Angel Beats! is a Light Novel, Anime, and Manga series by Key Visual Arts. It was conceived by Jun Maeda, author of the manga Hibiki no Mahou.Otonashi wakes up suddenly to find that he can't remember anything, not even his full name. Before he even has time to get his bearings, a purple-haired girl with a sniper rifle informs him that he is dead and asks him to join her rebellion against God... God is nowhere to be seen, however.The world they are in seems like an enormous Japanese boarding school populated by soulless, though realistic and harmless, NPCs who act like ordinary students and faculty. The only apparent enemy of the self-named Shinda Sekai Sensen (Afterlife Battlefront) is the student council president, a short, white-haired girl they call Tenshi (Angel), who wields supernatural powers in an effort to force the SSS to behave like the normal students. Every real person who has submitted to this behavior has disappeared forever, so the SSS members are understandably unwilling. The Angel Beats! anime is the story of Otonashi's time in this strange afterlife, as he learns about his situation, interacts with the others in the SSS and Tenshi, waits to regain his memories, and decides what to do after he does.The Light Novel and manga serve as a prequel to the anime, following the character Hinata and detailing the formation of the SSS.The light novel, Angel Beats! Track Zero, was the first adaptation to see publication in November 2009, spanning seven chapters and one special until its completion in May 2010. The series was authored by Jun Maeda and illustrated by GotoP, and published by ASCII Media Works in Dengeki G's Magazine.A Yonkoma manga quickly followed the light novel, under the title Angel Beats! The 4-koma, first published in December 2009. Also authored by Jun Maeda and illustrated by Haruka Komowata, the manga was again published by ASCII Media Works in Dengeki G's Magazine. The manga is currently ongoing.A Thirteen Episode Anime installment of the work, simply named Angel Beats! and again written by Jun Maeda and directed by Seiji Kishi for studio P.A. Works, aired in the spring of 2010. Included with the 7th and final BD/DVD volume were an OVA called Stairway to Heaven and a short alternate ending called Another Epilogue.Finally, a second manga was published, adapting and continuing the story of Track Zero. This manga, Angel Beats! Heaven's Door, is again written by Jun Maeda, illustrated by Yuriko Asami, and once again published by ASCII Media Works in Dengeki G's Magazine. First seeing publication in May 2010, this manga series is also ongoing.A Visual Novel has been announced to be greenlit. So far it's been told that it will feature more of the Angel Beats! universe that couldn't be crammed into the anime and/or light novel. The Visual Novel is confirmed to have 6 volumes, with its first volume titled Angel Beats! 1st beat and set to be released in Q2 2014 for Windows PC. The first volume will cover up to the tenth episode of the anime as well as Yui's, Iwasawa's, and Matsushita's routes with Otonashi as the main protagonist, and the subsequent volumes will cover the rest of the character routes.The TV series is licensed by Sentai Filmworks, the founders of ADV Films, for the North American release. No surprise, considering that they've picked upmany Key titlesin the past. The series is released with an English dub with the first episodes being shown at Anime Boston. The English dub was released on DVD in July, 2011. Can be viewed on the Anime Network and Crunchyroll.For any character-related tropes, please see the characters page
Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Angel believes that this is what happens to people when they disappear, but she won't force them into it. In episode 9, Otonashi comes to believe this as well and is determined to save the rest of SSS.
Awesome, but Impractical: Angel's Hand Sonic Version 4 is a blade in the shape of a giant lotus flower. It is only ever used once, for a purpose she probably had not intended it for.
Break the Cutie: It seems that any cutie out there has been/will be broken by the end of the series.
Yuri had her siblings killed in front of her by robbers when she was a kid. The worst part: it was Yuri's "fault" that they died because she couldn't find money in the house to give to the robbers. They probably would've killed them all regardless, but that doesn't really help Yuri's feelings of guilt.
Iwasawa had an abusive Dad and generally a broken household. She found her savior in music, but that was taken away from her when her Dad hit her causing her to lose her voice and ability to play first, then die.
