Angel Beats!, an anime hailed by many to be one of the best, if not the best anime ever, but also an anime many think its bad and seriously overrated. So where does it stand? Well, it isn't downright terrible, but it's not the best anime there is either, no, it's not even close to it.
I think the main story is summarized pretty nicely on MAL so I won't go in much depth on that. The first few episodes were presented nicely, and definitely looked promising. It introduced you to the characters in the SSS and Tenshi, and for me, I think they did a good job on it, making you want to know the truth of the afterlife and how the characters ended up there. From there, however, it started to fall apart, bit by bit.
You see, when an anime is only going to be 13 episodes long, it can have the tendency to get rushed a lot. And when an anime gets rushed, it can usually leave no room for development on both story and characters, sometimes cramming a huge amount of plot in one episode to even make it feel confusing. That's exactly what happened with Angel Beats!. The short duration of the series was at fault when the characters couldn't even get a proper development and backstory and mostly because of that, the story, on the whole, fell short. The huge amount of comic relief (at times, unneeded) didn't help much either. Honestly, they could surely have sacrificed some of the rather drawn-out comical scenes for some backstory right? Well, they obviously thought showing like only 6 backstory (out of like 18+ SSS characters) was ok enough, otherwise they could have shown at least one or two more even in just 13 episodes.
Also for the ending... well it's loved by a lot of people and disliked by others. As for me, I was very disappointed by it. The romance buildup towards the ending only had a few episodes to go for, and was rushed and just crammed together in the last few episodes, having almost no development whatsoever.
The Art is a standout. It was just stunning, beautiful and eye-catching. The character and background designs were, overall, great. The animation was also great. It was crisp and fluid, and everything from character movements to the little bits of battle scenes we had were animated very well.
Moving on to the Sound aspect, which I easily thought was the 2 of the best parts of the show, the other being the Art. The OP/ED were great but the soundtracks were really memorable to me. They fit the scenes very well, especially the beautiful and sad soundtracks. To me, without the soundtracks, some scenes wouldn't have felt the same way as it did.
Now for the characters. What started out as so promising ended up, not terribly, but marred by the short duration of the series. As I have said before, the character development was practically non-existent due to the series being short. The characters themselves, are interesting, but not entirely unique. Likable? yes, Lovable? maybe.
As I have mentioned before, I was really looking forward to seeing the character's past and how they got to the afterlife. However, with just 13 episodes, even if the character's past is cut short, it just seems so hard to fit all 18 members of the SSS + Kanade in the series. That led to having only about 6 character's backstory shown. This also led to the more interesting characters being overlooked. Characters like T.K., Shiina, or Noda had so much potential to become a great character, but were basically brushed off to the side.
Here's what I hear a lot from people who have completed the series. Many of them say that they didn't cry or feel sad throughout the series simply because that they couldn't get attached to the characters in such short amount of time.
This, for the most parts, is true, but also depends on the person watching it. For me, I liked some of the characters, and found myself partly relating to some, (who had a backstory that is) but I didn't get attached to them. But like I said, this just depends on the person watching the series. Some could cry and feel sad for days, but others could just shrug it off and say "meh".
So will you be attached to the characters by the end of the series? It depends. Had the series went on just a bit longer to give characters some more time, most, if not all characters in SSS would probably have gotten a proper development and backstory, and also likely would have made you feel more attached to them.
I personally enjoyed Angel Beats! despite its flaws. Although most of the enjoyment score comes from the first couple of episodes, the last couple still weren't downright terrible, it was just too rushed to the point it became uninteresting. In my opinion, the comedy was decent but it was just too drawn-out. For the sad scenes, I personally found only one scene to be sad, I didn't cry, but it was still, sad.
Overall, Angel Beats! is a good anime with some outstanding aspects to it, accompanied by departments where it could have been executed a LOT better. A longer duration could have helped a lot for Angel Beats! as it could have had more developed story and characters, but what's done is done.
I'd say Angel Beats! is on the overrated side, but being overrated doesn't mean that you shouldn't watch it. Who knows? For you Angel Beats could be a fun, sad, and enjoyable experience as a whole.