Anime I Love – Angel Beats!

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Angel Beats! was the first anime I cried to. No, scratch that. It was the first anime that left me utterly emotionally devastated after finishing the final episode. There had been emotional anime before, plenty of them in fact, but none hit home as well as Angel Beats! did.

To me, it was such a strange and unexpected experience. This was the first time any sort of media had put me in such a miserable state. My tear ducts were overflowing and my face was covered in nothing but a liquid with a taste of salt. My body was warm – blazing hot, even – and I was all-around trembling as I did nothing but cry my heart out. As time slowly passed there was but a feeling of emptiness left inside.

This very sensation is what makes me remember Angel Beats!.

As a series, Angel Beats! is honestly all over the place. In only thirteen episodes we are greeted by a massive cast of characters – the majority remaining undeveloped – and drastic mood swings between comedy and drama.

Yet, this messy nature is precisely what I came to love.

There is no single part of Angel Beats! I actively dislike.

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The setting speaks to me as a thinker, as when writing the concept of afterlife is fascinating. It was always an idea I tried creating a story out of myself, yet never managed to. And the comedy, while consisting mainly of slapstick, always made me laugh as it happened when you least expected it (who would’ve thought of rocket chairs?). Not to mention the plot, rebelling against God, which is hilarious in itself and the execution even more so.

All in all, Angel Beats! had all the key components to please me. Its chaotic structure felt like a ride into the magical afterlife where anything could – and would – happen.

This also happened to be my first encounter with Jun Maeda, known from the visual novel company Key. Thanks to this everything felt fresh to me, as many Key-related anime series otherwise follow similar patterns.

Sitting down and listening to its music evokes the feelings I felt during the finale. It makes me melancholic, yet glad to have experienced this story. Angel Beats! is the anime that has made me cry like no anime ever has before.

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10 thoughts on “Anime I Love – Angel Beats!

  1. I will definitely have to check this one out to see if it has the same effect on me.

  2. Kate's Reviews says:

    I just started this anime yesterday! Can’t wait to watch the rest of the series!!!

  3. Silvachief says:

    Having watched Angel Beats! after experiencing other Key works, I can assure you that it was still pretty unique XD
    From an objective point of view Angel Beats! is a horribly rushed mix-up of a whole bunch of different ideas. However, it’s a series that I really love (especially those last episodes – I didn’t quite shed Manly Tears, but I was close) and no amount of criticism can change that. I’m really keen to give the visual novel a read when it’s finally released and translated (though let’s be honest, i’ll probably be dead by that point).
    As a side note, while I liked Kanade as a character overall, the way she acts at the end of the series really pisses me off.

    [Spoiler removed]

    • Marow says:

      I removed the slightly detailed spoiler for the sake of the others who will read this. I’m not sure I fully agree with it as I intepreted it differently, but let’s not have this discussion out in the open 😛

      Having watched Angel Beats! after experiencing other Key works, I can assure you that it was still pretty unique XD

      Haha, that is true. The only anime adaptation from Key visual novels I haven’t seen is Kanon, but that seems to be similar to Air or Clannad in many regards.

      I think what makes Angel Beats stand out is the setting. It works well with the more magical events found in other Key series.

      Regarding the upcoming visual novel… I’m quite interested in it! I wish Angel Beats was longer and it seems this visual novel may be able to do the things I wish the anime had. Hopefully it will be released in the near future.

  4. Angel Beats is a series I have a lot of love for as well, it was definitely pretty rushed and looking back there’s a lot more it could’ve done, but it was a series with a lot of heart and some powerful themes. The characters who actually displayed development had some pretty meaningful stories and the whole Angel Beats setup in particular is really intriguing. I can’t wait for the visual novel to come out, as I feel it could very well fix some of the pacing and development issues that the anime had as a one-cour series.

    • Marow says:

      Also really looking forward to the visual novel. I wonder when it will come out? Seems it will be split into multiple titles, which is a strange decision. Makes it seem as if Angel Beats VN will be huge!

  5. Anon says:

    Would recommend Haibane Renmei in a similar vein to Angel Beats.
    Haibane Renmei has a similar “afterlife” setting, less wacky hijinks, more quiet and contemplative, but more focused in its portrayal its themes of sin and friendship and redemption.
    If you’ve seen it already, I’d love to hear what you thought of it.

    • Marow says:

      I love Haibane Renmei! It’s also one of my favorites. The setting is great and I’m a fan of how it doesn’t give any conclusive answers to your questions. It’s been a long time since I watched it, but I remember not being as much of a fan of the second half. Not sure what I’d feel today.

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