There are unusually many characters in the show, many of whom belong in the SSS, the show’s protagonist faction led by the main heroine Yuri, who is rather suspiciously similar to Suzumiya Haruhi. Also, ranging from Judo enthusiast Matsushita to mysterious, Engrish-speaking dancer TK, all the characters are unique, highly likable and equally funny. However, because of limited number of episodes, only few of these characters are ever fully revealed, which leads to the show’s main drawback. The flashback scenes are sometimes shocking, sad, and all of them dramatic. One of these flashbacks, especially because of the event that follows it, is especially touching, and could bring out a tear or two to more emotional people.
As the show progresses onto later arcs, it is evidently apparent that the contents are highly compressed, as the plot suddenly speeds up with climax in matter of one or two episodes. This provides somewhat of a pacing problem, and it is rather disappointing, as if the show was allotted more episode runs, there would’ve been enough time to explain each of the characters’ background story as well as the lore of the school and its mystery, as well as more satisfying conclusions. Fortunately, more background story of Yuri, the show’s main heroine, and her formation of SSS along with recruitment of the characters prior to Otonashi can be read in the manga: Angel Beats! – Heaven’s Door.
Angel Beats! is an extremely humorous and yet emotional, dramatic show written by Jun Maeda, whose name alone would be enough for some people to watch the show. The plot is well written, and characters are extremely likable, while some can be shallow due to lack of more background information, one of few points that suffered from short duration of the show, along with hurried climax on later arcs. However, there are a lot of efforts put into this anime, evident by the well-written songs incorporated into the show and the top-notch animation.
Unfortunately, Angel Beats! is not available for legal streaming for local viewers, and as of when this review was written, the only way to watch the series is either import DVD/BD from Japan or stream illegally from anime streaming sites, which is not encouraged. It is possible that, in near future, DVD will be released in the United States with subtitles by companies such as Bandai and Sentai Filmworks.
Part 1 of this review can be read here.