Sunday, 27 June 2010

Angel Beats! - Episode 13 (Completed)

No more shadow monsters and no more Angel means no more threat as Angel Beats hits its final episode, leaving us with the simple task of clearing everything up as everybody says their goodbyes and moves on to whatever comes after this limbo of sorts.

Well, I say everybody, but as this episode begins three days after Yuri's battle to end both the reign of the shadow monsters and her own inner demons, we find that all but a handful of characters have disappeared and moved on already - I guess you know you're only a side character when you don't even have your back story or resolution of that storied aired on-screen, so we might never know what ailed TK.


To handle these last goodbyes for the final five members, they hold a faux graduation ceremony, complete with a suitable cute anthem devised by Kanade and the handing out of certificates, before Naoi, Yuri and Hinata alldo their part and disappear from the scene, leaving just Kanade and Otonashi alone.

What happens next is initially unsurprising, as Otonashi suggest that he and Kanade stay behind to help anyone else who might stumble into a sequel... err, I mean stumble into this world - A decent enough idea, which Otonashi ruins by professing his love for Kanade. It isn't that this feeling is reciprocal, but rather that Kanade's admission of such would be the cause of her disappearance; something which happens eventually anyway, although not before a revelation that makes absolutely no sense unless we're also going to throw a little Doctor Who-esque time travel into the mix. Either that or Otonashi, spent some of his life doubling for the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz.

Funnily enough, this final scene exhibits a problem that recurred throughout Angel Beats - Its plot often resembled Swiss cheese... the kind of Swiss cheese with holes you could drive a bus through. While some series would get destroyed by me for exhibiting such disregard for continuity and common sense, this show managed to avoid that largely on account of being one Hell of a lot of fun to watch. However daft its premise and sub-stories became, Angel Beats never stopped being entertaining, frequently progressing thanks to its ability to mix drama, action and humour with gay abandon; when you're laughing or simply drawn in by the on-screen happenings, it's hard to start dissecting problematic plot points.

So, Angel Beats is no classic, and if we're honest it could have been so, so much more. But hey, as anime goes I think it's perfectly alright for us to accept and show a little love for its flawed existence, so that it too can graduate and move to its next life - Who knows, maybe it can come back as something that is greater than the sum of its parts, rather than simply being a handful of admittedly entertaining parts whose sum was a rather slapdash affair that didn't quite know how to combine them all.

4 comments:

Sorrow-kun said...

Reading the resounding condemnation for this show that has come from the blogosphere and even the forums of my own site, it almost feels like you and I are the only two people that actually think this (maybe I'm just not paying attention to the pockets where there are fans of this show). Yes, the plot was terrible, but I'm willing to forgive this show because, in a time where so much cynicism seems to pervade so many works of anime, I honestly couldn't detect any from Angel Beats.

They could have done away with the entire "shadow NPC" arc and the pacing could have been much better, but overall, I'd say Angel Beats was worth the time and had a small handful of really memorable moments, including the (much maligned) ending.

OneSin said...

i had assumed that Kanade never died but is currently in a coma following the heart operation , and following the idea that Otonashi appearing in that world is a special case , which bring the previous episode about the creator of the world hoping to meet again with his lover . . which means Kanade's regret is the reason why Otonashi even appeared in the first place.

something like this probably :

1.Kanade had been using the Angel player which is somehow connected to the main system.
2.The system/world true purpose was to resolve the creator's problem ( to meet up with his lover again )
2.Her regret forces the system/world to bring Otonashi there.
3.She disappear leaving Otonashi behind ( again the same case with the creator )

and the scene with Otonashi chasing Kanade is probably the same as Hinata and Yui.
just a possible "what if" they meet up in RL

peterburd said...

I've never seen a series which can take death so lightly (the guild scenes) and yet take the concept of passing on with happiness so seriously. Plot? Bah!

I don't know if I want to know TK's story ...

anime2kuk said...

My God, you summed up my viewing experience perfectly!

In terms of plot, this show was a mess, BUT it was certainly an entertaining mess!