Anime Contemplation Carefully considering the world of Anime, episode by episode.

27Apr/100

Angel Beats! Episode 3 – My Song

Iwasawa's Ballad

It looks like every opening to Angel Beats is going to be different, around half way through it there are scenes from the upcoming episode so you'll get a quick peek at what's possibly coming up before it starts. There's also a change to the ending, but more on that later.

Class SSS are planning yet another operation, this time it's "Operation Revenge for the Tenshi-area Invasion Plan", in other words they're going to break into the Tenshi's residence and hack her computer. As with Operation Tornado in the first episode, a distraction is required and hence Girls Dead Monster are called upon to put on a large concert to distract the NPCs and Tenshi herself.

During a break from practising, Iwasawa (Girls Dead Monster's lead singer) recounts her memories to Onatashi. While hers are no where near as sad or shocking as Yuri's, they're still pretty sad. However, it also explains how she developed her love of music and her lifelong dreams before she died, which is interesting to hear.

Naturally, the concert is successful at causing a diversion, perhaps too successful as it attracts the attention of the teachers who shut it down (but not before we hear them play an awesome new song - Alchemy). Desperate to buy more time, Iwasawa breaks free of the teachers, picks up her classical guitar and plays a rather moving ballad which gives Class SSS time to fully complete their operation. As Iwasawa finishes her ballad however she [spoiler]disappears[/spoiler]. Normally people in this world can only do that if they lead a normal life and don't rebel. I suspect that they can also [spoiler]disappear[/spoiler] if they achieve a lifetime dream from before they died - in this case Iwasawa has fulfilled her dream of playing the guitar and singing. Of course, without a lead singer Girls Dead Monster is in a bit of trouble, it will be interesting to see who exactly the replacement will be, either it'll be a new character or possibly even Yui who is a huge fan of them. I guess we'll find out next time.

The ending has changed slightly too in order to reflect the events of the episode. I suspect that both the opening and ending will change with each episode based upon the events within it.

The first CD, Crow Song, containing Crow Song, Alchemy and My Song by Girls Dead Monster was released a few days ago. If you enjoyed the songs in the show I highly suggest picking it up.

Death by Pi. Amazingly, both the recitation and subtitles are actually correct.

Otonashi is drinking Key coffee, Key wrote the storyline for Angel Beats! Note also "Bolvic" bottled water - extremely similar to real-world "Volvic" bottled water!

Girls Dead Monster in concert, playing Alchemy

For a 2010 anime, you'd think they could at least parody a newer Operating System than Windows XP!

Like the previous concert scene in Episode 1, this is fludly animated and is extremely impressive.

"Did I accidentally trip you up? Oh, i'm so sorry!"

New ending. Note the lack of a certain character and the new character Takeyama ('Christ')

19Apr/100

Angel Beats! Ending

Angel Beats ending song is Brave Song, sung by Aoi Tada. Unlike the opening song the ending is very calm and slow paced but beautiful in it's own way. The animation is also somewhat simple, with all of the cast fading in, including members of both Class SSS and Girls Dead Monster. Like the opening, the CD single for Brave Song is also due out on the 26th of May.

Update: The ending changes every episode based on the events of that episode. That means that characters in it can appear and disappear.

Class SSS and Girls Dead Monster

19Apr/100

Angel Beats! Episode 2 – Guild

It's a trap!

Having expended most of their ammunition on the angel in the previous episode, the SSS need to restock. In order to do this, they must visit the Guild, a 'factory' deep underground that is able to create objects based on memories. As the Guild is a lucrative target for the angel, it is guarded by a large number of anti-angel traps. Thankfully, when the SSS go to visit they arrange to have these traps disabled, however since the angel appears the traps have to be reactivated to protect the Guild. Naturally, the SSS decide to press on through the traps.

The traps themselves vary, but they are all extremely dangerous and painful. A lot of them seem to be taken straight out of an Indiana Jones film. Of course, some of the SSS succumb to these traps in amusing ways. However, the fun soon stops as Yuri takes a break with Otonashi (everyone else got caught in a trap) to explain the events of her past life. While she doesn't say how she died, her tale of what happened to her family is really shocking and extremely sad.

Yuri and Otonashi reach the Guild, but the angel is close behind which triggers another fight scene. Unlike Episode's 1  fight scene, this uses melee weapons to great effect. Tenshi also shows off another one of her Guard Skills which helps with dodging attacks. It seems a lot of her guard skills are inspired by things from The Matrix, complete with added binary effects.

