Thursday, January 6, 2011

Anime: "Angel Beats!"

Angel Beats try to be a lot of animes at once. It touched on a wide array of genres all within 13 episodes; comedy, drama, tragedy, splice of life, girl bands (K-On), shonen action, the list goes on.

The main character is Otonashi Yuzuru who wakes up finding this crazy girl named Nakamura Yuri with a sniper rifle aimed at a girl aptly nicknamed "Tehshi", japanese for "Angel". She reveals to him that he is dead in the real world and is now in afterlife. In this strange world, everyone but souls who could not rest in peace is an NPC, the same NPC term we use when we play games.

This big question is whether this anime is an "Type-A" anime or a "Type-B" anime. It does have a plot and character development similar to sadder tragic animes (like Clannad) and the action of shonen animes (Naruto/Bleach), but it also does have very irrelevant scenes of randomness. The comedy sections does not really help. Sure, "Type-A" animes have comedy too, but this time it was done almost everywhere when they get the chance and it switches from being funny to being dead serious in an instant in many instances. First you see a "Type-B" anime scene where everyone is just being funny and retarded and suddenly you get thrown into the "Type-A" scene with its moments of silence, nostalgic flashbacks and facial close-ups and back to being retarded again.

Because of this attempt at mixing, there exist many paradoxes and confusion. I know that some details with certain animes can be overlooked despite the contradictions, but with Angel Beats!, I'm not too sure. I think it's best to watch this much like how one watches Clannad/Da Capo-like shojou animes, since it seems to be the more prominent direction they are taking; don't take the shonen action parts and details too seriously. I think it's the best way, especially since it's mostly written by the Clannad author. The style of storytelling is very much alike.

But despite that, I think it's a rather decent anime. I wouldn't call it a waste of my time like some blogs do. Since I cry or laugh at everything decently sad or funny (respectively) thrown to me, I easily accept it. Although on a more serious note, this anime could've really gone a hell lot further as a Clannad/Phantom/Air-type anime. The setting, no matter how lame it might sound, IS a very suitable setting and seeing the more serious scenes in this anime proves it. Then again, I guess "Type-B" animes are a hell lot more popular so maybe that's where they are targeting at.

In conclusion, Angel Beats is a rather mixed anime. To me, it is neither here nor there, but I think they have done a rather impressive job pulling this anime through considering all the genres they try to put together. I mean, they tried to put Haruhi, K-On, Kanon, Clannad all in one anime.

Inserts are not bad for the first few episodes though :)

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