Angel Beats! – review

June 28, 2010 at 10:51 pm 13 comments

“Kanade… Please don’t disappear… KANADEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!11489349one”

That cast... well, most of it.

Before someone flames: [spoiler alert]. Damn straight. Angel Beats! was a decent watch in the little time that it lasted, but if there was any moral we learnt from Maeda’s latest outing, it’s how budget and timing can certainly screw around with what could have been a timeless series.


First and foremost, a synopsis: our lead Yuzuru Otonashi (voiced by the ever-so-excellent Kamiya Hiroishi) wakes up in a high school without his memories. Turns out this is some sort of afterlife for people who’ve died young and unsatisfied by their circumstances. He quickly enlists into Class 3S, a rag-tag band of weird and colourful personalities whose sole purpose is to defeat Tenshi, the school president…

Mmmm I LOVE what this series teaches us.

Probably what kept everyone watching were the great assortment of characters in this afterlife. Of course, everyone’s favourite is Tenshi. Seriously, if you hate Tenshi, you must seriously hate the world. I personally enjoyed TK. He’s so badass, and anyone who can dance Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal in an anime series seriously gets my thumbs up.

TK - you're awesome. Period.

However, the characterisation here is ironically one of the major weaknesses that pretty much eat away at Angel Beats!. We have SUCH an assortment of characters, and yet, we only get development in six, namely Yui, Otonashi, Yuri, Hinata, Naoi and Tenshi. What happened to the other characters?!

Class Retard wants you to join Class 3S

While I felt Otonashi and Tenshi’s developements were expertly done and paced, Yuri’s past seemed really off-putting and angsty. Also, the way she’s suddenly pals and bff’s with Tenshi is equally wanktarded. Ideally ALL the characters should have had at least one episode. The series just BEGS for 24 episodes at least. 13 episodes simply did NOT deliver.

GirlsDeMo - you rock.

Onto animation. Overall, this series is a very pretty one at that. Animation is especially great whenever we see Tenshi’s sweet moves, and the character models are definitely appealling. The concerts (yes, CONCERTS) were a surprising, yet awesome addition. Thankyou P.A. Works.

Maeda evidently can't balance stuff as well as Shiina

Comedy is often what gets a lot of rewatchability in many anime series, and Angel Beats! had a pretty decent sense of slapstick. Heck, almost half of it is comedy. There’s no other series that makes fun of death like Angel Beats! does. However, many of the jokes you’ll find end up repeating each other. No Takeyama. We will not fucking call you Christ. In addition, there are some points in the series which are just plain stupid, such as when Otonashi discovers Tenshi is just like the other members of Class 3S near the end. Just stupid really.

GG wtf man?! Where did those 13 eps go?!

Sound was probably the crowning glory of this series. GirlsDeMo was a hit and while I never really caught on with their songs, I knew a serious amount of effort had been put to compose the various singles that appeared in Angel Beats!. For that, I must pay serious respect to Maeda. While I also initially didn’t like the ED (retardedly named The Brave Song) I ended up really loving it’s tranquility.

The Angel shows off her wings.

If you haven’t got the point yet, I will reiterate again: Angel Beats! was TOO DAMN SHORT. This lead to really stupid pacing in the series, which flimmed and flammed through semi-fillers and proper plot. There were some pretty lame and stupid moments, like when Naoi, after butchering all of Class 3S, becomes ‘good’ after Otonashi’s sloppy manhug necessarily accompanied by mantears and mancrying. Seriously. Get some balls. Big events in this series end up finishing pretty damn quickly, and I was left wanting a little more development.

Clearly his balls have been just ripped off.

However, I must admit, there were some very poignant moments in the series. My favourite is BY FAR when Hinata is about to catch the ball and disappear. The tension and emotion in those seconds were what we were expecting from Maeda. Contrary to many viewers out there, I actually enjoyed the ending a lot. I really wanted Otonashi and Kanade to be together, and well, what do you expect: the usual miracle from Maeda. Also the way the weaved the power of love into this series, namely the shades arc, was fantastically and credibly done. It wasn’t soppy!

One more word from her mouth, and I swear I'll chuck something at my laptop.

Overall, while I can bitch and whine all I want regarding how short Angel Beats! was, I still end up liking the series a lot. It saddens me when I realise that I won’t be tuning in every Friday/Saturday to my weekly TK fix. Let’s hope Maeda’s next work is bigger and better than this one~

Animation: 8.5/10

Sound: 9.5/10

Story: 7.5/10

Characters: 7.5/10

Enjoyment: 8/10

Overall: 8.2/10

Now... Time for bed...


Entry filed under: Anime.

