もうおやすみ by u
Since I’ve already written a fairly long post examining the appeal of Angel Beats!, on this post I’ll be discussing the opinions and questions I have about the series after completing it…
As I discussed in my previous post, I, as well as many others, enjoyed Angel Beats! not because it was a serious, well-planned story, but because it has a specific blend of qualities meant to appeal to anime fans. A myriad of (mostly) one-dimensional characters in a vaguely defined universe interacting with a seemingly inappropriate mix of hyperactive comedy and gut-wrenching drama and violence, is definitely not a formula for everyone. But for those willing to put preconceptions aside and just enjoy the mess of blood, tears, jokes, action, and sob stories that make up Angel Beats!, it can actually be quite a fun series.
As much as I loved Angel Beats! and willingly overlooked its flaws, even I was irked by a few things. One thing is that I feel it should have been a 20-some episode series. I would have liked to see at least a little development for the rest of SSS members, either seeing how they died, how they passed on, or both. So much time was spent on Yui’s passing in episode 10, it seemed rather unfair that not even a fraction of that attention was given to the passing of the other SSS members (besides the main five in the last episode of course). At the end of episode 9 when Otonashi and Kanade decide to help each SSS member pass on, it seemed like that could have been the start of a new arc where the next ten or so episodes would show how they helped each SSS member. It started out beautifully that way with Yui’s episode, but after that it just rushed through to the conclusion. I’m not saying that each character should have had their own passing episode – maybe a few of them could have been crammed into one – but I really think it would have been better if we saw others besides Yui’s.
あたしの たいせつな ゆめ by PeaCh
Although I felt there should have been more episodes in between 10 and 13, I did enjoy the concluding episodes. Yuri is my favorite, and seeing her character truly come out in episode 12 (and a little of episode 11) was great. The graduation in episode 13 was quite touching and a nice, gentle way to end the series rather than with something flashy or intense. The romance drama going on between Otonashi and Kanade was crammed into the last few minutes of the episode, so that made it seem abrupt to me. I liked the idea, I just wish they could have given it more time.
The purgatory world that Angel Beats! takes place in also could have used more explanation. Exactly who/what created it? (was it simply God?) My interpretation is that there are a lot of purgatory worlds, perhaps depending on the age and circumstances of the person who died. The one we see in Angel Beats! is a high school because the characters are high school aged and/or would be able to pass on if they lived a peaceful high school life. Someone who died at a different age or with different regrets would go to a different purgatory. Perhaps this explains why Otonashi and Kanade were placed in the same purgatory – so they could each help the other pass on.
Most of us will agree that the majority of the Angel Beats! supporting cast is one-dimensional. I don’t like it when series introduce too many characters at one time and fail to develop them. But strangely, I didn’t mind the fact that many of the minor characters like Shiina and Takeyama didn’t get any development. Since their one-shot gags weren’t too obtrusive, I guess I just got used to them. But TK is one character I feel is best left undeveloped. His popularity shows that he’s charming enough as a background-less enigma XD
Yuri was my favorite character right from the beginning – guess I have a thing for tough, serious girls who also show subtle affection and hidden vulnerabilities (her resemblance to Haruhi helped too).
Love Beats by 切符@ついったーなう
I feel that out of all the characters, she goes through the widest range of emotions – from her tragic past in episode 2 to her jarring self-realization and resolution in episode 12. I even feel safe to say that she’s now made her mark fairly high on my list of favorite anime characters. My second favorite character is probably Hinata. He was just an all-around nice, funny guy who showed sincere care not just for Yui, but for Otonashi, Yuri, and others.
Similar to digital boy, I don’t have to be extremely attached to the characters or invested in the story to be moved by Jun Maeda’s talent with drama. Episode 6 was the first Angel Beats! episode that really touched my emotions – I think it was the combination of Otonashi’s growing relationship with Kanade, the sudden SSS massacre, and Naoi’s tear-jerking past. Again, Naoi’s past, and later Otonashi’s, moved me to tears not because I liked them in particular, but because of the way they were presented.
All in all, Angel Beats! can be very enjoyable if you don’t take it too seriously and just find things to like within its fan-pandering and flaws. Apparently there’s going to be an unaired episode on the 7th DVD volume, so I’ll be looking forward to that =)