Posted by psgels on 25 June 2010 with categories: Angel Beats

Well, what do you know? The creators actually did it. Talk about an awesome ending here, they really surprised me with the direction they went in, and yet it’s typical Key. It’s an episode that’s sentimental as heck, but it fits perfectly as an ending. It really shows that the creators were building up entirely for this episode, and had very much in mind how they wanted to end the series right from the start.

I really like how the creators used the time in which Yurippe was out cold in order to vanish all of the other characters: at this point, everyone has pretty much reached the point in which they fully understand the situation, and any sort of conflict is pretty much gone now. With this episode, we just have five characters remaining, mostly because Otonashi wanted Yurippe to have a smooth exit. It was far less dramatic than I expected, and I really want to thank the creators for that: Yurippe’s background was already way too angsty. Having her just accept the situation she’s in without trying to relate it back to that experience is a great way for her to go.

The entire first half was just one huge chunk of sentiment that worked surprisingly well. After everyone was gone except for Kanade and Otonashi however, the creators decided to pull THE final twist. Should’ve seen it coming, it was a bit cheesy, but who cares. It really fitted as a heart-warming climax to the series that was down to earth at the same time. As confusing as the series was, I love how this entire episode was so incredibly down to earth, without trying any twists beyond the mere necessary.

In fact, this entire season has excellent endings. I’ve yet to see one bad or disappointing ending out of all of the shows that have ended so far, and it really doesn’t look like there’s going to be any change in this considering the series that have yet to end. It’s definitely one of the pluses of the past spring season. The big minus of the spring season unfortunately was that there were just too many series that were too short. Really, Angel Beats should have been 26 episodes. I really believe that anime should find some sort of model again that would encourage for a bit more longer series. But that’s a topic that’s been beaten to death by now.

The only thing that I didn’t like about this episode was the epilogue. Really, that was just unnecessary and felt like it was tacked on at the very end by someone who didn’t know what he was talking about. The climax of the show ended really ambiguously: you really had no idea what happened to these people, and that really was left up to your imagination. That epilogue felt like “yeah they reincarnated and got back together, bye.”
Rating: *** (Awesome)

23 Responses

  1. Duo says:

    I cannot describe my feeling after finished watching it…u see…that’s a big plot hole if u thought about it: if Kanade was Otonashi’s heart receiver, she couldn’t be in the After Life School (ALS) long before Otonashi, could she? How could she be possibly died before Otonashi if she was gonna receive the heart from him?

    In the end, I can only assume in fact everyone in ALS were in coma since no one ever mentioned how did they die (except Hinata and Otonashi were pretty much gone)…hrm…so either in coma or died. and when they disappeared actually means they woke up or were reborn in the real world.

    And about the epilogue…it’s Key after all, and so miracle, miracle and miracle~

    I think this series really give people “hating or loving” impression since it made no sense from time to time and the plot is entirely out of expectation. I personally like this series for trying so many original ideas but I won’t recommend it to hardcore anime or non-Key fan as you will need a lot of imagination to catch the ending and a sense of reality just won’t do.

  2. Aldonaris. says:

    Awesome??? Pffffff !!
    Man, you smoke some quality herbs, don´t you ?

  3. Topspin says:

    I can see the appeal, but it was way too contrived for me. I couldn’t suspend my disbelief at all (and lord how I tried). I wanted to like it, but was just too cheesy for my tastes. I’m just too old and jaded, I guess. If it wasn’t one of the shows my roommates and I watched together this season, I’d have rather watched Rainbow.

    For a series about a girl wanting to thank her deceased organ donor, it really went on some wild and pointless tangents. I could have enjoyed it as a one-shot manga/OVA, but this was just over-extended beyond the breaking point.

    I honestly couldn’t care less about the characters, except perhaps Otonashi (because he had some character development, albeit over-engineered). I felt like I was just “supposed to care” about things if given some dramatic effects and music. I’m too jaded for that.

  4. goldconker says:

    The only thing we can make out from the heart donor situation is that either:

    1. People might not show up in the Angel Beats! world immediately.
    2. Time in the Angel Beats! world isn’t linked to real world time.

    Angel Beats! has been a wild and entertaining ride (and the soundtrack was amazing). The last couple episodes were a bit of a mess though. I feel like the shadows were just thrown in as a contrived way to get rid of everyone. I think it really could have benefited from more episodes to flesh things out, especially the pattern of every episode getting a new villain and then the series going in a different direction.

    I’m really hoping for either a second season or OVAs to animate Track Zero, or a 22-26 episode remake of the series.