At the end it seems like both the SSS and the Guild have had a serious setback due to events of the episode, but thankfully they still exist. What events will take place in the next episode is anyone's guess. This episode was a great mix of humour, plot and sadness - the combination of which you tend to never see in a single episode.

Giant metal ball. Running away highly suggested

Forgetting about the traps is potentially fatal, try and remember next time!

That's... reassuring

I think you've got more important things to worry about, such as the bottomless pit you're hanging over. Plenty of time to smell her later!

Guard Skill: Delay. Looks extremely impressive

Boom! Bye bye Guild

11Apr/100

Angel Beats! Introduction and Opening

Tenshi on the piano

Angel Beats! (エンジェルビーツ) is set in the afterlife and follows the activities of the SSS (死んだ世界戦線, Shinda Sekai Sensen, Afterlife War Front) as they fight against God. The script is written by Jun Maeda who worked on the visual novels Air and Clannad. Therefore, we can expect to see an interesting plot line which goes above and beyond the plots of most other series.

The opening song is My Soul, Your Beats!, sung by Lia (who sung Air's beautiful OP - Tori no Uta). At first the song seems quite calm with a lovely piano backing track but soon enough it speeds up. The opening itself seems to focus on Tenshi playing the piano (in sync to the song) and introducing all of the characters, before showing clips from the second episode. The CD single is set to be released on the 26th of May.

Update: The opening changes slightly with each episode based on the events that will take place within the episode, this can be previews or even a complete change!

Title screen, school campus can be seen in the background

Otonashi and Yuri

Shiina, Hinata, Takamatsu and Noda

TK, Matsushita, Fujimaki and Oyama

Iwasawa, Sekine, Yusa, Irie and Hisako. Members of Girls Dead Monster band (except Yusa)

Tenshi showing off more of her piano skills

Night time view of the school campus, note that Tenshi has sprouted wings

11Apr/100

Angel Beats! Episode 1 – Departure

"Snipin's a good job, mate! Fancy joining my fight against god?"

It seems this first episode has omitted the opening and the full ending, therefore i'll be writing about the first episode before i've introduced the series and written about the first opening.

The protagonist, Otonashi, suddenly awakes in the afterlife only to be asked to join the fight against god by a girl holding a rather large sniper rifle - Yuri. Naturally, Otonashi is somewhat shocked by all of this. Yuri, who is the leader of the Afterlife War Front, gives him a quick run down on the situation and an overview on their enemy - an angel which she is currently aiming the sniper rifle at. Still in disbelief, Otonashi goes to talk to the angel and asks her to prove that he's dead, so she promptly stabs him.

When he wakes up later, he is absolutely fine (but his shirt is soaked with blood) proving that he can 'die' as many times as he likes without actually dying. Otonashi finally agrees to join the SSS (死んだ世界戦線, Shinda Sekai Sensen, Afterlife War Front) after a bit of convincing from other SS members and becomes involved with their fight against the angel.

Their first operation is to 'liberate' some meal tickets from the NPCs that inhabit the afterlife. To do so, a concert is put on to distract the NPCs while the meal tickets are taken. Naturally, the angel (Tenshi, which literally means Angel) decides to come and interrupt this and a fight breaks out to delay Tenshi. After the meal tickets have been taken, the SSS retreats and makes use of the tickets.

Normally, I do not write this much about the events of an episode, however so much happened that there wasn't really any other way to summarise it. I was looking forward to seeing Angel Beats based off the previews and it's not dissapointed me. The animation is extremely fluid and there tends to be motion at all times, not just mouth movement like in most other anime series. The animation scenes involving the band and battle are outstanding and I really hope we get to see more of them within the series.

While i've heard that not everyone has liked the first episode of Angel Beats, it's hard to see why. This is a series with an interesting storyline and excellent animation to back it up. Roll on Episode 2!

Screencaps are below, but you really need to watch it to see how amazing the animation is.

Punishment for declining to join Yuri initially

Anti-Angel traps. Try not to fall foul of them, they hurt somewhat

TK speaks random English phrases seemingly all the time

Tenshi deflects a single bullet using Hand Sonic

Tenshi deflecting lots of bullets using Distortion

Girls Dead Monster in concert

Concert hall, with liberated meal tickets flying upwards due to some rather large fans