Angel Beats! was amongst the biggest opinion splitters of the year. It was an inconsistent trainwreck to some, a classic Key-formula tearjerker to others; but for me it’ll always be about how Maeda Jun managed to bring us Life in just thirteen episodes of time. It was simplified and abstract, yet touched every one of the emotions we held dear, from the suffering and sadness to the joy, the laughter, and most of all, the love that we are all blessed with~ Read the rest of this entry »
It doesn’t take long for most visitors to my blog to notice the tarot theme; although it should be noted that while ‘tarot’ is commonly misconstrued as synonymous to Major Arcana, the 22 card Major Arcana is merely part of the tarot, followed by the 56 card Minor Arcana that is roughly the equivalent of today’s normal playing cards (just swap the Page & Knight for Jack). But there’s no doubt that the Major Arcana is the far more powerful suit within the tarot, and while most people recognize the Major Arcana as only a medium of fortune telling, its use as a divination tool is merely a limited presentation of the arcana’s true potential:
Angel Beats! was a lot of things. It had an ambitious goal, striving to present the many aspects of life within the short span of thirteen episodes. It tried to be deep and philosophical, yet couldn’t put forth the time and focus. It attempted to be logically consistent, even though the setting had little of it to begin with. I could literally pick it apart from its storywriting flaws. But… Maeda Jun had set out to bring us life in under five hours of screentime, and his work gave us joy, laughter, and tears from so many perspectives. It brought such an enjoyable time while presenting one beautifully touching scene after another, all of them cumulating towards a breathtaking climatic conclusion… whatever its flaws are; I loved this show. Read the rest of this entry »
Last time I posted how Angel Beats is about life: its spontaneity, its inconsistency, yet also its radiance and its preciousness. But as Mystlord notes, the cast is stuck into a world that does not progress, where they can neither die nor grow; where everything is kept inside an ideal school paradise, sheltered from the responsibilities and pressure of real society. Isn’t it naive to portray life through a completely surreal imitation of the real thing?
But the premises are contrasting, and this perfect existence within Angel Beats is balanced against the darkness of its character backgrounds. Already burdened by the worst of life, the cast rests within this sanctuary to rediscover the joyous beats of their souls. Yet just as the ward must eventually send its patients (back) into reality, the world of Angel Beats is also coming to persuade its lingering inhabitants back out — rather forcefully so. Read the rest of this entry »
Angel Beats! is a lot of things, and many of them contradictory: it’s a shallow attempt to explore the deep themes surrounding life; it’s melodrama with minimalistic buildup; it’s laughter replaced by tears and back to laughter again. There are dozens of reasons on why it’s a ‘cheap’ piece of work, ranging from the reused Key story concepts to the inconsistent mood pacing to the dramatic moments being dropped from seemingly nowhere. But at the same time, the quick and simple storytelling, the humor, the action, the tearjerking moments, they all mix together into something highly enjoyable. There are parts that each of us might like, and there are parts that each of us might dislike. But that can’t be helped — because the theme of Angel Beats! is life, and it is amongst the most inconsistent and contradictory things in this universe. Read the rest of this entry »
I didn’t quite expect Angel Beats! to hit us with the full force of Key melodrama this early. But this ep… it was a full visual novel character path packed into a single episode, completely with a short emotional rollercoaster ride. Yet despite the focus on Iwasawa’s character development,episode 3 skimped out on none of the other stuff: we’re treated to more Key humor (especially the Miyazakitouch), another top-quality concert scene, and the advancement of a significant main plot hook: just what exactly is Angel? On top of the already ‘just what exactly is this world’?
Magnificent. This kind of Key work should be done more often, where Maeda Jun isn’t constrained by the dragged-out pacing of your typical Key Nakige…
That’s the first thing you hear as you wake up in the middle of nowhere and finds yourself next to a bishoujo busy sniping another girl. She presents you a red pill and asks you to join the “Like-Hell-We’re-Dead Battlefront”. You think this is all a joke and goes down to warn the other girl, but she’s also part of this whole conspiracy. You ask her for proof, and the girl kills you… minutes later, you re-spawn in some high school health room.
Welcome to After Life, the newest craze in MMORPGs. Your subscription cost — death.
It’s a bit unusual for a KEY series to open the plot within the first episode. After all the entire KEY story-boarding formula revolves around building up the characters with slice-of-life comedy and moe while slowly unraveling the main premise and plot. Angel Beats! however wastes no time in getting straight to the point by giving you a quick and concise tutorial that wastes not a second of your attention. Meanwhile your guild members, some cliche and some intriguing, introduce themselves with some shenanigans and jokes like soldiers relieving themselves of anxiety on the eve of battle.
One thing is for sure — this is no usual KEY work.
New trailers from the Angel Beats! website as the information finally breaks out to KEY lovers everywhere. Originally conceived as a joint project between KEY scenario writer Maeda Jun and character designer Na-Ga, the 13 episode anime, coming April 2009, will be a joint production between Visual Art’s KEYand the animation studios P.A. Works (True Tears) and Aniplex (Honey & Clover, Kamichu). Just by those three past titles plus the sheer awesome quality of KEY goods I have absolute confidence in this series to be a masterpiece.