Angel Beats #13 — Character Rape

June 25th, 2010

 

Right up to the very end.

Impressions:

If you were hoping for an ending that had anything at all to do with Yuri or explaining all the dangling threads, tough tiddles. Instead, you’re getting a corny graduation ceremony (expected), with plenty of shots of scenery as Otonoashi recaps the story thus far, Yuri blushing and getting flustered for the first time in the show, and Kanade skipping, humming, dancing, giggling, and cowering like the writers grabbed from the wrong personality archetype pile. Oh yes, and then after everybody else has said good bye and poofed, Otonoashi confesses his undying love for Kanade and how he wants to always be with her, so, of coure, she disappears, and Otonashi breaks down in tears. Run credits. Oh yeah, and in case that wasn’t out of nowhere enough for you. Kanade was apparently Otonashi’s organ recipient, and her regret was being unable to thank him for it. I… wait… what? Was that whole thing just to make an excuse for an overblown "We share the same heart" line? I’m pretty sure it was.

Apparently he came to terms after that or something because the post-ED has a short sequence of Kanade in another world humming the same song while a stalker another Otonashi chases after her, so yeah, sure. Why not? Otonashi in anguish followed by a cheap corny reincarnation tagline is more or less appropriate given everything that’s come so far. Because this whole thing was… a touching love story between Otonashi and Kanade. I feel like I missed a memo somewhere. It wasn’t all outright horrible though. Kanade’s tofu song was cute, and despite the confession scene making absolutely zero sense, at least it had very touching music. They also did an okay job with the graduation ceremony, although like always, the bad slapstick interrupted moments about two seconds after they started getting emotional.

Final thoughts at the bottom.

Final Thoughts:

The phrase "Train wreck" comes to mind, but it’s really not accurate. Trains have momentum and direction. This does not. A better analogy would be a pack of feral chihuauas in heat. With grenades taped to their backs. Entertaining and destructive, maybe even cute and tragic at times, but ultimately a waste of explosives and snake food. I don’t think having more episodes would have helped at all either. The problem wasn’t the pacing, it was that from start to finish, the show had absolutely no idea what it wanted to do, where it was going, or what its endgame was. It would do slapstick for ten minutes, then suddenly turn deadly serious, and then it tossed in romance literally five minutes from the end. Then they would compare someone missing a fly ball to someone else having their entire family murdered like they were events of the same importance. That certainly made it interesting to talk about, but I’d say the same thing about Maburaho or Princess Lover.

Production was mostly pretty good, so if you just want to completely turn off your brain and see some people shooting guns with wildly inappropriate J Pop, or pretty sunsets, you could do worse, but there were a lot of extremely obvious lapses that even Imagin would have been embarrassed to put out. The characters were also extremely undeveloped, particularly Kanade. Only Otonashi and maybe Hinata showed any kind of growth or development, the rest of the time, flashbacks were just spit out to show that the characters had developed. The active story should never be subordinate to character background. Passive versus active. English 101, baby. Most of the characters didn’t even get that much. They were just archetypes tossed in there to fill space as gag characters. The girl who died in episode three (two? I forget) had more development, and maybe more screen time, than characters that were around for nearly the entire run.

In the end, there’s really not a whole lot to recommend here outside the visuals and the occasional funny gag between bouts of overblown melodrama. Besides, I really cannot even begin to imagine what watching multiple episodes of this in one sitting would be like. Now that it’s over (well, aside from one DVD extra episode), there’s really nothing else left to say other than to point out all the ways that the show could have developed if it had just picked one direction and stuck with it.

My only hope is that the DVD extra episode is twenty straight minutes of TK ranting.

Posted in Angel Beats! | 98 Comments »

98 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • sage says:

    Wow.

    So there are times where the “best couple end” is not the “best end”. Wow.

  • Serpit says:

    “The phrase “Train wreck” comes to mind, but it’s really not accurate. Trains have momentum and direction. This does not. A better analogy would be a pack of feral chihuauas in heat. With grenades taped to their backs. Entertaining and destructive, maybe even cute and tragic at times, but ultimately a waste of explosives and snake food.”

    I think I love you.

  • sage says:

    Also…

    Besides, I really cannot even begin to imagine what watching multiple episodes of this in one sitting would be like.

    GUESS WHAT I AM ABOUT TO DO, ARODUC.

