid. He has no idea what's going on and doesn't even try to involve himself in anything. He's just a by-stander and if anything he should not have been the main character at all. Most of all because the story is not about him, it's clearly about Yuri being and the rest being afraid of moving on and Angel trying to convince them of doing so. Not only is his character design incredibly mediocre but his personality and back story are as well. He has a sick sister and some shit and the story tries so hard to make him appear sympathetic. Something they don't succed with because nobody gives a shit about Otonashi.
And then there's Yuri, the perfect example of how this story's writing sucks ass. Second episode, boom. "Oh yeah btw here's my tragic backstory just fyi". It's so forced and out of place I can't breathe. Apparently Japan has never heard of "show; don't tell" because the whole show just lectures the audience about the character instead of letting them see how they interact and behave themselves.
And then there's Angel. She's a dandere. This means she's fucking boring and unemotional. Again, this shows how much the writing sucks because the writers try to hard to make her antagonistic, which doesn't work because everybody can tell she's not villain-material. If anything that just makes the SSS look retarded for not getting it.
So yeah, the characters suck as well. Except for TK. Seriously, when your cast of character are outshined by some jack-off who does NOTHING but shout English phrases like KNOCKING ON HEAVEN'S DOOR, then yeah, you've failed at story telling.
Yes, it does look very good visually. Yes, it does have a good soundtrack. But you know what? None of it fucking matters because the story is absolutely shit and the characters are the same. People say it's rushed. People say it should have had more episodes. You know what? Fuck that. It was not rushed. It should not have more episodes. What it needed to do was not fuck around for 10 fucking episodes and just gotten straight to the point from the beginning. The writing is so bad it cannot come up with a coherent story for its life. It tries so hard to be desperate abd tragic and feely and provoke the tears, but that depends on the characters and they suck balls. If it had decided to stick to the point from the start then maybe the characters could have been developed properly. Maybe people could have gotten involved with the story properly. But because the episodes are so disjoined and lackign a red thread that connects them the story is just everywhere. It tries too many things and it never knows just what it wants to be. One minute it's a music show. One minute it's a SoL. One minute it's a comedy. One minute it's a drama and so on and so fucking forth. You want to know why the drama also doesn't work? Because it's a comedy. Yes, Angel Beats had me laugh a few times. You know what it being a comedy means? It means that it wants people not to take it too seriously. And it's not dark comedy like NHK where it does want to be taken seriously, but it's completely slapstick. You can't go from "yeah we're a comedy have fun" to "tearjerking drama" from one minute to another. At least not the way Angel Beats did it. It's bad, the writing sucks, the characters suck and it takes itself far too seriously. It has good production values but that's it. There is nothing in this show that cannot get elsewhere. The same purgatory story you will find in Haibane Renmei, the same characters you will find in Haruhi Suzumiya and the same drama you will find in Clannad. 4/10. read more
Mar 7, 2013
I might update reviews later since I'm new to writing reviews.
I'm not doing very long reviews. I'm just writing what I thought about the story, art, sound, characters and enjoyment of the series.
This also means I'm not telling you what the story is about over here. So if you haven't seen the anime yet and you first want a description what the story is about you should look it up. You can read the synopsis from Angel Beats! on this site. It's not very long but it doesn't contain spoilers. If you're going to look for a longer description elsewhere my advice is to watch out for spoilers!
Now let's get to the review
The idea of the story itself is great. But they didn't execute it the right way in my opinion. I think there's too much fooling around and not enough focus on the actual story. While you're watching the series there are moments you gain a little more information what it's really about. But I would've liked it better if they expanded the story a bit further and did less fooling around. Well the fooling around wouldn't bother me that much if they put a bit more story in it. The fooling around can be quite funny sometimes but I think there is too little focus on the story because of it. It's a short series, just 13 episodes. So I think the story should be way more important than the fooling around. It's still a good story though so I'll give it a 7.
