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VINE VOICEon 2 March 2017
Awakening with no memory and with a rifle armed girl kneeling over him, Otonashi finds himself in a school afterlife where attending classes makes you disappear. Otonashi joins with a group of rebellious teens determined to fight against god and the Student Council President, Angel.

This two disc DVD set includes all thirteen episodes of the 'Angel Beats!' anime as well as the light comedy OVA. This series is an interesting mix of slapstick comedy and highly emotional scenes that work quite well together, although I am sure some people would find the flipping from one to the other a little jarring. When I first watched this series I considered it to be one of the single saddest series I had ever seen and, while I probably wouldn’t go that far any more, the emotional moments can still be quite tear-jerking and the final episode and a half still rank as some of the most emotional moments from any anime I have seen.

The animation of the series is very good, even seven years on from its original release, and has some very entertaining (if limited) action in places. The character designs are nice with none of the various characters being too annoying. This series was one of the first that I ever watched all the way through in the original Japanese and while I do think that the original is better (and probably a little more emotional), the English dub is still relatively good, although it does still leave the songs the characters sing in Japanese. Both the Japanese and English are included on the DVDs. Of the English voice cast, all give very good performances but Brittney Karbowski as Yurippe, Emily Neves as Angel and Greg Ayres as Naoi are my favourites. On the downside, Blake Shepard’s performance as Otonashi is a little flat but this does seem to suit his character in places.

The plot of the series is generally quite good but it can seem a little light and rushed in places. Much of this is possibly due to the fact that the series was, apparently, originally meant to be twenty six episodes long but was cut in half resulting in some truncated arcs and some rushing towards the end. While this is a little disappointing there are still some very nice moments throughout the series with my favourite parts being the emotional backstory flashbacks of the various characters, particularly that of the main character Otonashi.

The only special features on the DVD, other than the OVA, are clean versions of the opening and closing credits but luckily these are both beautiful songs and animation.

Overall, while I probably don’t rate this series as highly as I used to, it was still a very enjoyable anime and is well worth four to four and a half stars.
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on 27 August 2017
Although it is not a 'complete' collection anymore, since more OVAs have been released, but it's still a worthy edition into any anime fan's Blu-Ray collection.
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on 18 May 2017
My daughter loves it
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on 11 January 2017
Emotional and heartbreaking. The story follows a guy called Yuzuro Otanashi who is trying to recovery from amnesia after waking up in a sort of afterlife. It's up to him and members of the SSS Battlefront to help themselves move on but they can't until they've found peace. They don't want to move on because they are angry at God for their unfair lives. This a great and humorous show with great music, great characters and superb animation. I strongly recommend it you enjoy watching anime.
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on 3 March 2012
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 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.
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on 19 March 2016
Angel Beats is my favorite anime show of all time. It blow away my expectations within seconds of watching the show. The show is funny, full of action and is very sad. Angel Beats has scenes which feel very real and because of this it makes you cry. Don't get me wrong the show has its fair share of problems since the show was create with the intention of having more than 20 episodes but had to adapt to 13. But after all its faults i cant stop watching it I loved it when I first watched it and I still do. I highly recommend this show
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VINE VOICEon 31 August 2012
Angel Beats is a beautiful, odd little show that doesn't know if it wants to be Haibane Renmei or Full Metal Panic Fumoffu, and sadly suffers for it.

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!)
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on 29 March 2012
Angel Beats was produced by the same studio that did Clannad, Lucky Star, Haruhi and many of anime shows many people regard as being excellent and in general are well loved by the fans.

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.
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on 7 July 2012
What is utterly superb about Japanese anime is the story within a story and the Japanese are masters at this type of storytelling. Angelbeats is a story about a group of students that can roughly be described as being in "limbo" as they have not yet passed on the the next world and they fear passing on as they believe that they will be obliterated if they do. They form a rebel band of fighters that fight against a girl called "Angel". To defeat her they employ a girl band that is used for distraction purposes so they can carry out their guerilla raids sometimes not so successfully and Angel is not actually the person the rebels believe her to be but I wont give too much away here but the Anime is very emotional and will make you cry like a baby at places and make you laugh out loud at others.

The music is so superbly emotionally beautiful the ending song at the end of each episode is deeply moving and so beautifully sang it goes straight to your heart and makes it want to break with deep sadness.

Without a doubt this anime is a must even if your not an Anime fan. Superbly crafted with exquisite graphics and music it is very well balanced between sadness and comedy and for those who understand the Japanese way of thinking you will also see the underlying story of loss redemption acceptance and others that will take too long to explain here. A truly exceptional anime that MUST be included in your Library
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on 14 September 2015
This is now one of my favorite anime, when you first start watching it, it's a bit boring but if u give it time u get hooked and cannot stop watching it and the last 3 episodes really rip your heart out
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