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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Angel Beats!
Wild Mass Guessing for Angel Beats!.

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     In-Universe 

TK is related to Angel/Tenshi in some way
Angel and TK are the most popular characters, and probably the strongest too dood!
  • And T.K, short for Tachibana Kanade
    • TK is Kanade's original heart. He died in the transplant that saved her life, which is why he's always dancing. He's always moving to his own beat.
TK was deaf when he was alive
TK can't speak English, as Otonashi himself says so in Episode 9, "So TK's useless at English after all..." The one time TK speaks Japanese (in episode 2), it's garbled and nonsensical. This seems to indicate a PASSING familiarity with the language. TK is ALWAYS moving and dancing, and most of the phrases he says are song lyrics.

Given all of that, TK was probably deaf when he was alive. He always saw people dancing, but his inability to hear the music prevented him from doing so himself, hence his constant dancing and song references, and his inability to speak English OR Japanese.
The "Purgatory" is an Alternate Reality Game for paralysed patients.
  • Most people dies either violently or ambiguously.
  • Both thinking and action are needed for the protagonists.
Tenshi's nickname wasn't formed because Yuri thought she works for God.
Yuri probably knew all along that she was human. But she was jealous because she thought Kanade seemingly had no regrets at all. She even says without surprise that Kanade is human after all. However after probably witnessing Tenshi's power, she made up a nickname for her. She even comments on how they could've been friends.
  • Hinata was the one who came up with it in the novel, in awe of her power as I recall.
Not everyone goes to the afterlife as soon as they've died.
I mean, Otonashi donated his organs, which in turn saves Kanade's life, but Kanade wanted to thank the mysterious organ donor, which causes her to end up there. All in all, they probably had to go through Judgement Day, and God had to decide if they got to go to Purgatory or Heaven or Hell. If you truly went to the afterlife as soon as you died, then Otonashi should've been there long before Kanade. And God knows how long Yuri's been there or when she died. It really raises the question. Who was in the Afterlife first out of the Entire Cast? TK?
Tenshi was an old friend of Otonashi before he gave up on school
. I mean, in episode 13, according to her, she wanted to confess her feelings to someone special but couldn't so she ended up here.
  • Actually, her regret was that she never had the chance to thank the heart donor for the heart transplant that saved her life. It just so happened to be Otonashi
    • Wait a second, Tenshi has been in the Afterlife far longer than Otonashi. That explanation wouldn't make sense.
    • Possible explanation: In episode 13, it's revealed that neither Kanade nor Otonashi were supposed to be in the afterlife at all, because they lived fulfilled lives before they died, but Kanade's regret about not being able to thank the donor of her heart somehow screwed up her "transfer" into Heaven and she wound up in the Afterlife instead, while Otonashi's final memories about saving the people in the train wreck, which made his life complete, were somehow lost in transit (possibly because of his missing heart) and he wound up with out any place to go, and somehow ended up there as well. So Otonashi's soul could have been wandering for years before he found his way to the Afterlife, and time may not flow there the way it does here. And it's also possible that Otonashi wasn't her donor at all, as her theory that his memories were awakened because he heard his own heart inside of her were just that: a theory. And if you want to take a very broad look at things, it could be that God Himself pulled the strings so that things would happen the way they did, knowing that the SSS members would never find peace otherwise.
    • Possible explanation: The Afterlife exists outside of time, which would make relative time of death irrelevant.
    • Another possible explanation: Several of Otonashi's organs were donated, and he couldn't pass on until everyone who had received an organ from him died.
There is no God!
Everything in Angel Beats!, from the buildings to the Non Player Characters, was set up piece by piece by humans like the Angel Player programmer. The existence of the afterlife at all is not the product of a god's intent but rather a more natural phenomenon of young souls with lingering regrets gathering together in some other plane of existence. It could still be argued that this phenomenon of gathering souls was set up by a god, but that's as useless as using gravity to prove the existence of god—at the very least, everything that followed was completely independent.
Angel Beats! is in fact, an RPG.
  • NPCs are called NPCs because they act the same mostly.
  • Guild is a bunch of l33t hackers because they can generate weapons out of dirt.
  • episode 7, it's revealed that Angel has a passive skill called Overdrive, which essentially gives her more strength.
  • Angel is an admin or even one of the game developers, due to her ability to develop skills.
  • Naoi is a GM due to his position as Student Council President
  • SSS could be a guild of some sort.
  • All of the SSS are high level characters- except Otonashi.
  • In the manga, Ooyama refers to himself as the team cleric, and casts "spells" on Hinata to protect him from Yuri's wrath
Otonashi was God
  • He may or may not really have amnesia. His presence is meant to figure out what's gone wrong with the Afterlife from a human point of view, and possibly help the members of SSS to move on.
    • This naturally has special significance when combined with the Haruhi theory.
    • The first part has been Jossed.
The SSS are screwing things up for the NPCs
The NPCs are normal people like the SSS, waiting for their next reincarnation. SSS keeps them stuck in purgatory, while they themselves find inner peace and move on, as demonstrated in episode 3. Tenshi's job is just to be such a pain in the ass that they give up on their rebellion.
  • Well, the SSS do screw things up for Angel. Quite a bit, really. Heck, any day now and we get the proof that they're the reason she can't move one.
  • The NPCs are not normal people; they're constructs of the afterlife world that allows the actual humans who were sent there to live out a high school life that they couldn't in their time alive. Without the NPCs, the only people would just be those with terrible childhoods, and everything would go to hell pretty fast.
The Afterlife is in fact a Matrix-like construct.
  • Similar to programming language, Guild and Angel are able to manipulate the rules of the world to create anything they want, and all of Angels moves and attacks have a very electronic theme and are even made of ones and zeroes. Meanwhile, Yuri's description of the Afterlife makes it sound like a game or computer program, since she refers to regular students as NPCs. However, there may be a number of reasons why somebody would create this Matrix-like construct. Perhaps all of the SSS members are in fact still alive, but implanted into the Afterlife with false memories as a way to help them deal with their insecurities and psychological problems. Episode 3 seems to imply that this is the case, since once Iwasawa comes to terms with her past, there's no more reason to keep her in the simulation. On the other hand, it may be some sort of experiment, with some or all of SSS being AI constructs. They're being pitted against a rival AI (Angel) to see who will prevail.
Nobody is dead
Similarly to the matrix scenario above, everyone is just plugged into some kind of simulation in a hospital, possibly post-Singularity. Alternately, they may be in a magically shared coma. It's very convenient how none of the backstories involve causes of death that would be instantly fatal; as of episode three, the only confirmed cause involved "death" in a hospital. Also, the opening contains a very prominent EKG monitor, which is often used as a symbol of coma wards.
  • Which is not that far-fetched, since Maeda Jun has dabbled with this format before. Little Busters!, anyone? It could easily be that finding peace is a major contributor to the healing process and that the people who vanish simply wake up.
  • Supporting this, if you analyze all of the shown "deaths" carefully, you notice a pattern. Iwasawa and Yui were bedridden and were last seen under close medical care. Otonashi and Hinata's deaths are left very ambiguous. Hinata could have just been critically wounded in the car accident and Otonashi may have just fallen unconscious when the rescue crew arrived. Also, even though we see Yuri and Naoi's pasts, we never actually see their supposed deaths.
    • It seems that one didn't have to die in childhood to end up in that afterlife; they just had to have a bad childhood, and die at some point. They could have died at age 60 and ended up in the afterlife as a teenager.
Tenshi is not an Angel
In episode 1 she says she's not an angel. In episode 3 we find out that her powers are not received from God, and in fact were created in the same manner as explained in episode 2, a method available to all. Tenshi is a just a girl with an even worse past than Yuri. Building on the above WMG, God has inserted his avatar Otonashi into this afterlife with the goal of helping Tenshi move on.