Demotivator of the week #23 Durarara!! – review

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Baka!  |  June 28, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    ahahaha long time since I’ve seen a review here! Hope ur exams are going well! I was disappointed with Angel Beats. Seriously it was way too rushed. *SPOILER ALERT* The ending had no clear development of the other characters. How did Shiina go? How did TK go? Maeda simply dropped them and and it disappointed me majorly. It really could have gone for another 12 episodes AT LEAST. Ippius, you’re too generous…

    • 2. ippius  |  June 29, 2010 at 12:53 am

      wat can i say? im a nice guy 😛

  • 3. Zeta  |  June 29, 2010 at 5:19 am


  • 4. Baka!  |  June 29, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    The ending was poorly executed. In Clannad I actually had to get a box of tissues and cry. At the end of Angel Beats I was like….wtf? Why’s he crying? I would give it no more than 7.5…

  • 5. Fabrice  |  June 29, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    The story, however, is rather confusing and keeps shifting gears. We start out in a mysterious world of the afterlife and in a place where not even the characters know what’s going on. Naturally, a state of confusion would make sense– except that most of the world is never really explored or explained. And the explanations we do get are often out of left field, and usually shoved in at the end of the episode.

    However, the overall idea isn’t bad at all; it’s just that the accelerated pacing due to the 13 episodes and the fact that the anime seems to not be sure on where it’s going. It just started too much threads.

    The most jarring thing about the show is its inability to separate the comedy from the melodrama. It’s often mixed together at the worst moments and becomes very cheesy. The worst case of this is probably the character of Naoi, someone who should be interesting, but I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. Also, frequently the melodrama feels very forced and manipulative because it’s just shoved in there– you’ve gotta develop a conflict or issue for it to have any real impact. This was especially true near the end. But Key fans don’t worry, there’s still some very sweet moments even if it is very messy.

    Despite this, Angel Beats is still a very funny show. At first,the humor didn’t click with me, but two words: Rocket Chairs. The silly antics of the protagonists group– the SSS is fun and its enjoyable to see them do silly stuff like that in this world. And of course the character TK himself seems to steal the show every time he utters a line.

    The characters are all a fun and likable bunch– typical for Key. Sadly, a lot of them remained underdeveloped due to time constraints. The ones that they do focus on are very well done– the amnesiac Otonashi, the competent commander Yuri who’s not just another Haruhi, the reliable bro Hinata. The enigmatic Angel is also a decent character who explodes the cuteness meter.

    Overall, Angel Beats is not a bad show, but it just feels underwhelming that with all the ingredients for success, the show couldn’t make up its mind on what to do.

  • 6. Valence  |  June 29, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Personally, I felt tempted to give 9001/10 simply because Kanade was in it, but I’m not that shallow.

  • 7. ippius  |  June 29, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    @ Fabrice: I concur.
    @ Valence: Fair enough. Don’t blame you XD

  • 8. Baka!  |  June 29, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Someone get me a rocket chair for my birthday!

  • 9. Man that cried...MANLY TEARS!  |  July 2, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    i really did enjoy watching this series, it might just be me, but whenever i watch anime, or anything that has a storyline, i always get a good understanding on how one of the characters is feeling. For this case, i was really sympathetic with Otonashi; i cried when he cried…and cried when he died…

    Overall, i do think that the way the story progressed near the end was too fast. I dont think that having the series go on for 24 episodes would have been a good idea for the sake of exploring all the other characters because though they have their own goals, they were considered minor characters in my book. They didnt play very big roles revolving around who the story was really following, and the whole anime series would get messed up because all these side stories would side-track the main story. All in all, i thought that the way the other characters left was pretty acceptable; i would have accepted it too if the series went on for at least 3 more episodes

  • 10. ippius  |  July 2, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    I think Maeda has always been good at really connecting the audience with the characters. u rly do get a sense of heart when watching his work.

  • 11. Reltair  |  July 7, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Angel Beats! was simply too short. With a longer length, we would have seen episodes devoted to other characters. Maybe some of their stories will be released in other forms of media?

  • 12. blake  |  July 19, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    it was really good, i enjoyed it what pissed me off was when it finished i wanted more they could have made it at least over 20ep and show us a little more background on each of the main characters i wanted to know more about kanade aka the angel. but overall it was good made me teary, thats right a guy tear a tought guy i would love to re-watch it

  • 13. Guilherme  |  January 8, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    It could just switch that – Angel is the enemy/ Naoi is the bad guy/ Oh noes, Angle has evil clones/ Wtf happend to those NPCs – sagas to something more focusing in two sagas that would bring answers to more things and character development, realising Angel was human in the begging was pretty lame. but I would give it a 7/10 – or maybe i watched it too fast


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