Angel Beats! – It Could’ve Been Wonderful

angel-beats Angel Beats! started great. The hype-machine was in full force. Angel Beats was probably the anime with the most visibility this last season. But in the end, I don’t know how many people who did not watch it this season will even remember or speak of it in two years’ time. It could’ve been great. It wasn’t.

This series is about people who have died, reached a sort of a high-school purgatory, where they can live their lives as school-students. Otonashi, the main protagonist of the series wakes up without memories, dies to someone referred to as “Angel”(Tenshi), and is pressed into the “Rebels Against Gods” (The “SSS Brigade”). You see, if you live your life as a good school student, you disappear. The members of the brigade, having suffered horrible lives, or deaths they cannot accept, cannot accept the will of God (though it’s not really clear how not going to the next life is going to help… just because it’s doing the opposite of what God wants?).

(This is a “Things I Like” post, and as such covers more my thoughts, and is less focused as an actual bona fide review. There will be a LOT of spoilers in this post.) There are a LOT of things I have to say of the series. Enough to probably cover several posts. So I’ll try to be fairly brief with each of my points, and move from the more general ones to the more specific ones.

In terms of production, this anime is really good. It has really good animation, it has capable voice actors, it has good special effects, and it has a pretty good music. The OP is really neat. It’s on a piano, and it actually sounds good. The series has some singers for an in-series band called “Girls Dead Monster” which is as stupid a name as any, but I suppose they really had to butcher English to get to “Girls DeMo”. The music is pretty neat, but not really connected to the show, and you can really tell Yui’s seiyu is not the one singing her role…

The real downfall of this series is its writing, and pacing, which are pretty terrible. The two issues go hand-in-hand. I can only surmise that the writers for this series had faced one of two possible scenarios:

  1.  They didn’t write the whole series in advance, so each week had to plan what to do next week. This resulted in an episodic jumble when it’s a 13 episode series, so it should’ve been tight. We have the story-line not only not progress in a straight line, but some mixture of storylines that none knows where they are going, or what story-line or even theme they are on.
  2. The author wrote the series in advance, found out he only had material for 8 episodes’ worth of time, and had to fill the rest with fillers.

The end result is, that this series not only did not maintain its momentum, but its themes, plots, concepts were all over the place, and it’s not like all were done well, they conflicted with one another.
In the beginning, the series was pretty good, and had a deep militaristic-rebel theme, and then it added the “past lives were bad” theme which was pretty touching, and reminded me of Shigofumi. Then we had more comedy and hijinks. But I’m not talking about a comedic moment here, or a comedic moment there, but whole episodes of comedy. They managed to get touching moments into some (like in Eve no Jikan), but it wasn’t really enough. Then we get mystery, the real plague of anime series (I’m planning a post titled “The NGE Effect”), which while we had drops before, get a heavy dose of internally inconsistent crap here. Some hopeful things, and an end which leaves me pretty cold, whereas things have ended better at episode 12 than 13.

That’s a cover of the basic series structure, its “themes”, and that is part of how bad writing manifested, but pacing and specific parts were also quite horrible.

The Guild“, is the underground facility where weapons are being made for the SSS Brigade (or Front). The path to the place is riddled with traps, and we had each character but Otonashi and Yurippe die in order to help the final two make it to the end. There it truly gets hammered into us, “Why does it matter if they die? They will just stand up later.” which makes their “sacrifices” not really sacrifices. You feel pain, but that’s it. The road to Guild is way too long, and should’ve taken considerably less episode time.
Then, in episode 8 we go to the Guild again. I felt trolled, sort of like how people felt about Endless Eight with Haruhi Suzumiya. This is an episode that totally broke the flow of the series in a manner that could not be repaired. This was an episode that if you’ll watch the whole series in one go you’ll feel wasted, and those who watched week by week felt very disappointed with, seeing as it meant two weeks of waiting for the next significant episode. This was.. inexcusable.

NPCs and Death“, So, after they get Angel (Kanade) demoted from her role as president of the student council, a sadistic dude called Naoi replaces her, and he kills the SSS members, torturing them. Now, I can get torture and killing still hurts, because they remember the pain (like in that StarGate SG-1 episode where Baal tortures Jack by killing him time and time again), but there’s a serious issue here: If you can’t die and it doesn’t matter when you die on your road to The Guild, or to get the SSS’s objectives (as above), then why does it suddenly matter when they kill you? It shouldn’t.
NPCs are those “characters” who play a role in the world but are not human souls who suffered in the real world. Why do they not harm them? I mean, they’re basically not different from rocks and trees. But they can get excited, they can care and be angry… just like characters in a story. And if so, there is very little real difference between them and you. Admit it.

