Re-Viewed: Angel Beats Episode 06 and Why We Love/Hate Dad

Episode 06 is a curious one.  Our two protagonists (Kanade is now beginning to take the role from Yuri) spend most the episode together, either eating or locked up.  Meanwhile, World War III is occurring in the school courtyard, as new student council head, Ayato Naoi, uses NPCs as human shields to wipe out the SSS.  Throw in the power of hypnosis, another death story, and a change of heart so quick that Anakin Skywalker thought it strange, and you have a wild episode.

While as a viewer, I had trouble connecting with Naoi the first time I watched Angel Beats, I felt more strongly about him the second time around.  The reason?  I found myself focusing more intently on Naoi’s relationship with his dad.

If you remember, Naoi was one of two siblings.  The other was a talented artisan and the apparent heir to the family pottery business.  He died in a tragic accident, leaving Naoi to carry on the family name.  But he never lived up to family expectations and his dad’s words toward him were continually harsh.

6. Ayato Naoi (Art by りくり)

While our non-2D fathers may (generally) not have been such jerks, I think many of us can relate to a dad who doesn’t show us the love we desire.  For boys, we grow up idolizing our dads.  They are perfect in our eyes (notice that Naoi is always looking to gain approval from a dad who is the master of his craft).  But dads, by nature, are not generally nurturers and seldom provide all the outward shows of affection we would like.  As we get older and see the chinks in the armor of fatherly perfection, relationships with them can grow more distant.

It’s similar for girls, who grow up adoring their dads.  I have girl friends who grew up seeking fulfillment in imperfect romantic relationships because they didn’t feel loved by their dads.

Especially for girls, this problem with fathers can translate into difficulties in a relationship with God.  God the Father is part of the triune God, but for many, He’s hard to relate to.  Our views of Him may already be skewed because of the difficulties we might encounter in reading and understanding the Old Testament.  Add to that the fact that we’re clearly supposed to see Him as “Father,” and things can become even more difficult.  I mean, how can we pour out our hearts to God the Father and trust Him when we would never do the same for our earthly dads?

It’s an interesting problem on two levels – spiritually toward God and emotionally toward dad.  How do we right these relationships?  Although every case is different, the general idea is the same – as with any relationship, it takes time and practice.  If you open your heart and work toward righting any problems toward your two dads, in most cases, wounds will mend.

On a side note, this issue may largely not be a problem 10 or 20 years down the line.  In the east and west, it seems like a new generation of kinder, more sensitive men is becoming the norm.  Our relationships with our kids will probably be more nurturing.  Of course, the trend raises other questions.  If we’re less tough and, well, manly, how does that change the following generation’s view of God as father?  What role will mom now play in how we view God?  And how will children view God in the growing number of households without a father present?

But back on topic, I want to leave you with a final thought on this issue.  With possibly decades of building distance from (or even resentment toward) our dads, it sometimes becomes hard for us to see their hearts beneath an outward exterior.  But when I think of my heavenly Father, one story often comes to mind that shows His heart.  When we think of Sodom and Gomorrah, we might think of God’s judgment raining down (literally).  But I think of Abraham’s bargaining with a God that never said no to him whenever the patriarch asked for the cities to be spared, and I wonder what God would’ve said if Abraham bargained all the way down to one righteous person.  My feeling is that maybe He would have relented even then, as He revealed a soft heart.

Naoi’s dad, too, in his final days revealed his true heart – of a man that really loved his son.

This is the love of a father.

TWWK

Husband. Dad. Occasionally Korean. Enjoys Star Wars, ASOIAF, and Meg Ryan movies. Tweets before proofreading. Ghibli. Oregairuuuuu. Jesus is King.

14 thoughts on “Re-Viewed: Angel Beats Episode 06 and Why We Love/Hate Dad

  1. Angel Beats …. I haven’t watched this, but heard a lot about it from my brother… aren’t the characters all dead? or did I just spoil it for you?? omg, I’m sorry ! I’m going to watch this soon, my brother says it’s really good ! !

    1. Haha, no, you didn’t spoil it for me – I’m rewatching after seeing it once when it first came out. It’s definitely worth watching, though many people found that the show never lived up to expectations.

      And yes, all the characters are dead. But it’s okay to mention that, because you find out about 2 minutes into the first episode. 🙂

  2. Angel Beats. The one anime that, though I found the lessons good and the backgrounds sort of relatable, was incredibly held back by the supersized plot holes and ridiculous melodrama. I’ve never been so torn between love and hate for an anime.