The art and the animation are beautiful. I don't have anything negative to say about that. If you like to see a show with good animation then look no further.
The sound is very good as well. The sound effects are great, nothing to complain about that. The intro and outro songs are beautiful too. The only complaint I have is that some songs the rock band plays in the series are a bit cheesy. Not all the songs though, their music is good overall. That's why I gave the sound a 9!
Same as the story. The idea is great but the execution could've been better. The thing they did very well with the characters is to show some of their backgrounds. Once you know the background of a character they're more interesting to watch. I think they should've made the series a bit longer so they could've shown more information about some of the characters. With some characters they did a good job with not showing their backgrounds at the beginning of the series cause it would've been a bit boring otherwise I think. But they should've shown more of the characters near the end of the series. Not going to talk about which characters because I don't want to be a spoiler. But yeah, if they expanded the story a bit further combined with more information about the characters I think it would be a lot better. There are other positive things to say about the characters though. Most of the characters have a fun personality and good humour so that's a plus. I gave it a 7.
I think it's a shame they made the series just 13 episodes. That might not be a problem if they didn't fool around this much though. It's the one thing or the other. Don't fool around this much and expand the story a bit further so you still can put everything in 13 episodes. Or go ahead and fool around but make the series longer so there is still some space to get a bit more story in it. Putting that aside I think it's still a quite enjoyable series. I just think it could've been way better. But nonetheless I think it was a very good series and I enjoyed it a lot. So gave an 8 for enjoyment.
Overall: 8.2 (8)
Overall it's a very good series and definitely worth watching. I just think they could've made it a lot better if they wanted to. Because the ideas for the story, art, sound, characters are all great. It's just that some things could've been executed a bit better. I gave it an 8 overall because I think it's still a very good series. Especially the art and sound are very impressive. read more
Feb 22, 2013
Every person has a unique taste in everything. When it comes to anime, you can choose as you want. The possibilities are almost endless!
Angel Beats has something for almost any taste and genre. It’s filled with action, romance, comedy, drama and more. It has a lot of different characters, the animation is beautiful, the music is brilliant and the story is interesting.
This series has many strong points. It takes the typical «souls that cannot rest because of their former lives» and instead of making a series taking place on earth with psychics and such, it’s a story gathering the souls in a single place and following their fight against the universe.
Anime that try to include a wide spectre of genres often ends up messy and unfinished. That’s not the case with this one. While showing emotional and sad scenes, it mixes in a lot of comedy in between the heartbreak, this without ruining the moment.
The animation in this series is quite detailed and beautiful. The school campus looks good and the scenery is close to flawless. The character designs are wide and different for every character. It doesn’t rely on sex-appeal or moe characters, which is refreshing. The amount of detail put in the weapons and instruments is impressive. If you’re knowledgeable with these kind of things, you can clearly see what model, brand and such the different items are. The violence is dramatic, but not «gory» or noticeably special.
The action scenes does not disappoint as well. It gets your blood pumping, and that’s all it takes for a viewer to want to see more.
The series has it’s own band called «Girls Dead Monster». The amount of detail put into their performances is incredible. If you watch closely, you can see that the guitarist holds the correct chords, the drummer hits the right drums and the bassist plays as if it was a real performance. Now THAT is amazing since anime often just lets the guitarists hand slide up and down the neck of the guitar and so forth.
The musical score includes everything from quick and funny piano pieces to blood rushing and emotional orchestra.
The opening theme «My Soul, Your Beats!» is a beautiful piano song with a quick pace and fitting lyrics.
The ending theme «Brave Song» is a more typical calming song which fits well in after action scenes or emotional moments.
The one flaw I can find about Angel Beats is that it has a too wide cast for a 13 episode series where background stories and motives is what makes the character. You only get to know the story of a few chosen characters, sometimes even new characters that enter along the way of the story. There were many characters I wanted to know more about, but never got to.
The series finishes off with a satisfying final episode.