The Neon Genesis Evangelion Effect: Inscrutable Mysteries

Mystery, The Matrix,” Now, the way they shove us a “The Mystery!” into every anime ever (almost) is pretty bad. The mystery here was all over the place. Is there God, where is God, what is this place? “How can we change reality?” It was all done pretty badly, with many questions not answered or not hinted at, or getting ridiculous answers. Episodes 11-12 were pretty much lifted from the second Matrix movie, The Matrix Reloaded, with shadows that “infect” characters and turn them into clones, with their edges being 0’s and 1’s (Agent Smith). “There’s an anomaly within this world.” With finally coming to a room with many computers, and someone telling you their plots, not making a lot of sense, and hearing that in a way you may have been here before. But without the deep symbolism of the Matrix.

On a side-note, God does have a role in this anime, in its absence. Now, we could sit around and discuss the “meaning” hidden underneath. People always try to come up with meanings, with the deeper truth and concept behind a series/movie/book they love. The truth is, there isn’t always something to be found. Sometimes the authors leave things vague on purpose, to support 2-3 possible readings. Sometimes they just leave it open because they have no idea where to go, and they hope if they leave many loose and unrelated theories around, the fans will pick those up, come up with their own theories; and then all the crappy writers have to do is smile enigmatically and not tell us what they had in mind. They had nothing in mind. But still, if you look for anything, the important thing is that there is no God in this world, it’s all up to the people themselves.

Haruhi Suzumiya and…

“Haruhi Suzumiya”, I’m sorry, to all of you who say the series shouldn’t be compared at all to The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, because you are wrong. I am not sure the comparison will tell much, but it should at least be made. I actually think it might be more damning of the series if you find that the comparison is not appropriate. Why? Because the makers of the show had clearly wanted the comparison to be made. Yurippe leads a “Brigade”, they have this badge on their arms, she has a hair-style reminiscent of Haruhi’s, and in some ways her leadership is reminiscent of Haruhi’s. The comparison should be made. Even and perhaps especially if they are nothing alike.

Perhaps the comparison is just there for us to buy into the series, by telling people, “It’s like the Melancholy…”, because Haruhi sells. Studios like selling. The series has a smarter, more listening, more caring about others Haruhi in the form of Yurippe. It could be called “Haruhi Suzumiya from the eyes of a Kyon where Haruhi isn’t a horrible person.” ;-) Last, when Yurippe has the option of becoming the “God” of the world, then you can look at The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya as an alternate reality where Yurippe had said yes. I find this line of thought amusing.

..Yurippe. Twins separated at birth?

Comedy and Tragedy” , The writer should’ve picked one. There are scenes which are really funny, like the part where they get Angel to fail her tests. Repetition is one of the keys to comedy, and they really pull it off. Naoi is really funny at times like when he tells Hinata to think of himself as a toilet paper, to be washed away (via hypnosis). Much of it, like all the treks down to Guild are just stupid and disjointed, and are more fitting for an episode you watch one of every so often without an overarching plot (Such as Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, the main seiyu there being the seiyu of Otonashi).

On the other hand, we have the much stronger part of tragedy. The main way this is achieved is when we are told of the past lives of the different characters. This is almost always very touching. The second part of Otonashi’s past was really quite amazing. This is what the series should’ve done, with us learning a different character’s past in each episode. They should’ve really dedicated episodes 11-12 to this rather than the crap they did.
Overall, this is another place where the lack of thematic cohesion of the series raised its head.

Plot Holes And Loose Ends“, Seriously, I don’t even know where to begin! From the fact that Otonashi understood what Angel told him when she first told him of her motivations, to him suddenly only understanding it again later, to where is the Principal (Though I think this may be a thematic fit: The Principal’s Office is empty, God is missing), to which NPC the programmer is, to the shared “hallucination” Hinata shares with Yui: There’s no other word to describe that he’s using their past lives to imagine their next. New life, remember? The ending of the series where we have Kanade and Otonashi look the same (probably so we’d recognize them. Still stupid), to the whole not harming NPCs, what happens outside the school.
The list just goes on and on. Don’t do mystery unless you’re willing to put the effort into it, people.

