AgentJ's Imitation Watch and Learn: Angel Beats! #1

Topic started by AgentJ on March 7, 2011. Last post by sickVisionz 3 years, 6 months ago.
Post by AgentJ (1,545 posts) See mini bio Level 13

Suzumiya Yurippe  
Suzumiya Yurippe  

I remember well all the hubub about Angel Beats! when it was making its initial run through Japanese TV. The main character was an obvious Haruhi Suzumiya clone. It could be nothing more than a "Sci-fi Melancholy". Opinions changed very quickly, but after watching the first episode, I was left with that very impression.  
 
Angel Beats!' main character, Yuri, is little more than a palate swap from being the infamous "god character" herself. She has the same peppy altitude, a legion of male and female archetype followers (my favorite of which so far is TK) and... a beret + sniper rifle? Okay, maybe she isn't quite exactly the same, but Angel Beats! had a very obvious source of inspiration. If it turns out that Yuri is in fact god, then... well... this might as well be Haruhi fanfiction. 
 
If Yuri is Haruhi, than that makes the evil, villainous, mischeveous, and downright despisable "Tenshi" is actually Yuki Nagato. That lengthy description seems to be the impression of Yuri's SSS (SOS?) Brigade, though through the eyes of the stereotypical protagonist Otonashi, Tenshi just looks like any typical unassuming girl..
 
And when I say "stereotypical", I mean in the worst way. Has there ever been an amnesic dead guy this boring before? I have to believe so. And while most of the characters are well designed, Otonashi almost looks like he was drawn differently, if not worse. Its as if they pasted some Fate/Stay fanart into certain scenes instead of giving the protagonist the proper animation treatment he deserves.  

The plot is fairly interesting, in that everyone at the school (seemingly the only location in the afterlife) is dead, stuck in limbo. They have options; join the "NPCs" that populate the world and live a normal life, eventually disappearing (and possibly resurrecting), or skip classes and be a punk to stay in this school-world. You can die over and over (as the protagonist does repeatedly in the first episode) and will simply wake up later, fully recovered from your injuries, and still in the afterlife.  The idea is used to good comedic effect, first as Otonashi asks to be killed to prove a point, then is victim to a 100 hit combo, and then by a hidden trap.  
 
So I'm not really sure what to make of this show yet. It seems like standard fare so far, not quite what I was expecting from all the praise I've heard. Then again, its rare that the first episode is reflective of a shows' quality as a whole, so perhaps I'm just being too judgemental. The animation is quite nice and it seems to have a certain level of style, but I'm... cautious. 
Post by EquitasInvictus (332 posts) See mini bio Level 15
@AgentJ: Nice post! I remember being cautious of Angel Beats! myself when I first started watching it, especially with the borderline copy-and-paste Key lead, but there's a charm behind that. Key actually manages to develop these typical protagonists in interesting ways and I especially appreciated how Otonashi and even other members of the SSS develop throughout the series. One can make a valid case for Angel Beats! actually being a "coming of age" type of fiction. However, when you're done with the series... well, we'll talk - definitely post your thoughts then!
Post by AgentJ (1,545 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@EquitasInvictus said:
" @AgentJ: Nice post! I remember being cautious of Angel Beats! myself when I first started watching it, especially with the borderline copy-and-paste Key lead, but there's a charm behind that. Key actually manages to develop these typical protagonists in interesting ways and I especially appreciated how Otonashi and even other members of the SSS develop throughout the series. One can make a valid case for Angel Beats! actually being a "coming of age" type of fiction. However, when you're done with the series... well, we'll talk - definitely post your thoughts then! "
Thanks for the feedback. Its not a long series, so we should be able to discuss it soon.
Post by sotyfan16 (1,341 posts) See mini bio Level 20
This show seems like Melancholy off the start but it quickly deviates from that path. Angel Beats! was one of my favorite anime of 2010 and by the end I think you will understand why.
Post by sickVisionz (4,289 posts) See mini bio Level 24
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I'd definitely say give the show a shot.  Yuri is Haruhi and her ragtag gang of misfits are very much the SOS Brigade and that never really changes, but for me that wasn't a bad thing.  I get upset when things are copied but are noticeably worse in every way.  Angel Beats really nails everything awesome about the Haruhi show on a quality level that hadn't been seen since season one of Haruhi, which is pretty impressive considering how many brash girl leading a rag tag team of goofs and misfits shows had come out since then, including season 2 of Haruhi.

For me it was the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya with way better animation, knife fights, shoot outs and punk rock insert songs thrown in.  All of that added up to win for me.
 
If you didn't like this episode, you could probably drop the series though.  They introduce some sob story origins for the characters but outside of that the series keeps the same tone and things that you see in this first episode.  It's one of the few but ever increasing amount of anime that actually does make the first episode present most of the good qualities of the series and establishes the tone that series is going to take.
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