Approximate Reading Time: 3 minutes
Though Angel Beats! has a great deal of hype going for it, I didn't like this anime. Emotions seemed forced, backstories are inconsistent with personalities, relationships were built up or broken down too quickly— the whole thing happened way too fast and was way too unorganized.
Feel free to skip the next few paragraphs and onward to the bold stuffs.
Angel Beats! has one of the best and most original gimmicks I've seen in a while. In nutshell terms, those who die having lived an unhappy life find themselves in a high school that is filled with non-autonomous, fake people (NPC's). The main characters join forces to fight a girl whom they believe to be an angel with connections to God.
This excellent concept, however, is marred with a very episodic nature. I have no problem with an episodic series like, say, Adventure Time, but this series was only 13 episodes which didn't leave enough time to develop. I think that if each episode had been made into four, everything would seem a lot less silly and less pointless.
Another annoyance was the fact that nobody within the anime seemed to adhere to the physics of the world around them. For example, they continue to fabricate weaponry, even though it is impossible to die in their realm. This is also apparent when the group will shout in fear or agony when someone dies, even though they know the person will wake up shortly thereafter.
The main problem I have with the anime, however, is that character relationships develop way too fast. Antagonists almost instantly become allies, evil plans that sprang from nowhere become instantly forgotten, and odd romances pop up out of the blue.
Characters; Character Development: 6/10
The characters definitely were not shallow; even those with little screen time had a definite personality. However, bonds and friendships were almost impossible to follow. Every episode there was confusion as to whether someone was currently an antagonist or an ally. Again, this wouldn't be as much of an issue if it were spread over several episodes, instead of one, twenty minute block. Overall, it was too confusing to figure out who currently felt what about whom and why.
Sounds; Music: 8/10
This was, in my opinion, one of the saving graces of the show. The music made and performed by the team's band, "Girl's Dead Monster", was very enjoyable. One complaint is that the music played during the comedic scenes was very repetitive (as was intended) and bordered on annoying.
Animation; Character Designs: 8.5/10
Character designs were good. They weren't as good as they could have been for a 2010 anime, but they weren't stocky or stiff, and none were too generic. The art in backgrounds was quite good, nothing to complain about, but not outright gorgeous either. There are some anime that I can watch solely for the aesthetics of it— this isn't one of them, but comes close.
This is a tough one to put a number on. Its general, one-sentence plot is, in my opinion, one of the most creative I've seen. However, I think it was poorly executed and greatly held back by lackings elsewhere, by repetition of events, by stupid side-plots that prove to be pointless, and by continuously writing itself into odd holes and twists with the mere purpose of writing back out of them. Creativity of the environment and the physics of the realm would receive a 9 or maybe even 9.5, but everything else really drags this number down. I think I am being generous in my scoring.
Though I do seem critical, this wasn't a total dud. I rarely finish something I wouldn't re-watch. I think it is worth watching, and would recommend it for someone looking for a light, comedic show that they can play as background noise whilst doing something else.
It certainly has its moments, but don't expect to be particularly enthralled, and if it does capture you, be prepared to be thrown off track many, many times.
Thanks for reading my first review!