I’m sorry Kanade-chan, but we hardly knew you v.v

Character Development, and Tenshi“, This series suffers from what I usually call, “The School Cast Problem”, where there are too many characters, so you don’t get to meet all. We even have some characters who barely have screen time, and a couple with seemingly identical personalities (Halbred-violent and Longsword-violent, as I call them). The biggest issue though is with Kanade, who is one of the poster-girls for the show. Most of the series she’s the enemy fought against, and then we find out some of her motivations and about her personality… and then, nothing.
She plays a plot-role when her personality may switch, which it eventually doesn’t. But after that, all she is is a tactical weapon. She kills the enemies, she doesn’t say anything, she doesn’t create any interest or forward motion in the story… this is horribly botched.

The Last Episode“, Quite frankly, the last episode should not have happened. The series would’ve been overall better without it. We have Yurippe acting like a generic moe character, Kanade acting shy and fearful.. it’s like their personalities were completely replaced. I’m sorry, but if you mention it inside the episode it doesn’t excuse you. Moreover, it felt like an OVA for the most part. It was filler. The last revelation was somewhat touching, but it was just a botched moment. The series should’ve ended when everyone disappeared.

The last episode also had a chance to change the whole series. You could have had some great revelation in it that’d get us to rethink everything that had happened during the show, understand how it all ties up. Make us sit up and go “Wow!”, but there was no such moment. It was a slow relatively weak episode. Much more-so for the final episode of the series.

T.K.“, I need to dedicate a special point to T.K., a “mysterious” character who speaks in broken English. His Seiyuu originates from Hawaii, so definitely knows English. As above, the excuse he doesn’t really know English does not excuse this character’s existence. He’s there to spout semi cool-sounding English phrases. He’s basically a “I’m so weird! I’m so cool!” kind of character. They all need to be taken outside and shot.

Just die.

This series started really strong, but then really really lost its way. It suffered from thematic changes, from lack of cohesion, from lack of internal consistency, from a lack of proper character development. It’d have been better as an 8 episode series. It had a lot of promise, but as it kept going, it kept fizzling.

This series could’ve been wonderful. But it wasn’t.

Score: 5.9/10 squandered promises. This is a 6, but not quite.

Post Script: The series had a lot of really great moments, a few really good episodes. But it didn’t add up to a good show. You could break it into two shows and it’d be better, after you cut some of the crap out. Do I suggest this series to people? It has good things, but it’s far from great. It almost hurts watching this show begin so strong and then make so many blunders.

The show kind of made a sucker out of me; most of its episodes ended with a cliffhanger that really had me hanging to see how they’d resolve it, what was happening. I kept waiting for the next episode. Where things usually took a dumb turn, or just weren’t explained, or a great episode was followed by a mediocre one, or an even flat-out craptastic one. The show drew me in, but didn’t leave me with much.

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26 comments on “Angel Beats! – It Could’ve Been Wonderful

  1. kluxorious says:

    you’re a hater. I can’t believe I called you a positive person XD

    • Guy says:

      I’m not a hater. I wanted to love this series more than anything… well, not more than anything, but I really did. When I came to the show the first 5-6 episodes were out, and I was pretty hooked. Episode 8 was horrible. Episode 6 broke some of the internal logic of the series…

      There were some great episodes. Some great moments. But aside from the second half of the show being weaker than the first half, even if all the components were great (and they weren’t all great), this show was a mess. It went in all directions, and ended doing none of them really well.

      This anime should be learned in anime academies around the world. People should analyze it, and learn what not to do. I think if you break Angel Beats down you could end with 2 successful anime. But both of them together, plus stuff that just doesn’t fit end up making a poor product. Not the kind you buy, but the kind you watch.

  2. Topspin says:

    I agree. It was “ok”, but like BakaTest it’s just lucky to be the show that everyone latched onto this season. It was annoyingly messy, and could have been worlds better with a better director and writing. Well, it worked for others, at least. I’ve watched too much anime to think it’s anything more than “decent”, though.

    If they just told the core story, without all the useless fluff and useless characters, then it could have been sweet. But there was too much extraneous nonsense, probably because they felt the basic story was too hackneyed on it’s own and wasn’t enough to fill 13 episodes. So they over-compensated with a bunch of other hackneyed stuff that was way too much for 13 episodes and didn’t really add anything – it just fleshed out the corny setting and gave them excuses to add a mad number of expys.

    • Guy says:

      “Expys”?

      I actually watched Baka to Test in May, and I quite liked it. I can’t put my finger on what was good with it, but it was charming.