It may have a few other minor flaws, but all the brilliance of the series makes them irrelevant.
Overall, this anime is one for all tastes, and it will have you crying and laughing at the same time. You will start thinking about your own life in comparison to the pasts of the members of the Battlefront and get caught in deep thought. It is visual and musical brilliance, and I would recommend seeing this if you want a mix of everything. It did turn into one of my favorites the moment I finished it, and the same may happen to you.
Rating from 1 to 10:
Story: 9 (it was too short to cover all its potential)
Characters: 9 (failed at revealing important info about many interesting characters)
Overall: A solid 9,5
Oct 31, 2010
Ahh sitting down my computer on this fine Halloween evening good ole Daimyo had a marvellous idea. Let’s review a completely scary and terrifying anime. Now good ole Daimyo has seen his fair share of anime, both good and bad. But rarely does an anime completely terrify him as this one did. In fact after watching something as terrible as this I feel I will never be the same loveable person you’ve all come to know and respect. But I did it all for you, yes it was for you the would be readers (actually it was for my ego) I poured my heart into this series. As you can see I’m doing quite the job of pussyfooting around what we’re actually going to review. I have a valid reason for this, currently I am sitting on my ass passing out Halloween candy to all the annoying kids who should be at home doing their homework on this miserable Sunday night, instead of barking(yes one kid barked) up my house for cheap sugary coated treats. So as you can see my temperament is quite disagreeable (I’ll be fine after a couple prozacs). But don’t worry because of that you all get the honour of an extremely long and tedious review. In fact going by the rate I’m typing this nonsense down I might even break my previous records. Hooray! Leaving that aside, I’m sure all of you are familiar with the Harry Potter book and movie series by a certain JK Rowling (good because I’m sure not). If you recall there was a character that was not to be named, yes because if you called this fiend by his name who knows what sort of unspeakable evil and atrocities could be committed. I feel just the same way with Jun Maeda and Key (oh shit I just named them) . Usually, when people (and by that I mean people…douchebags on irc, forums or chats because heavens knows I don’t know anyone irl to talk about anime with) discuss key/Maeda work’s such as Clannad I tend to give them the evil eye or the hard flame. This is because first of all just by reading the synopsis I can immediately tell that this type of bilge is going to give me sprue. But you know so as to not appear as an ignorant asshat, I tell them that while I think the premise of the show is shit, I can’t call the entire show shit until I get around and arsed to watching it. Well that is exactly what happened with Jun Maeda’s Angel Beats, I kept bitching about how terrible it was until I finally got around to watching it. Did I get a sudden epiphany and do a complete 180 like some of the characters did in this show towards the end? No, but what I did see scared the holy crap out of me.
Woah where do I begin? What the hell just happened? What the hell is this? What the hell am I saying what the hell for?(It’s actually Why the hell but I didn’t want to combo break) Now usually when I review a series I just look at the synopsis edit it a bit(plagiarize) and add my own personal finesse to why I think it was awesome. Well, that’s just it the story of Angel Beats was not awesome. From what I understood it involves teenagers who got sent to heaven and await reincarnation? (Sorry I put a question mark, I don’t know where the hell they got sent, but thankfully neither does Jun Maeda.) Yes, here in this random dimension they get to temporarily experience the teenage fun they never had while they were still alive. (Just like Disney land without all the rodents!) I don’t know about you, but I felt they missed out several integral parts of enjoying a complete teenage life. Where were the drugs, gang violence and sluts (debatable presence)? You know the type of stuff that makes Hollywood orgasm dollars. But heh I guess to people in Japan being a teenager means playing baseball, scheming against pedobait students and just overall finding new ways to be a douchebag to everyone, and then growing up to buy used panties from dispensable machines, animating H-material and taking opium(or paint thinners) and then going to Roppongi for a Hot Saturday Night. But enough of my rambling we didn’t really address why this story sucks. It’s not only that it’s extremely confusing, but it’s also as if there are certain switches Key threw in there to evoke certain emotions from people. At times it was like they wanted you to laugh but I wasn’t laughing. Other times it was like they wanted me to be sad but who would shed manri tears for a show like this. Maybe I’m just a bad person(ahahahaha yea right)? So almost always my Key switches were off, I mean there were a couple times where my switches were half on mostly leaning towards the comedy side and especially when said scene involved a certain TK. But other than that I just felt myself waiting for time to pass and the next episode to air. I can say that towards the end the story seems to finally go at a decent pace and at least develop into something mediocre. Not to give any spoilers it’s not that the ending was good or bad per say just that it wasn’t as terrible as I thought it could be. Still it could not save itself from the atomic remains of what occurred before it. To be honest I was leaning towards giving this one a 6 (which was written down when I was drunk and writing this) but now I’ll change it to a slightly more appealing 7/10.
