I am going to be posting reviews on YouTube under the username RavingAboutNonsense, so if you would like to see a more detailed review of this, or another series I have reviewed, I would suggest visiting my account there. (On the date of posting this review, the video is not up yet)
This is my first review on this site, so please go easy on me. I'm new to the site.
Angel Beats! follows our main character, Yuzuru Otonashi, who has ended up in a school in the afterlife without ant memory of his life prior. He joins the SSS (Afterlife Battlefront) in order to try to remember his past. The SSS was created by Yuri "Yurippe" Nakamura, who formed this battlefront to rebel against God for hers and the other members unjust lives and deaths.
I personally found this to be an interesting plot, though quite basic. The anime has a mix of comedy, drama, tragety, a hint of romance, etc. Point being it has many types of genre spliced into one series, and I personally thought that the mix was good and well balanced. If I have one complaint, it's that I wish the series was longer, but seeing as I still continue to enjoy it and I've been reading the Heven's Door manga, I'm fine with the time it ran.
I thought that the animation is great. It isn't the best that I've ever seen, but there are moments where the animation is absolutely breathtaking. I love the way they have lighting done in the series the most, since it really sets the mood for every one of the emotional moments in the show. The characters are designed interestingly, some more than others though. Each character is easily distiguishable, but the true beauty of the animation, I think was the environment. I also enjoyed that each opening is slightly different. I don't have much more to say on this.
I very much enjoyed the sounds of this series. The band, Girls Dead Monster, I believe was great at all times and even after Yui came into it, I did enjoy it. The music in this show in general was perfect, given the situations things happened. There were times that the music is a bit too hyper for the situation which knocks it fown a few points. However, the opening and closing themes of this series are amazing and easily identifyable.
As for voice acting, it depends on the Japanese or English dub. I prefer the Japanese dub, but that is not just because it is the original. I feel that the voice acting is flawed in the English dub and it's strange to hear voice acting in English with Japanese words in the background. I feel that many characters were miscast and if they switched, then everything would have been fine. I also feel there is more emotion in the Japanese voice acting. My two biggest annoyances were that they changed TK's lines, which was mostly unneccessary for that character, and the mispronounciation of "Yurippe" as "Yu-rip-ii" which is incorrect. I have studdied Japanese, so to mispronounce anything bothers me. But because of those issues I do prefer the Japanese dub more.
Without a doubt, this animes greatest strength is the characters. There are some that are forgettable, but that's just how it gors in a cast of nearly 20 characters. All of the characters are unique to their own quirks. TK speaks in mostly pop-cultural references and in mostly English, Takamatsu constantly takes off his shirt, Hinata being laid back and even sarcastic in Japanese, Nodas stupidity. The least known character of the series, Yusa, even has her own quirks that honestly make me wish she were in the story more. However, characters do fall flad, such as Ooyama who introduced himself by stating he has no special skills, Fujimaki who I don't even remember what he was like right now, and Erie and Sekine who played in the band and most people have no clue what their names are. Those characters do still help with the chemistry of the series, and even have some great moments at times. The characters all play off of each other and it's always fun to watch when two characters are going at it, specifically Hinata and Yui.
Now, I feel the need to clarify this for some people since I always hear this. Yui replacing Iwasawa in Girls Dead Monster is one of the things that my friends are annoyed by in this series, and I can see why. She's not as good as Iwasawa, but she wasn't just a replacement for a character. If you watch the series more closely, she has a lot of development, mostly in her last episode. She is her own character and served a purpose of more than just a new vocalist in the band. I also do not feel that she was bad, either. Besides, she still had one of the most bittersweet moments of the entire series. Then there's Yuri being a Haruhi Suzumiya clone. I'm not going to lie, but the fact that she looked like Haruhi with a different collored ribbon, dyed hair, and green contact lenses actually made me want to check out the series more.After watching it through multiple times, I have noticed that she shares personality traits as well. She's always giving orders to people, plays by her own rules, etc. But she sheems to be more openly caring and level headed than Haruhi was. Her backstory is also the most tragic one of the series from most peoples perspective whereas most people forget Haruhi's, thus Yuri's is more memorable. Though there are undeniable similarities, they are different characters. I like both anyway, so I guess that's why I don't mind it.
As much as I loved the show, I couldn't give it a 10/10. There are many problems with the series, one being its length, and even though the show has amaing strengths, I still feel it needed something more. I wanted to see a good backstory for characters like Noda, TK, Yusa, and Shiina. This show is one I would still certainly recommend, but if it's not your thing, I completely understand. Once again, I would suggest the Japanese dub since it's the better product in my opinion.