Title: Angel Beats!
Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Summary: In a world after death, angels fight for their fate and their future. Yuri, the leader of the Shinda Sekai Sensen, rebels against the god who destined her to have an unreasonable life. On the otherhand, Tenshi, the chairperson of the student council for the world after death, battles against the SSS members. SSS members utilize armed weaponry to battle it out against the angels harnessing supernatural powers.
Review: Another one of the better animes I have seen out these past two seasons, and quite possibly in my anime career. The series brought a strange, yet needed, mix of tears and laughter. I’m glad that Angel Beats! pushed away from being a complete drama fest, which was one of my biggest worries. Characters such as T.K. (personal favorite), Yui, and Hinata were the perfect antidotes of humor that made the series so great. Thankfully, the short series kept the jokes fresh and lively.When it came down to serious moments the dramatic scenes were well placed. Often times I notice that drama tends to spring up from nothingness in these kinds of animes; slowly engulfing the series inside a giant waterfall of tears. Staying on the subject of storyline, the length could have changed. Thirteen episodes wasn’t a bad choice, but I saw clear areas of improvement. To prevent spoiling anything I will keep this brief. Angel Beats! could have explained the past of more than just five or so characters. I wasn’t expecting everyone’s past to be revealed (that would take multiple seasons) because that would become rather boring. However, they could have taken the time to build the backgrounds of some of the main SSS Brigade members such as T.K., Shiina, Noda, etc. I know what some of you may be thinking, and yes, I agree. If they started to explain more backgrounds it would take up a lot of air time, and it would become less about the main story and more about who’s past you wish to see next. But quite frankly, seeing how the students died was the most interesting part about the series. It brought up heavy emotion, but you feel a much stronger connection to the characters. Again, I don’t wish to give away too much so why not head to the Angel Beats! discussion thread made by the awesome Ms. Imoness to read more about my thoughts. Moving on… the art was spectacular. The shading and computerized lighting effects made it the typical 2D feel become 3D. Scenes varied from early morning to pitch black night. The sunset scenes were probably the best due to the brilliant orange palette and soft lighting. The concert scenes could easily be used for future AMVs since they felt like a music video already. On that note, the soundtrack was one of my favorite parts in Angel Beats!. I actually got the OST and listen to songs like “My Song”, “Alchemy”, “Crow Song” and the opening (rock and original) quite often. Speak of the devil, started playing on my playlist.
First Look: It is clear to see that I consider Angel Beats! a must see. Although I had a problem with the length of the series, it didn’t kill it as a whole. The areas of improvement were merely suggestions that would have been nice to see. You can also check out the novel Angel Beats-Track Zero to learn a little more about Hinata (and possibly other characters – though I haven’t read it so I don’t know).