Going off the above Tenshi...

...was just a normal, Korean girl who was an avid Starcraft player and died/fell into a coma after an excessive play session. Due to her obsession with Starcraft, she lacks the skill to socialize with others. This is the reason why she's always alone and nobody likes her. In her life, she was a huge fan of the Protoss. For this very reason, she styled her weaponry after the Protoss:
  • Hand Sonic (Psy Blades)
  • Distortion (Protoss Energy Shield)
  • Delay (Zealot Charge)
  • Harmonics (Hallucination)
  • Howling (Psionic Storm, debatable)
  • Absorb (mass Dark Archon warp, possibly)
To her, the SSS is nothing but a bunch of evil Marines who must be slain - for Aiur!
  • The lack of ability to socialize with one another is jossed by episode 6. [[supersecretspoiler: Where she says that she had friends, but they disappeared.]]
    • Great, now she's a Gamer Girl too. Her popularity should increase by about 2-5% in the next few minuets.
Yuri and Tenshi are actually secretly working together.
Yuri and Tenshi are both trying to get SSS to overcome their own personal shortcomings and come to terms with their pasts. Yuri actually deliberately sets up missions so that there's a good chance of an SSS member disappearing. This works because since she's the leader, she would of course know every member's backstory and motivations. Yuri put Iwasawa on the band to try and force her Heroic Sacrifice. After that, she plotted with Tenshi to set up a baseball competition because she knew Hinata's problems stemmed from that sport. That's why she seemed so diappointed when Yui screwed the whole thing up.
  • Yuri seemed rather put out that Hinata's team was the only one left, though.
    • True, but she could have preferred that someone on one of the other teams disappeared.
  • Possibly confirmed. Episode 10 after the credits, before the next episode preview, Tenshi is talking to Yuri about whatever that shadow was. Otonashi and Tenshi working together, without anyone knowing it, but Yuri working with Tenshi? Without anyone else knowing about it?
    • I must correct you. This wasn't Angel, but Yusa. However, I don't blame you for confusing them.
Hinata was hit on the head by that ball he missed.
That's why he doesn't remember if he caught it.
  • Then again, considering how seriously the damage caused by a head wound is played in Iwasawa's case... maybe those drugs screwed with his head so much that he can't remember?
    • The manga adaptation of Angel Beats, which is a prequel, reveals that Hinata died in an accident. Jossed.
Christ is the big bad.
Because they are fighting God.
  • But even when God Is Evil, Jesus Christ is portrayed as a good guy.
  • Takeyama really doesn't strike me as Big Bad material.
    • Call him Christ.
The Red Eyed Tenshi
from the end of episode 7 is The result of Kanade's 'Harmonics', she can CREATE the clone, but cant just put it away. She never used it in ealier episodes because she's aware of how much more dangerous it is, it has a mind of its own, and isnt a very nice person.
  • Very likely, when she saves everyone from being eaten by the giant fish, the clone's eyes are red.
    • Confirmed in Episode 8 that it was in fact Guard Skill: Harmonics that created the clone. Even worse is the clone can duplicate itself. Cloning Blues issues occur
This is heaven for idiots
Just look at the SSS and think about it. Yes, even Naoi (after ep 7).

