Last episode I was rather afraid of the creators misusing the fact that Otonashi’s background was special somehow. Well, this episode proved me wrong. His background was in no way the most extreme. While typical Key, it actually made sense within the story.
All sorts of elements of Key’s usual stories returned in his back-story, I’m not sure whether it’s a homage or just lazy considering how creative the rest of the setting here is, but in any case: the reason he’s special in this series is because Tachibana reminds him of his dead sister. Him getting close to her… it’s all just for the sake of him, trying to get back to his sister.
The humour in this episode was also quite good. The recurring jokes remained rather lame (someone, please start calling Christ Christ so that he can disappear…), but the new material (the student council president) was very funny. For me it was the most successful episode of Angel Beats yet: it was charming and stressed how the characters rely on each other to keep them going though this strange world. The giant fish was a bit silly, but it had none of the nonsensical plot twists that plagued the previous number of episodes.
Now that we’ve already passed the series’ halfway point, I’m getting ore curious about the finale. Especially the Kyoani versions of the previous key incarnations improved significantly in their second half, and also the Osamu Dezaki movies just got better as they went on. At this point Angel Beats seems to be done with its introductions, so we’re about to get to the meat of the story.
On a side-note: these guys really ended up at an awesome school here. I’m not sure whether it’s from Key or some other anime staff, but the architecture of schools in Key adaptation really is fantastic. Gone are the boring schools with three floors that look the same everywhere.
Rating: ** (Excellent)