Category Archives: Angel Beats

Angel Beats Episode 2: A Descent into Awesome

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I really didn’t think Angel Beats could continue to impress me like this. I was willing to chalk up a good amount of my excitement about this show’s potential to the hype, a solid first episode, and some nice music. But this week PA Works and Jun Maeda just kept it coming and convinced me once again that there is no better show yet this season. If you couldn’t tell by my last post already, I was entranced right for the start by the opening sequence. The second I saw Tenshi’s fingers on the keys of a piano my first thought was simply “oh no you didn’t”! But yes Angel Beats, you did, and I absolutely love you for it, I am a sucker for showing off random and awesome talents in this fashion. In that first 1:30 of greatness an expressive Tenshi and the beautiful voice of Lia guided us through an excellent OP sequence that highlights Yuri and Tenshi in contrast, showed a series of clips to setupt the episode (a trend I hope continues), and gave us a view of the afterlife-world beautifully illuminated in golden lights. The song itself has a very emotional feel and combined with the on-screen expression during the performance helped create a subtle sense of desperation and yearning amongst the characters trapped in this eternal struggle. The closing seconds also gave us some symbolism (or perhaps foreshadowing) and we saw Tenshi live up to her name:

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It was beautifully executed and had me at the edge of my seat before the episode even began. It should be noted that Jun Maeda composed these works himself and deserves all the credit in the world. Episode 2 again saw the SSS led by Yuri undertake another critical mission, this time descending into the depths beneath the school to reach Guild, their source of weaponry and supplies. But path isn’t easy and Tenshi once again makes an appearance to put a halt to their plans. Let’s continue this review after the jump:

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Angel Beats Episode 1 Review: There’s an Angel but this ain’t Heaven…

So today begins my episode recap/review series of the much anticipated P.A. Works/Aniplex original production, Angel Beats. Beginning its run this past Saturday, Angel Beats will be a 13-episode show that is accompanied by a significant amount of alternative media goodies including several illustrated short stories and two manga series which we will eventually get around to reviewing. Many anime and visual novel fans will be very familiar with the story’s creator (Jun Maeda) and original character designer (Na-Ga) of associated Key fame stemming from such well known works as Kanon, Air, and Clannad (and in Na-Ga’s case definitely think Little-Busters).

You might ask why someone like me who has never experienced any Key works and has honestly only watched one Visual Novel anime adaptation (Higurashi) would be so interested. Well, lets just say I can’t help but be interested in shows that attempt to do novel things with somewhat stereotypical premises. Shows of this nature can often result in stunning success (for me So Ra No Wo To), or sometimes just straight up fails to deliver (think Dance of the Vampire Bund). In Angel Beats you have a show that is going for the big one by mixing it all together, just in the first episode you get almost equal doses of yet another high school setting, supernatural drama and mystery, action (Guns! Handsonics?), physical comedy, rock bands, and the yet another ahem, “different” interpretation of the afterlife. I have to admit that along with the premise the concept art and TV spot trailers suckered me in as well, you can find these here, here, and most poignantly here (pretty muzak in all these).

Well so far its lived up to the expectations I’ve had for it and now without further ado, lets get to the (Caution: spoiler heavy) fun after the jump…. Read the rest of this entry