Angel has a lesser example but her rank as Student Council President was taken away, the teachers and students have lost all respect for her, and her comfort food was taken away from her all because of the SSS's actions. It's also sad when you realize that Angel is a human like the rest of SSS and was just trying to fulfill her duties as Student Council President. Her reputation and life in the afterlife are ruined because she was trying to play by the rules.
Not that her past life as the Ill Girl Kanade Tachibana was much better.
What about Yui? In her past life, she was completely paralyzed and unable to do the cool things she saw on TV, hence her boundless energy.
Anyone who qualifies as a cutie in the SSS counts, given that an unhappy life is a prerequisite to arrive in this afterlife.
Breather Episode: Episode 4 is rather lighthearted compared to the drama-filled episode 3. Episode 8 piles on the Black Comedy just before episode 9 shows us how Otonashi actually died.
Butt Monkey: Most of the SSS members take turns at the role, but Hinata by far is the most memorable.
Call Back: In the manga, Hisako reveals her regret when alive was being unable to prevent her band's lead singer from committing suicide. Both Iwasawa and Yui disappear in episodes 3 and 10, respectively.
When an NPC in the second computer room tells Yuri they have all the time in the world, Yuri tells the NPC that human beings won't even wait ten minutes.
Chekhov's Gun: Kanade stabbing Otonashi in the 'heart' in Episode 1, combined with her hospitalisation in Episode 9. The relevance of these doesn't become clear until 5 minutes before the end of the final episode.
Not to mention the heartbeat monitor on the eyecatch.
Chekhov's Gunman: Angel's eyes turn red when she activates Harmonics and makes mincemeat of Monster Stream. Blink and you'll miss it. By the end of the episode, a red-eyed, hostile Angel appears.
Clean Pretty Reliable: Mostly Averted though the part of the trope where the person doing the CPR, in this case Otonashi, gives up before an ambulance can get to the scene is probably Justifiedwhat with Otonashi himself suffering from the massive internal bleeding that would eventually kill him at the time. Combined with the fact that rescue crews wouldn't show up for several days yet.
Cloning Blues: In episode 7, an alternate Tenshi appears due to Harmonics. But that Tenshi can clone itself, and so on and so forth.
Crazy-Prepared: In episode 6 Yuri hands Otonashi a Walkie-Talkie in the beginning of the episode figuring if things went to hell she could contact Otonashi, who would be near Angel, and get him to ask Angel for help. Guess how things went. Guess who Otonashi happened to be sitting next to.
Crossdresser: If you consider the conformists' uniforms, you'll realize the SSS boys are wearing modified girls' uniforms (designed to not look like this trope).
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: The entire SSS - the frequency of idiots in the group seems to be directly proportional to the amount of asskicking they're capable of.
Curse Cut Short: In the dub of Episode 1, Otonashi does this after he wakes up in a pool of his own blood, completely unharmed, for the second time that episode. He gets as far as "What the f..." before interrupting himself with another line of thought.
Angel is described as having this weakness as well. In the OVA, she abandons a Student Council meeting to question the SSS, who are causing a ruckus, and gets sidetracked by harvesting some "cute turnips".
This gets especially jarring in Episode 2, where after the rest of the SSS has been killed off in a various of manners played for laughs, Yuri tells Otonashi about how her three siblings were killed by robbers, and this time no one's laughing.
Declaration of Protection: Played straight when Hinata promised Yuri to protect her no matter what and does so in the light novel. Seemingly subverted in the beginning when Yuri tells him she's already dead.
Deflector Shields: Angel has her own personal one capable of deflecting bulletspretty much any kind of projectile, including grenades.
Determinator: The traps on the road to Guild, which took out all but two of the SSS, will only slow down Angel. Taken Up to Eleven when it's revealed that she's not any kind of divinely-powered superbeing, but an ordinary (if dead) high school girl.
Died Happily Ever After: The entire point of the Afterlife world actually. People disapear and seemingly reincarnate when they have accomplished all they couldn't do in their life and are finally at peace.