    1. You’re certainly not alone – there’s a lot of strong reaction to it – love it, hate it, or both. For me, the show was largely frustrating – I loved much of it, but also felt that it never met its potential, in so many ways.

      1. I would love to see a remake of the show, but it will never happen… I loved it so much, the best show by Key in my opinion, but it was poorly realised. I still love it though and remember my tears.

        1. If there’s one thing that Key has perfected (and they do a great many things well), it’s knowing how to get to us emotionally.

          1. Yes, and I have no clue about how they do it. Is it the music? Is it the characters? The great direction? I seriously don’t know, because if you think about it, it is a bit forced. And if you have seen another Key-show, you know what to expect (their endings are basically the same in anime at least).

            But still.

            I cry.

            1. Maybe I’m cynical, but having seen Haruhi, I cannot call this their greatest anime- not because Haruhi is better or my favorite, but because the character designs/interactions are eerily similar. If they wanted me to like it better, they could have been more original. And the plot holes…

              But they did manage to tug the right heartstrings at *most* of the right points, so I really have to give them props. I can’t think of another anime that had the same problems but still managed to make me feel for the characters.

              1. Hmm? Haruhi is not a Key production – Key’s anime, thus far, have been Air, Kanon, Clannad (and After Story), and Angel Beats.

                But you have hit on an interesting issue – the character designs. Homage or rip-off? Maybe both? Yuri looks and often acts like Haruhi…but it feels more like a copy than an homage. Naoi, on the other hand, later becomes such a humorous character (and his “technique” is so identical) that he really feels like a an allusion to Lelouche.

              2. Incidentally, if we’re ranking Key, I think my order is a bit different from most:

                Best to Worst
                1. Kanon
                2. Clannad After Story
                3. Clannad
                4. Angel Beats!
                5. Air

              3. Key for me would be:

                1. Angel beats
                2. Clannad
                3. Clannad After Story (no I didn’t)
                4. Air

                Haven’t watched Kanon… Kyoto Animation’s best has to be either Haruhi or Nichijou. The latter is much more consistent when it comes to quality, whereas the first has the awful second season. The Haruhi-movie rocked though, way better than the series. One of the favorite animes, actually.

              4. Disagreement, again! Haha! I thought the second season of Haruhi was of very good quality – it’s just that the same quality was repeated for “endless” numbers of episodes. Subtract seven episodes, and there would’ve been no complaints about the season.

                The movie, though, is AWESOME. Just…so ridiculously good. It’s one of those few movies that I would call an “experience.”

                Kanon is wonderful (obviously I think so – it’s my number one). Think “Clannad without the heavy tone and with more mystical elements.” It’s kind of halfway between Air and Clannad.

              5. Of course, Marrow, this now begs the question of why Angel Beats! ranks over the other two series for you.

                @TWWK- I know Haruhi isn’t Key, but because the character designs and personalities are so similar (and yes, it feels more like a rip-off than an homage), I just have to compare them. It brought Angel Beats! lower in my ranking than the Air movie.

              6. Ouch, can’t escape this one, can I? :p

                Short version: Clannad was never the greatest piece of anime ever created in my opinion. The first season was great as it focused on family, happiness and comedy, but the first two arcs took up too much of the show.

                After Story’s first ten episodes were unnecessary, since the focus of this season is Nagisa and Tomoya. Doesn’t help that it’s forced and Sunohara was made a jerk in one of the arcs. Actually, a lot of things in After Story feels forced, unlike other Key-shows which balances between forced and natural. The relationship was never really shown and as a result the “twists” never got to me. And the ending with magic is too much random deus ex machina.

                The first two arcs of Air was pointless, as the characters never showed up again. It hampered the pacing. The stuff about magic also annoyed me, as it also did in Clannad, but not as much. But I have to say I enjoyed the last arc and I really felt sorry for Misuzu and her loneliness. Ending made me cry.

                Angel Beats took place in a magical setting (it hooked me), which didn’t make anything feel out of place or far-fetched. The pacing was terrible and a lot of things went unused, but I love it for some reason. Maybe it’s because it was the first Key-show I watched.

                Or something along these lines. I can expand my thoughts further when I start my own blog, if you want!

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