Otonashi awakens only to learn he is dead. A rifle-toting girl named Yuri explains that they are in the afterlife, and Otonashi realizes the only thing he can remember about himself is his name. Yuri tells him that she leads the Shinda Sekai Sensen (Afterlife Battlefront) and wages war against a girl named Tenshi. Unable to believe Yuri’s claims that Tenshi is evil, Otonashi attempts to speak with her, but the encounter doesn’t go as he intended.
Otonashi decides to join the SSS and battle Tenshi, but he finds himself oddly drawn to her. While trying to regain his memories and understand Tenshi, he gradually unravels the mysteries of the afterlife.
Based on 25 review scores:
The Foodie Geek
Angel Beats is an original story and arguably one of the best and most successful anime of 2010. What seems like a weird scenario at first, quickly turns into an emotional roller-coaster as you learn about the tragic pasts of the main characters. These authentic depictions of the problems and hardships of contemporary teenagers let the viewer relate to them on a level very few other anime can compete with. In between there is a lot of humor and mystery, which fits in just perfectly. Music, opening and ending are equally as beautiful rounding up an already perfect anime. Many complain that 13 episodes are not enough and wish for more episodes, while I think it is just fine the way it ended. It’s one of those shows able to move viewers to tears and will not disappoint.
Unleash The Anime
Whew! What’s left to say? Angel Beats is a true work of art that will make you laugh, cry, and blend your emotions like a smoothie. I honestly think that the show has something to offer to any fan of anime. If you aren’t an elitist and can watch a show to enjoy it you should love Angel Beats. I find with this show that people purposely find stuff to complain about it and I don’t think that’s fair. The show is great and talks about a really mature topic in a creative and entertaining way. Every aspect of the show is amazing from the writing to the soundtrack and even visually it’s breathtaking. The show isn’t afraid to hit you while you’re vulnerable and I loved that about it.
The Anime Review
Overall, this anime is one for all tastes, and it will have you crying and laughing at the same time. You will start thinking about your own life in comparison to the pasts of the members of the Battlefront and get caught in deep thought. It is visual and musical brilliance, and I would recommend seeing this if you want a mix of everything. It did turn into one of my favorites the moment I finished it, and the same may happen to you.
Angel Beats! is a compelling series from beginning to end. It has its share of faults: Sentai’s menu design can harm your viewing experience, and so can the bad jokes and brightness issues that appear during the show. But these pale in comparison to the emotional story, the amount of detail that went into the visuals, the excellent music and the interesting flashbacks. The overall experience achieved by the series’ premise doesn’t disappoint. Angel Beats! might not be the best anime masterpiece out there, but will nonetheless leave you with a powerful impression.
Angel Beats surpassed my relatively low expectations(hint: The crunchyroll description of this one does such a bad job of selling the show) by a huge margin, and while it isn’t perfect, it was a show I thoroughly enjoyed, and one I will quite likely watch again – even if only to have an excuse to watch that opening and listen to GiDeMo perform again.
Angel beats! is a show that is recommendable to any anime fan who’s liked funny, emotional stuff like Clannad, AIR or Kanon. While it definitely feels like Maeda-san was not given the due budget and episode count that he deserved and needed, Angel beats! still manages to become one hell of a ride, with 13 amazingly entertaining episodes that finish on a high note. The show isn’t without its flaws, but what’s impressive is that none of these flaws matters in comparison to the shows amazing strengths.
Anime News Network
If Angel Beats! has a substantial flaw, it’s that its cast of colorful characters is too broad for all of their stories to be explored in a 13-episode series. As a result, large blocks of the named cast exit near the end of the series without the series ever delving into their backstories and motivations. Comprehensiveness in this respect has caused the longer of the previous Key titles to drag at times, though, so the decision to focus on only a handful of cases may have been the lesser of two evils. The series makes up for that with a beautifully-handled final episode, though, one which waits until the last few minutes to reveal the true meaning of the series’ title. (It is, indisputably, appropriate, and probably not what you will expect.) Other minor flaws that the series may have also pale in comparison to what the series does right. This is one of the most complete series officially released in the U.S. so far this year and also one of the best.
Angel Beats! is a must watch. If you like slice-of-life anime and action anime, this is the perfect anime combination for you. At points you will cry, and at other points you will want, or hate most characters. But most importantly, you will love the action that Angel Beats! has to offer.
Rish Raff Anime Reviews
Angel Beats! was an anime that I did not expect much from. I thought that I would not get into because of the whole sob story thing, but I was very wrong. When it started I was quickly pulled into it by the story and the action, but I ended up staying with it for the characters. While the characters made the series, it also brought its biggest flaw. The story was rushed to the point where about half the characters are not even touched on. The ones that you do get backstory from are amazing though and it more than made up for not knowing the others. Their stories are all sad and even made me cry at one point. But if that is not your thing there is still something for everyone in this anime. If you like action, romance, tearjerkers, or music I highly recommend you check this out. Out of 10 I would give it a 9.5 and I would recommend this anime to people who are just getting into the community and people who have been in it for years alike. – B-Ro
Angel Beats! takes the best from multiple worlds and attempts to squish it all into one, and surprisingly this interesting mix works for the most part. It’s downfall however is that many of these awesome ideas are not realised in as much depth as they have the potential in doing so, due to the series being so short. However, what is there is truly wonderful, as it presents and conveys these ideas remarkably well and fits them together so they do feel natural. What’s there is simply put, amazing. The emotive, heart-felt scenes are nothing short of beautiful, the action will have your heart beating out of your chest and the humour should be appealing to even those who aren’t big on anime-styled humour, so it’s just jumping from one great idea to the next. Angel Beats! is a must watch for any fan of anime.