Disney Death: Yuri is caught by the shadows in episode 12 but unlike Takamatsu barely escapes with her soul.
Episode 13 reveals that Takamatsu was able to break free like Yuri did, eventually.
Doing in the Wizard : Episode 3 implies that there may be nothing divine or supernatural (at least compared to the SSS) about Angel at all. This is confirmed in episode 11, raising the issue of whether God really exists or not.
Driven to Madness: Yuri's "penalties" are said to have this effect on people, though she denies haven ever given any that bad.
Dwindling Party: Sort of, considering how more and more characters disappear.
Early-Bird Cameo: Yui can be seen in episode 1, trying to take pictures of Girls Dead Monster before their Operation Tornado performance. She is not named or introduced until episode 3.
Easy Logistics: It turns out people in the afterlife can literally create any item they can think of out of dirt if they can remember it well enough. With this ability, SSS was able to create a massive underground factory to manufacture their weapons and ammunition.
Hilariously subverted when they try to use a large cannon on Angel, only to have it explode on them because while they may have known what a cannon looks like, they didn't know the mechanics inside it to make it work properly.
It happens again in Episode 12. Right before she denies becoming God that is a CMOA.
Yet again in the DVD Bonus Episode. This time she even learns how to do it like a professional, by mimicing Lelouch, and seems very glad to be lampshaded by Yusa one more time.
Evolving Credits: As characters are replaced and removed through various circumstances, the OP and ED, both of which focus on showing off the characters, change accordingly.
Also, when characters interact in the show in a noteworthy way, it also reflects the interaction. Examples include Yui strangling Hinata as per episode 4, and Takamatsu not wearing a shirt to show off his (surprising) 8-pack from episode 5.
Some episodes don't even show the typical ending, replacing it with more footage.
The 2 special episodes feature a different "To Be Continued" quote. The OVA got "BAD END" (hence how every member of the SSS went through a week without water or food and somewhat died) and Another Epilogue got "NEXT STAGE".
Expository Hairstyle Change: Yuzuru Otonashi had Peek-a-Bangs. He soon realizes that his ill sister Hatsune had more life and hope than he did, and that she had a purpose. He cuts his hair and applies for medical school.
Expy: Yuri has been called a "rip-off" of Haruhi Suzumiya by some pissed off fans of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, even though any resemblence between the two characters is entirely skin deep (though Yuri's initial appearance is at least bombastic enough to be on Haruhi's level.) Some fan artist took note of this and this piece of fan art was born. (WARNING: link to site is NSFW).
Comment on Picture: So Yuri finally gets to fight God.
Takeyama looks exactly like Jeff. Numerous other characters, such as Naoi, also have uncanny resemblances to those of other shows.
Otonashi looks (and to some degree sounds) a lot like Light Yagami of Death Note, though the similarities between Otonashi and Light end there.
Actually, they have a little bit in common. Both are smart but disillusioned Broken Aces who try to do something good and wind up making things worse, in Otonashi's case with his sister and in Light's case with his "New World". Of course, Otonashi redeems himself. Light...
Finale Credits: Normally, the credits sequence shows Yuri slowly being surrounded by the various members of the SSS. At the end of Episode 13, the sequence starts with all the characters present, and they start to disappear one by one, until only the five characters that were in Episode 13 remain. Then they, too, disappear, in the same order they vanished in the episode, with Otonashi going last.
Fond Memories That Could Have Been: After Hinata says he would have married Yui despite her paralysis, we see images of them meeting in their previous lives and falling in love. Yui disappears shortly after, having found peace.
There's also at least one theory that The Stinger is not a Distant Finale but Otonashi's desperate imaginings of a world where he knew Kanade while alive. Most find it too depressing to consider.
Friendly Enemy: As long as SSS doesn't cause any havoc in the school, Angel will not treat them as an enemy but rather as ordinary fellow students.
Genre Savvy: EVERYONE. To the extent that can be called dangerous. Some battles are won or lost depending on who is more genre savvy. This even affects the plot: the movie is an action anime, until everyone realizes that they star in a drama.