      I think the anime as is should’ve been cut to 8 episodes, and it’d have been powerful, unadulterated ride. The character development would have still suffered, but over a shorter series it’d have gone on well.

      Most of what they added, actually reduced from the show. We have an idiom in Hebrew, “He who adds, subtracts” which is something along the lines of “Less is more.”
      They took something great, and butchered it. Another idiom comes to mind here: “Measure twice, cut once.” – planning ahead is key. A lot of shows fizzle because they change the plot 4-5 weeks in due to ratings… this also means they don’t have it all planned in advance, which is usually bad.

      • Topspin says:

        Expy -> Exported character -> http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Expy

        I meant that most of the characters felt like they were dropped in from other series just for a laugh, because they weren’t developed.

        I won’t argue against BakaTest’s charm, but I do think it’s lucky that it got the fanbase it did. It was in the right place at the right time.

      • Asian Ed says:

        Topspin :
        I meant that most of the characters felt like they were dropped in from other series just for a laugh, because they weren’t developed.

        That might be an interesting way to interpret it… This world is where all “unfulfilled” anime characters go to die! Thus you get all the weird and crackpot cliches from every other series mixed into one big melting pot…

    • Guy says:

      I agree. It was in the right place at the right time, and I appreciate it for it :)

      Also agreed on the expys.

  3. Asian Ed says:

    Totally agree with you on this… When I picked it up and caught the first three episodes, the words “Epic win” came to mind. Then it just sort of… died. Kind of like the characters in the series, each episode pretty much had itself get killed to be resurrected the next week.

    Somehow, I get the feeling the story as a whole would have done better as a 26 episode run. There would have been more space for the writer(s) to hash out the story, each story arc, and the characters. It was almost as if 5 episodes in someone went “oh shit, I forgot we needed to have an overarching plot!” and then crammed some stuff in.

    Yui’s episode was great because it gave her character depth. It’s a shame that not all the characters got equal treatment.

    • Guy says:

      I am not sure I’d have given it 26 episodes after watching what it did with 13. I mean, let’s say the series had 5 wasted episodes’ worth of content in them. 26 episodes with 10 wasted episodes’ worth may have still told considerably more story (double as much!), but it’d have also made me drop it much earlier, or want to shoot someone much more. Because the series also annoyed me in how each episode ended making me think the next one will be awesome, and from the half-mark it usually didn’t deliver… more in the way of more promises.

      I think the series could’ve done a good job in 8 episodes. Heck, if it were 13 episodes of the good stuff, it’d have been pretty great.
      For instance, we could’ve cut episode 8 (the travel down to Guild part), 10-11, and 13 and have replaced each with hearing the past stories of two characters. 8 more characters’ backgrounds would have removed much of the crud, and would have really delivered on the emotional impact.
      Read my Shigofumi review where I mention Angel Beats. Every person I tell to watch Shigofumi says it’s really good. So there are worse anime to be like.

      It used its 13 episodes pretty badly, so I wouldn’t have given it 13 more.

      As for Yui’s episode. It was overall good. I didn’t like the “Next life we’ll still be us!” bit, but since it was a fantasy it’s ok. I would have also liked the part about giving her her dreams to have been a bit shorter. But overall? Pretty good.

      The Yui episode showed what I thought the series would be like after the Iwasawa episode. More like Gunslinger Girl’s first season in its episodic nature: Each episode focusing on one character and then that character’s back-story. And then, that character disappears.

      But as you said, they realized they needed “a mysterious plot!” (they seem to mix story-plot with nefarious-plot a lot over there), and so instead of focusing on characters, we focused on a pretty crappy story. Except for all the time when we focused on nothing. What the heck?

      • Asian Ed says:

        It almost seemed like they had far too many ideas they wanted to cram in, which made a lot of the episodes feel garbled and without direction. Given a little bit more space, I think there was potential for some of those ideas and story arcs to really take root.

        The couple “ridiculous” episodes were necessary to introduce the world as Otonashi saw it, but as he grew to understand it, the intricacies needed to start coming through.

        Of all the characters, Otonashi and Kanade had the “best” pace of character development. You learned just enough about each one in each episode to keep guessing.

        One possible angle to watch the entire series would be from the point of view of Otonashi. From that vantage point (instead of omnipotent), the first 3/4 of the series makes a whole lot of sense. The last 1/4 is where that really starts to break down for the need of plot.

