Top positive review
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A funny and emotional series
on 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.