Gilligan Cut: In episode 2, Fujimaki tells Otonashi that he will be the next to get (temporarily) killed by an anti-Angel trap. Cut to Fujimaki showing off his Super Drowning Skills in a water trap while Yuri, Shiina, and Otonashi escape unharmed.
God Is Good: Heavily implied by The Reveal at the end of the anime about the nature of the school. While the SSS fight in the hopes of defeating the unreasonable God responsible for not doing anything about their suffering in life, it's revealed that the school is how whatever higher being that's in charge dealt with their suffering. It's meant to be a second chance in which those who arrive there can live a normal, satisfying school life. They disappear only once they've become satisfied and fulfilled the dreams that they couldn't in life. Also, The Stinger at the end of the anime seems to confirm that people who pass on in the school actually get resurrected or reincarnated.
He's Dead, Jim: In episode 3, Iwasawa comes to terms with her past, disappears, and leaves her guitar behind. She's also omitted from the end credits of that episode.
Healing Factor: While immortal, everybody can still be seriously hurt. If they are injured or die, they will eventually heal and revive regardless of how much damage their bodies have taken. The OVA shows that they will even revive after dying of starvation or dehydration.
They do still feel pain, so this provides an incentive to stay out of harm's way.
Heavy Sleeper: Angel sleeps through a kidnapping, an earthshaking battle and a surprisingly loud conversation between Otonashi and Yuri.
Heel-Face Revolving Door: Angel spends a few episodes with the SSS after being disgraced as student council president by the group in episode 5 and then gets her position back (courtesy of Otonashi) in episode 9, pretending to be her old self. Eventually she rejoins the group again and befriends Yuri.
Yuri: "TK's sacrifice will be-" Otonashi: "You guys sacrificed him."
Played straight in episode 9, where Otonashi ignores his own injuries to help the other train crash survivors, and spends his final moments filling out a donor card.
Hidden Eyes: TK's are always obscured by his wide bandana.
High School: Although it's technically in...y'know, purgatory.
Hollywood Encryption: Angel's personal computer is secured with "128-bit DES" which is hacked through without any trouble. While DES is an encryption standard infamous for being insecure, that's because of how short its key is. A version of DES that had an 128-bit key would be impossible to break with any conceivable technology. Certainly not in a few minutes with a laptop.
Hopeless War: SSS and Angel will probably be fighting each other forever since neither side can truly die.
Hot-Blooded: Noda, personality-wise. Now if only he could get his hands on a mecha.
How We Got Here: The manga starts out with the framing of Hinata explaining to Otonashi how he met Yuri and how the SSS got founded.
Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Otonashi and Kanade. Very much obvious when he hugs her in the last episode. Turns out she's so small because her heart condition inhibited her growth. She's still about the same age as the rest of the cast.
Idiot Hair: Yui. Ironically it is Yui who often calls others an idiot.
Identity Amnesia: A common side effect for those that had brain trauma as part of their death.
Immortality Hurts: The characters can regenerate from anything, and some of the deaths are quite painful.
Immortal Life Is Cheap: Slapstickly so. Nobody gives a second thought about even the most gruesome of deaths in the Afterlife, secure in the knowledge that the deceased would simply return a while later perfectly fine.
Impairment Shot: Done in the third episode to illustrate the effects of Iwasawa's stroke.
Ironic Echo: In episode 2, Otonashi starts to feel a little uncomfortable with Hinata's rather chummy nature and asks if he's gay or not, which Hinata angrily denies. In episode six, Otonashi runs over to Hinata, who's severely injured. He makes a note of the fact that he ran to him first, and asks the same question as Otonashi did four episodes back.
It's All My Fault: Yuri blames herself for not being able to save her siblings. Needless to say, nobody else does.
And perhaps to a lesser extent - Hinata for failing a decisive catch.
Yuri again after accidentally sending Kanade into a coma by dumping 100 aggressively violent copies of herself into her mind.
