Reviews: Angel Beats

Far Better Than What I Was Expecting

Totally not what I expected.

I went into this expecting a run of the mill action series with over the top optimism and the classic undeniably good versus irrefutably evil set-up. I watched the first episode. Seemed I was bang on the money. Then I watched the second episode.

Angel Beats was completely different to what I was expecting. It wasn't run of the mill action, it was a plot orientated, heart warming, tear jerking and thoroughly enjoyable show. Seriously. I have no idea how, but this series managed to push all the right buttons, in all the right ways at all the right times for me. I gave away my first (and I thought last) 10-out-of-10 to Usagi Drop and yet here I am giving away a second one. Don't get me wrong I still think Usagi drop is better, but Angel Beats is a runner up by milliseconds.

But I digress. Yes, I found this to be a heart warming show. It was an unexpectedly good show with nice twists that didn't come out of the blue. One of my favourite examples: the first heart warming moment (for me) was when the author/s used a Dark And Troubled Past to play a Lighter And Softer version of Anyone Can Die with Darker And Edgier overtones. And it worked. You can pick your jaw off the ground now.

That was not exaggeration, but I realise that I'm not doing Angel Beats justice. How they managed to create something this optimistic while dealing with stories and subjects that are nothing less than tragic is beyond me. Call them sob stories if you want, but there wasn't a single dark and troubled past which didn't get to me in one way or another. And the protagonist's story… Wow. Just… wow.

In all seriousness, this is not the show I was expecting it to be. It is far, far better than anything that I was anticipating. Sure there were times when it grated on me and Your Mileage May Vary, but there were enough genuinely enjoyable moments, and one which is nothing short of inspirational (even if it is a bit hard to believe), that those few minor details don't tarnish what is one of the best anime I have ever seen. And even if I have seen a lot of crap shows, that still says a lot.