TK was a rapper.
  • He was a American-born teenage rapper who moved to Japan, and died before getting a chance for a career. The name he uses is the nickname he used while being alive. (Possible since he always seems to be dancing, snapping, and doing rhythm-related things.)
Yusa's description of Yuri's punishments in episode 4 was foreshadowing
Yusa: Those subject to Yurippe's punishment games are known to be driven to madness or personality changes.
After the events of episode 8, Tenshi will gain all the memories of her clones. Including the one which had her throat sliced offscreen by Yuri while not being able to defend herself. The result will be either madness or a personality change, not because of absorbing the "agressive" clones' memories, but because of absorbing that particular memory.

Yuri died avenging her siblings.

Tenshi is actually an angel
Unlike what the SSS is thinking currently, Tenshi actually is an angel. However, she still has to follow the same rules as the other player characters. To give her an advantage, she received the Angelplayer program she uses to develop her skills. She has been at this for a long time, explaining why she is such an Emotionless Girl.

Tenshi's Woobie demeanor is all an act
Her current behavior is simply a means of drawing enough sympathy so that she can infiltrate the SSS and find a way to make them disappear willingly or unwillingly one by one. Tenshi initially discovered the possibility of this during the tragic concert that resulted in Iwasawa's disappearance and experimented with it during the baseball game with Hinita, though that failed because she didn't have enough control over the situation and she may have suspected that Otonashi and Yui were onto her (which she could be only half right about). To confirm this possibility, she chose the weakest link in the ground (as she always does), which is still the new guy, Otonashi. His weakness is clearly woobies, which is the role Tenshi adopts while allowing the SSS to have her kicked out of her Student Council President position. Otonashi quickly becomes sympathetic and after a few days, he offers her to join the SSS on a fishing trip. Which leads us to the whole "clone mania" thing. Tenshi will become bedridden as a result of re-merging with her clones, giving Otonashi another chance at "saving his little sister" or as close as he can get to it. After Otonashi disappears, nobody will have any real reason to suspect Tenshi, as by all appearances it seems as natural as Iwasawa's disappearance. Once enough time has passed, all suspicion will have disappeared entirely and Tenshi will have fully infiltrated the SSS. With an eternity at her disposal and full access to every SSS member, all she has to do is wait for the right moments one at a time and the SSS will begin a slow march towards oblivion, literally.

This series is going to have one hell of a Downer Ending
Ok, so as of episode 9 Otonashi and Kanade decided to help everyone fufill what they couldn't in life, thus causing them to disappear. Simply put, they're going to kill everyone. And they will succeed, 'killing' most, if not all, SSS members bar Yuri. Yuri will figure this all out at some point and lead all(if any) remaining SSS members into a war against Otonashi and Kanade, through some heartbreaking Key drama, Otonashi will eventually be able to stop her and have her move on, leaving just him and Kanade left. Everyone's else is gone. The two will agree to disappear together, at this point I figure one of two things will happen. The two will go through with it together, killing off the cast completely. Or, somehow even WORSE, Kanade will stay behind(Otonashi will probably realize this seconds to late), probably to help others move on, yet without Otonashi, she's alone again. If anyone can find a way for this to end happily, I'd sure like to hear it. ;-;
  • Otonashi already made clear that Kanade will stay behind alone. And making people vanish indeed is akin to killing them, since nobody knows what will happen to them.
    • Otonashi's future with Kanade is still unclear. His apology for leaving her alone was actually referring to him having to play The Mole inside the SSS.
Clothespins really ARE fragments of God
I mean... you pin them... and the clothes don't fall! The laundry doesn't get dirty!

The happy scenes between Hinata and Yui are actually visions of the future.
Admit it, at least in some small part in your heart you're hoping this is true.

Tenshi is actually the last remaining member of a previous resistance group.
She, like Otonashi, decided it was best for everyone to find happiness with their lives and move on. After all her previous comrades disappeared, she choose to stay behind so as to guide others.

Otonashi is a Decoy Protagonist for Hinata.
Otonashi's past has been described in detail already, while we still don't know what happened to Hinata after letting his team down at nationals and possibly starting to take drugs. He was the protagonist of the light novel/manga and as of Episode 10 has gone so far as to offer himself for marriage in order to make Yui disappear. And even then he wants to go through with being a member of the SSS to the end because there are still people he needs to look after. If it weren't for the obvious focus on Otonashi, Hinata probably would be the protagonist.

