Saturday, June 26, 2010

Angel Beats - 13

Overall, good series, but a few really poor plot points and pretty disappointing ending. Needless to say, spoilers abound.


We end with everyone getting ready to move on. As it seems, the rest of the gang has already moved on, leaving only Naoi, Hinata, Yuri, Kanade, and Otonashi. They plan to hold a fake graduation ceremony before they all leave, complete with a song about Mapo tofu from Kanade. After Naoi, Yuri and Hinata leave in that order, Otonashi asks Kanade to stay with him and help all the future souls who get lost. Kanade can't answer, because she knows if she does, she will leave.

As it turns out, Otonashi's donations did reach people. Kanade got his heart and was able to live longer. When she died, she was so overcome by grief that she could never thank her savior she came to the school. It was realized when she first stabbed him noticing no heart, and was the key to unlocking his memories. Now as she is able to say her thanks, she gets ready to disappear. Despite Otonashi saying he loves her, she moves on. Later we see a reincarnated Kanade and Otonashi walk past each other, and he turns around to meet her.


Well, the end is here, and a lot of questions were answered, and more were wasted. First off... i was wrong. It turns out that the programmer never was Kanade. So that means the question of who the programmer is, why Kanade had angel player, all of it, is left. Also with that, the whole shadow arc becomes useless and a waste of time. I already wasn't too thrilled with the arc, but at least i thought it would be plot important later, which it wasn't.

If the shadow arc never existed, this would have been a great ending. It was very touching and very sweet. It also explains the title as "angel beats" is literally the beating of Otonashi's heart inside Kanade "the angel". A lot of people have complained that characters were changed too much this episode, but you have to realize that the situation is now different. Kanade is finally able to do the one thing she never could, and is her last chance to speak to him. Yuri no longer needs to fight, and can be more relaxed.

Perhaps its a culture thing, but i didn't get the whole graduation scene. It just seemed to eat up precious time. Speaking of timing, while i have already bashed it to death, the whole making everyone move on off screen just seemed too cheap. We also never got any background about any of the SSS members. While yes this is a mixed media series, and you are suppose to read the manga and light novel to understand it all, it just seemed bad to not mention anything about them. Again, i blame whoever plotted this to be a 13 episode series. Also, i know its a minor thing, but Yuri disappearing before Hinata felt weird to me.

Overall series review, awesome, but way too short. There was no way this could be finished in 13 eps in a satisfying manner, so the pacing was a mess. Aside from that, the shadow arc and Naoi arc were pretty poor in my opinion. But it is still a great show. As Divine put it, people haven't given this series enough credit for working within pretty unreasonable constrains as well as many who simply bash this for being popular and a Key work.. While the director isn't completely off the hook knowing the series cannot all fit in, he did a great job. The sound track for this was also amazing.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Angel Beats - 12

Things are starting to wrap up, and only one episode left. Beware tons of spoilers in both story and reaction sections.

We have Yuri chasing down the shadows into guild where Yuri suspects that the culprit is hiding. Meanwhile Seeing their band is gone, the remaining of GirlsDeMo move on. They decided they had tons of fun, and move on. Meanwhile the rest of the gang is still here, to see Yuri through, including a rather assertive Oyama on sniper, dual wielding maniac TK, and slimmed Matsushita who has been training alone this whole time. When Shiina arrives, Otonashi, Hinata, and Naoi decide to make a run for Yuri.

Yuri isn't hold too well on her own. She runs into the older guy who has been taking care of Guild the whole time. After passing on his weapon, he moves on as well. She is almost taken in by the shadows. She awakes as a student in a calm perfect world. But Yuri decides she can't live in that world after what her siblings went through. Eventually Otonashi, Hinata and Naoi, now joined by Kanade pull her free. Yuri makes it all the way to a big room full of computers. A mysterious new man is standing there.

He reveals hes not a human, or an NPC, but a program similar to Angel Player that Kanade uses. His original program had fallen in love but his love had moved on before he could. Alone, he made the shadows to turn him into a NPC since without his love he could never move on, and if by some slim chance, they meet again in this life, he can move on. Yuri rejects that thinking, and even the chance to take control of Angel Player and become a god, and shoots down all the computers.

She briefly sees her siblings, who tell her not to fight anymore and thank her for all she has done for them.


Once again, the predominate problem of the show arises. With nobody gone they are forced to wrap up everything in one or two episodes. With two episodes left, expect an unsatisfying ending. None of the back story is revealed about most of the characters. The whole sneaky disappearing thing started, and ended in one episode.

