angel beats 1

“I never imagined that just ‘buying some time’ would end up turning into something this ridiculous.”

(Tea coffee 4tw! I’m enjoying a cup right now… which I promptly spit out once I heard the “try shoving your finger up one of the girl’s asses” line.)

I just want to know how it went down. The truth. Jun Maeda claims that he went to P.A. Works after he saw what an awesome anime Tear Tears was and wanted them to make Angel Beats. Sure. Whatever. If that’s your story, stick with it… but… considering that Air, Kanon, Clannad, and Clannad After Story were his previous works… and they were all done by Kyoto Animation, isn’t it a bit strange that Jun went to P.A. Works for his second most recent work? Mmm… conspiracy theory time!

Theory A: Kyoto told Jun to fuck off. They already have a girl band franchise! (Or, more likely, they were already in development with K-On! 2009 at the time, and, really, did they need another girl band anime?) But, yes, Angel Beats does have a girl band… and Clannad does not. How does this make any sense?

(Still, GalDeMo was my favorite part of the episode. Just so random. When Yuri introduced Iwasama was the “decoy leader,” I thought she would be the next Kenny or something… but lead vocals and guitar of a new girl band? Much better. It made the discussion about barnacles that occurred earlier in the episode make so much more sense.)

Anata wa baka ja nai no?!

Theory B: Kyoto told Jun to fuck off. They already have an insane girl leading a nonsensical counterculture afterschool club. When Yuri went off on Yet Another Male Lead With Amnesia Otonashi, it felt like Haruhi screaming at Kyon. In fact, I think Yuri’s dialogue came directly from the end of Endless Eight when Kyon– gasp– suggested something.

(No, seriously, the headband with the bow… what was Jun thinking? Hey, at least Yuri is anti-God as opposed to God herself.)

(Dear Jun, if you’re going to mimic the SOS Brigade with the SSS, at least incorporate the bestest part of the SOS Brigade, the gay chess-playing esper timid tea-serving meido from the future. Thanks, Za Waruldo. PS- the armband patch for SSS is very original. Is Angie Yuri going to change hers when they get to the filming episode?)

(My favorite member, so far, of the SSS? TK! He actually speaks non-terribad English! All the time! And I enjoy his blindfold/handcuffs combo. I know what he’s doing with Shiina…)

Theory C: Kyoto told Jun to fuck off. They already have an unstoppable blue-haired, aloof, DFC who can command and conquer with software-like magicks.

(She good with knives too. What I don’t know? What she prefers to read with? Old school dead tree books? Or a Kindle or nook? Or an iPad? How does she read her Sword Art Online or Lost City of Z?)

Theory D: Jun told Kyoto to fuck off. It’s his ball, and he’s taking it back.

(A girl band and a crazy girl in charge of a silly afterschool club? I think it’s just coincidence… but if an Arm Slave or a 17 year old silver-haired submarine captain show up, then we know for sure Jun is just giving Kyoto the middle finger. Up the anus.)

(I don’t really believe any of these theories, but they’re fun to write. Andohbytheway, Obama was born in Canada. Pass it on.)

Angel Beats is a comedy? Though I like the Clannad parody, I can’t help but think that Yet Another Male Lead With Amnesia Otonashi is Sunohara. Sigh. And it took me a whole minute to figure out that Otonashi is voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya… yep… Itoshiki-sensei! I can’t wait for the despair gag. Oh wait– this isn’t a Shaft anime?

(At first I was going to make a “Kamiya sure plays a lot of roles where he’s bullied” before realizing that half of anime is about some crazy haremette bullying the male lead. Bah humbug. Why can’t Kotomi-chan ever be bullied?)

I dunno why Yuri pulled out a beret to do her Metal Gear-styled briefing, but it only served to make her look even more like Angie. And why wear a beret that covers up the headband/bow combo? Would any high school girl in 2010 wear a headband/bow combo? And would any high school girl in 2010 cover up said combo with a beret? Anime really needs a Fashion Czar sometimes.

Production values are great. The CG NPCs are okay, but I really enjoy how smooth the movement is. Basically, everyone (except Studio Deen, Asread, Gonzo, Feel, Gansis) have caught up to God Knows. I really enjoy GalDeMo’s drummer banging away. She’s a lot more expressive than Ritsu, at the very least.

Instrument playing… a lot more natural and realistic than Nodame Finale. (I just realized last week that Stereopony is a girls band… with a cute bassist! How were they even allowed anywhere near Gundam 00? Seems like the exact opposite message that Lockon and Setsuna were trying to convey.)

Wait, so did they all that to score food coupons? Food coupons that they probably would have received anyway? Coupons that really don’t matter since they’re more invincible than Rin in Mnemosyne? In terms of ridiculous, this anime has it in spades. I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing. Jun Maeda worked magic in the sad girl in snow genre… can he do it in the ridiculous armed school conflict genre?

(We need more genres. I’m all for creating more genres… like how #7 is in the “four girl heroic ensemble cast” genre and #5 is in the “stuck in a single room, doing nothing” genre… oh shi– did I just give away #5?)

