Angel Beats Redux

Itsumo hitori aruiteta. Furekaeru to minna ha tooku .....

Angel Beats Redux

This article is about what I’d like to see done with Angel Beats & is written from the perspective of one who has seen the series only. I’m an anime fan in that I like/watch these movies/series & that’s it. I’m not into books, magazines, models/figurines, manga, knick knacks or any other off screen ephemera associated with anime. If there are any “holes” in this article this is why.

I want to pretend episode 4.5 never happened. Yui supplies more than enough “energy” for the SSS. Surprisingly, TK wasn’t all that hyper in comparison to the rest of the gang.

Drop the Guild. Peripheral at best. Except for episode 2, the group isn’t seen except for one or two individuals “in the back ground” so to speak.Yuri & Takeyama seem proficient with tech. Perhaps they could “procure” supplies (Though no where near as good as Kanade.). “Getting rid” of the guild could free up some time for another characters’ back story.

Essential backstories:

Hinata- Main secondary protagonist. Need to know.

TK- I actually like this character, mainly because he’s underexposed (In an American production he’d not only be THE main character but would also be obnoxious, LOUD, & “just too kool”. In short, a jerk.) What was he like when alive? One of the uncool kids at school? A fan of “all things American”? A frustrated rocker? It would be nice if he’d mutter a less “vague” phrase now & then (The mumbling father figure of Hanna Barberas’ Hillbilly Bears show would say a “coherent” sentance every so often.)

Shiina- Too much of a mystery girl. Is her skill as a “ninja” a reverse of having been picked- on/abused while living or inadequacey as a martial artist? Why the obsession with “cute” things? Did she have bad luck with pets?

Naoi- Yes, we already know his backstory. But how did he get his expertise in hypnotism?

Why no revolvers? All I saw were semi-autos (I never liked the trigger pulls on Berettas & schlocks ….. er Glocks. Too mushy out of the box.).

Essential disappearances:

Have the “rapture” of GiDeMo, along with Yusa, separate from the en-masse “catching away” in ep 12.

TK, Shiina, Noda at least. The rest of the SSS “fighters” in a separate mass exodus?

Again, I realize there other media connected with this series & thus some of the same or different info would be there. My main interest in my video hobby are on the films and shows themselves, with anime being a comparitively small part of it.

Article copyright © 1-6-11 Jay Agan

This article originally posted at Jays’ Tee Vee.

Angel Beats, Episode 4.5: Oh Geez!

"Oh Yuzuru! This really sucks! Everyone's acting like Yui on habanero sauce!" "Yeah babe, I know." Credit: P. A. Works

 

Angel Beats, Episode 4.5: Oh Geez!

Have just seen the Angel Beats OVA (episode 4.5), & wish I hadn’t. I guess I’ll start with the premise.

Scheming to get face to face with GOD (Insert lightning flashes & peals of thunder.), Yuri cooks up a plan (Operation High Tension Syndrome) wherin everyone pretends to be fired up/enthused over school activities for a period of 12 hours. Of course, since they’re faking it, & thus not finding “fulfillment”, none of the gang will vanish “in the twinkling of an eye” (Take THAT, Hal Lindsey!). This is to confuse Angel/Kanade into thinking something isn’t quite right in the “matrix” & she’ll run to the Supreme Being and report. Yuri & co. are to follow her and finally confront the “Uncaused First Cause”. If the operation is unsuccessful, everyone (Except Yuri) is to go on a seven day waterless fast!

This is kind of like the dog who chases cars. What’s he gonna do with it if he ever catches one? I’m no theologian but I think God’s a little bigger than a Buick & I’m including the 1960s/70s “Deuce & a Quarter” in that estimation. Details ….. details …..

Did I say the gang was to be fired up? More like exploding! To anyone who wanted to see other members of the SSS be more like Yui (An irritatingly hyperactive, though lovable, moron.) here’s your chance. Hyper they are (And LOUD!) but minus Yuis’ endearing charm. Never before, have I seen so many characters be so obnoxious & annoying at one time. They make the Three Stooges look like paragons of reserve & civility. Classes & halls are disrupted with gang members personality traits amplified beyond max tolerance levels. It’s the invasion of the uber-Yuis with Kanade & Otanashi vainly being characters for the viewer to identify with. The only thing more irritating is the omni present, beeping “high tension meter” in the lower left corner of the picture. Oh yes, Yui is “worse” than her usual self. Something I originally thought impossible.

I really like this series & any attempts to “pad” it out like this, could only hurt. I would not introduce newcomers to anime (Or this show.) with this ep.

Article copyright © 1-2-11 Jay Agan

This article originally posted at Jays’ Tee Vee.

