If Angel Beats! is your favorite anime, don’t kill me and send me to the purgatory because of my opinion of it. I’m too young to die, and it’s just an opinion.
The story of Angel Beats! is the story about people in a purgatory. When our main protagonist Otonashi drops down in this strange place, he finds himself next to a purple-haired girl with a rifle, aiming at someone else in a courtyard. Unknowing of what will happen, Otonashi approaches the girl, and ends up getting stabbed. From then on, it becomes apparent that they were sent there for some reason as the SSS, an organization created to understand what is going on, tries to find out the reason for being in the purgatory.
As interesting as the premise sounds, the execution was rather crap. I will explain. As the series goes on, the anime jumps from place to place without warning and ends up creating horrible pacing, as well as “random sidestories” and plot points that end up making less sense as the series progresses. While the anime was original as they come, there just wasn’t enough good pacing and execution to make it as good as it could’ve been. Though, these problems may be just due to the fact that Key tried to fit all of this into a 13 episode anime.
For the main character Otonashi, I would say he is as bland as they come. He has almost zero personality and the only thing that people may know about him is really just his backstory.
Next is the ungodly lovechild of Lelouch and Haruhi Suzumiya, Yuri. As the leader (dictator) of the cast, Yuri possesses a strong personality and has the will to accomplish anything. Even at the cost of her own comrades. Besides them, we have the mysterious Angel who I would rather not get into for those who haven’t seen the series yet.
Besides them, we have: Yui, Hinata, Halberd guy, yaoi joke, Shiina, whinny kid, the nerd, etc. From this explanation of the supporting cast, it should be quite evident from my lack of remembering the characters names, that characters are one of Angel Beats! downfall. With a cast of 20+, this anime suffers from trying to fit too much in too little. Which is a shame because each member of the supporting cast has more personality then Otonashi has, but, that’s my personal opinion. Every character has a sad backstory (at least some of them do), which leads to the problem of time restraint once again.
Art and Sound:
Yes! My favorite part of this anime by far! The sound, if you didn’t know, is one of THE best tracks in anime history ever. The OP is one of the most beautiful openings I have ever heard, and is currently listening to it as I am writing this review. With its heavenly tones and beautiful piano playing, it is awe inspiring. It’s ending has a similar effect with its somber feel. Because of its quiet tone, it contrasts the anime in such a wonderful way and I just love it. As for the tracks IN the anime, there are a select few tracks from within the band of the anime which sound very good as well. For the art, the art is a high point of the anime.
With its bright and light colors, the anime features a unique style with light colors in every part of the characters’ color palette, which gives it more of a ‘heaven’ feel as they are in a purgatory. In short, I LOVE THE ART AND MUSIC.
As I have said previously, I love the art and music. For the most part in anime, I usually skip the opening and endings because I want to watch the actual content. But for Angel Beats! I watched those openings and endings. I watched them with a smile like a kid getting 10 huge 12×12 boxes of gifts for christmas. (I appreciate good music). It was a real turmoil for me, because I wanted to move to the next episode, but the ending was so beautiful, that I didn’t want to skip it.
Music aside, the story was…lacking. Don’t get me wrong. Angel Beats! has its own personal quirks when it comes to comedy and it pulls them off very well. With its pacing, I feel as though it needed a lot of work. Rather then a good paced story, Angel Beats! rushed itself to the point that one episode had a completely different plot point then the next. It was so inconsistent, that I just gave up and went along with it. Now, this is where I might get a lot of hate. Angel Beats!, to me, was not sad. No matter how depressing the character backgrounds were, no matter how sad the ending was, it did not make me cry. That aside, Angel Beats! is a wonderful piece of anime history, with great use of its title. The words “Angel” and “Beats” were used in a multitude of ways, and I liked how they were used. In any case, Angel Beats! is wonderful and I loved both its music, and its original comedy. Peace.