Star Rating: 5 Stars
Overall Precise Rating: 9/10
"Angel Beats!" was one of those anime that I grew to really like within the meager length the whole thing lasted. This is one of my favourite anime to date, but as always, I can easily distinguish flaws here and there. I suppose the perfect anime never existed eh? At least not from my POV anyway. That does not go without saying that Angel Beats has been well worth my time.
Now allow me to elaborate when I said "meager" in the previous paragraph. 13 episodes is short, but that does not necessarily make an anime bad. But provided that there is a plentiful cast and a decently complex storyline here, 13 episodes, 1 OVA and a 3 minute "epilogue" has left much to be desired. If this anime had more episodes, then I'd advise further Story and Character development.
More onto this in the "Story" and "Characters" headings.
To be honest, I think this aspect of Angel Beats is still overlooked or underrated by some people despite this being the weakest point about this series. I found the whole afterlife concept thing rather creative, and that you must have no regrets from your "past life" in order to "move on".
Although to be fair, I can still understand why the story isn't well...brilliant. I've noticed, to be short, numerous plot holes within each episode. The most noteworthy examples I can remember from the top of my head, are as follows:
Putting all this aside, Angel Beats does have its touching moments (including the ending, by the time where everyone "moved on" and Otonashi and Kanade will be apparently reunited!), and every episode I watch has made me laugh a lot. XD Some of the scenes are just priceless! I suppose the humour does make up for the plot holes kinda...
Girls Dead Monster also deserves a special mention. It's an all-girls band that's featured in the story, and part of why Angel Beats is a bit of a big deal is because of this group. There are at least a couple of actual official albums by the band, as well as a number of singles, all which can be bought or downloaded if you wanted to. The real life-singers that make up the band (Marina and LiSA) have even held their own live performances and little concerts to further promote the music of Angel Beats.
Now we're talking! One of the really great things about Angel Beats besides its good use of humour is the Animation.
The style and quality of everything you see (especially the characters!) is an absolute GODSEND, even by anime standards. (If that makes sense)
I do love it when there is a generally colourful cast. Everyone looks awesome, cute, or both...and the hairstyles and colours are great too. Angel Beats has really made excellent use of lighting, effects and dramatic action scenes.
There isn't a lot for me to summarise here really. It's just in one or three words:
Pretty Much Perfect!
There isn't a lot I can say about the sound, especially since I don't pay too much attention to it. But I can say that it simply fits the show, and that's what matters most. The cast have great voices and I grew fond of the J-pop themed music by Girls Dead Monster. And the background music is the icing on the cake!
As mentioned earlier, Girls Dead Monster is pretty much the centre of the promotion of Angel Beats's music. The official albums and singles are available to buy or download and the live performances involving the real-life singers have been quite successful.
As much as I REALLY love all the characters, there is a major problem that has severly hampered my rating for this: The lack of actual character development.
Now when I say "character development", the key here is SCREEN TIME!!
I'm sure that many of us can agree that this is a very important part of what makes an anime good. As I said before, Angel Beats only had 13 episodes. If there were more episodes, then it would be a great idea to give all the characters (including the side-characters) more screen time so we can find out more about their personalities and themselves in general. For example, I thought that the Girls Dead Monster band deserved more dialogue and development.
If Angel Beats didn't have this issue, then I'm confident that I would give this point a perfect score of 10/10.
I'll briefly discuss a few of the most noteworthy cast.
Yuzuru Otonashi is the sort of person who you'd want to have as a best friend. He's friendly, collected and takes extreme caution in his actions. He's quite perceptive, very much like Kyon from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, who would also be great for a best friend. There's also Kanade Tachibana, the adorable, pure and mysterious stoic who I'd personally want as a sister. XD Yuri is a charismatic but somewhat overly-exaggerating leader of the team, then there's the hyperactive Yui, hilarious Hinata and Takamatsu, Naoi with his badass hypnosis, and many more!
Oh, and TK says "Get chance and luck!"
The Animation and Humour is really great. The characters themselves are also amazing, but again, they all needed more screen time and dialogue to give them a bigger role in the story.
As I was typing out this review, I've devised a good hint that the Anime Industry should abide by:
"If you're going to introduce a short anime, then try not to include too many characters and develop an inconsistent plot! Otherwise, you're much better off making it at least twice as long!"