About the whole nature of the shadows, its seems kinda weak. I mean they attacked indiscriminately and after no real sense of lost love occurred. The best guess is them reacting to Hinata losing Yui, but still Hinata had a positive attitude and confidence they would meet again. He definitely didn't see being turned into a NPC a helpful matter. Not to mention that when the three were together the shadows went for Naoi first. And why didn't they attack Axe guy forever ago who obviously has a huge crush on Yuri? Quite a few holes there.

I'm actually pretty ashamed i didnt realize this before, but its a pretty good guess that the programmer is Kanade. It would explain why she hasn't moved on, why she uses Angel Player, and so on. Guess what threw everyone off is the use of masculine pronouns. It would also explain her semi-aware state. It may also play into my "God is perfect" theory. Otonashi, the only one to have misfortune by god, is sent there to help Kanade, and therefore not punishing him at all, but trying to see the overall better good in helping Kanade but killing him early. They also brought up the idea of becoming the god of the world again. Its interesting they still won't say weather god really exist or not. In one sense the world is so malleable. People can take control, and become or do whatever they wish, but at the same time, no one seems to really be able to DO it. they talk alot about it, but no one really has.

Bonus points to Key for not pulling the cheap coma cop out. Expect mass passing next episode with Otonashi as the "class president".
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Angel Beats - 11


Otonashi meets up with Hinata who wants to proceed with their next plan. They are interrupted by Naoi who found out about the plan and also wants to help. However soon Naoi is attacked by a mysterious shadow who they almost cannot fight off. Meanwhile Yuri, also trying to find out about the shadows, interrogates Kanade, thinking it was a new program or a bug. After clearing that she could not be responsible, they almost blow their cover, but are interrupted by more shadows. The entire gang, plus Kanade, fight off the shadows. They win, but the shadows got Takeyama. They find him the next day, but he has turned into a NPC. One without a soul. Destined to take classes forever. Soon Yuri holds a meeting of all the gang members and tells them about the shadows. She calls Otonashi to tell them about his plan as it could save them from a worse fate. Otonashi gives a speech about how they should let go of their regrets and move on, but we the audience don't get to hear it. The students at first immediately reject Otonashi, but Hinata and Naoi give rousing speeches about how Yui, and Naoi himself, achieved something much greater than fighting endlessly. Yuri sends them all off to decide what they will do. Yuri decides to go and find out whats going on by herself, despite Otonashi and Hinata's pleading. A short Montage of the gang relaxing and contemplating their choice. Meanwhile Yuri goes to the computer lab, and someone has been stealing the school computers. She finds the trap door, leading back to Guild.


Well, i already mentioned last week i wasn't surprised that Naoi would join their plan. What surprised me was how easy going Yuri was about the whole thing. Instead of being angry or hurt, she was understanding. It really shows a lot about her character. She never wanted to place anyone in harms way, or take away their choice. Given their latest enemy, she realizes that its no longer just fun and games to fight god. Its also weird to see Hinata, sorta kinda slightly flirt with Yuri, after his whole confession thing with Yui. But to be honest, according to the source material light novel, they have been fighting since the beginning. Also interesting to see Otonashi be surprised that Kanade isn't an angel.

At this point, i have no guesses as to whats going to happen next, but i still don't see how they'll wrap this up with 2 eps left.

A small side note, Naoi was amazingly funny this ep, trying to hide Kanade's involvement in amazingly ridiculous ways. Overall, his character is fun, but after how he is introduced, i still would love nothing more than him strung by his tonsils. If he was a little less total bastardish, and wasn't saved by a care-bear stare/hug of love/magic plot token, he would have been a decent character.
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Sunday, June 6, 2010

angel beats - 10

This one is going to be quick, because i've had a very busy week, even though the episode was jam packed.

We have Otonashi and Kanade planing to start letting the gang move on. Otonashi decides on Yui because she already seemed happy. After failing, and then succeeding to lure her out by stealing her guitar, Otonashi gets to talk with her one on one. Yui reveals she wishes she was able to preform a german suplex. After a lot of hard training, and a lot of pain on Otonashi's part, they manage to pull it off. Its also revealed the reason Yui is so energetic and has so many outlandish dreams is because she was bedridden after being paralyzed in a car accident. Yui's next dream is to take on 5-1 in a soccer game. After a little help from Kanade, Otonashi and Yui manage to pull it off. Her next dream was to hit a home run. After a long while, and a lot of training, she still doesn't manage to make it. She decides to call it quits, and acknowledges that training so hard was good enough, considering her want to just be able to do it. She then reveals the last thing she wanted in life, marriage. She couldn't be a housewife, or even take care of herself. There is no way she thinks anyone could marry her. Fortunately Hinata comes and agrees to marry her, With an absolute beautiful speech on how he would love her no matter what, and how they would meet and live their life if they did, is actually very touching. After that, Yui disappears. Hinata vows to help Otonashi with his plan.

