Posted by psgels on 19 June 2010 with categories: Angel Beats




This episode, to me, felt like it was desperately trying to catch a train. Sure, it got there in the end and it’s a damn cool train, but at the same time it rushed through everything and forgot to buy a ticket, and now just keeps hoping that a member of the train crew won’t drop by to find out about this. This episode came with a ton of interesting plot twists, but at the same time it just didn’t care about logical narrative. Things just… happened, while most of the necessary transition scenes were lost on the cutting room floor or something.

But you know what: who cares? This series has already been chaos, and in that sense this episode was everything this has been focusing on. The thing I liked best that yet again, whenever we feel that finally the setting itself is taking action, it yet again turns out to have been just another regular character who took his own ideas. This has been the same for Kanade as she played the evil part to get everyone to pass on, the new student council president with his God complex, the Tachibana clones who went out of control: all of them are just people who took advantage of the setting, and the setting remained very much like an axe or a saw: sure, you can kill people with them, but they’re usually pretty useful in getting somewhere.

And hey, how many other series can boast that they actually found a believable way to include the power of love as a plot twist? It’s actually quite an interesting idea, in a world in which spirits who find themselves at peace will disappear. If you were to fall in love there, and the other person disappeared, that would make it damn hard to disappear as well out of love sickness. The guy in question happened to know how the computer programs worked here, and I guess that he installed some kind of system to prevent the same thing from happening again. His methods were just too extreme, though. If you can’t make them disappear, then just turn everyone into NPCs. That’s cruel! I’m also very curious here which NPC this guy turned into…

In any case, the end of this episode dropped a ton of hints that Yurippe has disappeared. In terms of Key, it did not turn out to be as emotional as their other works. The thing is that Air and Clannad reserved a lot more time to get the best out of their emotional climaxes, while that clearly wasn’t the focus of Angel Beats. I do think that I like Angel beats more than Kanon, so at least that’s something.

To be honest, I’d rather see a rushed episode with a ton of interesting ideas like this one, compared to a series with no ideas that, while solid, is too focused on playing it safe. Especially when it doesn’t have much else to offer. That’s why I rather liked this episode, despite the obvious criticisms you can have against it.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

12 Responses

  1. zxcvnm says:

    There’s a scene after the ED showing that Yurippe didn’t disappear.

  2. Des! says:

    After the ED, they showed Yurippe lying on the hospital bed with otonashi and gang watching her.

  3. Puran says:

    Yeah they made it pretty clear she didn’t disappear, watch the small scene after the credits.

  4. Puran says:

    Also, anyone else thinks that the lost love of the programmer that turned into an NPC is kanade?

  5. Greenie says:

    nah, because kanade isn’t an NPC
    she just acted the part

    If she was an NPC she would ignore them just like the rest.

  6. Ruki says:

    She could be an NPC programmed to help them disappear, as random!computer!guy was? I personally don’t think she is, but you never know with a series as random as this one…

  7. Puran says:

    The train metaphor can be applied to the whole series. Angel Beats has a ton of good ideas, a good and creative setting and from what we’ve seen from this episode the overall plot and story is/was building up to something good.

    But the pacing was all over the place. Not only in this episode, but in all episodes. Kind of seems like a missed opportunity to make a really memorable and excellent series.

    Well, I still like it.

  8. Greenie says:

    well it just had too many characters for it’s length, which fucked up the pace

    then again, after another 13 epis it might have gotten too dull

  9. Colonel Sanders says:

    My god psgels, why so many errors in your summaries?! Last week in FMA: Brotherhood, you said Pride died, when he clearly didn’t. Then this week, you say Drrr!! has an anime original ending when it was following the novels to the letter except for a few additional scenes. And now you say that Yurippe died when she’s obviously still around at the end of the episode! Not to mention all of the errors you’ve made in previous posts. Do you even bother to watch the entire episode of a series you follow? Or even to restrain yourself from making false assumptions on things you didn’t even bother to research?!

    …it just bugs me is all.

  10. psgels psgels says:

    Colonel: heh, be glad that you didn’t read my blog two or three years ago. You don’t want to know how many errors I made back then.

    The thing is, that I’m not someone who looks at other impressions of the same episodes before I write an entry about it. So because of that, some assumptions that I make turn out to be completely wrong because I a) haven’t read the original source material (and I refuse to spoil myself with it), b) I don’t look at next episode previews (and I refuse to spoil myself with it) or c) am just plain careless.

  11. Puran says:

    psgels, this time it wasn’t a preview though. There was an extra scene after the credits. The previews for angel beats are not spoilerific at all anyway (it’s just some text and some voices).

  12. Solaris says:

    uhm this anime shows potential but it has too little space for development. That’s all. They wasted so many good shows trying to stuff too much in a single season or two.

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:24 AM)
    I also find it easier to get an emotional response from a honest drama, live action film, largely due to the real people doing the acting. Sometimes you get an actor whose just that good too…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    I’ve gotten my odd emotional reaction here from anime and manga but a lot of the time it feels like the jump scare in a generic horror movie, I got shocked but I felt minipulated afterwards it wasn’t genuine, the same goes for some anime/manga drama when it takes a melodramatic turn instead of a bleak, honest one.

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