Angel Beats!

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Angel Beats! is a manga/anime series written by Jun Maeda and directed by Seiji Kishi.

The series takes place in a high school which act as limbo for people who have died. It follows Otonashi, who has died and lost the memories of his life. He meets Yuri and joins the Afterlife Battlefront which she founded. The Afterlife Battlefront fight against God for the cruel fates the members of the battlefront experienced in their lives. Their enemy is Angel, a girl that fights against the battlefront and has supernatural powers. She makes her powers from a computer program called Angel Player. "Normal" students (called NPCs by Yuri) populate the rest of the afterlife school. She calls them NPCs because they are not human but they look and act like humans.

The anime was broadcast from April 3, 2010 to June 26, 2010 and the manga has been published since December 2009. It was broadcast on both Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting.

Plot[change | change source]

Angel Beats! takes place at a high school acting as a limbo for those who have died, where students learn to give up any lingering attachments they still have from life before passing on. Those in the afterlife school can still feel pain as they did when they were alive, as well as dying again, only to awaken later with no injuries. The story follows the main protagonist Otonashi, a boy who has lost his memories of his life after dying. He meets Yuri, a girl who invites him to join the Afterlife Battlefront, an organization she founded and leads which fights against God for the negative experiences the SSS members went through in life. In the SSS, there is a four-girl band named Girls Dead Monster that acts as a diversion during missions, and an organization called the Guild that mass-produces weapons out of dirt and supplies them to the SSS. Their only enemy is Angel, a girl who uses her supernatural powers to fight against the SSS. Angel creates her powers with the aid of a computer program called Angel Player. The rest of the afterlife school is populated by a large number of "normal" students and teachers Yuri deems "non-player characters" (NPCs), which are not human but look and act the part.

The first of the characters to fulfill her dream and pass on is Iwasawa, the leader of Girls Dead Monster. Angel, whose real name is Kanade Tachibana, loses her position as student council president and the vice president Naoi succeeds her. Naoi uses powers of hypnosis to control NPCs to fight for his own interests against the SSS, but Otonashi stops him after acknowledging Naoi's existence and he subsequently joins the SSS. Otonashi regains his memories with the aid of Naoi's hypnosis and agrees to continue with the SSS. Otonashi befriends Kanade and invites her to join in on SSS activities. After Otonashi fully remembers the details of his life and death, he starts cooperating with Kanade to help the other SSS members move on, and Kanade is reinstated as student council president in accordance with their plan. Yui, the girl who replaced Iwasawa after she passed on, is the second of the characters who passes on.

When mysterious shadow monsters begin attacking the SSS, Takamatsu gets devoured by one, only to reappear as an NPC. Otonashi reasons with the other SSS members and many of them agree to pass on in lieu of becoming an NPC, including the rest of Girls Dead Monster, Chaa of the Guild, and several unnamed members. Yuri destroys the computers responsible for the shadow program, which was programmed to activate when love was detected in the world, to prevent it from becoming a true paradise and maintain its limbo state. Those who are left—Otonashi, Yuri, Kanade, Hinata and Naoi—hold a graduation ceremony where they thank each other for their support. After Naoi, Yuri and Hinata pass on, Otonashi learns that Kanade's regret was not being able to thank him for the heart she received from Otonashi after his death. Otonashi is heartbroken after she thanks him and passes on, as he has fallen in love with her. In the epilogue, two people resembling Otonashi and Kanade meet each other on the street in the real world. In an alternative epilogue, Otonashi is shown to have stayed behind in the afterlife to help people pass on.

Main characters[change | change source]

Yuzuru Otonashi (音無 結弦 Otonashi Yuzuru?)

Voiced by: Hiroshi Kamiya (Japanese), Blake Shepard (English)
Otonashi is the main protagonist of Angel Beats!. Due to his past, he has a caring personality and does not want anyone to experience pain or sadness. After dying, he lost his memories of the time when he was still alive,[1] but later regains them.[2] He had a younger sister, Hatsune(初音)(voiced by: Mai Nakahara (Japanese), Jessica Boone (English)), who died of cancer and who he cared for very much. When she died, he decided to go to school to become a doctor, but died in a train accident before he could take the entrance exam to college.[2] Initially unskilled in any equipment, he starts to practice his marksmanship,[3] and pulls through for the team when they are in danger.[4] He carries a Glock 17.[5]

Yuri Nakamura (仲村 ゆり Nakamura Yuri?)

Voiced by: Harumi Sakurai (Japanese), Brittney Karbowski (English)
Yuri, also known as Yurippe (ゆりっぺ?), has a determined personality but is secretly very sensitive and protective..[6] She invites Otonashi to join the SSS, an organization she founded and leads which fights against God.[1] She is smart and decisive when making operations and decisions.[6][7] She carries a silver Beretta 92.[5] Not only is she skilled with a gun, but she is also capable in close range hand-to-hand combat, which is shown when she fends off Angel's hand sonic with a combat knife.[6] She vowed to fight against God after her three younger siblings were murdered by burglars looking for valuables and never forgave herself for failing to prevent their deaths.[6] She is an effective leader, but does not think so.[6] She regrets even fighting with Kanade later in the story, because she feels she could have been great friends with her.[8] She disappears after the graduation ceremony.[8]

Angel (天使 Tenshi?) / Kanade Tachibana (立華 かなで Tachibana Kanade?)