    I liked the ending a lot although there were still a lot of loose ends I would have liked to see tied up. Also, if they were going to do the reincarnation with future meeting ending, I wanted to see shots of how the main characters of the SSS were doing, not an uncertain flash of just Otonashi and Kanade.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget, Otonashi is a bug. A bug does not conform to normal expectations (its a bug).

    So the time difference may simply be the effect of the bug

  6. sliver says:

    Personally, I liked the epilogue. I was sort of confused at the point where Kanade disappears as it was like, “So does Otonashi disappear or not?” Sure, with the ambiguous ending, that could leave an opening for a sequel but I like how they just tie that up.

  7. Puran says:

    I was a bit disappointed they didn’t bother to explain anything about what that place was. I can understand a vague afterlife concept where souls are in limbo, but what were all those computer-related things for? I guess it’s besides the point, but I was intrigued by those, let’s say sci-fi, elements and was disappointed we didn’t get any closure for those things.

    Were they just a stylistic choice and that’s it? Could they have been replaced by say afterlife-magic with spells and such and nothing would be different?

  8. Bruce says:

    Without the epilogue, though, the series would have ended on such a somber note, and I think that would have completely undone the series’ entire message.

    I agree that its sorta annoying though.

  9. Inu says:

    I personally liked the ending, it may not have tied everything into one conclusive knot but it closed the series and definitely did not leave Otonashi behind so they could do a prequels.

    I don’t think AB should have or could have explained about its world though. Everything was ambiguous and really, it’s god’s little sandbox, the thinking is left to whoever playing with it.

    The Angel Software does feel like a plot device to make things interesting though.

  10. Watcherzero says:

    Its a world that could be reused, though I think a remake would have a hard time living upto the production values of this.

    yeah they went for the Lost ending, an afterlife outside time, but you could tell that by the hinting yurippe had been there for decades if not a century or more but there was no differing temporal origin of the charachters.

    Overall I will remember this series for its charachter designs, amazing music and to a lesser degree imaginative setting, if not for its individual episodes.

  11. Rick says:

    Actually it’s stated in a earlier episode that Otonashi wandered around in a amnesiac state before wandering into that world Yurippe was in.

    For all we know, he coulda been a npc that suddenly changed ala Stalker lover black haired dude.

    Look at Riverworld.. It doesn’t matter when you die, sometimes you can appear the same time as someone who died years earlier or later.

    Whose to say Otonashi isn’t the original designer who went mad? Maybe he wanted to see his sister again in this afterlife world.

    In fact, I think Otonashi was the one who made that place and after going mad, just wandered around amnesiac. I think Otonashi woulda given anything to have his sister back.

    Then finally he decides to pass on because nothing is left. No Kanade and thus we have the

    Lots of stories have love bypassing time and space.

  12. 109 says:

    I completely agree about that last scene. For me, the point where everything all comes together is after Kanade disappears, and I’m just wondering whether Otonashi disappears or stays. Then that gorgeous closing song, and all the characters, I was repeating each one’s name to myself as they vanished from the closing sequence, until at last there was Otonashi left with that amazing song still playing, and I was hoping to myself that he’d vanish and not be left behind. When he vanished, I understood that he’d left that world, and I was content. So what was that extra scene doing at the end? It made the emotional impact of the ending a little less powerful for me.

  13. m says:

    The progression of time doesn’t have to be parallel between the worlds, and there’s no telling where Otonashi was before he arrived there anyway. If you open the door for magic, be prepared for things to break your intuition. Just think of all of the crazy things religions accumulate.

    I would also resist accepting anything the characters tell you about the reality they exist in as canon, for the same reason you wouldn’t use random people on the street to learn physics. They don’t know. So when they claim that they’re mistakes, that other characters have been lost forever, this-or-that person is an agent of god, or that the world works in this-or-that way, just take that as their understanding of the situation, subject to change at any time.

    The stuff in the world they exist in comes from the minds of the people that arrive there. The computers, the guns, and maybe even the setting of the high school can be seen as ideas that the dead brought with them from the lives they lived. They accept it because it meets their expectations. Maybe with the right frame of mind and conviction they would have flying saucers and yeti roaming about.

    I thought the epilogue was alright. It was also nice to see Kanade appear with the group in the ending too. I don’t need to bring my own interpretation of where they end up, so if the author offers something up I’ll take it. For a vaguer setting there’s always Haibane Renmei.

  14. Mizst says:

    IMO, the extra scene at the end is important to signify that this is not only the end, but also a new beginning. If the anime ended with only Otonashi disappearing in the ED, it’d feel too much like everything ended. The author wanted to convey this “new beginning” feeling, hence the extra scene. This was the point that, IMO, got lost in Haibane Renmei, and this anime tried to do something about it.

