What I’m Watching: Angel Beats

While transitioning from my old domain to www.gregoryblake.net, I noticed how often I used to review anime. Let’s do that again. Check it out!

For the anime fan who’s tired of filler.

Angel Beats is the story of blah blah blah. Wikipedia’s there for a reason. If you’re too pressed for time to watch thirteen episodes, you’re too busy for a plot synopsis. I’m focusing on the burning questions. Questions such as:

Are there guns?

Are there halberds?

Is there a breakdancing bad-English speaking side character?

Awesome Music?

Did it make me laugh?

Did it make me cry?

Did it make me think about the deeper meaning of existence?

Zettai Ryouiki?

Class A.

What, you’re still here? You’ve got way more restraint than me. Let’s see. What else?

How about the fact that they exhaustively pay attention to weapon details? Because they do.

I laughed a ton. Elaborating: There’re so many funny scenes that it’d be hard to recount all of them. That and there’s TK, the breakdancing bad-English guy. He’s reason enough to watch this all on his own, but there’s MORE.

It made me cry. The last book/movie/TV show to do that was Martin the Warrior by Brian Jacques. An anime, to my memory, never has.

It also, non-obnoxiously forces a look at the deeper meaning of existence. Really! Not bad for an anime I went into expecting some cheap sword and gun fights!

Finally: I’m still playing songs from the soundtrack weeks later. I can’t really say that of any anime that I’ve watched, period, ever.

The only complaint I’ve heard from others was that it was too short and too packed, mainly from people who watch Naruto and Bleach and just love it when minor-side-character-you-just-met-this-episode gets an episode long flashback and then dies/leaves. If flashbacks get you hot, I’m gonna guess you see nothing wrong with Fifty Shades’ popularity. For those who don’t follow, let me explain: Flashbacks are storytelling hard-mode.  Audiences are primarily interested not in what went before, but in what’s happening now — anything that distracts from that pisses them off. In short, a flashback is a special move that a writer can only use after charging energy for at least three episodes.

That’s right, flashbacks are exactly like the Spirit Bomb. Except harder to aim.

If a flashback misses target, the effects on enjoyment are disastrous.

What else would I have liked to see? Huh. Well, I’d have loved 26 episodes instead of 13 and an OVA, but even as I say that, I’m scratching my head wondering what they could have done with the time. This story didn’t overstay its welcome, like Fallout: New Vegas and Skyrim did.

The media equivalent of That Friend Who Comes Over Unannounced And Crashes On Your Couch.

If by the story’s end, I’m saying, “Just get this shit over with already,” you storied wrong.

Would I have loved to know TK’s backstory too? Of course! But it’s not necessary. Angel Beats! has a lean narrative that despite offering viewers an emotional roller coaster, somehow avoids a sense of whiplash.

To whom would I recommend “Angel Beats!”?

  • Anime Fans
  • Viewers New To Anime
  • Action Fans Who’re Manly Enough To Let Themselves Cry
  • Romance Fans
  • Gun Geeks
  • J-Rock Fans
  • Philosophers

That’s about all. Get the DVD here or the Original Soundtrack here.

2 thoughts on “What I’m Watching: Angel Beats

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