Yui was a cat in her past life.
Because no way in hell am I letting that tail of hers go unexplained.
Not everybody died at a young age
All it takes to wind up in purgatory is to have an unhappy youth, leading to regrets. Some may even have died of old age, but they reappear in their teenage forms to work out their issues.
  • Chaa is a pretty good indicator; in the novel, he reveals he had a wife, plus he know fairly much about guns. These are generally not traits you see in teenagers.
    • And revealed in the manga that, yes, Chaa has a wife - because he eloped with her in high school. There's even a page where it shows that he was a part of a gang with her, which might explain the guns thing. Not everyone died while they were still in high school, but a lot of them did once they got out of it, so they're still high school age.
  • Pretty much confirmed in episode 13, when Kanade says she survived thanks to Otonashi's donated heart. So she likely lived a long time, but she still had regrets not to be able to thank the person who gave her the heart to make it possible.
    • "Long time" is a relative concept. Remember, she also says that she's never graduated high-school. It's entirely possible that by "long time" she meant that, say she only died at 17 when she "should have" died at 7. A little depressing, yes, but it's that kind of show.
People who disappear don't Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, they get reincarnated.
We've learned that when people fulfill any regrets they had while they were still alive, they disappear. Rather than people getting out of purgatory by disappearing, they're given a second chance at life with the hopes that the next life will be better to them. God just wants everyone to come to terms with their life and death before letting them try again.
  • Jossed in part. It's confirmed that Naoi, Yuri, and Hinata indeed went to Heaven in episode 13.
The boy in the second computer room is God
Dunno if I'm just stating the obvious here, but is wasnt explicitly stated or anything. He denys knowlage of God when Yuri asks about it, but he could simply be playing dumb. He also dissappears, obviously Yuri's gunfire wasnt going to do a damn thing in the world, and I doubt he would just up an move on just because of it. He's also voiced by Kaworu.
  • Dude's just an NPC programmed to run the Shadow NPC procedure when the flags are raised.

The series ends in a full circle
If you ignore that extra scene on Earth after episode 13, you realize that Otonashi is alone. He could end up as another coder who created a program that manipulates the world that went insane due to love, or he could end up as another Tenshi should another afterlife battlefront be created.
  • "If you ignore"... Jossed. Besides, the ED does show that Otonashi disappears in the end. Though I think that the coder had the exact same thing happen - but Otonashi proves himself stronger.
    • Not really. The other epilogue shows Otonashi stayed after all. The extra scene in Earth has an undefinned meaning, but is not certain he eventually 'passed away' anymore.
      • It is possible that the extra scene on earth happens after Otonashi is obliterated. Gives it a happier ending, at least.

The only reason Otonashi is in the afterlife is to help Kanade move on
Otonashi's only reason for showing up in the afterlife is so Kanade can thank him for donating his heart to her. The reason he appears after Kanade in the afterlife even though she died after him in the real world is because either she (probably unconsciously) or the afterlife itself brought him into the world. The reason Otonashi doesn't have memories at the beginning is because he had already lived a fulfilling life and the only way to let someone who has lead a fulfilling life into the afterlife is give them amnesia. After Kanade disappears at the end Otonashi was probably allowed to leave the afterlife as well as he had fulfilled his purpose for being their. In away Otonashi can be seen as the real 'Angel' in the show as he actually descended from a higher plan of existence in order to help Kanade (and ended up helping all of the other characters move on as well).

Also with regards to Otonashi and Kanade's meaningful names, Otonashi (no sound) most likely refers to the fact that he has no heart and Kanade (to play an instrument) refers to the fact that she now has his heart. Otonashi's first name Yuzuru (to string an instrument) is an even further clue as it probably refers to Otonashi already stringing the instrument (his heart) which Kanade now has/plays. The title Angel Beats! is even a reference to this as it hints at Kanade having Otonashi's heart and can even be interpreted as the beating of and Angel's heart (if you go with the theory that Otonashi is in fact an Angel). Even the theme song 'My Soul, Your Beats' is a reference to this.

Referring the above, one might notice that the the commercial intro and outro sequences show a line of a heart beat reader (the name is unknown to this troper) with the title Angel beats. This can also be observed when looking at the Opening credits, one will see a random red line cross the screen, further supporting the whole heart motif. All of this including the names of Otonashi and Tenshi are a play on the words "heart strings". It may be also possible that Otonashi donated his heart before he died (however again this troper does not know as he cannot read kanji, romaji or any Japanese words.

Everybody does go to Heaven when they ascend.
...But it's so huge that there's no guarantee that they will meet up again. Heaven is basically like Earth, except bigger and more perfect. But the sheer number of souls makes it difficult to meet up with people you used to know. However, if you want to see someone badly enough that wish will be granted: Otonashi found his sister waiting for him when he ascended, because she's wanted to see him again for years, and the scene at the end of episode 13 was Kanade and Otonashi meeting again for the first time in Heaven, not on Earth. Likewise, Yui and Hinata find each other again, and Yuri finds her younger siblings waiting for her. And Naoi finds Otonashi again, too. It takes time, but eventually all of the SSS members meet up, mostly through TK, because everyone wanted to see him so bad that he drew them to him like a magnet.