I wish I could slightly save the characters the same way I saved the story (tbh nobody could completely save that story). Unfortunately, if you thought the story was all over the place with its convoluted ideas then the characters were fucking all around the world in 13 episodes. We just had a shitload of characters... scratch that a fuckton. As a result some were ok, a lot bad and the rest were just plain negligible. For the sake of my review (laziness) and not having to recall all the painful memories I had with the cast (excuses) I will only mention a couple that stuck out for me (bias). Ah first and foremost my favourite character TK. Hell he’s the only reason you should stick around for this. He’s by far the best and most underrated character in this series. Poor bastard only gets like what 2-3 lines per episode and that’s if he’s lucky. Also his Engrish really impressed me, and I found myself pumped every time he said that vintage (meaning this generation of anime fans probably doesn’t know where it’s from) anime line “Get Chance and Luck” (strangely…ignorantly translated to Good Chance and luck by our masturbating fansubbers v2…wth is it going to take v3). His dancing moves were just so fresh, if all weaboos were like TK just imagine how great the world would be. The next noticeable character is our traditional punk/yankii character Noda(had to search it up). He really talks like a yankii(which is awesome) but unfortunately, that’s all he can do, talk. I think it’s supposed to be for some sort of comedic effect, but every time he tries to act like a badass he fails. I almost feel sorry for him he has all the negatives of a delinquent (rude, loud mouthed, somewhat an idiot) but none of the benefits (i.e the ass kicking elements). I mean just imagine you’re watching GTO and Onizuka couldn’t kick anyone’s ass, what we’d get is a train wreck (Otonashi no!!!!) and that’s essentially what his character is, a real mess. I can’t tell if he’s supposed to be the lancer (though the main character seems to have enough gigolo’s to satisfy his exotic needs) or just deadweight like the rest of cast. No in fact I pity you, I pity that your character was wasted on Key’s works. Had you have been featured in another anime/manga much more manri you may have made a name for yourself. OK now those of you who are still reading my review must be furious by now, I haven’t talked about any of your favourite characters. Well if I did I could easily keep this going for 10+ pages of rants and complaints. But I have an obligation to at least comment (complain) about what I dubbed this show’s “holy trinity”. Otonashi-Kanade-Yuri. You really can’t discuss (hate) this show without mentioning these 3 characters (at least not effectively). Well, where do I start? We have so much to discuss. Should we start with Otonashi’s generic pseudo defender of justice image, self-righteous tendencies or poor taste in women? Hmm how about all of them at once, well ok then, sure why not. First of all Otonashi, donating your rotten organs right before your death doesn’t make you a hero. The person you saved ended up dying just like you did (Spoilers :O). Notice how you kept saying I love you to her in the last episode but all she said was thank you. Probably thank you for your useless heart. Also it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, it’s like in your mind you’re always the hero. You could be working with the evil (subjective) emotionless force that’s been plotting against you for the majority of the show but still somehow end up being justice’s crusader and falling in love at the same time. It wouldn’t be so bad if you didn’t take yourself so goddamn serious. But you always do always serious fucking business with you. It’s like you feel if you don’t help the people get obliterated they might die or something. Oh no wait it’s the opposite they will disappear if you obliterate them. Also what kind of man leaves all the fighting to the women; I’ll tell you a pussy (you’ll have to excuse my french). Otonashi is definitely the meddling father in this trinity. Next we have Yuri. Hmm whenever I see her I think about a show I saw several years ago, with almost the exact same character except executed in a better way. The name escapes me… I think the main character’s name started