    • Guy says:

      Which necessary episodes do you think were necessary? The first Guild descent could’ve been shorter, the second one could’ve been mostly axed, the two Matrix episodes should’ve had more internal logic thrown into them… well, we’ll disagree. I don’t think it was crammed, unless you mean with junk. Had you given me editorial power I’d have just by removing things made the series far stronger.

      Let me also put it like this. Suppose you have 24 episodes. 6 are Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, 6 are Shigofumi, 6 are Gurren Lagann and 6 are K-On. But it’s all one series, and the episodes are all mixed together. It’d be glorious, if you’re talking about a glorious mess ;)

      Also, knowing how to say what you want to say in a little room is harder than when you’re given unlimited time. I actually felt like we had fillers, not like the opposite.

      Second, I’m sorry, but I don’t feel like Kanade had much character development, and this makes me sad. I think it’s a very missed opportunity, and they almost got there, but they sort of stopped.

      You know, a plot twist is not plot progression. Throwing one plot twist after another? It’s not progression. Both because there’s little continuity, and because they don’t add up, and because you deal with each plot-twist, rather than actually develop a plot.

      In a similar manner, character development to me is not just us finding more about the character, and how they’re a complex person, but the character itself growing, changing, not just our perception of the character.
      Kanade did not really change. What changed is how Otonashi, and through him, us, had perceived her.
      She wasn’t awkward, she was a cold fish. And then in the last episode they had given her a personality transplant, along with Yuri, that had nothing to do with how they were prior.
      It made me sad.

      • Asian Ed says:

        I think a lot of the ideas that were deemed “junk” were just not executed on properly. The first guild descent episode probably could have been shorter, but I was thoroughly entertained for 22 minutes even if it wasn’t “high plot-driving quality.”

        As for character development, my comment on “best” is in relation to the other characters in the series. We got a lot more out of Otonashi and Kanade than pretty much anyone else. That’s not saying it was good, it was just better than everything else.

        Take Mai-HiME for example. The overarching plot of the series was pretty crappy, but it was excecuted in such a way that you didn’t really care (but you had to like the series to not care). Lots of really good character and relationship development because it was given the room to spread out. The earlier episodes were mostly light and silly, but it gave the viewer the chance to get to know the world.

        Maybe Angel Beats! could have pulled off the same trick given enough space to let all those ideas run. As you mentioned, there were several stories that were vying for space. Usually a short run show will have room for 1, maybe 2 concurrent plots, any more than that and it turns into a mess.

  4. Valence says:

    As much as I liked the series, I have to agree with your argument. So much more could have been done.

    And also, TK was the most unnecessary character in the whole show.

    • Guy says:

      I wish T.K. were only unnecessary, a character that did not add or subtract anything. Like 5th-Dan, or the innocent boy, etc. I believe he actively detracted from the show.

      I’m beginning to loathe the whole “Oooh, I’m so cryptic and mysterious” trope. Usually we at least get it with oracles (such as in RahXephon) where being cryptic is part of the trade, but here it served absolutely no purpose.

  5. Gunstray says:

    ……..Not mcuh to say but TK was a kid appeal character I “ACTUALLY” like, too bad he and Shina were irrelevant in the plot^^

    • Guy says:

      I was a bit sad about Shiina, but it’s not surprising, there were too many characters, and most got no real screen-time, but merely had a trait:
      Shiina: Quiet, likes cute things.
      5th-Dan: Reliable, kicks ass.
      Etc.

      And what kids? This series is not a series with kid-appeal, so he’s wasted there.

  6. animefigures says:

    Started strong? Are you serious? This series was sooo bad at the begining, I even considere dropping it half way through, but thx god I didn’t. Please take into consideration that most issues you are talking about are there because they only had 13 eps to fit so much material into. I didn’t play the game but I believe if you do some of those unaswered questions may finally be addressed. To my knowledge there is one more episode which gonna be released along with the bluray.

    I loved this series, mainly because of the great characters, mix of comedy and tragedy as you put it. It was a high quality show. 8+/10. It ain’t perfect but definitely the best show of the season.

    • Guy says:

      Well, I’m going to answer this in points!

      1. This just goes to show you, whatever you feel/believe/think, there’ll be someone believing the exact opposite. It’s ok :)
      2. There is no game, there will be/have been 4 drama CDs and an unaired episode. This is not going to save the series, this is hardly enough. As I said before, you only have one shot, and you better make it count.

      If the series was something you loved, you’ll get the extras. If you didn’t like the series, you won’t get the extras. To all those who are saying, “But yeah, you didn’t get it, because not all the material was available to you!” it’s not a redeeming excuse, it’s a damning accusation.