  15. hai says:

    I just didn’t like how Otonashi confessed to Kanade :/ It just felt so out of place and kind of crack. Had their relationship been more developed, I would have been fine with the ending but I was seriously surprised when Otonashi confessed. I would have liked the ending so much more had they just exchanged words, revealed Kanade’s story, and just both disappeared as friends.

    In my opinion, the epilogue was very unnecessary. Sure, the episode ended on a rather bitter note but the ending song (which shows Otonashi disappearing) symbolizes that he probably left after understanding that his old body was really able to help someone live.

    I really just can’t get over how that love for Kanade popped out of nowhere =___= I didn’t think Angel Beats! would do any major coupling and if they did, it would’ve been between Otonashi and Yuri (Hinata and Yui had a cute thing too, but it was also kind of crack).

    In short, this series was pretty great. It felt rushed towards the end with Naoi suddenly appearing and with the computer virus things eating the characters but it was original and had an ending that tied the story together (I really like how they use the pasts and tie it back into the story, not just ‘I have a tragic/angsty past woe is me’) It could have been much better had the series been longer and better thought out but meh, I’m satisfied, I guess.

  16. m says:

    Yuzuru’s interest in Kanade is pretty obvious, it just takes different forms at different points. In the beginning he is intrigued by her, and while everyone else is contemplating how to defeat Tenshi he’s usually staring at her, and looking to understand her. His interest here is superficial, like most romantic interests begin.
    After they knock Kanade from her position as student council president and he inadvertently steals her spicy tofu ticket, Yuzuru’s interest in Kanade moves toward the sympathetic. He realizes that they have isolated her, and even though she’s supposed to be their enemy, his empathy leads him to try to get closer to her and become her friend.
    After he tries to get her into his group of friends and she’s overtaken by Yuri’s bungling, he’s the one holding her in his arms calling her name. He then proceeds to wait by her side in the infirmary. He’s clearly quite interested in her by now.
    After she wakes up they begin to scheme of ways to help others let go of their regrets. He realizes that she’s human and they spend time together. As normal a bonding experience as one can expect in the world they’re in.
    Even Hinata knows that Yuzuru likes Kanade, which you can see when they’re talking about which of them will leave first.
    In the end, Yuzuru’s confession could be seen either as him being honest with his feelings that he’s been harboring or a last attachment to cling to his past life. I think it was obvious that it was the former, because I think they’ve been hinting at his interest in her from the start. The epilogue leaves out the ambiguity.

    There are a few issues people have with story relationships. One, people tend to expect unrealistic levels of romance in fiction, making love some kind of weird superlative. Two, people–shippers especially–will deny relationships they just don’t like. You could see this in Toradora, for example, when people were like, “OMG, where did this relationship between Ryuuji and Taiga come from?” Sometimes a story will keep relationships really ambiguous to milk franchise for a long time, but other times the hints are pretty much clubbing you in the face.
    In Angel Beats!, where everything transpires at too quick a pace, the sort of hard-earned love of Tomoya for Nagisa just can’t fit.

    For what it’s worth I thought the Yui and Hinata relationship was pretty obviously telegraphed as well. It was the typical “you get along so well” relationship between anime male/female pairs that fight. Think Keitaro/Naru from Love Hina.

  17. Fiep says:

    Tenshi hiding behind Yuri was too cute :-(

    But Id still have liked to hear more about this world though, especially some character backgrounds.

  18. Rachel says:

    I cried during the graduation ceremony and straight-up bawled my eyes out at the conclusion…and I honestly don’t remember the last time I was that emotionally attached to the characters in an anime. Angel Beats is amazing.

  19. Michael says:


    I disagree with you about Haibane Renmei, but agree with you about Angel Beats. Angel Beats simply could not have ended on a horribly depressing note, it wouldn’t fit the hopeful and more comedic tone of the series.

    Haibane was never comedic. It was more contemplative throughout. Furthermore, Haibane was showing much more of an existential crisis than Angel Beats. In Angel, the characters are effectively grounded. Though the don’t know why they are there, they still have their memories and know that they died in a previous life and regret their past lives. The kids in Angel are dealing with a known quantity, though certainly an emotional one. In Haibane, people are a lot less knowledgeable about WHY they are there, which leads to a completely different show.

    Without spoiling the anime too much, Angel Beats is focused on accepting the past life, whereas Haibane is focused on accepting the PRESENT life and the future (if there is even one). Those are two VERY different things. And for the themes and questions Haibane is entertaining (fundamentally much more theological and intellectual than Angel Beats), I think Haibane’s ending is quite acceptable and poetic and really advances the main themes and motifs of the series.

