19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Saddest Anime Ever!
I bought this from Amazon.com; at the time (a few months back) it wasn't available in the UK (It is the US region version that I have - the one to be sold by Amazon UK will be a UK edition).
The first thing you notice about this series is the stunning picture and sound quality (even for blu-ray!). The animation is utterly superb; the opening sequence (of Kanade...
Published 21 months ago by bozeman1941
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, but somewhat manipulative and incomplete
This is the kind of series that, upon finishing the final episode, will make many if not most people want to write a glowing review. Me included. And with good reason: the storyline is powerful and gripping, as is the soundtrack. The animation quality is very good, as is the voice acting (in Japanese, at least). And even though I'm a veteran of many extreme war and horror...
Published 10 months ago by M. R. Munter
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Saddest Anime Ever!,
The first thing you notice about this series is the stunning picture and sound quality (even for blu-ray!). The animation is utterly superb; the opening sequence (of Kanade playing the piano) completely takes your breath away, and the end theme is also very poignant and beautifully done. The story is based on the unusual premise of a sort of 'afterlife' if you will (although not really in the Judeo-Christian sense; this one appears to be in a Japanese high school!) where the characters go after death, if they died feeling unfulfilled or badly-done-to. A side effect of being in this 'pergatory' is that the inhabitants cannot die; they can be 'killed' say by a gunshot or knife, but reawaken shortly after, fully restored. However; dying still hurts just as much as in the 'real' world, so they try not to be 'killed' too often! The characters can decide to 'pass over' to eternity, once they are convinced there is no further reason for them to stay. When that happens, the character simply disappears; usually the camera view will switch away from the character who is 'passing', and when it comes back, they are gone. No sound or visual clue accompanies their passing. The story follows the efforts of a group of the 'students', who have formed a band of rebel freedom fighters, to avoid 'passing on', as they feel aggrieved, and that it is God's fault that they died prematurely! I won't give any more detail, as it would spoil the story, but have your Kleenex ready; you will cry at various points in the story, especially at the end. But anime fans (and anybody else really), should see this series; it is beautiful, and VERY emotional; I cannot find a bad thing to say about it. Even the music score is awesome; I got the soundtrack album after watching the series - the full versions of the opening and closing themes (the latter being nearly 9 minutes long!) will also make you cry, especially if you read the translation of the lyrics; it is hauntingly beautiful. The English dub is excellent, with many of the well-known US voice actors appearing (Blake Shepherd as Otanashi, the male lead, Britney Karbowski as Yuri, Emily Neves as Kanade (also known as 'Angel'), Greg Ayres as Ayato Naio, and David Matranga (from 'Clannad') as Hideki), so many will be familiar with their voices.
I am only gutted that there doesn't appear to be a sequel in the offing; the ending of the series was kind of final, so it would be difficult to explain a sequel. A great pity.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome series and quite emotional at places. A new Favorite.,
If you love light hearted, cute, colourful and well animated Anime, then you will enjoy this.
Also the ending music is so lovely it almost brings a tear to my eyes everytime i hear it.
Other Anime i love just so you know what I mean:
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
Sword Art Online
If you haven't seen any of these, you should.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent balance of laugh and tears,
Keys the company behind one of my other favourite series Clannad, has produced another great hit. It has plenty of laughs as well moments that will bring tears to your eyes (These are not tears! Someone in the house is cutting onions dammit! honestly).
What Keys does best is make shows that get you reflect on what life is, what is truly important, and that it is okay to be happy at times, as well as be sad.
Without giving away spoilers,the story is good and engaging, well thought out, and does not veer too far away from the main point of the overarching point of the show.
You will learn about characters pasts, and know and appreciate where they came from. You see connections establish between characters (and yourself), and the main characters are "fleshed out" extremely well. If the series had been a little longer we might have had a chance to learn more about some of the other characters too (to me the only bad thing to this series).
It has a nice mix of elements too, with action, romance, comedy, tragedy and music all together, so you don't get bored of seeing the same thing again and again.
The soundtrack to this show is amazing LiSA and Girls Dead Monsters really help bring out the emotions, both joyful and sad at the same time, and if they released this again but with the OST I would buy it all over again, it is that good. In fact the soundtrack by itself is worth getting (nigh impossible), but together with the anime would be a near perfect combination.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic series,
In brief its a must watch.
