Anime: Angel Beats!
Producers: P.A. Works, Aniplex
Director: Seiji Kishi
Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Release date: April 2010
Now to shed some light on my anime background, I didn’t get into anime until about last year where I was bored as hell at home with nothing to do. I’ve watched a little bit here and there (like Pokemon and DragonBall Z), but it wasn’t until my cousin told me to check out the hottest release last summer, Sword Art Online, where I officially entered the infamous otaku phase. From there on out I checked out some anime, including Fairy Tail, Hunter x Hunter, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, and several other shows. And now, after exposing myself to the wonders of anime this past year, I’ve come to write my first anime review, which will feature arguably my favorite anime so far: Angel Beats!.
Before checking this out, I will admit that my standards in anime aren’t the highest since I’m just basically starting out and experimenting with what kind of anime interests me. But I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say that this anime is definitely one that needs to be on your playlist at some point, if you haven’t watched it already.
The anime stars a wanna-be doctor, Otonashi, who wakes up to the site of a young woman by the name of Yurippe (Yuri for short), who is on heavy watch with a sniper rifle. With no prior memories of what happened to him before he woke up, he is immediately greeted with the request to enlist in her Battlefront in order to rebel against God and to fight against their main target: Angel. In her short spiel, Otonashi is informed that he is dead, and that he is now part of an afterlife in which no one dies, and that he must fight in order to ensure that he is not “obliterated.”
Indifferent and somewhat confused, he leaves without enlisting and walks toward Angel to announce that they are aiming a gun at her and to inquire about who she is. When she speaks, she supplies him with the same information that Yuri gave him about the world that he is now in, and what it means to be here. Now irritated, Otonashi demands Angel to prove that he is dead; and thus is struck by Angel with an artificial blade.
Further through the anime, we are introduced to the rest of the Battlefront’s members and witness some of their backstories about how each of them came to this afterlife. Consequently, we learn that the reason why they came to this afterlife was because each of them was unsatisfied or devastated with events in their prior life and thus possess lingering, self-defeating emotions prior to their death in the real world.
Through the events that transpire in this anime, I guarantee that you will discover several likeable characters thanks in part to their unique personalities and heart-breaking backstories. While there are many characters in the show, the show mainly focuses on the development of only half of the characters. Though this has been seen as a major flaw in the anime, it makes up for it by the emotions and feelings that we develop for each of the main characters.
The main thing that this anime does perfectly is entertain you. At times, you will laugh at the actions that your favorite characters take and the dialogue that they spit at each other. At times, you will even think to yourself about how stupid some of the characters can be at times. But, it’s a funny stupid.
And that’s not even the best part.
What really made this anime memorable to me was how it could easily reach out to your heart and make you feel sad for a particular event/character. Coupled with great writing and music composition to match the tone of each event, the anime evenhas the potential to make you cry. And I’ll tell you right now: if you don’t cry at any point in this anime, you’re one heartless individual.
As far as music goes, I’m not really one to ask about music. There are some songs in here that I particularly enjoyed, but I think it’s safe to say that you will enjoy some of the music on the basis that it you’ll be moved and may even be overcome with emotion; mainly because you’ll be reminiscing over the scenes that each song was matched with. And that’s another reason why I think this anime is so great. The music in here is memorable because of how well it tied in with the action in this anime, and because of that you won’t forget about either the songs or the events that took place in this anime.
Though one flaw of this anime is clearly outlined. This anime is short, and consequently the character development for some of the characters is completely non-existent. You probably won’t even care for some of the characters in this anime, and that could be particularly disappointing to some people. And since you can deduce bits and pieces of each character’s backstory, whether or not it was touched upon, you might even feel saddened that some backstories weren’t covered at all. But as I mentioned earlier, the build-up for each of the main characters, in my mind, makes up for the lack of character development for the second half of the cast.
In short, this anime is guaranteed to find a place in your heart. I don’t care what your expectations are, or how much anime you have watched in your life. Whether this is your first anime you’re looking to watch or your thousandth, you will not forget this show. With a fantastic pairing of music composition and writing, you will be thoroughly entertained and may even shed tears. At the end of the day, it is one anime that you should check out if you haven’t already, and I promise that most of you will even recommend this anime to another friend too.
Final rating: 9/10