The NPC who replaced the stolen computers was the Angel Player programmer
No real basis, we know he turned himself into an NPC, and there's he's presumably still there, his knowlage on computers mearly lead to himself getting a job releated to them when he was NP Cafyed
  • Unlikely, considering that all the real people in the afterlife are teenagers (even Chaa) and cannot age, so unless he used the program to modify himself into a middle-aged man, he'd still have the appearance of a young man. It's more likely that the NPC in the second computer room is the programmer after turning himself into an NPC.

The last scene is what Otonashi saw so he could depart
Otonashi merely created the happy memory of himself meeting Kanade in a new life in order to disappear: the same method Hinata used to allowed Yui to pass on in Episode 10.

The one who set up the shadow-generating, love-hating computers was Takamatsu.
  • I have no clue about whether the novel/manga discusses Takamatsu more and renders this WMG moot, but when Otonashi asked about Takamatsu immediately after Yuri spoke of the computers (whether she referenced them directly I can't remember), it seemed to be strongly implied, through the fluid transition of her words, that Takamatsu was the one who created that mess long ago. I think she spoke of taking care of the shadow creatures, and why they were reacting that way, and then as Otonashi asked about Takamatsu, went quickly onto saying, with one of her little looks, "That guy after all this time managed to confront his pains and pass away," or something along those lines.
    • Actually, Otanashi isn't the one that mentions him. Hinata informs Yuri that Takamatsu got to pass on even though he became an NPC. Yuri responds with a pleased "That's nice." Hinata comments on her lack of surprise to the news, so Yuri explains that the computers were designed to return the students to normal if their feelings were strong enough.

Yui and Hinata's would-be love story actually happened when they re-incarnated.
  • Because there is no way that I can accept that the adorable little 'vision' wasn't real. I don't think my tear ducts can take it.
    • That is unbelievably cruel of you. Would you really condemn Yui to another lifetime of paralysis so that she can get one marginally better than her last? It would be nice of her to fall in love with a reincarnated Hinata, but I'm not sure I'd want it to be in a way that would require her to live through this again...

SSS was needed.
  • Not everyone would be able to "graduate" just by being a normal student.

The Person Otonashi is waiting for in "Another Epilogue" is someone to replace him as the Student Council President, so Yuzuru could pass on and meet Kanade.
  • Possibly the new guy would be fitting to that role

The only people who use glasses in the Afterlife are those trying too hard to look intelligent
Yui is not a quadriplegic, even though she's been one for the vast majority of her life and at the time of her death. Iwasawa isn't aphasic, even though she died as one. The only conclusion is that the Afterlife somehow cures you of any and all physical disabilities or illnesses you had during your life, to make it easier for you to overcome the bad memories. Nearsightedness and farsightedness are just two more disabilities that are cured, so nobody actually needs to wear glasses. The only ones who do are those who are trying to look smart (like Takamatsu and Takeyama)

All actions and consequences in the Afterlife are predetermined
The characters may think that they have the freedom to choose, but that, too, is just a part of the plan. To be in the Afterlife is, in a way, to star in a movie over which you have no true control, regardless of what you may think. Just consider for a moment all the Contrived Coincidence that occurred over the story without which one or more of the characters would never have been able to Transcend. Otanashi caught that specific meal ticket. Yui jumped at Hinata at that specific moment. Iwasawa wrote her song on that specific day. There is a God, but It is far too great for a mortal soul to perceive in any way. God manifests through probability and chance, and It is a compassionate, loving God, subtly steering the tale of the Afterlife towards an inevitable, happy conclusion.

The post-credits scene in the last episode took place before Otanashi and Kanede died.
Several years before Otanashi died in the train accident, he happened to walk past a pretty young girl humming a beautiful tune and chased after her to try and talk to her. After he died, his heart saved her but the transplant failed after a year or two and they meet in the afterlife without knowing that they've ever spoken before.

Hinata was a drug addict.
The scene that takes place after the baseball incident when he was alive was the first time he was offered a drug. That's why he regrets missing the catch; If he had caught it, he never would have become addicted.

Yuri committed suicide
She says she didn't but she did.
  • Or...

Yuri was murdered with her siblings
Though she implied she did survive nothing suggest she did.
  • Or...

Yuri died before she could avenger her siblings
Explains as to why she ended up in the purgatory RPG.

The Visual Novel volumes will focus on the 18 members of SSS (3 in each volume)
As in the first volume, 1st Beat, has Yui's, Masami's, and Matsushita's routes; the later volumes has routes for the remaining SSS members (while other characters such as Chaa and the Guild are just support/minor/background characters), with Otonashi as the protagonist in every one of them. The later volumes would be (in whatever order, except the 6th volume):
  • Hisako's, Shiori's, and Miyuki's routes
  • Noda's, Shiina's, and Takamatsu's routes
  • Yusa's, Takeyama's, and TK's routes
  • Fujimaki's, Ooyama's, and Hideki's routes
  • the last volume would be Yuri's, Ayato's, and Kanade's routes

     Cross-Universe 
Lain is the god // Angel Beats takes place in the Wired.
  • She ascended godhood and as such she's able to do as she wishes as the real world and the wired have become synchronous to one another. Tenshi and company are able to manifest powers in this world using Angel Player, a software capable of manipulating the Wired. Lain has taken special interest in these tragic lives and has invited them in her world.

