It’s show’s like Angel Beats! that make me love this genre. Only through Anime could you convey so much childish wonder and fun with the more mature themes of death, fulfillment and finality. This anime is about the world’s harsh realities and making sense of them. It comes from a place of pain, frustration and anger, but ultimately reconciles itself with hope.
Just like Haruhi Suzumiya, music plays a large role in Angel Beats!, and the audience walks away with a few catchy, original tunes. Good stuff, but nothing mind blowingly brilliant.
The voice-acting on the dub was fine, for me, though I’m sure the Japanese actors would have been more authentic. I dug it though; the voice actors seemed sincere.
The animating was modern and sleek, the colors were vibrant, that was all there. I originally wanted to give this category an 8/10 since I’m not a fan of the overly stylized eyes (yes, a hallmark of anime, but sometimes too much is too much... at least it wasn’t Clannad). However, I bumped it up to a 9 because of the level of detail on the guns and the factories. I have to hand it to them, as a non-gun expert, I’d say they seem to have done their research pretty well.
Look, it’s 9/10 because there were a few characters I wish I had gotten to know better. Shiina, the ninja girl who risks her life for cute things, for example. What was her deal? I would have loved to learn her back story - but the details are scant.
But the character development for the major characters was fantastic. I loved the back stories because, although they were almost impossibly tragic, many of these stories have taken place in the real world. It’s sobering to have it presented in an anime, and it’s refreshing the way the characters grow from and come to terms with their circumstances.
While some characters blended traits together, they all remained individual, both main characters and supporting characters. They all had their unique, quirky traits that made them interesting and funny. It’s hard to strike the balance, but the creators of Angel Beats! did it.
I mean, come on! A computer nerd who demands he be called “Christ”? Hilarious.
I am totally and completely in love with the story. It’s Peter Pan and the Lost Boys with a lot of guns, even more swag, and INFINITE LIVES! It’s basically the ultimate video game. The child in me was thrilled at the prospect of a limbo filled with friends and the ability to create anything I wanted to fight the system. At the beginning of every episode I was eager to see new pranks and plot turns, my mind racing with what I would do, if I had unlimited freedom and resources. And that’s what a good story does; it gives you a world that your mind can run amok in.
The beauty of Angel Beats! is that it’s not just all fun in games. Intertwined with humor, affection, and camaraderie are some serious personal hurdles that each character has to come to face. Without giving away too much, it’s safe to say that tragedy and affliction has touched the lives of the characters in this story. Their stoicism and forgiveness ultimately taught me a lot about the events in my life, how I reacted to them, and what I held dearest.
The raw energy and magnetism of the final scenes still warm my heart even at their memory. The longing, sadness, and emptiness was terrifying, just as much as the final resolution left a sense of peace and acceptance.
Ultimately, the world that Angel Beats! is set in is one of a giving and loving universe, the journey through which we’ve only just begun.
overall score: 9/10