      I watched the series. That it didn’t stand on its own is not OK. It’s not something to be proud of. The show had to stand on its own. If there were a game, it’d have to stand on its own. A manga? Also has to stand on its own. At least the “core experience” has to stand on its own, as released.

      This is the same as with Fate/Stay Night. The series was nice and ok. The wealth of back-story revealed through the game is stunning, but it doesn’t help make the anime be more than just ok. The anime is not the game, and though people transfer their love, it is not necessarily merited.

      3. Not enough space? 13 episodes? I said so before and I’ll say it again. The series had like 5 wasted episodes’ worth of material. Had they been given 26 episodes I’d have had to suffer through double that? The series may not have had enough space, but it still used the space it had really badly.
      If you have double the space, and you get your show to be both a comedy, and a tragedy, and an action series, it’s not a bonus, it makes it all one big mess.

  7. lovelyduckie says:

    Ok I haven’t seen this anime but there is one general comment I don’t agree with. “Comedy and Tragedy” , The writer should’ve picked one.” In my opinion the best series are the ones that make me tear up at some pointss, and laugh out loud at others. All of my ABSOLUTE favorite series accomplish this (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Fruits Basket, One Piece, etc…) If an anime can make me laugh and cry on cue it’s a very strong series that has obviously made me become very attached to its characters. I can’t laugh and cry for a character without having them earn a special place in my heart.

    • Guy says:

      Ok, I’ll elaborate slightly:
      Good series have a mixture of both.
      Good series identify one to be the focus, and give most of the air-time to it.
      Good series have both, and often use the lesser focus to make the other one come off even stronger.
      Good series can have both, without one being empowered by the other. In such cases though, they at least make sure one does not detract from the other.

      Example: The Yui episode is sort of like episode 4 of Eve no Jikan, though not as powerful.
      In the 4th episode of Eve no Jikan, with the “Elderly Person”, a.k.a. The Terminator, I laughed my ass off the first half of the show. At some point I sat up and asked myself, “Hold on for a moment, this is Eve no Jikan.. laughing? I should be crying!” and the second half truly did deliver on the crying, and was made more powerful because of how hilarious the first half was.

      In Angel Beats! I did not wonder what’s going on after the first half (or first 85% of the episode), but told myself, “Man, what a drag!” this is because Angel Beats! did not know what it wanted to be, a comedy or a tragedy.
      Most of the moments that were supposed to be funny were not funny. I don’t get it, at the people who found the song at the last episode funny. I said to myself, “Eh, whatever.”
      The sad was not given enough time, well, it was, but then you got inane episodes right after. The funny was usually not funny, just stupid.

      The comedy and the tragedy did not play off of one another, but clashed. They shouldn’t have.
      But yes, if you can pull it off, do both. But if you can’t, focus on one.

  8. Reltair says:

    The last episode was really out of place with the personality changes of Yurippe and Kanade. At least it was a happy ending; I was hoping that Kanade would end up with Yuzuru.

    I really like Tenshi/Kanade’s character, which is why this series will be unforgettable for me. :D

    • Guy says:

      I’m not sure the happy ending was the best fit. I think they watered it down by giving us a happy ending… you know, like when you take an old fable and give it a good ending and in so doing castrate its original message, which is usually cautionary?

      If Otonashi had stayed behind and had become the Programmer, in a sort of a loop, that’d have been better. Not enough to save the show, but considerably better.

  9. […] has his thoughts posted in this post which seem to echo my general feelings towards the series.  I won’t be so bold as to say he […]

  10. Yi says:

    I agree. The pacing is terrible and the writers really should have realized what direction/ themes they wanted to explore first. It tackled too many things and didn’t go enough into each.

    I still liked it though and I really enjoyed the music. Maybe it’s because of Yui-nyan~. I really like her

    • Guy says:

      LOL. Yui-Nyan was kind of annoying, which probably was the point. I found it amusing she dressed as a devil. And she was perky; truly Kanade-Tenshi’s opposite.

      It didn’t even tackle half of the issues it brought up :( Maybe it’d get a remake one day. Maybe I’d even care ;)

  11. […] 2. Angel Beats! started great, but then worked hard to make me lose my respect for it, episode by episode, until the final episode had betrayed the show completely – I don’t think it’s bad, but I think it’s disappointing, which might be even worse, because it could’ve been so much better. (See blog post.) […]

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