I don’t have a problem with P.A. Works… except they’re flash without substance. (See: Canaan.) But Angel Beats feels like Idiots, Tests, and Summoned Monsters with the absurdity for the sake of absurdity… and that’s not a compliment. I dunno. They have to prove me wrong. There’s some good stuff here if it’s allowed to breathe a bit more as too much happens without really letting anything breathe. Maybe it’s early, but it feels very procedural of a show. Maybe if Jun went to Shaft, they would have interjected some personality into it… or if he went to Madhouse, some major dosage of fanservice… or Kyoto… because, you know, they know how to adapt Jun’s works.

13 Responses to “angel beats 1”

  1. Theory E: Kyoto told Jun to fuck off for making a comedy parody anime with Haruhi, K-On, and MSG references. Jun was forced to go with a new company that had not much anime to parody.

    The whole operation seemed blown out of proportion. They hatch a huge plan that involves over 20 people firing at a girl, a girl band playing for a raging crowd, and turbines blowing to steal ONE meal ticket from some NPCs. At least Jun said Angel Beats was going to start off slow.

    Also, AIMI is way better than that bassist. FACT

  2. With regards to the last paragraph it is absurdity for the sake of absurdity. It’s not the result of scoring meal tickets it’s the act of resisting the system itself that gives the SSS meaning. As noted the cast is basically invincible meaning this show is more about the “living” aspect of life instead of being stuck up on the destination (they don’t age, they don’t die, but they can be erased…).

    Yep, totally felt the Haruhi in the first episode of this, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

  3. I’m guessing that Jun saw what Kyoto did for Haruhi season 2 and decided to not chance his next work with them again. True Tears was a fantastic show, and if what you said was true about Jun choosing them because of their work on that I wouldn’t be surprised.

  4. “(My favorite member, so far, of the SSS? TK! He actually speaks non-terribad English! All the time! And I enjoy his blindfold/handcuffs combo. I know what he’s doing with Shiina…)”

    According to ANN that role is credited to Micheal Rivas ( Makes sense since his english doesn’t sound like engrish at all.

    OH SHI… conspiracy theory time: it looks like that Micheal Rivas guy does alot of work for Funimation as a video engineer. Funimation already has the licence of Angel Beats and are sitting on it?…. dum dum dum….

  5. First thing I noticed: the protagonist is voiced by the Shinji from FSN. Kinda threw me off for a minute.

    Excellent episode for the most part, especially good because of the lackluster offerings in the past few seasons. Hopefully it can maintain this level for the entire season (only 13 episodes though).

  6. I wonder if this will raise the bar for K-On’s concerts. In terms of detail rather than extavigance. It is still a high school stage, not the Pavillion. Someone just gave Kyoto a challenge. Will they take it?

  7. I’ve gotta disagree on ‘High production value’ for this show. From the uhh… sniper rifle thing at the start (compare 00:31 to the other shots) trough the whole segment in the principle’s office (the 60-70’s animation called, and they want their lack of perspective back) the backgrounds are lackluster and uninspired. Although that is a fabulous bridge at 13:55.
    When they changed animation teams and went almost fully 3D at 18:28 for the concert/diversion, things improved a bit, and they did a good job with the actual setup of the live performance (mic’s on the drums, floor monitors and such) but the 2D work needs some serious help.

    As for the concert itself, it seem to be a more polished MikuMikuDance 3D production, not bad, but does not impress.

    Animation: 3/10
    Backgrounds: 5/10
    Sound Design and music : 6/10

    As for the story and characters, I’ll reserve opinion untill a few more episodes air. So far Kurokami Medaka is a far, far better improved Haruhi than Yuri.

  8. Thank god, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one with deja vu when watching this. More specifically, I wondered why Haruhi had purple hair.

  9. TK is voiced by an American. I am very amused by this.

  10. this may be the first time i’ve ever heard both non-horrible english and japanese spoken within earshot of one another outside of a classroom. creepy.

    aside from that, this is looking to be one of those parodies that tries so hard that it actually loops around and comes to embody everything it’s aping on.

  11. I think you’re all forgetting that KEY has never been exclusive to Kyoto Animation, lets look at the past:
    Kanon (2002) – Toei
    Air (movie) – Toei
    Clannad (movie) – Toei

    Don’t get me wrong, the Kyoto adoptions were a million times better, but their history doesn’t show them as being loyal to kyoto, and only kyoto.

    As for people saying close + reference, I see nothing wrong with a parody here and there, you’re forgetting that some of the best Visual Novels out there have little parodies to other works in them, it’s more like a homage to something you respect. That being said,, Yeah there were a lot of links to Haruhi, but it was done in good sport, and also it wans’t as if it was an exact clone, there are plenty of unique aspects to the show in retrospect.

    Alas, my final grudge, now every show that has a concert, or a girl band is going to be compared to the Concert in Haruhi, or the forming of a band in K-ON!, it’s fucking ridiculous.

    This show was interesting, I look forward to episode 2 explaining a bit more and getting us on the right track.

  12. Theory Z: Money
    Kyoani doesn’t farm out to the Chinese or Koreans and that costs bucks. Big Bucks. Key’s probably the only game designer with pockets deep enough to hire them in fact. To save money, they’ll be willing to go cheap every now and then.

    As for stealing the tickets, they don’t properly explain but I think they don’t actually go to school or attend classes, so they can’t get tickets. Yuri did state that those who tried blending in with the NPCs disappeared, so the SSS would buck the system as much as possible.

  13. Need more Angel Beats please O god i need more i cant go on with life without this anime.
    It is far beyond this anime is rare it has a good story to it and emotions.

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