Angel Beats – First Impressions
Well it didn’t take me long to get sucked into this story and I can’t thank the lovely thelimitlessimagination and the talented Jaykblu for their recommendations on Instagram. I have made no secret of my passion for things that make me cry and when I am looking for an anime, a film, manga or book, I am looking to be overwhelmed with emotions and for characters that make me feel. When I was recommended ‘Angel Beats’ I was promised tears and so far I have not been disappointed.
I’m only a few episodes in because things have been a little hectic over here but I am already hooked on the characters and the concept. I’m always very drawn to character-based anime and I love the fact that each episode so far has covered the tragic story of one or more of the members of the ‘Afterlife Battlefront’, this gives you time to fall in love with each character on a personal level and to build relationships which make you root for their success whilst still telling a story which would break even the most stoic of hearts.
For anyone who hasn’t already been absorbed into this very popular and incredibly well written anime, here’s a quick breakdown of the concept.’ Angel Beats’ centres around the afterlife awakening of the main protagonist, Otonashi; when he finds himself waking up with no memories of his past, to be told that he is dead and the strange high school that he has found himself in, is the afterlife itself, it is only natural that he is somewhat sceptical and suspicious of the gun-wielding strangers who claim to want his help. It isn’t long, however, until he is forced to admit that perhaps everything isn’t quite what it seems and agrees to join the underground organisation ‘Afterlife Battlefront’ headed by Yuri, a strong-willed girl who is leading the fight against the ‘Evil’ student council president, Angel.
With a hint of magic, some great music courtesy of the ‘Girls Dead Monster’ band and a whole lot of character development and heartache, this series is borderline addictive and I am thoroughly looking forward to spending some more time with the spectacular artwork and story-writing.
The first thing that I noticed about this series which has really gotten me thinking is the element of morality. Only having watched a few episodes I can’t be 100% sure yet but I have noticed that each of the members of the rebel squad appear to have had really quite tragic pasts. These characters suffered heavily and now find themselves in an almost-purgatory style place, disguised as a high school, at the mercy of a powerful enforcer who is looking to maintain order.
Above and beyond Angel and her crazy suped up weaponry there is something else that all of the members of the ‘Afterlife Battlefront’ seem to fear and avoid at all costs; when one of them reaches a conclusion or some kind of acceptance, when they have a moment of clarity and seem to be at peace, then they disappear leaving nothing behind. Having watched some of their most beloved comrades disappear; the ‘Afterlife Battlefront’ members all work hard to avoid that same fate, but is that fate really bad?
If we are to assume that the afterlife is indeed some kind of waiting room before something bigger and if we are to assume that everyone there has some kind of unfinished business then is ‘disappearing’ something to be feared and avoided? Or something to be welcomed and celebrated? I might be reading too deeply, I might be completely off the mark, but I can’t wait to dig back in and find out. I have my tissues in hand and will publish a full review as soon as I am able to breathe again ^.^