How Humor and Depressing times go with Angel Beats!

Aired: April 2010

Studio: P.A. Works

A review on a light and funny but at times overly dark and heavy anime at 7/10 for me… A few spoilers, so be warned

Angel Beats! Its a good time if you’re looking for a silly fun anime from the same people who made Clannad; you may find that both anime have very similar comedic and fun but overly dramatic tone. 

Synopsis: Here!

Let’s go over what I love dearly about this gem of an anime and what I absolutely hate about it. 

The Positives: Its f*cking hilarious.

Death: In a sort of purgatory world where characters can die and come “back to life”, P.A. Works has crafted some well placed dead gags that make you chuckle, like a character stepping onto a trap and getting sent flying out of the school, or one’s similar to the image above. Death isn’t normally something to laugh at, but this anime is the exception.

Episode #2: Guild is a good example of this, where the gang of rebels is low on supplies to fend off Angel and venture into the secret base to resupply. Of course, this base is just chock full of traps and absolutely no character remembers this, and so one by one they get killed off in hilarious ways, from forgetting how to swim, to chasing a cat down a cliff, to getting brutally chopped up. And of course Angel, being invincible as she is, simply walks through it all.

Characters: Angel Beats! has some really memorable characters. The protagonist Hideki is the sort of lame heroic type, and Yuri is the rebellious leader without a serious cause, but her squad of soldiers is the real meat of the comedy. 

Two characters are a little self-centered and constantly want their name rephrases, Ayato’s signature catch phrase being “Call me God!”, and Takeyama’s being “Call me Christ!” (slams his keyboard dramatically). 

Other characters like Takamatsu pretend to be smart but is actually pretty dumb, and love to undress, as seen in the second picture above this one. T.K. randomly speaks English, and Shiina is the quiet type that balances on random objects and loves cute things. 

Together, the characters make up a big part of the comedy routine that is Angel Beats!. 

*Sigh* but that’s where the positives end for me on this one…

The negatives

Death: Death isn’t something to normally laugh at, and well… there are those times in this anime where it’s straight up sad. You see, the story takes place in what I understand to be purgatory, so naturally there has to be an episode or three thrown in the explain what the hell happened to each of the characters for them to be there. 

And these deaths aren’t the hilarious kind we see throughout the anime, no, they make you feel uncomfortable… really… really… sad and uncomfortable. From getting stuck in a subway tunnel with other victims, to a house invader murder, to a terminal illness. It makes you forget that there’s comedy to this anime. But if you’ve watched or played Clannad at all, it has a very similar style of storytelling. 

Characters: While there’s a lot I love about the characters, I personally feel that there’s just too many of them. Half the characters like Yuzuru, Noda, Ooyama, Yusa, Fujimaki, and a few others seem like cutouts of the other characters, or rather what little personality they have could have been a part of the others instead.

I don’t mind a variety of characters, but when they just stand in the background and have little purpose for the plot besides a few comedic skits and to act dramatic, they’re not memorable in any way. 

One thing I really can’t overlook is the not once but twice homophobic remark made by Yuzuru to Hideki “What are you, gay?” when he accidently slips and touches him. It’s in poor taste and wasn’t necessary for the plot.

The story: I’ve been avoiding this til last, but I just don’t find the story of Angel Beats! to be all that interesting. Or rather, it doesn’t make much sense to me. I’ll go over what confused the sh*t out of me about this plot. 

Sooo, Hideki wakes up and learns that he’s in what I think was purgatory, and decides to help Yuri try to murder Angel, who she thinks is God? Because she won’t die easily? It went right over my head. Forget about talking your problems out, lets go guns blazing! 

Its also in a school setting, which is sort of weird being purgatory and all, maybe because they’re all teenagers? And the school is full of students… who aren’t actually real?… but the actual characters must attend class and go to lunch and have concerts anyway? It went over my head. 

Angel herself, Kanade. She’s one of those emotionless characters that’s soft-spoken. For some reason she has this shield thingy around her and a sheathed arm blade that she knew how to program to herself? One of those plot points I just didn’t understand, is she a computer geek with powers or something? Why do the others think she’s God? Its not very clear even after they explain it. 

There’s several other confusing points, but I guess it is an anime and its not uncommon for unusual plot devices to be used. Hell, this anime is pretty normal compared to many out there, I’m looking at you Henkei Shoujo! 

Overall: Angel Beats! is one of those anime you watch for the plot, but stay for the memes. There, I said it.

By: The Shy Otaku


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