The anime explores a group of students experiencing purgatory like world where their life is in transition to move on.
The cast all follow a girl who leads a group by the name of not dead yet battlefront.
You see how the lives of each of them change through this series and how one person has the will to guide everyone down the right path.
5.0 out of 5 stars Angels,not dead then ?,
Teenagers arrive in the afterlife dazed and confused.Is it any wonder when there's a marks woman pointing a gun next to you when you come to ?! It seems there's group who oppose taking orders from senior angels and have to gun them down or loose the will........to live ?! I said it was different.So,plenty of afterlife school type events to try to dominate just the one senior angel.This angel follows them into an 'underground' arms manufacturing plant so they must destroy it and move to another.
Erm,this doesn't sound like it's going anywhere,does it..? I've only watched three episode so far so it's no good asking me.
It's OK though.Animation's good and it's sort of James bond,for young people.You never know what will happen next.
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding,
17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best series in years!,
The anime starts off with Otonashi appearing on the school grounds confused, without any memory of where and how he got there, upon encountering a girl called Yuri who has a gun aimed at 'Angel' he immediately jumps into action not realising he is infact dead, and in limbo per say.
Quickly trying to grasp the situation he has found himself in, he joins the 'Afterlife Battlefront' a group of students who are fighting against God and 'Angel'.
In some ways this anime is more slice of life, but it is also very tragic. Each and every character in this series has a story to tell about how they died, and why they are there. Each character has issues to resolve and this is how this anime really comes into play.
The school inwhich this anime is based at is populated by what they describe as NPCs, students created to populate the school but don't possess a soul or anything.
One thing you will notice about this series is the animation, it is quite frankly amazing.
Although this anime has a lot of action and comedy moments, there is also a 'rock' band called Girls Dead Monster, who perform a wide range of catchy tunes that are really good.
The English and Japanese languge tracks are quite good.
I clearly regard this as one of the best anime shows ever made. It's so good, yet so sad.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Angel Beats, or :D to :( in seconds,
I've been a huge fan of Visual Arts/Key's original work since becoming entranced with the gorgeous cinematic masterpiece that was Air (still the superior title of the current 4), and after the pretty but formulaic Kanon and the loveliness but AWFUL ending of Clannad & its sequel, Angel Beats feels like a true return to form for creator Jun Maeda. If you've watched any Key anime before you'll know what to expect: slice of life with a sprinkling of magic, the occasional bit of slapstick, and absurdly tragic backstories that will result in you curled up on the couch weeping copiously after the ending credits. Warning - if you're of the cynical variety who rolls their eyes at the infamous 'My Sister Needs an Eye Operation' trope, run for your life. Still here? Good, you won't want to miss out on the banquet of crisp, lush visuals, bittersweet humour and well-developed cast of lovable rogues laid out for you.
So why haven't I given this fresh, fun, eye-bleedingly beautiful little anime 5 stars? My answer is three words. Severe Mood Whiplash. And not the kind of semi-predictable Joss Whedon mood whiplash where the characters are so happy one minute that you just KNOW something is gonna come along to ruin it. Or when you have one full episode devoted to comedy and the next devoted to some tragic happening. No, Angel Beats smugly decides that it's going to take you on a rollercoaster of emotions all in 23 minutes, and it's really. effing. annoying. You'll be hooting at someone being expelled from their chair in slow-mo by a rocket in one scene, and while you're still wiping tears of mirth from your eyes you're suddenly presented with a character dealing with childhood trauma because their family was murdered, etc. Rinse, repeat. It's forced, jarring and surreal, and an unfortunate effect is that this casual flip from comedy to tragedy desensitizes you to the more sombre parts of the tale - you feel like the writers are standing behing you with a mallet while you watch, beating you over the head and alternately yelling 'Laugh now!' and 'Cry, dammit! See how tragic this is? CRY!'. It's...uncomfortable.