Dante qualifies for purgatory.
  • Dante had an unfulfilled childhood. His mother is killed by demons and his brother, Vergil, became corrupted by demons. He has since devoted his life to exterminating demons.
  • The bandana covering his eyes is just a version of Angemon's visor.
The entire series is a prerequisite, result or warping of Haruhi Suzumiya's use of that God Mode Power of hers, subconsciously.
  • A.) The series was the culmination of Haruhi's original past life, as Yurippe, and Haruhi either is or is not God, as everyone assumes, in that perhaps Yuri was God all along and nobody—including her—realized it, or isn't, but because of a misunderstanding involving this purgatory all the characters are in, the espers etc of the Haruhi Suzumiya-verse believe her to be so. For all the pain and shaping up she and the others in Angel Beats! had to go through, this time she is able to have a more lighthearted life and act more like a Jerk Ass than The Determinator, becoming attracted to people who remind her of her old friends, such as Kyon (who's kind of like Otonashi) and Yuki (who's a lot like Kanade).
  • A2.) The Haruhi'verse isn't a pure reincarnation, but a different timeline. Yuri in the Haruhi timeline decided to become God, but messed up somehow causing a reset. Maybe even ended up keeping/dragging said abilities into her next reincarnation. The So S Brigade are those who stuck with her till the end. Kyon = Otanoshi and Kanade = Yuki are obvious. Ayato = Itsuki after some thinking about his hypnotism abilities and the Kyon/Itsuki ho-yay probably being vestigial/lingering memories of the previous reality. I suppose by process of elimination that makes Hinata = Mikiru.
  • B.) The series was a Bad End of Haruhi's life, as while she sinks into some kind of depression, she one day awakens as Yuri, her world rewritten as unknowingly as always, and finds herself breaking again after her siblings die. But then, after she finds the strength to carry on, she dies and finds herself in the purgatory with all the characters in the series wind up in. She finds a new meaning in life (or rather, after-life), and Otonashi and Kanade in part were there to remind her of those she knew in the past (Kyon and Yuki), or they just strongly remind her of the friends she had cared about back then, and her resolve to get all her new friends through this is strengthens, until the series culminates and she begins life again as Haruhi Suzumiya (perhaps rewriting the histories of the friends she met in the world of Angel Beats!).
  • C.) The series is yet another example of Haruhi warping the world, as Kyon and the others constantly try to prevent her from doing, into the entirety of Angel Beats! Perhaps this leads into a Bad End for her, as Otonashi and Kanade's relationship mirrors that of Kyon and Yuki's, or maybe Haruhi is actually a subconscious shipper. Who knows?
  • C2.) Or, leading in from C., if Haruhi is Yuri, maybe Kyon and Yuki are Otonashi and Kanade, with Yuki/Kanade being the only one aware of what has happened, as with the "Groundhog Day" Loop she originally had to suffer through, leading her to fix everything after some time of deliberation. Itsuki's split into Hinata and/or Naoi? Mikuru=Naoi? Tsuruya-san=Yui? Kunikida=Ooyama? Asakura=Shiina and/or the male computer NPC? In the end, perhaps, everyone except Yuki wakes up the next day with no memory of what happened, and Yuki discovers an abnormality in the reincarnation of several characters from Angel Beats!.
  • D.) The series is a Key game one of the characters of Haruhi Suzumiya is playing.

The Fieldof Dreams is the Angel Beats! purgatory for baseball players.
Think about it, he builds the field, and then suddenly all the baseball players that ever had regrets in their life like the eight Black Sox come to play again on his field. He even has to find Doc and bring him to the field in order to heal his regrets over never being able to bat an inning with major leaguers. Ray then fulfills his and his father's regrets of never being able to play catch again before he died.

Obviously, their purgatory is a lot more flexible as it lets them phase in and out into the real world at whim as long as they are in the baseball field. Maybe each purgatory has its own rules.
Tenshi is Misuzu from AIR.
After Misuzu's entirely unfair childhood (and heartbreaking death) she entered the Angel beats afterlife to experience a more normal childhood. Unfortunately, due to her eagerness to make friends after a short lifetime of not being able to she quickly fulfils alot of the other inhabitants wishes and so they disappear each time leaving her feeling more and more lonely. Her inability to ever make one true 'best friend' leads to her becoming more withdrawn and un-communicative, even though she still maintains her will to make other peoples lives better she realises that to spare her own feelings she needs to keep a distance and so becomes the student council president. All goes well until people start arriving with no intention of moving on peacefully, Misuzu, in an attempt to restore the status quo tries to stop the trouble makers eventually leading to an all out war. Otonashi's arrival triggers a series of events that lead to Misuzu finally gaining her wings as well as making a true friend (possibly even someone she can love) allowing her to move on.
Angel Beats! is the prequel of Haruhi Suzumiya
  • In the end, Yuri overthrows God and creates a new reality for her, then recreates Otonashi and Tenshi as Kyon and Yuki.
  • Variation: All the people in the Afterlife is actually being prepared for reincarnation INCLUDING the NPCs, teachers, and Tenshi. The SSS all eventually accepts their death and move on and be reborn in the Suzumiya Haruhi timeline: Yurippe, Otonashi and Tenshi became Haruhi, Kyon and Yuki (like the above example), while Iwasawa became one of ENOZ and the other side-characters (whose names I don't remember) became Taniguchi and Kunikida. Oh, and Takeyama became the Computer club president or one of his glasses henchmen.
Before she worked for the Social Welfare Agency, she had a tragic life in Italy. And she lost the ability to use her heart in an accident. Then she obtained her heart from Otonashi. Then she was recruited into the Social Welfare Agency, hired to be a child assassin, but because "conditioning her" would shorten her lifespan, she couldn't live her youth properly, plus she really wanted to thank whoever donated the heart she uses, which caused her to end up here in Purgatory.
Angel Beats! is linked to CLANNAD.
Do these light orbs in the opening remind you of anything ?
  • Otonashi's story strangely resembles that of Okazaki's.
  • When Otonashi finally moves on, his soul is seen as an orb of light rising into the heavens.

