Sunday, 26 December 2010

Angel Beats! - Episode 13.5 / 14

Hmm, more Angel Beats - could this be an addition to this series which makes it less nonsensical?  Of course not, but just like my enjoyment of the series despite it making very little sense, I'm not going to let such trifles get in my way.

Before moving on to the main course, we have to start by mentioning the final Blu-Ray release's alternate ending; Another Epilogue if you'd prefer - it's only a couple of minutes long, but it closes the final to the series by placing Otonashi as Angel's replacement after her disappearance rather than following on after her.  Whether this is a preferable ending to the original broadcast epilogue is for you to decide, but personally I think it works equally well (or badly, depending on your point of view) either way.

Which brings us to that main course, a special OVA episode that slots in to the early episodes of the show, and featuring another hare-brained plan by Yuri.  The plan in question is labelled "Operation High Tension Syndrome", a plot devised to force Angel into checking in with her superior (aka God) by the SSS' members acting as though they're having a whale of a time in everything that they do; behaviour which (in Yuri's mind) is bound to alarm Angel once those ecstatic individuals don't disappear and move on thanks to that sheer happiness.

What this means in reality is an episode of everyone on the show's cast (with the exception of Angel, mostly) overacting and generally acting like idiots as they pretend to be incredibly excited by everything that comes their way, whether it's a history lesson or the chance to play some baseball.  Somehow thanks to the far from enthusiastic Otonashi we end up with some kind of school sports festival before this plan all goes pear-shaped - but who cares about the plan when much of this episode is simply ridiculous to the point of being funny, ably assisted by the episode's "Tension Meter" which somehow made everything just that little bit more amusing.

If you were expecting any additional depth or explanation to the world of Angel Beats from this bonus episode, then it probably goes without saying that you're going to be very disappointed indeed.  Personally, I always appreciated the series more for its sense of humour and the sense of fun that came along with it, so I was actually rather pleased to see it traverse the path that it did even if ALL THE SHOUTING GOT PRETTY OLD AFTER A WHILE.  In a way, this episode sums up everything that was Angel Beats in a nut-shell - it was daft, it didn't always know what to do with its premise, and it was actually at its best and funniest when it was just enjoying itself with no particular end goal in mind.

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