This episode once again shows just how overambitious Angel beats got with its plot. Three episodes left, and almost the entire cast left. It will really be a miracle if they can pull off a conclusive ending with the time left.

Onto the actual episode, At first, i was also a little disappointed they went after Yui, after giving Hinata so much attention and also sending him. (the whole thing about regret holding you back is very FFXish) But by the end of the episode, it kinda became obvious why. It would be hard for Otonashi and Kanade to continue on their own. And beside maybe Naoi, i don't see anyone else helping Otonashi in his quest. That brings me to my next point, with Naoi back to VP thinking Kanade is their enemy, what role will he play?

The whole ending with Yui and Hinata was quite beautiful, if a bit rushed. Again, i blame the idiot who made this a 13 ep series. The whole thing with Yui being overambitious, and hyper energetic because she was paralyzed in life actually make a lot of sense.

A little more on the nature of being sent. It feels more and more likely that the cast isn't fully aware of their own desires. For instance, i don't see them repeating the baseball game to send Hinata, but maybe he really just wanted to be relied on, something he failed his team but can help with Yuri's. Otonashi felt cheated with his death, but maybe he just wanted to help those others abandoned, like his sister or those bus passengers. OR as he states, he can't watch Yuri suffer fighting this endless battle, and Kanade, unable to move on for being a perfect student. Yui wanted marriage, but maybe she just wanted to be accepted, no matter who she was/ what she could do. This is all my own speculation but thats my guess.

A popular theory is that they are not dead, but instead all in some sort of coma or something. While its a plausible theory, its not really that innovative, or interesting. It seems like those type of twist people use for the sake of having a twist, like OMG they aren't dead at all! Also it wouldn't really change the course of the story very much. I would actually prefer them to play it straight and have them really dead, maybe it would catch more people off guard than the twist.

Another point i wanted to make was, with the exception of Otonashi, nobody died, or had a poor life due to acts of god. They were always human mistakes. For instance, robbers in Yuri's case, a car accident in Hinata's case (or the drugs that ruined his life, the car crash is confirmed in the light novel), or car crash for Yui. Only otonashi was hurt by god, aka the snow storm that ruined his train, or the illness that took his sister. I don't know if this is the directors way at saying god is fair and just, and it is human kind who is wrong or cause our own unhappiness... or the much likelier option i am reading way too much into this :D
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

angel beats - 9


We find out that after the battle with the Tenshis, the group finds her unconscious and brings her to the infirmary. The group wonders what type of person Kanade will be now, friendly or agressive.

While watching over her, Otonashi starts to remember more of his past. As it turns out he didn't die immediately in the crash. instead, the finds and helps all the survivors of the crash. However with all the exits blocked, they can only sit and wait to be rescued. Despite being injured himself, he tries to save everyone including a man who was badly injured. Looking at the food and water supply, they determine they cannot last long. One guy tries to steal the water, thinking its hopeless to wait and only for everyone to look out for themselves. The rest are after his blood after he spills a bottle of water. Otonashi calms everyone by saying that he will forgo his share for the split water. Otonashi's new friend helps by slitting his supply with him. after seven days Otonashi knows he cannot hold on, and asks for a pen. he signs an organ donation card, before dying. Everyone else follows. As luck would have it, right after he signs the card, rescue arrives.

Back at the infirmary, Kanade has woken up, defeating her other selves. She tells him she made it her job to help people feel at rest with their life, and move on. Realizing as bad as his life was, he was able to save a life by donating an organ, and inspired others to as well. However, he still hadn't disappeared, and realized more than anything he wanted to let Yuri stop fighting, along with the rest of the gang. He notes that if Kanade had been better at talking to people, maybe Yuri wouldn't have fought so hard.

He hatches a plan to make Kanade pretend she forgot all about being their friend, as if she never lost her position. The teachers find out about the cheating and reinstate her as president. He uses her as a distraction so he can go and find out about their lives, and let them move on.


Wow... i gotta say as sad as Yuri's life was, Otonashi might have been just as bad. Dying right before help arrived. Notice how, while everyone was weak, Otonashi and his friend look to be in the worst shape, probably from splitting the water. That means the guy who tried to steal it might have killed him. Its really gotta suck. On the other hand, we still don't know why Kanade hasn't moved on, but im guessing she will before the end of the series. I dont like the whole sneaking plan. I have a feeling it will be revealed and nobody will understand or forgive him, but we'll see.
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