July 01, 2010

Angel Beats

I haven't written much about anime recently, simply because not much this season grabbed me (and there wasn't a duckie to be seen anywhere!).  Heck, I was only watching three series: K-On!!, which is still running, thankfully.  There was also Ichiban Ushiro no Daimou, which I like but it didn't make me watch it, so I'm stalled on ep07.

And then there's Angel Beats.

Wonderduck's One Word Review: Frustrating.

Wonderduck's Many Word Review: There have been many anime series that would have been improved by having fewer episodes.  DBZ, for example, could have had half the series cut out and it would have been a tighter, more interesting show (and I gather that the "new" DBZ Kai is doing just that).  One of my favorite shows, Kanon '06, could have cut out a few of the Makoto eps and I would have been perfectly fine with it, particularly if they used that time to go a little deeper into the other girls.  Many Gainax series should have ended a few episodes earlier than they actually did (one could argue that, in the case of Kare Kano and Evangelion, they actually did).  Then of course  Eiken would have been so much better if it had two fewer episodes.

There are even a few series that I wish had more episodes: Azumanga Daioh, for example.  Of course, that's just because I'd like to know what happened to the girls after high school.  The ARIA franchise could go on forever and I'd be happy... but that's because I like the setting and the characters and want to spend more time there.

But Angel Beats is one of the very few shows that I've seen that screams for more episodes.  Thirteen just wasn't enough for a story that was potentially deep, and as a result it came across as... well, shallow.  There was so much left unexplained by the rushed ending that it was intensely, horribly frustrating.  Example?  Take a look at this picture:

This is the main cast for Angel Beats (minus the "angel" of the title), yet in the end we only learn anything about five or six of them, the rest are just there for window dressing.  I mean, just why does TK speak English when everybody else is speaking Japanese?  Why does the computer geek want to be known as "Christ", other than being a geek?  The one standing on the shinai... how did she get so ninjalicious?  And that's just the cast list... what about the plot?  They're all dead, in purgatory, trying to get reborn, but they have to accept themselves first, and... and... and... frustrating.

There was so much potential there, and so much of it was flat-out wasted.  What we did get, however was soooooo tantalizing!  One of the tantalizing bits was the band, Girls Dead Monster (GirlDeMo).

Let's face it, the two concert scenes in Angel Beats out-K-On!!'s K-On!!, without breaking a sweat.  Think about that for a second: it does a rock band better than the anime about a rock band.  Yet we know nothing about three of the people up on that stage; only the lead singer gets any backstory, and that's just before she reincarnates and disappears (both literally and figuratively) from the series.  Frustrating!  (A note about the music: this show has the best BGM I've ever heard, and the OP is fantastic.  If you can get your hands on a copy of the soundtrack, do it!)

In the end, though, I really did enjoy the series.  In fact, for the first time in a long while I haunted TokyoTosho waiting for new episodes to appear.  When the final ep finished downloading, though, I couldn't bring myself to watch it for a few days, because I knew it was going to be rushed, and because I suspected it was going to be a trainwreck.  I was right on both counts.

So, as much as I enjoyed Angel Beats, I'm afraid that I cannot, in good conscious, recommend the show.

Sorry, Yurippe.  Now about that inevitable 24-episode remake...

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:37 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 678 words, total size 5 kb.

1 Must gte round to checking this out sometime soon. What episodes are the performances in BTW?

Posted by: Andy Janes at July 04, 2010 11:25 AM (HqLOj)

2 About half of them, Andy, have an appearance of GirlDeMo, starting with ep01.

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 04, 2010 01:14 PM (iJfPN)

3 A random guy at #animeblogger said he's read this post. Also: "Or rather, it's like rooting for {insert recently-toppled top national soccer teams here} but then they died suddenly."

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at July 07, 2010 09:36 AM (/ppBw)

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