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


Angel Beats! Summary

All Class SSS members, goodbye!

Angel Beats! has now ended unfortunately, it doesn't seem that long ago that I actually started watching it.

Before it started airing, Angel Beats was promoted extensively and was highly anticipated. This was a show that had to live up to the hype it generated, and it certainly exceeded my expectations.

Angel Beats had an excellent, if somewhat rushed storyline. I was unable to accurately predict the events of future episodes as the plot line frequently twisted and turned. Any twists where very well thought out and fitted in perfectly - they didn't just leave you utterly confused and wondering what happened. As is typical with Key stories, the plot changes your feelings almost constantly, both in individual episode and thought the series as a whole. For example, in Episode 2 you're laughing as all of the members of Class SSS fall to successive traps, but when Yuri recounts her past you suddenly feel extremely sad. If anything however, the change between happy and sad is most profound in the final episode, for obvious reasons.

Angel Beats would have been a lot better had it been a 24-26 episode series rather than a 13 episode one. Due to the short length, we miss out on much of the background of the characters, only discovering the past lives of a handful of them.

The animation within Angel Beats is without a doubt some of the best i've seen. Backgrounds where highly detailed and the animation was fluid. In addition, background animation also featured which tends to be unusual within anime series. One thing I didn't like however was the use of motion blur, if you have a high enough frame rate then you don't need to use motion blur. This made it difficult to capture screenshots of certain moments, but wasn't especially noticeable when watching the show itself.

Music featured heavily within Angel Beats due to the presence of an in-show band. While most series wouldn't be able to get away with this, the band's usage as a diversionary squad fits in the the premise of the series perfectly. The music produced by this band was outstanding. Instead of using voice actors to sing the songs, professional singers marina (for Iwasawa) and LiSA (for Yui) where used. I much preferred marina/Iwasawa's vocals, but still enjoy LiSA/Yui's songs. More information about the music of Angel Beats can be found in a separate post.

The characters where detailed and had their own little unique personality, so you are sure to have at least one favourite out of them (Kanade :3). However, again we've got the problem of not having enough episodes to fully develop each character as mentioned earlier.

Overall, i've come away with a very positive view on Angel Beats! It was a very enjoyable show and is certainly one of the best anime series I have ever watched. The only thing preventing Angel Beats from becoming my favourite anime is the short length of the series and the effect this has on character and plot development. I would highly recommend this series to anyone, it's wide range of styles and intriguing story line should suit anyone.

As a small addendum, since writing the post on the final episode, some information has surfaced in an interview with Jun Maeda which clears up some of the unknowns that the final episodes left. It is confirmed that Otonashi [spoiler]did eventually disappear and reincarnate[/spoiler] and that [spoiler]he is not 'the programmer' - the Angel Player software existed before Otonashi[/spoiler]. Yui's voice actor has also hinted that a second season will be made and that she will be the heroine! I'm not entirely sure how that will fit in as a continuation, but i'm eager to find out anyway. More information on the interview can be found here.

An additional unaired episode will also be included with the final Bluray/DVD volume which will be released in December. I suspect that this may be an episode dedicated to the new lives of the Class SSS members but i'll have to wait in order to see if my suspicions are correct or not!

Thanks to Unlimited Translation Works for subbing the entire series, they where fast, had a good quality translation and excellent video quality. They have released a batch containing all 13 episodes and are also gradually releasing the Bluray versions as the disks come out. I've enjoyed writing about this series, despite the fact it took a very long time to write each post due to the amount of stuff that happened in each episode and i'm very much looking forward to the potential second season.

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