There are some things about this show that just don’t make any sense. It’s been established by now that Tachibana somehow managed to create all of her abilities out of self-defence. Why then did she bother to also create the ability to spawn an evil clone? Even if someone else was behind it, wouldn’t she have noticed when she logged on? Then there’s the pink-haired girl. I mean, what the heck was her purpose again? If she was just a random side-character, then okay. But was it really necessary to put her on the promo-art for this series, along with Yurippe and Tachibana? Wouldn’t it have made much more sense to put Otonashi there, so that you really get the three central characters there?
In any case, with this we’re two-thirds in. In the next episodes, this series is going to have to deliver. Angel Beats overall has been nowhere among my favourites, but it’s definitely been fun. Knowing Key however, they do tend to hold a ton of trumps that they only plan to use near the end, and if anything this episode very much hinted to that when Tachibana absorbed all of those thousands of clones. Now, there are two possibilities after this: Tachibana turns evil and makes everyone’s lives miserable, or Tachibana turns into the typical Kyoani Key female lead. Of course I hope I’m wrong with this and things turn out a bit more nuanced than that.
As for the humour, it’s very typical of the director: his humour either just works, or it just falls flat, and this episode was about fifty-fifty in that. On one hand, the heroic sacrifices were pretty funny, however it also kept reusing a ton of jokes, like that annoying pink-haired girl, and the former student council president’s double-takes over Otonashi also were used way too much.
In any case though, this series has been very varied so far, and that’s what I like about it. Even though this episode revisited a previous location, it’s very different from the second episode and I’m glad to see that the creators didn’t just delete it when it blew up. Again though, I feel that these final few episodes are going to make or break this series. It’s been fun, but it’s definitely been building up to something. I really suspect that whether I’ll remember this series fondly or not will depend on how well the creators are going to handle these final episodes.
Rating: * (Good)