Otonashi after his sister's death. Difference is, it actually is his fault, even though he had good intentions at the time.
A Lighter Shade Of Gray: The SSS went from a band of rebels trying to take down the God that destroyed their lives to a group of self-centered teenagers blindly lashing out at the world in about three episodes.
They were lashing out at the world from the beginning.
Marshmallow Hell: Episode 2, Otonashi climbs Yuri when they all fell down the trap. He has to grab on, he ends up hugging her, and gets some in his face. He even comments on how she smells good.
Masochist's Meal: Mapo Tofu, to the point that the only one who can eat it is Kanade.
Meaningful Name: Aside from a few of the characters, the series itself. To elaborate, the finale revealed two key things: Kanade's regret tying her to the Purgatory-world was that she never got to thank Otonashi for his heart, which kept her alive.
Otonashi means "no sound", Yuzuru means "to string" an instrument, and "Kanade" could be read as "playing" an instrument. His little sister Hatsune's name also means "First sound". It could be said that Otonashi was an instrument that was properly strung, but could never play any sound, but Kanade finally played it. Tugging on aheart string, eh?
Another piece of symbolism to 'Otonashi' is simply that, lacking a heart in the literal sense, Otonashi has no heartbeat.
Played straight to the point of it affecting one of the listeners physically.
Ooyama: Stop, stop! That guy's an idiot!
Multiple Endings: After the credits of the final episode, reincarnated Otonashi and Kanade are shown meeting when Otonashi hears Kanade humming Iwasawa's "My Song." A short segment entitled "Another Epilogue" replaces this scene with one depicting Otonashi still in the afterlife helping another soul discover how to move on. Strictly speaking, they aren't mutually exclusive.
Mundane Afterlife: Subverted thanks to the SSS's insistent tries to wreak havoc and prevent their own disappearance.
Musical Theme Naming: Most of Angel's abilities, such as Harmonics and (Hand) Sonic. Also, Distortion, Overdrive, and Delay are various guitar effects.
When he was holding up the falling block in Episode 2, he was actually singing lyrics to a song. The video replaces his lines with the actual song.
Never Trust a Trailer: The next episode previews just consist of a white screen with random lines from the next episode flying by. The lines are quite out of context so deducting any clues about the plot of the next episode from this is next to impossible.
On top of that, every Monday the online preview adds short, half-second clips from the next episode. This can answer some questions, but often raises many more.
No One Gets Left Behind: Averted; death presents no objective risk, so nobody really sweats it. Except Yuri, who's alternately frustrated at the moronic ways her subordinates kill themselves, and at her own inability to keep them from dying.
No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Played with. The SSS aren't the only humans in this world. Well below the surface of the school is the Guild- hundreds of other people who happened to live their lives as common workers, but still died with the same requirements as everyone else. They're the ones who provide weapons to the SSS, being able to make them out of dirt if need be. The catch is that they can only make something that they know how to create when they were alive. They say that it's a bad idea for any of them to be killed in that world, as they risk losing knowledge of how to create those devices when they come back.
Not Quite The Right Thing: Otanashi's little sister was terminally ill. She wished to see the city on Christmas Eve, but the doctors wouldn't let her leave the hospital, especially considering that it was snowing outside. Otanashi decides to sneak her out himself in order to grant her her wish... and just like the doctors warned, she dies very soon, and almost certainly would have lived (even a little) longer if it wasn't for that foolish trip. Otanashi tries to convince himself that it was the right thing to do, since she died happy, but even he doesn't really believe that.
Not What It Looks Like: In the manga, Hisako trips and falls on Iwasawa while naked. Angel walks in on them, pauses, then:
Angel: It's already time for bed, so please finish in the morning.
Hisako: Finish what?!
NPC: The majority of Non-SSS students are explicitly considered to be these, but not all, as it seems like Angel and Ayato Naoi aren't despite not being SSS-members. At least, until they joined the SSS.
Offhand Backhand: Otonashi and Matsushita pull this off in Episode 12, Otonashi with his Glock and Matsushita with his actual hand.
