The time of our lives: rewatching Angel Beats

Rewatching your favourite shows is without doubt, for me, one of the best things as a fan of anime, it is also however, for a while, a moment of fear. Not including anime I watched as a child, Angel Beats was the second show I ever watched (after the original adaptation of Full Metal Alchemist). It was the show that really encouraged me to watch anime – it’s humour and action grabbed me and the emotion didn’t let me go. After watching almost an excess of over 90 shows since then the fear set in: what if the show that encouraged me to watch anime was in fact rubbish? This is a point that has grown increasingly closer to the foreground as I’ve tried to become ever more critical with my reviews and scores. After picking up the Blu-Ray at EGX at Birmingham back in October, this month I finally got around to rewatching the show – which I may now slightly SPOIL. You have been warned.

Prove that I'm dead, please? Sure, see you when you wake up.
Prove that I’m dead, please? Sure, see you when you wake up.

Angel Beats is the story of Otonashi, Yuri and class SSS, a group of adolescents who led unfulfilling lives and thus find themselves in an afterlife in which they can ‘rebel against God’. The premise is undeniably a good one with a degree of originality that puts it in a strong starting position. The plot is driven by the main character, Otonashi’s, understanding of both his past life and the world he now finds himself in. While for the most parts the story is indeed quite dark the show is filled with largely pointless, but generally funny comedy. I can’t help but feel a show like Angel Beats was always going to need a degree of humour for it to stay afloat, the characters couldn’t have maintained a serious nature and remained likeable without it.

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