Angel Beats! is an anime series that is being broadcasted in Haruhi's TV.
And to the woes of the SOS-dan (Yuki and Kyon in particular), it gives her ''ideas''.

Hatsune Yuzuru was reincarnated into Hatsune Miku.
Their Name's the Same, so why not?

Angel Beats! is in fact a parallel universe Haruhi created.
Taking the above theory even farther, Haruhi just straight up created an entire new universe because she wanted to see what it would be like to be a Visual Novel character.
X is ______
...given Otonashi's voice, he is probably...

Yuri got the idea to blast Hinata, Takamatsu, and Hinata (respectively) from Team Rocket
  • Think about it. Team Rocket's always blasting off. There are Meowth, James, and Jesse. And of course they're blasted into the sky, where as the 2 unlucky SSS members aren't blasted quite as far.
Otonashi is Kaito
The hint? Her significant other's name is Hatsune. Although her appearance leans closer to toddler Meiko...

The Shinigami got their powers from Angel Player
Which is why they created an R&D, AKA the 12th division.

Angel is Lucifer, the fallen Angel
Which explains why she's in purgatory, not Heaven.

This world is a modern-day version of the Soul Society.
The SSS Battlefront may be one of a few squads of clubs. Yuri is the captain of the SSS Battlefront. The Student Council President is the King of the Soul Society.
  • Because yeah.
Yui was an alien from Deviluke
Just think. Yui has pink hair. Yui has a tail similar to that of Devilukians like Lala. Yui has a rather airheaded personality like Lala. It all fits.
Angel Beats! takes place in the same world as Haibane Renmei
Haibane Renmei and Angel Beats! share some important basic premises: nobody can get out where they are by conventional means and people "ascend" to some other place by working through their regrets. Perhaps purgatory is divided into sections, catering to spirits with different backgrounds or reasons they got here. The spirits in Haibane Renmei may have had pasts they had better not remember (like committing suicide). Who knows, if the characters of Haibane Renmei would be allowed to travel outside of Glie, they might eventually find Angel Beats!' high school complex—and vice versa.
The whole thing is in fact someone going through Instrumentality
And that someone is most likely Asuka, taking the form of Yuri. Her antagonist is obviously Rei (who's part angel), metamorphosed into Tenshi. Shinji is split into 3 forms - Hinata is Butt Monkey Shinji, Otonashi is Ideal Shinji and Naoi gets all the angst as well as the the voice. And the boy representing Angel Player program marking the end of everything is obviously Kaworu
TK is Tite Kubo

Kanade is the robot in Kokoro, sung by Kagamine Rin.
Both Kanade and the robot's story are similar. The robot thanks her creator, for the gift of life from her "heart", which corresponds to Kanade thanking Otonashi for his heart donated to her.

Purgatory is actually a dream. (Warning; fanfic-like wall-o-text incoming)
After a number of train crash survivors are dug out of a tunnel, an unconsious certain would-be-medical student survives and keeps living life, eventually graduating and becoming a doctor. He falls in love with someone, perhaps one of the nurses at his hospital, but she dies shortly after, leaving him heartbroken and bitter.

Meanwhile, an unknown source anonymously contacts an extraction team, comprised of Yuri as the extractor, Hinata as the Point Man, Kanada as the Architect, and Yui as the Chemist. This anonymous person tells them to hire a large number of forgers to play roles in a mission, and orders them to perform an Inception on one 'Yuzuru Otanashi'

The events of the show is the mission itself, pulled off with barely a hitch. The NPCs are Otanawa's projections, complying with the story as a feedback loop from the SSS's telling him how they behave, and the shadows are when the projections finally catch on to the mental invasion. The inception itself occurs in episode 12, when Yuri goes intot he second computer lab and destroys the equipment barring love to bloom in this world; or more specifically Otanashi's heart.

The plan does go wrong in the end, when Otanashi begins feeling affectionate towards Kanade, but she exits the dream too, and they all leave the hotel room they had him in before he gets the chance to wake up. He hardly remembers the dream, but goes on newly invigorated, saving people while also searching for a strange white-haired girl, one he thought he saw in a half-remembered dream...

