“No matter what happens, I will be by your side”
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Year of production:2010
Number of episodes: 13eps
Produced By: P.A Works and Aniplex
Content: Contains violence and select moments of bad language (usually for a reason)
Genre: Action, School Life, Comedy, Supernatural
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Story:
The story of Angel Beats follows Yuzuru Otonashi, a young man on the way to his university entrance exam. On the way there, the train he is riding on crashes in the train tunnel, and inevitably, he dies. Afterwards, he wakes up in Limbo, face to face with a young red-haired girl with a sniper pointed downwards. The girl’s name is Yuri, and she invites him to join the Afterlife Battlefront (SSS), a group which fights against the cruel fate given to them by God. She also tells him about Angel, a girl who is believed to be working for God, and is the mortal enemy of the SSS. With Otonashi now a member of the SSS, he goes upon his mission of defeating Angel…..

Artwork:
What else can I say, other than the artwork is beautiful? P.A Works has absolutely set a high standard for this show, as seen in the picture at the start of this post. Everything from the environments to the images used in the OP/ED, to even the characters looks superb. School uniforms are detailed immensely, and almost look like a direct translation from reality to the anime medium. The “assailants” introduced towards the latter half of the show are animated quite well, with much detail being paid to them.
I liked the attention paid to the hipster character, T.K. His headband was pretty well done, and the peace necklace chained around his neck, was animated perfectly during the fight scenes in which it was constantly flung around XD

Sound:
The voice cast for this show was quite impressive, each delivering their roles quite well. Hiroshi Kamiya as Otonashi and Harumi Sakurai as Yuri both play their roles of the main leads superbly, giving emotion to the main characters. Even though Angel was a quiet character and was not of the talkative type, Kana Hanazawa managed to bring to the surface her hidden emotions, and the secrets hidden away behind her quiet exterior. The weaponry displayed throughout the series sounded as it should, no doubt being helped by their real-life counterparts.
The OP has to be one of my most favourite anime opening songs of all time. The beautiful melody of the piano, accompanied by the imagery of Angel playing said piano, was simply incredible. The insert songs throughout the series was, often enough, matched to suit the scene being displayed, and helped to enhance the feelings given off by the scene in question. While the ED will not stay in my head for very long, it is still a noteworthy song that should be remembered, if only for its subtlety and beauty.
However, there were some negatives to the seiyuu. While some may disagree with me on this point, I found the English dub of the series to be quite moderate in comparison. The voices did not give off as much emotion as in the Japanese voices. Some of the characters even came across as annoying and whiny (example: Yui). Most were tolerable, but nothing extraordinary.

Characters/Themes:
Many of the characters had respectable personalities, and surprisingly, there really were no cliches! Otonashi was the skeptical main lead, Yuri the headstrong and determined battle girl, Angel the multilayered girl with secrets etc. None of them managed to grate on your nerves, and each had different character traits to accompany them. Its as if the creators wanted to make each individual unique, which including Girls Dead Monster and the other members of the Afterlife Battlefront, they certainly did.
This show is also quite emotional at certain points, so keep a box of tissues handy. It tackles the themes of belonging, self-worth, acceptance and more. Especially Yui’s “moment”, man that cut me deep. This added layer of emotion is also what makes Angel Beats so good, as it complements the themes of the show perfectly.

Conclusion:
In conclusion, Angel Beats is probably my favourite P.A Works title so far. With its terrific blend of cinematography, acting and emotion, it is an anime that I would reccommend to anyone willing to shed a few tears. It truly is a show worth your time, and I guarantee you this, it will teach you some life lessons. Hell, I certainly learnt a few.

Rating: 8/10