I do concede that the final episode of Beats was impeccable (it decided to go all Haibane Renmei in the end, very heartwarming and existential), and I haven't felt so utterly moved by a finale since Misuzu's 'Goal' scene in air. Flawless, tragic, bittersweet and memorable. Also, an additional warning - when you put the second disc of Beats into your player, WATCH THE OVA IMMEDIATELY. The OVA is a throwaway comedy episode which takes place during the main meat of the story, so if you wait until after the perfect finale and then watch the OVA (as I did) you will likely be both disappointed that the story doesn't continue, and experience more of that nasty mood whiplash mentioned earlier.
Overall Angel Beats is one of the finest anime I've seen this year and I highly recommend it; the animation and music effortlessly scores 10/10, the characters are a crazy, likable lot, and the dub is brilliant (fans of old skool ADV will rejoice to hear David Matranga, Hilary Haag and Britney Karbowski bringing the script to life with their usual wit and sparkle). My only criticism is that pesky, poor pacing between laugh-out-loud moments and tear-jerking flashbacks, which perhaps could've been fixed by drawing this out to 24 episodes rather than jamming it all into 13. Beats is ultimately a tale of friendship, acceptance and lost youth regained, and it is a wonderful little story despite the bumps in execution. (And yes, if you were wondering, all the obvious questions like 'why is purgatory a high school' and 'why are there only teenagers coming here' is all eventually answered!)
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best anime that there is!,
You're able to make a connection with the characters SO quickly and those connections only grow stronger as the characters are brilliantly developed throughout the series. This series always knows when to be funny and when to be serious (and when to mix the two). On top of that, it has some the best lighting and animation that I've ever seen.
The plot has twists and turns right up to literally the last second (yes, wait until after the credits on the last episode) and if this anime doesn't make you cry, please get back into your time machine because you are obviously a robot from the future.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holy Harping Angels!,
Purgatory as a Japanese high school isn't really a premise that appeals to me off the bat. I was pretty much sold on the rebels fighting against God theme, which is what got me watching. Maybe I'm a closet atheist but I always enjoy seeing others' interpretation of 'god', especially when its presented as some omnipotent - but unseen - supernatural obstacle to be overcome: how would 'He' be presented; what would be his attributes, his motivations etc. etc.
Angel Beats is first introduced as a sort of iconoclastic action anime, with James Dean-like teenagers standing up against Heaven and its shock troopers, the Angels (or more specifically, one) All well and good but the more you watch, the more you realize God - or his interpretation - doesn't really play any part at all. Nor does this perceived war against Heaven. Rather, the story is about the characters and what lead them to exist in this limbo in the first place. And all to the good.
This is where the anime really shines: the characters.
Its funny (one word: rocket chairs - or does that count as two?) and heart-wrenchingly tragic, sometimes in the same episode. Its kooky like that. But when it gets going, boy, does it get going.
I would give it five stars for the ending alone. Its a master stroke in what is legitimately a good all-rounder. Sadly, twelve episodes feels too short for me, focusing as it does on a very select group of main characters, ringleaders in the 'Battlefront', the rebels against god. Only their stories - their tragedies, if you will - are presented over the course of the show and I think it would have been much better if it had been the full 24-26 episodes and we learned more about all of the 'Battlefront' characters.
Why does Shiina eschew all company and reside in the sports equipment shed? How did she die? Why did she join Battlefront? What's Tk's real name? How did he die? What about Ooyama? Matsushida? And so on. In fine rock and roll fashion, we never learn anything about the rest of the Girls Dead Monster band, only their two vocalists, their 'creative forces' if you will. Why do they provide diversions for Battlefront? Surely they have minds of their own.
I don't really like 12 episode anime, usually for this reason. This isn't a criticism on Angel Beats; I enjoyed it immensely. As I said, the ending was one of the best I've ever seen in anime and that's saying something. Its just there's always more story to tell, and if there isn't, well, fair enough: its just when anime is this good, you want more of it. I even watched all of the ending credits for every single episode, that's how much I loved both the music (superb throughout) and the imagery of the characters there (you'll get what I mean when you see it; don't want to spoil the wonder).
In short, buy this anime as it is fantastic. And you will learn to hate twelve episode anime when you've finished it, just like I do. But in that good way.
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Angel Beats Complete Collection [Blu-ray] [US Import] by Yoshimichi Hirai (Blu-ray - 2011)