Reviews Comments: A lovely series that should have lasted longer...

A lovely series that should have lasted longer...
...and I don't mean that in a good way.

This review contains spoilers. Continue reading at your own risk.

When reduced to its individual parts, Angel Beats is very, very good. Interesting setting, enjoyable characters, nice twists and being able to jump from hilarious to awesome to incredibly heartbreaking at the drop of a hat. It's primary strength lies in it's tearjerker scenes. When they hit, they hit hard, and you would have to have a heart of stone not to be moved. Highlights would include Hinata's beautiful speech to Yui, Yuri's horrific backstory and Otonashi's desperate attempts to make Kanade stay with him.

Unfortunately, it is when these elements are thrown together in the main story that problems begin to arise. This series plays plot roulette like nobody's business, introducing new plots only to discard them with surprising regularity in the space of only thirteen episodes. And while these plots are very good, in of themselves, they sometimes don't even last longer than one or two episodes. For example: the main struggle between the SSS and Kanade is over halfway through the series, with Naoi taking over as main antagonist. Given how vicious he is in his first appearance, this promises to be awesome. Except no, he's switched sides and reduced to being a comic relief character literally minutes after his debut. Also, the clone saga only lasts two episodes, the plot of Kanade and Otonashi pretending to play opposite sides while helping the SSS members move on lasts one, the shadows plot lasts two, and then there's the finale. In addition, many interesting characters such as TK, Shiina and Noda receive absolutely no development and are literally written out with little explanation by the end.

So all in all, a beautiful series with some fantastic ideas, but it suffers heavily from They Wasted A Perfectly Good Plot and What Happened To The Mouse. This is a story that would definitely have worked better if it were stretched over a full two seasons, allowing for more character development and giving the plots some space to breathe.

Comments

To be honest you could read the Light Novels. Or wait for the Manga to finish up so that they can include more details.
comment #3126 Mosaic 1st Jul 10
If there was ever a series that needed a longer block, Angel Beats it is. Do you know if the Light Novels have been translated, Mosaic? I would love to learn more about this series's universe.
comment #3132 Listy 1st Jul 10
http://subsmith.wordpress.com/2010/04/01/angel-beats-track-zero-chapter-1-a-rocket-for-two/ Try this.

It seems legit.

Ohohoh, and a Chapter is actually a volume.
comment #3144 Mosaic 1st Jul 10
I'd say the most heart wrenching moment in the series was when the final situation between Kanade and Otonashi fit the origin of the Shadow Monsters perfectly. I was worried that it would become a mind-bending time loop or something.
comment #5218 DMinor 23rd Nov 10
Agreed. The ending is pretty awful in my opinion, too hurried and rushed and the graduation scene to me was too much and whipped right into narm. And yeah, it gets confusing. Kanade is clearly younger than Otonashi but she's been there forever? I did also think that Otonashi / Kanade was bordering a bordering too much on lolicon as well. Otonashi is at least college age and Kanade looks roughly middle school age. So... yeah.
comment #7602 Katana 8th May 11
Agreed. I love this anime for its characters and emotional moments, but I think the plot could have done a lot better if they'd had more time. This particularly goes for the SSS vs. Angel plot: we get introduced to this awesome group of rebels fighting a mysterious enemy, and suddenly we find out that they've been just plain wrong all along, with no exploration of how they ended up in this situation or what this means about the characters. This series just plain needed more time.
comment #8333 KiiriiXVI 28th Jun 11
True, what this anime really needed was more time. It had a large amount of characters that actually seemed to be interesting (Not too bland or stereotypical) and yet they did not have enough time to show any part of their past, character development or even what their last moments in the afterlife were like. The plot twists and changes between the 'story arcs' were also rushed, and the two 'couples' in the anime (Hinata/Yui and Otonashi/Kanade) seemed like they had potential to have more 'heartwarming moments' than the moments right before they disappeared.

Also, for the comment above, if you want to learn about the start of the rebellion, you should read Track Zero (The light novel) as it shows the start of the SSS from Hinata's point of view (Manga has a similar storyline, but isn't finished)
comment #8816 Shadowspazz 22nd Jul 11
I agreed with everything you said in this review and from what I read, this anime is supposed to be 26 episodes long before it was release but they cut it down to 13 episodes for some reason and it's a shame 'cause I think Angel Beats is a great anime, I absolutely love it, but it could have been better if it wasn't so short. Again, a great anime that hasn't reached it full potential.
comment #9431 bqk95 24th Aug 11
I was going to write a review, but this reviewer said it best. This anime only had thirteen episodes, and most of them had nothing to do with each other. If only the season hadn't been cut in half, it could've been absolutely magnificent... *sigh*
comment #23826 levidiad 13th Apr 14

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