May 6, 2010
Sa_De_Me_Ta (All reviews)
Angel Beats is a marvel, no, a monument of modern Japanese animation. It is a series that has no reason to exist other than to market off of otaku and has no merit to it at all. I guess you could say that this is the spiritual successor to Code Geass, except at least that shallow marketing machine of a series had a little substance to it.

The series is about Walking Cliche Male Protagonist, Haruhi with a Gun, and her sidekick Nagato with her Hair Grown Out. The names are long, but you'll remember them. Follow them on a pseudo-deep story about rebelling against the Gods of Television and becoming the most popular thing on TV while exerting the least effort. A quest which they are failing at so far, as Senko no Night Raid has been beating them in the ratings. To be fair though, that show has the unfair advantage of being original.

But really, being popular is basically all there is to Angel Beats. It's what everything in the series is about. Every aspect of Angel Beats is geared toward that singular purpose.

Its main characters are ripped straight from another popular show and its supporting cast is a band of archetypes. Its setting is an excuse to have well-animated action scenes to draw in those who like eye candy, but inexplicably shoehorns in a school for the sake of familiarity. It has concert scenes because they were well-received in other shows. It has comedic death and revival gags because another show was successful with it. Even the needless punctuation in its title is mooching off the success of something else.

It's not telling a story, nor is it doing much of anything except using a bunch of unrelated but trendy devices. It's a nightmarish monster of mismatched anime pop culture. It directly targets the lowest common denominator of anime fandom, and is barely succeeding. This is just sad.