Voiced by: Kana Hanazawa (Japanese), Emily Neves (English)
Angel is the student council president at the afterlife school. This places her at odds with the SSS as her responsibilities require her to suppress delinquency and other disruptive activities that the team does. The SSS initially calls her "Angel" since they do not know her real name, but they still refer to her by it even after finding out her real name to be Kanade Tachibana.[7] It is difficult to understand what she is thinking due to her rarely showing any outward emotions and her way of talking bluntly.[2] She is personally dedicated to helping others overcome their regrets and pass on.[9] However, she often lacks a proper understanding of others, as she never thinks to try to explain to the SSS why she was doing what she did.[10] She enjoys eating 'Mapo Tofu', a spicy dish.[4]
Despite her gentle demeanor and small frame, she is incredibly powerful and near indestructible to the point of ejecting bullets out of her wounds during battle.[1][2][11] She creates her powers known as "guard skills" via a computer program called Angel Player.[3] Her primary ability is "hand sonic", a blade on one or both forearms with five forms.[4] Other skills include but are not limited to: "distortion", an invisible barrier that deflects bullets or other projectiles;[1] "delay", which creates an after-image to disorient opponents;[1] and "harmonics", where a clone with a consciousness of its own is formed from the original.[2] These abilities are activated at will; however, her ability "overdrive", which gives her great physical strength, is always on.[11]

SSS Members[change | change source]

Hideki Hinata (日向 秀樹 Hinata Hideki?)

Voiced by: Ryōhei Kimura (Japanese), David Matranga (English)
The protagonist of Angel Beats! Heaven's Door, Hinata is a bright, dependable guy who is the closest to Otonashi.[12] He always tries to save his friends if he can and is a reliable force in the team.[6] He and Yui constantly irritate one another on a daily basis, but deep down, he cares for Yui, as shown when he helps her pass on by telling her he would marry her.[13] He is a talented baseball player, and his regret in life was his failure to catch a baseball, which cost his team an important baseball game.[12] He nicknamed Yuri as Yurippe when they co-founded the SSS as he did not feel comfortable calling her Yuri, because his mother has the same name. He has shown romantic feelings towards Yuri in Heaven's Door. He died from getting hit by a truck.[14] He uses an RPK-74 and an S&W 645.[15]

Ayato Naoi (直井 文人 Naoi Ayato?)

Voiced by: Megumi Ogata (Japanese), Greg Ayres (English)
Naoi is a human originally thought to be a non-player character (non-human).[7] After he died, Naoi developed hypnotic powers that allow him to control others and cause them to enter a dream-like state.[4] In life, he was the son of a famous potter. However, it was his twin brother who had the talent in pottery and as a result, Naoi was ignored by everyone. When his brother died, he was made to replace him by his father and was given strict training in pottery. As a result, he felt as if his own life was fake and all he wanted was to be acknowledged for his own existence.[4] He later befriends Otonashi after he acknowledges him and joins the SSS.[2] As acting student council president for a time and self-proclaimed God, Naoi is strict and arrogant, but this is quick to disperse when Otonashi chastises him. He is affectionate to Otonashi, much to the latter's chagrin, and always tries to earn his affection.[2] He uses dual USP 45 handguns.[16]

Takamatsu (高松?)

Voiced by: Takahiro Mizushima (Japanese), (Kalob Martinez, Illich Guardiola) (English)
Takamatsu is an honor student who has a polite personality and wears glasses. He mainly contributes to the SSS through intelligence gathering and other affairs but does not actively fight. Yuri herself says to not be fooled by his glasses and that he is actually an idiot.[1] Though appearing to be slender, he works out and is actually well-built muscle-wise.[7] After he first reveals this, he tends to take his shirt off, much to everyone's discomfort.[2] He is absorbed by a shadow and is turned into an NPC.[10] However, having strong enough feelings (according to Yuri), he is able to regain his senses and manages to disappear like the others.[8] He carries a Desert Eagle as a side-arm, but is also seen using a Sig 552.[17]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Departure". Jun Maeda (writer), Seiji Kishi (director). Angel Beats!. CBC. April 3, 2010. No. 1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 "Alive". Jun Maeda (writer), Seiji Kishi (director). Angel Beats!. CBC. May 15, 2010. No. 7.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "My Song". Jun Maeda (writer), Seiji Kishi (director). Angel Beats!. CBC. April 17, 2010. No. 3.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 "Family Affair". Jun Maeda (writer), Seiji Kishi (director). Angel Beats!. CBC. May 8, 2010. No. 6.
  5. 5.0 5.1 (in Japanese)Visual Style (VisualArt's) 16 (August 2010): 10.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 "Guild". Jun Maeda (writer), Seiji Kishi (director). Angel Beats!. CBC. April 10, 2010. No. 2.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Favorite Flavor". Jun Maeda (writer), Seiji Kishi (director). Angel Beats!. CBC. May 1, 2010. No. 5.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Graduation". Jun Maeda (writer), Seiji Kishi (director). Angel Beats!. CBC. June 26, 2010. No. 13.
  9. "In Your Memory". Jun Maeda (writer), Seiji Kishi (director). Angel Beats!. CBC. May 29, 2010. No. 9.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Change the World". Jun Maeda (writer), Seiji Kishi (director). Angel Beats!. CBC. June 12, 2010. No. 11.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Dancer in the Dark". Jun Maeda (writer), Seiji Kishi (director). Angel Beats!. CBC. May 22, 2010. No. 8.
  12. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ep4.
  13. "Goodbye Days". Jun Maeda (writer), Seiji Kishi (director). Angel Beats!. CBC. June 5, 2010. No. 10.
  14. (in Japanese) Angel Beats! Track Zero. ASCII Media Works. June 23, 2010. pp. 1–96. ISBN 978-4-04-868680-8 .
  15. Angel Beats! Official Guidebook 2010, p. 16.
  16. Angel Beats! Official Guidebook 2010, p. 17.
  17. Angel Beats! Official Guidebook 2010, p. 27.

Other websites[change | change source]