Nothing is created in a vacuum, and minute for minute this is some of the best time you can spend in front of a screen. The moods sometimes step on each other's toes. There's a female main character with a similar hairstyle to Haruhi who doesn't speak in a tiny voice. The panic of not being funded for a second season is almost palpable in the later episodes. So what?
With a refreshing take on both of the settings it draws from, Angel Beats! really brings it home when it comes to interest. Unfortunately, it didn't show some of the depth it promised and occasionally felt a little inconsistent. Still, the whole environment was an easy one to believe in. No bad scores here, but some small disappointments preventing an even higher score.
The story relied on some points that felt a little forced, both on the character and visible hand of the writer side, but had so much character power making it work that it never got out of hand. Focus was well above average, but was distractingly quick on some important moments throughout. Again, a score that would be amazing for almost any other show, but manages to weigh this one down a little. Entertainment value was nearly perfect, with a great story packed into a single season.
Out of this world. Some tiny niggles over movement and style that felt a little weird in a handful of places, but I was looking very hard on this third run. I've never seen a show that looked this good.
Seiyuu all nail their roles, and manage to transition swiftly and naturally. The BGM's cheap-sounding synths jumped out occasionally despite the soundtrack being excellent. I don't know if this sound was intentional, but it grated on me a bit. Effects were excellently detailed and not overused. The music? It fit perfectly, and was beautifully written and performed. Super-nice stuff going on here.
With a cast this large and an episode list this short, the depth and progress of the cast as a whole was surprisingly good. Still, the shortness prevents the audience from learning about 3/4 of the characters with lots of screen time. Those that did get their time really shined and pulled this area through.
This is one of my favorites. Some of the highest production values (if not the highest) I've ever seen, and an excellent story and amazing cast to top it all off. Angel Beats! shows off what an anime can do. Even if you don't end up liking it much, I think watching it is well worth your time. It's compact, beautiful, and you can feel the care that the creators put into it. This is like one of the great films from the studio era of Hollywood; not instantly recognizeable as different from its peers, but excecuted (almost) perfectly. Ultimately the only thing holding it back is the cramming that was done to fit everything into 13 episodes.