    (Joke’s on me, though. I’ll probably die of a brain aneurysm if I do that)

  • sage says:

    I think I love you

    Go away, he is taken.

  • Principality says:

    Anime of the year, all years.

  • luka says:

    if I not mistake she doesnt say she love him only she is greatful beacouse he save her life then this isnt any romance between them

  • redlupine says:

    Kanade was apparently Otonashi’s organ recipient, and her regret was being unable to thank him for it. I… wait… what?

    but… I… Kanade was… but Otonashi… *head explodes*

  • Hogart says:

    I watched eps 1-11 in one sitting, and I don’t recommend it. Like many anime the flaws are even more apparent when you don’t take it in on a weekly basis.

    But hey, I wasn’t expecting quality, so my only disappointment is that there’s really nothing of value to discuss about Angel Beats. Maybe you’ll get better mileage knowing the series’ punchline in advance :)

  • If Kanade got Otonashi’s heart as a transplant, it sure didn’t keep her alive for very long. She was in this place before he showed up, right?

  • Aroduc says:

    Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Don’t point out the holes.

  • GreyDuck says:

    So giving up about halfway through saved me several hours of my life that I don’t have to want to ask for back.

    Got it. Whew. Thanks for taking that bullet, man.

  • Solaris says:

    Wow those final thoughts were heartbreaking. It just looked like reading another unusual Aroduc. This one was serious and emotional. Good job. I really want to praise you.

  • Solaris says:

    Damn, i was thining the very same thing. How come Kanade was there BEFORE Otonashi showed up there??? Maybe space and time are twisted and it’s not a plot hole at all ¬.¬ Uhm even i am not truly sure about my own writing here… -.-“

  • Hentai_Jp says:

    This show got too much love on ANN. I didn’t share that opinion so I searched “Angel Beats is bad” on google and this site came up. Made my day. I’ll be sticking around now :P.

    Awesome reviews Aroduc. Very entertaining.

  • arigatou says:

    I was reminded of “Tsubasa Chronicles” plot where Sakura’s feathers have an impact on a different world 300 years yet it just a few days since the group’s journey in search for her feathers have began.

    So, it takes Yuzura a lot of time in the purgatory before he ended up in that place. Kanade came their first become she suffered much pain than him, she lasted 3-10 years even getting Yuzuru’s heart.

  • john says:

    SO SO SO SO bad all i can say WTF he loves her i mean sigh ONlY thing good about this show was the art otherwise this was plain horrible i mean c mon no plot or premise such HUGE hype for this show and boom massive letdown in all aspects the guy who made this better run back to his old studio cuz if he makes another flop like this he gonna be writing comic’s on the subway lol

  • tachi says:

    “The active story should never be subordinate to character background.”

    Guess you weren’t a fan of lost.

  • lubczyk says:

    LOST sucked balls. I knew it by the end of the end of the first season. It’s basically a soap opera. Pretty much all soap operas, whether American, British, Japanese Brazilian, Iranian, or Filipino/ are meant to fill up season upon season until ratings drop, like most manga.

    I hate postmodernist culture. It’s all about ratings and meaningless titillation and not about greater meaning, characters, coherent writing and “plot.”

    I refuse to ever watch such drivel.

    Also, fuck Maeda and Angel Beats. The guy should retake one of his high school creative writing courses and actually pass this time.

  • Aroduc says:

    Survey says nyet!

  • amyable says:

    Seriously, Aroduc, that chihuahua analogy might have been the funniest sentence I’ve read all year. Props. And thanks for making this abortion semi-watchable.

  • VK says:

    I skipped over episode 12, so I must have missed this, but someone told me that Ootonashi came later than Kanade because he was a bug/had amnesia?

    Meh, I don’t get it.

  • john says:

    this show fuckin sucked balls what a waste Maeda is awful go back to your job and relearn your shit fool lol..

  • Aex says:

    I was expecting Kanade to have gotten Otonashi’s SISTER’S heart or something. That could’ve at least been stretched out to where it might’ve made sense, where she wanted to say “Thank You” and show her gratitude to the older brother.

  • Aex says:

    Horrible ending. I’d even compare it to Magikano’s ending, and that is my all-time most hated ending ever. Not that the show wasn’t already on life-support, but this just killed it outright. They took the romantic elements of the Tsukihime anime(complete with the bitter conclusion) and threw them into an afterlife version of the Matrix. How did that ever sound like a good idea to anyone? At least it’s over… right?