with an H( Google Letter H Japanese) so we’ll just abbreviate it to that. Yes indeed Yuri would be much better if she followed H’s example. Don’t ask me why that is but I tend to like titles involving women with H’s in them better than those that don’t have said H. I guess she would be the unholy spirit. Now this last one really bites my ass, and not like some cheap prostitute but more like an overpriced one that doesn’t know its place. Kanade, this character was completely emotionless and not in the badass stoic Kenshiro way but more like I’m getting raped but don’t care type of way. Yea that’s exactly what the 1800+ fans of her on MAL imagine, her getting raped and obviously not doing anything about it. But I think I figured out why at least our main character Otonashi likes her, she’s just like his sister, weak, loli and did I mention loli? No but really, later on we find out that just like his sister she was sick in a hospital waiting for an organ donation. Not that it really surprised me, seems the trend in japan these days is to secretively love your sister (*cough* *cough* ore no imouto). However, for some strange (predictable) reason she’s the most powerful person on the show. I mean who would suspect that the emo girl would end up being the strongest!? I was completely shocked, like honestly it catches me off guard in the same way a romance begins to develop in a shojo title. But she isn’t just strong, she’s inexplicably strong no she just goes ninja shit on all the other characters, abilities come out of her ass all while maintaining that jailbait composure. It’s just stuff you could masturbate continuously to. It gets even better when they customize her and turn her into her own Wing zero custom (minus buster canons). Did I mention I really love angel beats characters? In this trinity she’s the son…er daughter for obvious heart sharing reasons.
While I did enjoy writing this review the actual show itself was not as enjoyable. In fact I would almost be inclined to say that I forced myself to watch it just so that I could write this review (precognition). It’s almost as if I was destined to write about this show. That being said I made several points in my notebook that I did not mention in my review. This is obviously though to me surpassing the 2,000 word point (we did it guys!) but mostly because of once again laziness. Also I feel that by now I may have angered enough fans who actually read this entire review, so not much more needs to be said. This is review is probably off base, I mean the anime community doesn’t really like to things in shades of gray (myself included) most people are always on one side of the extreme or the other. Unfortunately, it just so happened that the extreme (minority) of fans I represent dislike shows like Angel beats in general. Every time I tried to get into the show, it’s almost as if the creators were determined to throw me off the horse. Take Yui for example a character I conveniently missed out in commentaries, completely annoying and un-necessary but said character is also completely loli. This means she not only gets her own romantic sub-plot she also gets an entire episode dedicated to developing her character. From the massive amount of characters to choose from why did it have to be her? Is Key/Maeda trying to show me that whatever I think I may like about this show isn’t going to be touched upon further. But I feel I’ve daunted and rambled on too much about this show. Instead I will give you all great tips for enjoying your wonderful Halloween. Always wear a condom…always. Or was that the advice you give people for Valentines Day? (Not that I would know, I’m always so ronery Q_Q)
Notes with Christmas lights… hey you know it’s coming up next
Daimyo is crazy blah blah don’t take him seriously unless if you’re a goddamn retard or a troll!
Daimyo hates re-reading his sentences almost as much as he hates the majority of Angel Beats characters
Oh and remember kids, Halloween is the only time of the year where dressing up as a dickhead and being a metalhead is the same thing! (Actually likes rock music =/)
Oh and no loli’s were harmed during this review, Daimyo would much rather prefer a fully formed woman like Kim Kardashian. Unfortunately, Daimyo is not at liberty to prefer, please pm if interested…