Oh, Crap: Otonashi's face when he discovers that the train tunnel is blocked on both ends and there's no signal.
No one bats an eye when she speaks again a few episodes later. By that point, things have gotten much worse, though.
Ordinary High-School Student: Takes on a whole new meaning in this series. The "ordinary students" are the NPCs of the school. They have no souls, acting as model students under Angel and God. The SSS are acting against Angel and God, souls intact and rebelling against what had been dealt them in their former lives. This situation is highlighted by the different uniforms between the two factions of students.
Redemption Demotion: Naoi goes from credible villain to yet another comic relief character when he makes his Heel-Face Turn. This is largely because his main power of hypnosis is pretty morally dubious, so he can't use it after his Heel-Face Turn
He's still scarily competent, to the extent that he's effectively Yuri's second-in-command.
Resurrective Immortality: In one of very few comedic uses of this trope, the main characters often suffer horribly ignominious (and often hilarious) deaths, only to return to life a few minutes later whole, hale, and cracking wise.
Reverse Grip: How Noda swings his baseball bat. He hits a home run with it, too.
Rhetorical Question Blunder: At the beginning of the first episode, Otonashi demands that Angel prove he can't die. So she stabs him in the chest.
Naoi: *gets stabbed* *Dead Silence* Hinata: Someone say something. Yui: I don't know his name...
Scenery Porn: The Christmas lights on the trees - then the main Christmas tree itself - on the main street where Otonashi lived in his former life. He snuck out his younger sister from the hospital so they could see them together.
Episode 10's title "Goodbye Days" relates to Jpop artist YUI's song of the same name. It's sung in her movie, Taiyou no Uta, with similar implications to Angel Beats Yui's past. Both characters had an illness which contributed to their death, not living the life they wanted to. Can you guess who disappeared this episode?
Episode 12 has the title, Knockin' on Heaven's Door, shouted out by TK. Even the other characters recognise it as a reference to Bob Dylan.
In episode 7, the monster that Otonashi imagines when hearing 'Operation: Monster Stream' is a large, red, dragon-like monster, with a striking resemblance to a Rathalos
In episode 14 (or 4.5) the end of the episode with it's trademark "Next time" it says "BAD END" insted.
Also in episode 13.5 (Another Epilogue) it says "NEXT STAGE" which might leave the series open for a second season.
The song Highest Life, which was done when Yui took over as lead singer, has a line about how she likes to do Clapton's guitar riffs from his Cream days note with a particular fondness for the song Crossroads on nights when she can't sleep.
Shown Their Work: All of the guns in the series are accurately modeled after their real-world counterparts. The same applies to the musical instruments.
Slap-Slap-Kiss: Hinata and Yui. Although they don't actually kiss, Hinata does promise to marry her in the next life.
Slapstick Knows no Gender: Hinata (male) and Yui (female) regularly wrestle each other and its not that Yui always wins either. Also, among other things Yui somehow managed to hang herself with a microphone cable and it's hilarious to see.
Red Angel:That many of us ruthless clones are going to return? Even as clones, we have our own consciousness. Those won't disappear. They'll be incorporated into her. The spirits of all the clones you attacked will return to her. When she takes in all those at once...she'll pay for it.
Spoiler Opening: The anime has a clip of the current episode in its opening sequence - excepting, of course, the episodes that skip the credits.
The Stinger: After the credits, Otonashi and Kanade are shown to meet up again in their next lives.
Suplex Finisher: Becomes the basis of an entire episode where Yui mentions that performing one of these was one of her life's wishes when she was alive, but could never do it. So to fulfill that wish, Otonashi trains her in how to do it right so she can perform it on him. She succeeds!
Surprisingly Good English: Michael Rivas, a Japanese-born, but raised in Hawaii, singer and voice actor, does the voice of TK. His pronunciation is perfect, but most of his dialogue still makes no sense because they're all out-of-context song lyrics or quotes from movies.
Tsundere: Yuri is like this for Hinata in the manga and light novel, which is the basis for much of the Ship Tease.