Angel Beats! is a series that has some rather sharp and glaring flaws but largely papers over these gaps by using the extraordinary amount of heart that lies at the core of the story. The story feels like it attempts to take too many ideas and meld them together when using its unique and powerful storytelling may have produced better, or at least even more memorable, results. In the end it is a series that will probably make most viewers want to overlook and forgive most of the flaws because the underlying soul of the piece is so powerful, but it is not going to be a series for everyone due to these flaws.
The Top Tens
In the end I have to say, Angel Beats! is a fantastic anime. It mixes emotional with funny elements into once, without being ridicolous or stupid.
Do you like digging deep into a story or are you happy to take things without too much questioning? Admittedly, you’ll enjoy this anime more if you put on your rose-tinted glasses and look past a plot hole here and there, or a vaguely explained, open-ended justification of events. This is the make or break of this anime – if you need a clean-cut plot then you’ve come to the wrong place…like if you were meant to go to a marriage equality rally you somehow ended up inside three churches at once. You will pick up on things, and the eight and a half I scored this show will turn to a five in your eyes. As a side note the anime may resonate highly if you feel you drew the short straw in life. And if you’re happy to look past the plot flaws then you will enjoy it – and trust me, it has the potential to be a very enjoyable anime.
My Anime List
All in all, I’m very glad I spent time with Angel Beats, and will surely miss its presence. At the same time, it pains me to think of how much better it could have been if the show didn’t feel so rushed, and if the writers had put a bit more planning and effort into the final moments.
There’s not much that can make me cry like a little baby in terms of entertainment media. This did it. And it still does after repeated viewings and even just listening to the right songs in the soundtrack. It’s even more powerful if you’ve lost a friend in a way that would put them in the Angel Beats universe and makes you hope for all the world that it is real for them. A very heartfelt anime that brought up all the right emotions at all the right times.
Every now and then the show will dedicate an episode to a character, and we really ought to have had more episodes like these ones, since this is where Angel Beats! is at its most heart-warming and dramatic. But with a 13 episode series, that’s hard to do while progressing a story and keeping the target audience entertained. The character development we do have puts you in touch with these them and brings a great deal of humanity in a world of survival. The final episode is very romantic and overflows with genuine emotion, and almost feels detached from the previous 12 episodes but brings the whole story together for an amazing conclusion. Sure, the pacing and script were very inconsistent at times, but the comedy and the likable, heartfelt characters made it well worth the journey to the afterlife.
While the structural issues with the plot and setting could have been shaved off with another rewrite or two, Angel Beats! still stands tall by virtue of its appealing artwork, wonderful songs, and its resonant story populated with attaching characters.
The Visual Medium
It took me quite a while before deciding to give Angel Beats! a 3 star rating instead of 4. Reasons for this is already mentioned above. The overall package just seems too uneven. 4 star ratings are for shows that I would highly recommend and come very close to being my all-time favourites. If someone asks me to recommend a 2010 anime, I would say “Angel Beats is really good! You should try watching it.” instead of “OMG go watch Angel Beats!”
The one complaint I have is that it moves too quickly. If they had expanded the number of episodes in the series it would have improved the story. As it an episode will focus on a character only to have them fall into the background or get written out soon thereafter. Just as you really get attached to a character they’re gone. A few more episodes would have made the show unfold at a more leisurely pace, which would have been nice especially at the end. Aside from that, it’s a great show.
Who Would I Recommend This To: Anyone getting tired of the same old same old in anime should give this a shot. It’s not perfect, but it tries, and in the end, I really liked this.
It is not perfect, rather slow paced at the beginning and i watched it with no expectations at all. But it also is very touching (at least for me), has an interesting topic and likable characters. I give it 8 out of 10 and can easily recommend this anime. If you can forgive some minor flaws and a slow paced beginning, you will probably enjoy “Angel Beats!”. Of course there are better animes out there, but there are also tons of worse ones.
Coming in without expectations enables me to be a bit more rational about it, and I’ve came up with this conclusion: This is a show that had potential, but it was wasted due to budget constraints. If you come into this show with high expectations, like that it’s the 2nd saddest anime you will see, throw out those thoughts unless you like hype backlash. It’s an average to less than average show, and it deserves to be treated as such. Here’s hoping that key can fix this broken story up, and make something worth all the praise it gets.
The Nihon Review
I adored the ending. The final episode almost seemed detached from the rest of the show with the characters behaving vastly differently and a relaxed tempo in a story that otherwise acted strapped for time. But the finale itself was so romantic and overflowing with genuine emotion thanks to a good plot twist (arguably one the show’s few) delivered with punch. It was a fitting end to a show that was, in spite of its flaws, rewarding overall. Sure, the pacing and script were woefully inconsistent and the show clearly bit off more tuna than it could chew, but the comedy and the likable, heartfelt characters made it worthwhile.
There simply isn’t any excuses for this kind of laziness. Angel Beats goes from being mildly intriguing to mildly annoying. Then, it becomes dumb and irritating before it starts grating patience by jumping all over the place. Angel Beats has no sense of humor, scale or progression of time and no fortitude to stick to one or two of its themes or topics and create something solid out of that. Instead, what you get is a cacophony of noise and color, completely devoid of substance, atmosphere and character. The only value this show has is in its opening and ending theme, which is available on an EP. That is the only part of this show worth spending any money on.