AgentJ (Level 13)

Batman is Anime, and Zelda's an RPG. These are a few of the most dumbest (sic) things.
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Yeah, I'm back. Sorry for keeping you all waiting (all three of you).  
 
    
Saeko, and her useless bra, were very wet.
Saeko, and her useless bra, were very wet.
This episode provided us a whole new outlook on one of our main characters in Saeko. Prior to this, I saw her in sort of a  shining light. Strong, gorgeous, smart, and seemingly flawless, Saeko has been the tank for our survivors (outside of, you know, the Humvee). But now, in her alone time with Takashi, we see that she is, in fact, a human being, and not some bokken-wielding angel sent from heaven to collect heaven coins... wait... wrong show.  

Its a change i'm still processing, and am conflicted about. I really liked the old, confident, reliable perfect Saeko. I've always had a weakness for characters that seem unflappable. Some would call that a lack of depth, but that's not really what it is. Saeko still had personality. Take your average anime heroine from any harem (because HOTD falls into that genre more every episode). If the main character... lets say Kenshiro, falls over and sees up her skirt, you know the reaction will be one of either embarrassment or anger, and they'll either cower or hurt things. Saeko simply accepted such situations. This isn't the only example, but overall the character was kind of withdrawn and mysterious, not letting those around her get too close, as personified on the sandbar. 
 
But when she no longer had the capacity to fight, she had no choice but to let someone in, and it culminated in some real raw, emotional honesty. As she talked about that defining moment of her past, I felt something for the character that I hadn't previously; sympathy. Before she was a monolith, a statue, a greek god. But now she was suddenly a real girl, and it was a pretty profound transformation.Quite striking considering what this show has become; a raunchy action thriller.  
 
Thanks to having been exposed to so many stories like this over the years, I half expected her to be offed by the zombies that came to the shrine immediately after her climactic scene, but I was glad to be wrong. And as I watched wide-eyed Saeko use her new, real Katana to cut down all the living-dead, I found myself really liking this crazy side of her. The duality or bi-polar character has rarely been handled well in any story that I've seen or read, which is why it brings me pleasure to see it handled well here.  
 
Tanaka though... I thought he was with Rei now! Sure he's a teenage boy and all, but what a dick! Then again, would I have handled myself differently placed in this completely absurd situation? Not a fucking chance.  
 
BTW, to read past episode blogs or check in on Angel Beats, just click over to my profile.
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Hrm, excellent recovery Key. 
 
Get chance and luck! *stab*
Get chance and luck! *stab*
Last episode, you may remember that I was complaining about the prevalence of the clone in anime and other Japanese media. Its a huge cliche. But in this episode, seemingly to make it up to me, they shattered a cliche more prevalent throughout fiction; that the plan the heroes throw together at the last minute always works. This time it seems to have backfired in a big way, and it feels good. They also played with cliches as each character made their sacrifice. The "shonen hero death" and rockin' TK being the best. 
 
The guns the SSS uses seem to be completely ineffective, yet Tenshi and her clones don't bother to move while they're using their shields. It seems they would have no problem tearing these foes apart... 
 
The episode felt very short, like not much happened, and it ended on a real cliffhanger (even more so than poor little Yui :P). What will Tenshi be like when she recovers? Will she be back to her old self? Will she carry a new-found malice in her heart? Damn it cliffhanger, I have so many questions that need answering! 
  
Finals are all over, so I'll be giving it my all over the final 5 episodes! I love these short seasons!
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What did I say? WHAT DID I SAY? You don't leave your fortification! No way no how! 
Such a player, that he'll only kill zombies if he can rest his gun on the bosom of a female . He is, the MOST INTERESTING MAN in the (remaining) WORLD
Such a player, that he'll only kill zombies if he can rest his gun on the bosom of a female . He is, the MOST INTERESTING MAN in the (remaining) WORLD

Seriously, I hate to say I told them so, but even if their humvee could float (why didn't those punks from a few episodes ago just SWIM (or... um... walk) across?) Why would they risk so much without making proper preparations?  
 
These kids are damn good for using military-grade weapons for the first time. I know my face would have been rearranged if I tried to use a shotgun without a professional correcting my every move. Is Hirano's advice just that good, or is this just an anime?
 