  20. Mizst says:


    I have pretty much the same thoughts about Haibane Renmei. The only point I was trying to say is that Haibane does not portray any “new beginning” feeling. So when those birds go up that altar, I got the feeling that they’re “leaving the paradise” whereas in Angel Beats when someone found peace I got the feeling that they’re “leaving the limbo to find a new life”. Haibane consistently portrays flying into the sky as imminent and desirable, just like finding peace in Angel Beats, but does not really come around to portraying that it’s actually good for them, whereas in Angel Beats they did. That’s what I mean by the point getting omitted.

    IMO this doesn’t have anything to do with being comedic or philosophical, and Angel Beats also has its fair share of existential crisis. The characters were asking themselves the whole time: why was I born if I had to go through that miserable life and died accomplishing nothing?

    And I’m not saying this is bad for either story. I was just saying that Angel Beats was avoiding Haibane’s version of the ending, thus they have what you see in ep 13 (since somebody else was complaining about it).

  21. Ming says:

    I think the whole timeline of the world isn’t what we think it is…we don’t really know when or how long it takes for a person to enter after their death. Also, from how the ending turned out, doesn’t it feel like Otonashi was the programmer of Angel Player and inventor of the Kage’s? He was a bug, he lost his love, and he was left in that world…maybe. Considering the NPC returned to PCs as Yurippe said, the programmer turned himself into a NPC, and with his feeling he got his humanity back, which made him Otonashi again.

  22. elle says:

    honestly one of the main reasons why i started watching Angel Beats was because of you! i really wanted to see what all the fuss was about and i’m so glad i thank you for that. i completely agree with you on the ending…it was so rushed and i felt it ended too abruptly. thank you though, for introducing me to this anime :) it’s by far one of my favorites despite the rushed ending ^_^

  23. amy says:

    i didnt really like the epilogue. it was kinda awkward…like i was bawling at the end since i was like they might never meet each other again..and then the epilogue comes along and im like “…ok…yeahh…” it completely ruined the mood. they shouldve left it to the viewer’s imagination

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Oct 7. 2015 04:45 PM)
    If sakurako-san disappoints I am ignoring everything modern that is based on a light novel from now on. I’ve been hit by these adaptations far too often.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Oct 7. 2015 02:43 PM)
    ….Dear God…I have no words in which to describe hidan no aria AA, no words. The original I could take the piss out of. But this is a new low standard set for the light novel medium.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 09:02 PM)
    One-Punch Man’s pilot was almost adapted flawlessly. It straight up uses the manga panels as it’s main storyboard, but added just enough new touches to improve the action instead of ruining it. Now let’s see how they animate the mosquitos and all the lasers for the next episode.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 08:57 PM)
    And that’s why Madhouse is one of the few respectable studios left. I thought that they will be seriously diminished after Masao Maruyama took some of its key members and funded MAPPA, but One-Punch Man showed that they are still one of the best in the business.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 08:51 PM)
    @Kaiser The anime industry isn’t advanced enough in CG to make it look good, is all it is.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 05:51 PM)
    @K-off: Your not wrong, it certainly looks poor but some of the old gonzo animated stuff was far more woeful looking. Stellvia, which was done by xebec was another example of old anime cgi which was quite ugly to look at. Just as I prefer traditional effects in film I also prefer traditional animation techniques to cg.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 05:42 PM)
    Lately, the use of badly integrated cgi have been making my eyes sore,from the obviously cgi background characters in Asterisk to the overly fluid mech movements in Aldnoah. I still remember the shitty cgi piano hands in Kimi no Uso.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 12:04 AM)
    On the note of good balance between humor and drama- I think BoJack Horseman is an example of a show that executed that almost perfectly in both seasons. You are laughing one minute and amused by the hijinks and silliness and the next minute you are actually moved and shocked by the honest introspection. Too be honest BoJack is more a tragic character then a goofy one, and his struggles are deeper and more existential than they have any business being in a show with anthropomorphic animals.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:56 PM)
    The changes in the setting actually made me more excited for season 3 then what I felt the past few weeks, since now the plot needs to move forward from the cliffhanger and hopefully this translates to more cohesion and refocusing on what mad the show great in the first place. I’m pretty sure S3 will also be a blend of episodic and arch story elements tho. Overall a few ups and downs but still a great show.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:52 PM)
    The finale also had some of the most overall arch story elements featured in the season. Earth joining the Galactic Federation is a big deal story-wise from now on. Also the use of a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” (not the Nine Inch Nails one clearly) was a nice fitting yet surprising touch. The throwback to Mr. PB after the credits was a good idea, but felt flat in it’s actual execution.

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