Though to a far lesser extent, she's kinda like this to Hinata in the anime too since she picks on him more than anyone else. Without reading the manga/light novel though, most would just disregard it as him being the Butt Monkey (which he kinda is).
To Be Continued: Happens at the end of every episode to show some of the dialogue for the next episode.
Deconstructed and Parodied in episode 14/4.5 where it ends with "BAD END" insted of "Next time". This may be a reference to Key's visual novels.
It's implied that with episode 13.5/Another Epilogue where it says "NEXT STAGE", that it the series might continue and get a 2nd season.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Noda brings his halberd to the baseball games, and even uses it while fielding, but the student council's only concern is that his team entered the tournament illegally.
Due to the NPCs being the way they are, this gets taken to another entire level in episode 6. We have a student spring up every minute to use the restroom, a snack-eater, someone who's sleeping across the tables, and a full-blown mahjong game being played out in the back. What does the teacher do? "Please quiet down."
Also, they don't seem to notice the fact that they carry around working firearms on campus.
Yuri even holds one of the teachers at gunpoint. She has what turns out to be a fairly neutral conversation with him, all the while still pointing the gun at him. He never notices.
Villain Protagonist: Played for laughs in the OVA, where Yusa points out that Yuri is the most fearsome villain of this world after all. Ironically, it's actually kind of the case. It turns out the SSS's "battle against God" was a fool's errand all along.
We Hardly Knew Ye: While Iwasawa was the most obvious example due to vanishing by the third episode, most of the rest of the SSS fall into this trope. For some reason, they introduce characters in the opening and episode 1. But by the time the series ends, you only get to know about half of the main cast, and they throw some more characters in later that get much more development. Characters like Shiina, Ooyama and Noda don't even get a backstory (and only bare-bones characterization), while both Yui and Naoi get much more screentime and development, even though they're introduced much later. The reason for this is most likely that the show was originally planned for 26 episodes but was then cut down to 13.
The manga thankfully gives much more development to them, including rarely appearing characters like Yusa or Chaa.
We Need a Distraction: The SSS has an entire band dedicated to this. That's a literal band, mind you—they distract the student body with a concert. It's a bummer they keep losing their lead singer, though.
Weirdness Censor: The teachers and NPCs suffer from a severe case of this. They only pay attention to what's directly in front of them, and they consider it to be normal. SSS even tests the limits of this trope in episode 6.
Wham Episode: Episode 5 where The SSS's operation turns out to be very very successful, reversing the entire power balance between them and Angel.
And then, in the same episode The new student council president decides to take a more active role in stopping the SSS.
And Episode 9 is the whammest of them all.
What You Are in the Dark: Otonashi, when he's assisting the train crash survivors. Also, when Angel wakes up and is still normal, she and Otonashi decide to hide this fact so they can help SSS eliminate their regrets.
World of Ham: Not 100% of the time, but still. Get enough SSS members together in the same place and ham is sure to result.
Noda is perhaps the most dependable source, with Shiina and Yuri also making strong showings.
You Are Number Six: The manga reveals that Shiina is a pseudonym; it stands for C-7 (shii-na).
You Are Too Late: While they're not storming a Big Bad's fortress, this trope is in play in episode 9 while Otonashi is stuck in the subway tunnel. He tried his best to keep as many people alive as possible, then dies moments before a rescue crew finally manages to break into the tunnel to rescue the trapped people.
You Can't Go Home Again: Because you're dead! Arguably subverted in the epilogue where Kanade and Otonashi are reincarnated and presumably themselves.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: It's probably easier to list the characters who don't have a hair color that makes you doubt your display settings.
Zero Approval Gambit: In order to rid the SSS members of their regrets, Otonashi and Angel agree to have Angel become the student council president again and act as she did before she befriended SSS so that they have a common enemy to fight.
Zeroes and Ones: When Angel's clones are reabsorbed, they dissolve into this.
If you look closely, the flashes of light around Angel's powers are all zeros and ones.