  • sage says:

    It’s like L O S T, Steven. The order didn’t matter, they were all in LOL HEAVEN at the same time anyway.

    (When you think about it, it really was like LOST. It made NO FUCKING SENSE AT ALL)

  • Anonymous says:

    Great Review, this ending sounds convoluted and rushed, but then again pretty much all endings are nowadays.

    I don’t think the series as a whole is terrible, its is no where near the high standards of other KEY series. It has great art and music and an intriguing concept, though I fully agree that the series main flaw (and a big flaw it is) is that it tries to includes too many plot points which have almost nothing to do with each other. The series could have been developed in so many better ways, but it was heavily bogged down with random, confusing and illogical plot twists.

    Though I say that, I can’t believe most of you say that the show simply “sucks” when it clearly doesn’t, the fact that the show doesn’t know where its going “sucks” the reason why you people hate it just overrated (like ohh Twilight, Lost etcetc) there are shitloads of anime that are acutally a lot worse out there. While the show definitely was a let down, the funny thing is Angel Beats is pretty much one the best thing out there in this current season of anime (though that’s not saying much AT ALL).

  • Haesslich says:

    But that’s what holes are for, besides concealing bodies.

    Also, I’m thinking that Maeda was a fan of the Maheomatic WTF ending. At least it’s dead for good, right?

  • Kaisos says:

    Wow. That was terrible.

    That was so terrible that I think I lost five entire IQ points. That was so terrible that I had to skip through the entire graduation scene just to stay sane.

    What the hell happened to this show? After the Naoi episode it just got worse and worse and worse…

    Oh well, at least we got TK out of it.

  • Honoo says:

    Looks like all the show manage to make me do from start to end is laugh… and I’m still laughing.

    I thought that I can’t take this show seriously, but in the end… I really can’t take it seriously.

  • Anonymous says:

    At least the pacing here makes me appreciate Asura Cryin’ more.

    Angel Beats couldn’t sell the bittersweet end it tried to set up and it just didn’t earn a good ending. Almost the entire cast disappeared off-screen between two episodes, so it’s not like moving on to whatever the next part of the afterlife is is a big deal, and having Otonashi and Kanade meet up again in the post-afterlife right after she disappeared in his arms is just… strange. It would have made more sense if they’d just gone straight to the post-afterlife.

  • BWK says:

    you want an anime with holes? I give the name of one, a tiny and almost did not succeed, evangelion …
    ya want more, go and see Haruhi, history and full of unnecessary things, but the basic idea of the series was very successful …
    in my honest opinion, angel beats only sinned in one point, an extremely important point that ends up covering several other points:

    1) Size of the series, angel beats would be much better if it was done with 25 episodes. Deepening the history of the characters, a better use of adjuvant (judo boy, TK, halberd …) and better development of the story (6th episode for the 7th episode, the guy made a massacre … suddenly becomes all buddy!) .

    Anyway the series was good. had the potential to at least a 10 or a 9, but it will take 8 for this failure …
    ps:sorry for my english…

  • Kaisos says:

    Evangelion has years and years of additional material devoted to explaining it, and one thing it has over Angel Beats is consistent characterization. That and the most kick-ass, Tang-filled ending of all time.

    …Does anyone else feel that Angel Beats would have been better if it had more people turning into Tang?

  • Sil says:

    They should have made Otonashi the final villain where he was the “Mysterious NPC” character who created this world while waiting for Kanade. Well, it would have been more interesting then this ending.

  • Kaisos says:

    Anyone being a villain at all would have been more interesting than this ending.

  • BWK says:

    Evangelion good ending? lol!
    the final episodes of Evangelion were very deep … much that no one saw them at the bottom of the dark tunnel … The end of Evangelion was very ornate, has a false image of intellectual appeal … speaks, speaks, speaks, and not say anything at all …
    the world simply ends, or re-start … nobody knows …
    (Even with addition, several holes are still there, perhaps with upcoming movies maybe…)

    Angel beats, like I said before, has a good basic idea, but the series has worked with a very fast rhythm … that detail nearly kills the idea, however, even with this flaw, the series deserves to be seen, much more than things like …
    maybe … J-off

    Gainax…Good ending…(Tengen toppa guren lagan)

  • Kaisos says:

    I said “kick-ass” and “Tang-filled”, not “good”.