Angel Beats: NOT a Haruhi Clone

The three principal protagonists of Angel Beats. L-R Yuzuru Otanashi, Yuri Nakamura, "Angel"/Kanade Tachibana. Credit: PA Works, Aniplex

 

As announced earlier this year, Angel Beats will be available from Right Stuf , July 26.

Angel Beats: NOT A Haruhi Clone

One thing I’ve liked about anime is the willingness of the artists involved to try new concepts & ideas. Unlike the “safe” strategies followed by our animators, the Japanese “school” of animation exhibits a much greater willingness to experiment. To be sure it’s pretty much hit or miss, but when it does hit, it can be an interesting viewing experience indeed.

One of these “hits” is Angel Beats. Even if an anime is seemingly of a sub-genre I don’t care for, (In this case, what I thought was cutesy, moe, school girl crap.), I’ll take a chance if it has a plot/theme I might go for. Here, the high school schtick is merely part of the backdrop. In actuality, the show is a techno-theological, action thriller.

I’ve read some opinions likening this to The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, some even going so far as to refer to this (& one of the protagonists) as a Haruhi clone. I beg to differ. This series is so different as to stand on its’ own. The only “sameness” I could find is that the one protagonist bears a very superficial resemblance to Haruhi. How many other anime series feature a “magical”, assertive/energetic, schoolgirl? Not too sure but I THINK there may have been a few.

On first viewing, I thought it was rather disjointed (Still do but much less so.) as well as violent & bloody. The final episode (More on this later.) however, made me want to rewatch the series.

Theologically, it has something for every one. A Catholic (?) purgatory (In the form of a large high school boarding academy.), where those whose lives were lacking in some way come to resolve failed experiences/mistakes, and unload spiritual/emotional baggage before “passing on” (It must be Purgatory. The data tech there is Windows!). Reincarnation is a factor. There is even a “rapture” element in the way those who find peace leave the scene. (I’m what some would call a Christian fundamentalist though I don’t subscribe to the “gospel” of Hal Lindsey or Tim LaHaye.) No matter what faith/theology one follows, anyone willing to see past what might be looked on as “pagan/infidel” & focus on what’s compatiple, may find this show intrigueing.

The series centers around three main characters: The amnesiac, Yuzuru Otonashi who regains memory(s) overtime. Yuri Nakamura, a resentful girl who has it in for God due to a horrendous experience when alive. The target (Literally!) of Yuris’ resentment is title character Angel/Kanade Tachibana. She’s ostensibly there to enforce the “status quo” & help others find peace, sending them on their way. Due to Yuris’ ongoing war with her, she’s more preoccupied with countering (With the help of VR tech-data manipulation) the operations of the Afterlife Battle Front , Yuris’ band of “merry men”. Thus all the gun & swordplay going on. Oh yes. Since you’re already dead when there, you can’t be killed. One usually “revives” a few minutes to a day later, either where you fall or in the schools’ infirmary. Still hurts like ….. uh ….. purgatory, though. Ouch!

The series is 13 eps long, packed with interesting twists & turns. Iwasawa, lead singer of the battlefronts’ diversionary rock band (Girls Dead Monster) finds fulfillment in her music and disappears before one and all (ep 3). New enemies emerge (eps 5,7, & 10). One, Naoi, joins the Battlefront. Differences with Kanade & Yuri are eventually ironed out (ep 7) then “rekindled” (ep 9). Yuzurus’ memory is fully regained & back story told (Important!) (ep9). Yuri realizes the futility & waste in “fighting” God & has a “temptation of Christ” moment (ep 12).

It is during these events Yuzuru & Kanade “connect” & later conspire with two others to help battlefront members gain fulfillment and leave the scene. One they succeed with is one of the more endearing characters of the show, Yui, a girl who had been paralyzed when alive & wanting to accomplish much. (Along with her slightly “gothed” attire, she sports a set of little bat wings in the small of her back and a spearpoint tail. Took me awhile to notice. Makes one wonder who she’s working for (My guess it’s an inside joke.). The ending of this characters’ last scene (ep 10) is poignant & touching to say the least.

Many others, (Including the afore mentioned rock band.), partly on Yuris’ suggestion & realizing the pointlessness of resisting God, life/death, & ultimatly themselves, take their leave en masse (ep 12).

The anti-climactic 13th episode is a masterpiece of a heartbreaker that I guarantee at the end will …..TEAR….. YOU….. UP. Aptly titled: Graduation, the three principal characters & two others (Hinata & Naoi), hold a do it yourself high school grad ceremony as cloture & say their goodbyes (I hope I’m as joyful & matter of fact as Yuri & Hinata when it’s my time to meet the Lord.). See this episode past the powerful credits ending for FULL IMPACT. You have been warned.

“Let’s meet again somewhere.”

“See ya, buddy!”

Article copyright © 1-23-2011 Jay Agan

This article originally posted on Jays’ Tee Vee.