    Jossed 
T.K. is short for "That Kook"
  • Not knowing anything about him, the classmates gave him a Gratuitous English moniker based on his fluency with the language, then eventually shortened it so it sounds more like an actual name.
    • Never mind, Jossed - turns out TK is what he calls himself, so no one else knows what it means.
    • TK also happens to be Angel's initials if her name is read Japanese style.
      • Actually TK is Tetsuya Komuro the "Japanese Michael Jackson" His nickname is also TK and most of the songs that TK references comes from TM Network which Tetsuya is the lead singer of.
Once you "move on", you just die.
As suggested in Episode 3, there is no god. There is only one angel left, who has to do everything on her own. The system is breaking down for lack of maintenance, and although moving on was supposed to involve reincarnation, at the moment it just means final death.
  • Jossed: The final episode gives a brief glimpse of reincarnations
They are all in a special hell for those who commit suicide.
All of them really did commit suicide, they just don't remember it.
  • Jossed, barring the possibility that they've received Laser-Guided Amnesia AND very complex memory implants. Unless, of course, an aphasic stroke victim with more or less no motor control can commit suicide.
Otonashi is Yuri's little brother.
He descends from a higher plane of existence to end her feeling of guilt and end her time in purgatory.
Yui is some sort of demon
  • That tail is far too mobile to just be a fasion statment, not to mention her ever present Cute Little Fangs. Possibly a Nekomata, based on the whole 'Yui-Nyan' nickname.
    • Taking it further, Yui is not just "some sort of demon", she is The Demon/Akuma, opposite to Tenshi. Her very existence is an extreme opposite to Tenshi, where she is stoic and plain, Yui is noticeably stylized, and intentionally plays up the Kawaiiko stereotype. Where Tenshi's job is to help people pass on, Yui/Akuma intends to keep everyone in the Afterlife.
    • Also, considering that Yui literally prevented Hinata from moving on in the baseball game, I'd say there's good reason to believe this.
  • Jossed as of episode 10.
Everyone was hit in the head at some point.
Proof: Iwasawa. Proof: Hinata. (See above) Proof: Yuri. The part were you see Tenshi stabbing Yuri reflected in her eyes yelled at me, "Foreshadowing." The reason why Otonoshi lost his memories in the first place. Also probably the reason why they all call each other idiots.
Naoi was completely right.
About the world choosing its 'God', and like he said, it had chosen him. I mean, how ELSE did he get his Gea- Hypnosis powers? Kanade's Guard Skills are made the same way as the weapons supposedly, I doubt one can make friggin' MIND CONTROL POWERS out of dirt. Of course, Otonashi's lecture caused him to lose the worlds favor. Jossed, he still self proclaims himself as God, but he doesn't seem to act like one at all.
The true identity of the malevolent shadow in episode 11's preview is Otonashi's sister Hatsune.
  • When she died, she ended up in purgatory just like everyone else. She's still there. She put up a brave front for Otonashi but she's actually very bitter about her death.
  • Alternatively, Shiina has a Super-Powered Evil Side.
  • Or the ones who vanish have a tendency to become this.
  • All of these are Jossed in episode 11.
The perp behind the Shadow NPCs is Ooyama.
Let's look at him in more detail, shall we? He conveniently 'forgot' about the traps in Guild, he was the first person to be attacked by the Shadow he was conveniently near Takamatsu when he got attacked and unable to help, and he's been specified as having no real purpose by the SSS themselves. Add to this the fact that Yuri found a secret passage from the culprit that leads back to Guild, and there's every reason to believe that the perp is someone within the SSS.
  • Jossed in Episode 12.
Otonashi will be left behind when the rest of the SSS 'graduates'.
From the plight of the unfortunate programmer of the Shadows, we've seen that anyone who experiences love in the real world can still find their way to the afterlife if their death brought around memory loss. The programmer was unable to move on because he had nothing to move on from; he eventually went insane, wrote the Angel Player program, turned himself into an NPC and wrote an escape clause to prevent love ever blossoming in the afterlife. Otonashi experienced love from his sister and did something useful with his life in his last moments; he even realises in Episode 9 that he should have disappeared by now. Perhaps he's trapped in the same way the programmer was.
  • Jossed; while he's the last one remaining after everyone else goes to Heaven or is reincarnated, he's last seen three years after the events as a young child with Kanade.
  • Unjossed; Another Epilogue has him staying behind as the new Student Council President.
    • More Subverted, maybe: Barring the studio pulling an End of Evangelion, the series implies he will eventually move on. However, it looks like instead of being trapped as the original WMG suggests he stays behind for a while until an unknown event to make sure nobody else ends up like the Programmer (trapped), Tenshi (alone and sad because she can't move on until her goal is met, but is too afraid & socially inept to properly help others), or Yuri (Figuring out just enough to cause trouble and stick around, but not enough to move on). So true that he sticks around, but false in that he can move on whenever he wants. Just because he chooses to stay for the greater good doesn't stop him from hoping to see Tenshi again before he moves on, though.

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