Angel Beats Review: Life after Life

angel6Time to review my all time favorite anime.

Angel Beats was an anime I picked early on when I started seriously watching anime. I was hesitant at first, but after being drawn into its world, I realized this was something special.

angel2The setting of Angel Beats is a purgatory for souls who aren’t ready to pass on or enter nirvana. The teenagers stranded in this purgatory have met a terrible fate and under guidance of Yuri stand up against God to demand justification.

The subject matter is quite open for many interpretations, but is portrayed within a high school setting to make it more approachable. And probably there was another motive for the setting that would drive up sales, but I don’t want to involve conspiracy theories in this review. It seems appropriate a fulfilling childhood is a more compelling topic to portray.

angel3The teenagers in Angel Beats are living out their childhood in the particular purgatory they are stranded in. This gives room for the original creators to explore multiple back stories. Angel Beats doesn’t explore them all, which is also the main criticism for the show, but is able to create tear jerking moments along the way.

Some arcs are really tragic and are the main drama driver as those moments explore psychological development of the particular character. The series itself is combined with over the top humor to give it some room to breathe. This is the opposite approach of series such as AnoHana with a familiar theme, where it almost felt like the series instructed the viewer when to experience sadness. Angel Beats chooses a more subtle approach without generating on screen depression. There’s a sense of fulfillment with the viewer and the audience.

angel4P.A. Works always puts in a lot of effort when it comes down to animation. The buildings and environments are one of the most detailed in the industry.

The character designs are done by Key, the visual novel studio responsible for games such as Clannad and Little Busters. The designs will be familiar for fans of Key, but will also have a nice blend into the world of anime. The signature color scheme of P.A. Works is present that flows through all their series. You will love it or hate it.

The soundtrack of Angel Beats is characterized by the fictional band called Girls Dead Monster that serve as addition to progress the story. The music is catchy and gives the show a more authentic feel. The overall music throughout the series creates atmosphere when needed to create certain emotions.

angel5Angel Beats explores a wide variety of topics such as the existence of an omnipotent being, love and loss within an approachable setting. The visuals and soundtrack give the series an above average feel, making it stand out among other shows. While the series could’ve taken more time to tell the back stories of its characters, Angel Beats felt conclusive. Therefore I rate the show a 9 out of 10 for the exceptional performance.

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4 thoughts on “Angel Beats Review: Life after Life

  1. Kurumi Shim says:

    The afterlife concept of the series is really fun to watch not to mention on how the characters enjoy their school life to the most adventurous way. Compared to other light novel based anime of the same genre, Angel Beats is one of my favorites. It shows a good blend of comedy, action, romance and drama. It gradually gave me escalating emotions at the near end. However, although we’ve got to see a lot of characters in the anime, most of them have lack of development. Nevertheless, the anime is simply excellent!

    • ninetybeats says:

      I mentioned in another comment, some back stories are explained in the manga(as far as I’ve read at least). The series itself was excellent in its own right. It was balanced out and the underlying theme was strong enough to get you thinking. Thanks for your reply.

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