When I started this anime I wasn't sure what to expect. I don't think anyone I have ever known has watched it, and I didn't know very much about it other than the information given in the short summary on anime planet and a cursory reading of a few reviews. However, after watching it I have found myself pleasantly surprised. After reading the summary I didn't quite understand how there could be anything comedic in a show with such a serious premise.(Being trapped in a place between life and death, with vicious fighting left and right between two groups of people...) However, I found that it had it's little parts that made me giggle and laugh, the heart-warming parts that made me smile, and enough tragic backstories and occurinces to make me need some kleenex while watching this show.
I will attempt to spoil a minimal ammount of information about the show while writing this review.
Story (8.5) -
The premise is incredibly unique and intriguing. Otonashi, a young man who has mysteriously lost all of his memories, awakens near Yuri, a girl who asks him to shoot at an angel. The story continnues from there and digs deep into the depths of the hardships of those who live tainted childhoods, and depicts how dynamically changing connections can be forged between people. One mysterious thing in the show is how the characters disappear. At first it's a little confusing, but after the second person does, it's pretty obvious to see why it occurs.(Sorry, no spoilers here! XD)
There are moments that might make someone cry in here, but there are also a ton that will make one cry laughing.
Anwyay, now for some flaws. The plot was easy to follow, and unfortunately was predictible at points. I figured out early on what had happened with certain people, who was going to like who, and so on and so forth.
Animation (10/10) -
Angel Beats has gorgeous animation. The character designs are lovely and varied. All of them fit the characters very well. The colors are rich and bright, all of them make the characters stand out from teh non-major or non-important background characters/random people in the crowds at school. The backgrounds are varied considering that the setting is almost always in the same room. They are always bright and colorful, and the depiction of the classrooms and other various places in the school is quite lovely.
Movements are swift and fluid, and the battlescenes are done incredibly well.
Overall, the animation is gorgeous.
Sound (10/10) -
The opening and closing songs in this anime are beautiful, the opening has to be one of my favorites that I've heard so far, and both fit the mood of the series well. Other various songs that play through out the series are fitting and add to the mood of the scenes they are in. Some even made me want to rewatch scenes to listen to them again.
The voice acting is also good; comedic timing is fabulous. I particularly liked the Japanesse version and would highly recomend you watch it subbed.
Characters (10/10) -
And now, for the metaphorical icing atop the symbolic cake. The lovely characters are the heart and soul of Angel Beats. Without them being so deep and diverse, I would've given this series a far lower score. Characters usually make or break a show for me. This time, they definitely made it.
Where should I even start? All of them are deep and have unique personalities, making their interactions with one another interesting and relationships deep and complex. They're all either believable or hilarious, and every one of them has a tragic, compelling backstory. There were some characters who I thought were just alright, but when I heard about their past or saw their interactions with certain other characters *cough* Yui and Hinata *sob* *cough cough* I wanted to cry and felt a far deeper connection with them. It's easy to empaphize with most of them, and to understand their fears, regrets, reasons for fighting, etc. The characters, even though they will make you cry, may also make you laugh. TK, Noda, Shiina Takamatsu, Takeyama, and Ooyama(pretty much everyone else, but these guys stood out the most to me comedically) are all excelent examples of that.
Overall, characters are fantastic.
Overall (9.6/10) -
It's a lovely, amazing show. It will probably even make the faint of heart cry with its tender moments, and it will make one laugh with its comedic ones.
I highly recomend it to anyone, especially people who like complex characters and tragic backstories, or comedy.