"Get chance and luck!" - TK
It's a trope laiden, moe-ized, predictable plot boiled anime with just an ounce of weirdness in it...and it kicks ass!
Which is strange really, most of those things would put me off an anime straight away...mostly. I mean, yes, I'm a big moe fan, but I don't usualy keep an eye out for it. Angel Beats though, doesn't hammer it home, which is good. For what it's worth, Angel Beats sort of peaks near the middle and peeters out towards the end, which is never a good thing but it's still entertaining at the very least.
The plot follows Haruhi/Yurippe on her quest to kill God....yes you heard that right. Haruhi/Yurippe is fighting God, hard-fucking-core. Ok, seriously, the plot is actualy pretty cool. Your-average-guy arrives in a strange world which looks like a normal highschool, he is quickly greeted by a gun toteing Yurripe who tells him that he is 'Dead'.....ahem:
1. no longer living; deprived of life: dead people; dead flowers; dead animals.
3. not endowed with life; inanimate: dead stones.
4. resembling death; deathlike: a dead sleep; a dead faint.
5. bereft of sensation; numb: He was half dead with fright. My leg feels dead.
6. lacking sensitivity of feeling; insensitive: dead to the needs of others.
Yeah I think he's alive kid.
Alright, in fairness, it is explained pretty soon...but anyway. Otonashi walks down and meets the slightly-mysterious, Angel. Otonahi, despite the complaints of Yurripe, asks Angel what is the first, and probably only, rational question of the show: "Are you really an Angel?". Angel immediately says no, she then stabs Otonashi through the chest with a glowy magic blade...totaly not an Angel.
Otonashi quickly discovers the Like-Hell-We're-Dead...club...brigade...thing, headed by Yurripe. The group consists of The-Average-Guy-2, Ninja Yuki, Insane-Guy-With-An-Axe, Wussy-Kid, Singer-Girl-With-A-Past, random fatish bloke who can fight and TK!!!! I could care less about most of the other characters, TK is where it's at! He speaks only in epic Engrish. Most of the series involves the organisations actions against Angel and her attempts to the do most horrific thing ever, MAKE THEM BEHAVE! Yes, you see, the world Otonashi is transported to is somewhere between Heaven and Earth (The highway to hell?). There are only 1 way to leave: Accept your fate and disappear. Am I the only one who doesn't understand the point of this? Going to Heaven doesn't sound like such a bad idea to me, I get the idea that they don't want to die but still, paradise, what's wrong with it? While they are in this state of limbo, it is impossible for them to 'die', this is illustrated pretty early on in the series when the gang try to get into thier manufacturing plant called Guild, if you can't remember that name don't worry, they go often enough, where most of them get crushed, smashed, cut up and stabbed and yet they just get up and walk away by the end of the episode.
The characters are bland, single typed tropes who do little more than the sterotype they are based on. And you know what? It's actualy not so bad, they're entertaining and as long as you don't think too much about it you don't really mind, or I didn't anyway. Angel Beats is deffinately one of those animes where thinking is a no go, just sit back and let the plot flow. And in terms of the plot, it's real enemy isn't the tropes or the inane babble some of the characters spout out. It's real enemy is time, it has to pack in it's twisty plot into a short time frame. "But Witty!", you're saying "Some of the episodes are fillers! They should have made every episode plot if that was the case!". Well, alright, I'll admit that, but I don't like to use the word 'filler' for anything unless it's one of those episodes where they just replay scenes from past episodes. 'Filler' episodes help build up the characters in some way, there's no point haveing a plot if we don't care about the characters and it's hard to compact character development and the plot into a 12 episode tiem frame. So sometimes, filler is important, helps keeps the flow. But enough of my rant, back to the bare bones. The only character (other than TK) that I really care for is Yurripe, probably because of my devout Haruiist nature. She's pretty badass when fighting Angel, she has the ability to command respect without actualy pulling rank, much like Haruhi, and she wears a beret, and as well know, berets are awesome.
The Haruhiism Crusade Movement
Although, now that I think about it, her plans don't make much sense. Most of them involve stealing meal tickets from the NPC students by distracting them with music from GirlDeMo, I mean come on, all she needs is a rogue with stealing maxed out and she'd be fine, right? Otonashi, the only other character he sort of gets developed, is actualy not so bad but not my kind of guy. He has good motivation, his methods are good but somewhere towards the end he seems to get this idea that only he knows the answer to getting out of this strange world, which spoils him a little bit if you ask me. Now, there are two certain characters who come in later who have a good amount of depth to them, but that would be spoilers on my part wouldn't it?
Angel Beats is nothing we haven't seen before animation wise, it's all very bright and prettyfull. The music is very nice, being performed by Girls Dead Monster and opening is very Clannadish which, although not really fitting the tone, leads nicely into the episode. In quick summation, Angel Beats is sugar in anime form, it won't blow your mind but it probably will tickle the funny bone. I'd say give it a watch if you haven't already.
Final Score: 4/5