Angel Beats! is a mass of confusion which I reduce to a failed discourse on theology offered by a league of sadists. A muddled array of god-talk which worsens as one character wishes to be called ‘Christ,’ another has God-delusions, and a variety of characters who assume a trend of blame-God mentality which fosters (festers) the general summation of the attitudes toward suffering and the unfairness of life. Odd, there is a preference or the teachings of Buddha, but never a critique of that religion. Christianity is lampooned, and often unfairly or shallowly. Misery and violence abound in the series, and all the wretchedness is placed at God’s doorstep.
I was lost with the introduction of the character Angel (Kanade or Tanshi, who is it? Or is this the bane of anime which become dubbed?). I was sincerely taken with the demur appearance of the girl (or whatever she be). But then a positive (and lasting) affirmation of her is difficult. Angel? Student council president? Not the president? Killing machine? Next best hope for the student body passing on into their newly reincarnated state? Poor misunderstood child? As the last two episodes pass on to Yuri, Angel’s key antagonist, you wonder how Angel will be a factor at all. Too quiet, too gentle-voiced and uncertain … and then the blood flies!
The core of the problem is the element of amnesia which afflicts the main characters. But, on revelation of the tragic backgrounds of the members of the Battlefront, I can’t but see the trait of human evil. The burglars who tortured Yuri. The lax response of the rescue team which botched Otonashi’s deliverance from the cave-in. There can be genuine sympathy for Yui’s paralysis, but this allows for her dream of being loved and married of being fulfilled. This is the role of human sympathy. All this in the crucible of a purgatorial high school which plays out like a video game quite out of control. The edge of madness trying to discover the rational within the chaos … and only emotional appeals covering everything like a band-aid over a deep gash.
A high school setting where everything should be relaxed and carefree. Yet, you can die several times in a single episode … and be good to go for the next. It’s definitely not Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood.
Hmmm … a crossover of Angel Beats! with Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood. Two gentle, soft-spoken personalities. Now, that’s twisted!