Friday, 2 April 2010

Angel Beats 01 - is there anything better than Hiroshi Kamiya? there isn't!...Well except for maybe this guy.

Summary -

Angel Beats! takes place in the afterlife, and follows the main protagonist Otonashi, a boy who lost his memories of his life after dying. Otonashi meets a girl named Yuri who invites him to join the SSS—Shinda Sekai Sensen, an organization she leads which fights against God. The student council at the school, led by the student council president and angel Tenshi, is in charge of keeping the status quo and serve to fight against the SSS.

Reactions -

This is probably what I was most looking forward to out of this season's new batch of anime, produced by the same people who did Air, Kanon and Clannad, I knew I was in for something special! And whats even better is that the main guy is being voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya! I love this guy's voice work!

This was a very enjoyable first episode, the main character Otonashi I'm already warming to, and the bickering he has at the start with the girl Yuri about the name of her Organization, 'Like-hell-I'm-dead Battlefront; and the many variations and changes it's had in the past. This is something that carries on through the episode as other characters are introduced we see them trying to decide what they should name themselves. (My personal favorite being the Barnacle-Battlefront.)

Anyway back to the start of the episode, with Otonashi waking up finding himself on laying on the ground, asking himself where he is and exclaiming he doesn't remember anything. A girl named Yuri quickly greets him and asks him to enlist into her organization. She quickly explains that the place that they are currently in, is the after-life. We then see who she's aiming at with her rifle, what appears to be just an ordinary girl turns out to be 'Like-hell-I'm-dead battlefront's enemy, they call her Angel. Otonashi decides to speak to her, but soon sees that might of not been the best idea.

He's about to get stabbed in the heart, but look at that pretty full moon..

With this we see he truly is in the after-life, as he wakes up to find his shirt drenched in blood, but his chest with no wound or scar. Thanks to the fact no one can die, this leads to some funny scenes such as this..

I hope this becomes a regular recurring event throughout the series.

Of course this freaks out Otonashi quite a bit, and what worsens the situation is that some random guy comes in and slices up Otonashi an impressive 100 times for rejecting Yuri's question of enlisting.

Surely that deserves an Achievement or Trophy? Hurr

The series doesn't appear to shy away from excessive over the top amounts of blood, something that does add to the comedy at times. But also perhaps promises some brutal fight scenes?

I could do a ketchup joke here, but I'm better than that!

Considering the fact of the people who are producing it, you can guess this anime is set to have some heavy drama, so it's nice to see they manage to fit in some great humour along the way, something I hope they don't stop.

I'm also loving the characters we've been introduced to, not one of them appears to be dull and they really do add to the humor well. The character designs are nice as well, I'm loving the sort of gradient effect peoples hair have in this, this anime does have a very good animation quality, and I'm sure this will be proven further when we get a proper fight scene. Without a doubt my favorite is the random blonde haired guy who we can usually see dancing in the background and singing, he's just so cool!

Everyone seems comfortable with the fact his clothes are almost falling off.

The story though I'm having some trouble following, I get the basic idea of it but the last half of the episode confused me greatly, something about taking the students meal tickets? And involving a concert?
I probably need to watch this again to get my head around it, but I wasn't too bothered by this, the concert scenes surprisingly I liked, despite the fact I constantly watch anime I rarely enjoying hearing Japanese singing, but this one I really liked, I'm guessing they got a popular singer/voice actor for that scene. Or maybe I just enjoyed it due to very nice looking animation! I'm a sucker when it comes to high quality.

This as well I hope to become a recurring feature, people getting smashed through windows and awesome girl bands with tons of lens flare!

So nearing the end of the episode the Angel girl appears again, Otonashi hesitates to shoot her but manages to pull the trigger on her, but to his surprise she continues to advance towards him, ready to again kill him. He panics and attempts to escape from her, shooting at her in the process.
It's then that the others show up in time to help him, loaded guns and ready to fight, but the bullets don't even manage to hit her in which we see some very impressive animation here, and it gets me excited to see what future fight scenes will be like.

Screenshots don't do it justice, go and watch Angel Beats now!

At the end peoples dinner tickets? Appear to flow out of the building, which was still very confusing for me, but lead to a very beautiful scene, and makes the dangerous 'Angel' appear lonely and fragile in my eyes.

Trust me, in future reviews I will cut down on me crying about how great the animation is.

Otonashi appears to be doubting every ones actions, and whether they are justified. But he decides it's too soon to be talking about such things, considering he still doesn't remember anything.

In conclusion this was a pretty good episode, I really enjoyed it and I'm really liking the character we've been introduced to so far, and I'm looking forward to us getting to know more about them.

Apparently this is set to also be a tear jerker, common with Key's work. Clannad like many other people had me crying like a newly born baby, so I'm looking forward to seeing how Angel Beats will tug at my heart strings.

So far of the new anime season this is the one I've enjoyed the most and shall be following it closely. Unfortunately it appears to only be 13 episodes long! I hope we don't get a rushed story-line, unless they intend for a season 2. Well either way I cannot wait for next week!

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