Starting today and continuing every other week, I will be posting reviews for classic anime or just anime that have been out for a while. Some of these will be favorites of mine, others I despise but that are popular. Some will relate to currently running shows. Today’s post is for one of my favorites.
Angel Beats! is a very intriguing show. It starts off with a boy and a girl. The boy wakes up on the sidewalk. The girl informs him that he is dead, while pointing an anti-material sniper rifle at a small girl standing in a field. The boy thinks she is crazy. The girl with the rifle tries to recruit the boy, who refuses. Instead he goes to talk to the girl who is in the field and gets stabbed through the heart. He then wakes up in the nurses office, because you can’t kill someone who is already dead. If this sounds interesting, just watch it. It is brilliant.
The interesting thing about Angel Beats! is that it was created by Aniplex and P.A. Works, but the designs were done by Key. Now Key is a visual novel company that originally did the stories for Air, Kanon, and the all popular Clannad. Needless to say, Angel Beats! is very different from these other series. It does, however, retain very powerful emotional elements that ultimately made the show enjoyable and re-watchable. I have seen the show at least five times and it is one of my most recommended anime. One of my close friends just watched it and loved it; it made her cry. Just listen to the opening – it so well articulates the experience of watching the show. Then the ending song always plays softly, but the animation changes as you progress through the story.
The show has a good amount of comedy, but it is more about story than anything else. The comedy pulls you in and the story grabs you and pulls you into a roller coaster of emotion.
One thing I do find very interesting is the concept of the afterlife in the show. Angel Beats! doesn’t try to play into a particular belief set in regards to the afterlife. In fact, in the first episode it basically rejects them all. The one thing the characters are sure of is that their lives weren’t good and they want to fight whatever destiny this is that has wrecked their lives. The want to escape their reality, but there is a lingering question. Why are they even here?
Hope you enjoyed this first post. Next time I will be looking at Durarara!!