In other news, this is the infamous "Matrix boobs" episode, where Saeko's bra apparently circumvents support for movement rapid enough to avoid a bullet. Hey, it saved her a limb (:P), so I guess she made the right decision.  Speaking of which, you know why the girls almost died right? Its because they were wearing clothes again. How ironic that zombies love eating human flesh, but can't stand to look at it. 
 
I have to admit, even though I knew someone would come save them, this episode was feeling pretty bleak by the end. as the zombies closed in I became convinced that not everyone would make it. Thankfully, the same people that set up the barrier and got our heroes into the situation made it all better. I don't really understand why the zombies weren't responding to the sounds Takezo and Busujima made, but perhaps thats a story for another day (ARE THEY EVOLVING???????) 
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 The eternal question; allies with or without sufficient protection?
 The eternal question; allies with or without sufficient protection?

Because you don't need clothes when you're fighting zombies. They don't protect against biting or anything. Actually, in a totally non-sarcastic way, maybe this fan-service is actually good zombie strategy; the bare minimum in weight, plus you can't snag on a piece of scrap metal or wry zombie limb. You saw what happened to Takashi with the grabbing and the almost dying, and HE WAS WEARING CLOTHES! In fact, everyone that has died so far was wearing an appropriate level of fabric. Just saying. 

Again, I’m not really sure about the strategy behind simply leaving a gated, multi-level compound with ammo without any plan to get to the quarantine zone. Seems to me that they could have returned home after saving what seems to be our last cast member, but maybe I’m missing something. Sound shouldn’t be an issue; the undead were having real problems getting over the walls in that neighborhood, so simply driving the humvee back and closing the gate…

Hirano really is a kick-ass gunner. Best fatty in anime.

Was anyone else weirded out by the whole “I have to pee” thing? I know that Japanese have a thing about urine and trust, but that whole scene was just uncomfortable.

Not much else to say on this episode, beyond the ridiculousness of jumping the bike over the wall. But I’ll stop complaining about this show being ridiculous; at this point, it’s obviously on purpose. I’ll miss looking at it in the same light as “Dawn of the Dead” but camp is fun too. 

Lastly, does EVERY female character regardless of age or background have to be in love with the main character? Is that REALLY a requirement? I mean, can't one or two of them like Hirano, or be in mourning, or something? I mean, if this isn't a harem now, I don't know what is. 
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Angel Beats! is now going through antagonists the way Paris Hilton goes through dogs, or the Arizona Cardinals go through quarterbacks. We get to dislike Naoi for a single

 Emo-nashi has nothing to live for
 Emo-nashi has nothing to live for

 episode, before a demon tenshi (little joke there :P) appears to our heroes? 

And this new one… I’m seriously tired of the standard Japanese anime/game theme of having a “dark” version of a character. Dark Link, Hollow Ichigo, the mirror Naruto, the whole concept is just a big cop-out and lacking in creativity. The symbolism is obvious. The protagonists have to overcome THEMSELVES in order to achieve their goals. But good symbolism is subtle, or at least more subtle than this. Star Wars and Lord of the Rings are great examples of how this struggle can be pulled of properly, without cliché. But as usual, I'm probably over-reacting and going in the wrong direction.  

We get one of those melancholy episodes today, though it starts out with a bang-we get a look into Otonashi's past, courtesy of the increasingly adorable hynotist. And I must say, this might be the most heart-wrenching look back yet. I'm surprised that he didn't blame himself more, because it was kind of his fault... But it was interesting to see the subtle difference in the character after he regained his memories. He's more ernest, more forthright. He's finally a sympathetic character, and it seems that's all it took for me. 

Also painful to watch are these slice-of-life episodes, though like with many aspects, Angel Beats! Makes it worth watching. They’re going fishing… Sure it gives us a chance to get to know the characters better and allows the SSS to accept Tenshi, but that could have been reduced to a few minutes. That said, the scene with Otonashi and Tenshi among the sunflowers was stunning. I’m getting a big crush on... the cinematographers. 

Speaking of those two, this episode makes me wonder what the nature of their budding relationship is. Could it be one of romance? They certainly seem to get along well. But now, I'm beginning to think they could be more interested in a brother-sister familiarity.

 If I haven’t made it clear yet, Angel Beats! Has really grown on me, and very well could wind up on my favorites list. My biggest worry now is that we won't see TK's memories, because there has to be an interesting story there.  

 
As always, I love feedback, so feed the beast and give me your thoughts on the episode. 
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