After its opening episode did a pretty solid job of introducing us to the world of Angel Beats! and what it's all about, so this second instalment of the series takes us deeper into the nuts and bolts of SSS... quite literally.
With ammunition running low, it's time for the members of this rebel organisatio0n to make a trip to a place known as Guild - An underground factory where weapons and the like can be manufactured for those up top to use in their fight against Angel. Although Yuri calls ahead to let them know that they'll be on their way, and asking them to reactivate the various traps which should stop Angel from entering Guild, as they begin their journey it soon becomes clear that these traps have been re-activated, a sure sign that Angel is about to infiltrate the place.
What follows is a pretty humorous take on your typical trap-laden secret lair, with the usual laser beams, rolling boulders and moving walls being deployed against our occasionally hapless SSS members, who perhaps don't take things quite as seriously as you might expect on account of being unable to die. While having a batch of effectively immortal heroes probably shouldn't work as a staple part of any anime, it seems to do the job here pretty well as a slightly crazed blend of action and comic relief.
In terms of plot progression however, it's the second half of the episode where all the important stuff happens - Namely, we learn about Yuri's life prior to her death (as she seems to be a rarity in that she still holds all her memories from that time) and her motivations, as well as exactly what those who reside within the Guild are capable of and why it's so easy to mass-manufacture weaponry. To close things off we're treated to a final slice of action, as Angel appears within Guild, thus requiring the intervention of Yuri amongst others.
If the first episode of Angel Beats! was solid as I mentioned earlier, then this second episode proved to be a thoroughly entertaining affair which threw plenty of different items and tones of story-telling into the pot and somehow managed to make them all work. From the comical side of things to the action, and even with regard to Yuri's quite harrowing story of her actual life, everything merged together well to create a compelling episode which taught us a little more about at least some of the characters as well as the world they have to work in. If it can continue in a similar vein, then Angel Beats! promises to be one mightily entertaining series.