    Even so, when your ending has a giant naked angel with a vagina eye on her forehead, Tang EVERYWHERE, a ripoff of Hey, Jude, and kimochiwarui, you’re doing it right.

    There was nothing fun or entertaining about the last episode of Angel Beats. In fact, it was very, very painful. Therefore, it will never be as enjoyable as End of Eva.

  • Anonymous says:

    You people are a bunch of unimaginitive drones.

    You expected it to be X and it turned out to be Y, which you then feel it failed. Perhaps it was you who expected the wrong thing.

    You missed everything this anime was building up for and the ending flew straight over your head. I don’t even see why you’d continue watching this series if you got into such a hissy fit from the beginning. Do you really like ranting about characterization and plot you don’t even try to understand? I don’t think your opinion is invalid but christ, do us all a favor and don’t blog about a series if you clearly dislike it. You paint it as some kind of terrible monstrosity to your blind masses while it’s been called one of the best of the season. I won’t bother arguing about specific plot points or details because clearly, nothing will satisfy your desire to paint Angel Beats as some kind of horrific mess. And I pity you for that.

    Oh, and remember to try not to be as tasteless in public after you delete this k? Hope you turn into an even bigger tool one day.

  • Evan says:

    what i find weird is how Kanade had Otonashi’s Heart implanted-died and reincarnated, and still somehow arrived in the afterlife long enough to have developed an arch enemy sort of relationship with Yuri – before Otonashi got there himself…weird? i think it is!

  • Kaisos says:

    I expected it to be good. I was disappointed.

    Was I wrong to at least expect that?

  • Aroduc says:

    Yes. How dare you!

  • The Phantom says:

    And the show looked promising… in fact everything looked promising: nice visuals, above average music, good character designs. What a way to fuck up everything.

  • FlameStrike says:

    Hahahaha this is an excellent sum up of the various problems Angel Beats had. When you look at it from an objective stand point an analyze it, the problems Aroduc explains are clearly there.

    Not that any of them stopped me from enjoying the hell out of this series. Angel Beats also has numerous plus points (Obviously from the hordes of people that love it, like me.) but they don’t appeal to everyone. People are just too different from each other for one thing to please everyone. Well, in the case of AB the flaws are universally recognizable, but I’m too busy going FUCK YEAH KANADE!!(Other people are like this too I bet.) to bother to care much. Overall a good and enjoyable series for me. It was the best show I’ve seen this season despite the numerous glaring flaws. Kanade x Yuzuru end = idc about the rest heh. I mean they’ve been building up to this the whole damn series. I’d have been heck disappointed if nothing happened, but they delivered.

    I’m looking forward to the blue ray extra ep. Here’s to more TK rapping and spazzing out!

  • X-3 says:

    Otonashi’s heart was so terrible that it somehow made Kanade die before him.

    I really wonder if this show would have improved if it had more episodes. Regardless, I think Aroduc’s final thoughts are quite accurate. Also more entertaining than the final episode.

    I loved how they just had everyone else pass on before the episode started. No real final words, just “they’re gone”. Real nice.

  • tylon says:

    There seems to be some reasons to back why Kanade is there before Yuzuru:
    Kanade mentioned that the heart is still beating and she wanted to thank the person that gave her the heart. (She is still alive?)
    Yuzuru mentioned that he is not suppose to appear in this world as he had fulfilled his objective. He had lost his way and his memory. (Therefore, he had reached that world later.)

  • Solaris says:

    It’s kind of true the direction spinned all around like carried by the wind. Where’s no direction, is likely people don’t even know what to expect from it.

    And Oh yes, this serie was indeed among the best of the season, compared with the VOID pestering this year’s production value.

  • Anise Punter says:

    Something bothered the hell out of me while watching it but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

    I believe that was what I was looking for, good sir.

    Not an all time classic, this show, not even close, probably a 7.5 or thereabouts, but the best show this season.

  • hi2u says:

    Anno understood what made the things he borrowed from good, and used them as proper inspiration.
    Maeda took pieces he liked from other works and patched them together without understanding why they were good in the first place, resulting in… AB.

  • 高校 says:

    結局疑點太多

  • Myssa Rei says:

    No use convincing the willfully blind.

    I have to say this for the series though: it kept me entertained for thirteen weeks. However being entertaining, and being a coherent piece of writing are two different things.