The story tells Otonashi finding himself in a school uniform upon waking up, only to realize that he is in the afterlife, with a reason of death that he can’t remember. He soon joins SSS, a rebellion squad lead by Yuri against the ‘angel’ that he took interest in. They fight together against the god that gave them an unfair life in a way, and slowly, Otonashi discovers the mysteries surrounding the afterlife.
” The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people smile the brightest. The most damaged people are the wisest. All because they don’t wish to see anyone else suffer the way they did. ” – Jellal Fernandes
Angel Beats, on the surface is the adventure of rebellion consists of a group of high-schooler against an angel, to fight for their unfair fate in their past lives and how they wanted it to change so badly. It’s packed with comedy, romance and a bit of mystery element with each characters having their own traumatic past united with one goal, to fight for their new destiny, sharing a strong bond of friendship and supporting each other along the journey.
There’s more to that. Youth is said to be the most precious moments in our life and we only get to live it once. But they didn’t, struggling with their regrets of the past, the dreams they couldn’t achieve in their youth, they refused to live their second chance and devoted their time to fight the destiny set for their past lives.
The main grasp of the story is such that fulfilling the dream and regrets will make you disappear from the world that you exist in, trading the simple happiness of achieving that purpose in life will get you obliterated, leaving your friends and memories behind, if so, will you still do it? They chose not to, and stayed until the very end of the line, being side by side with their dearest friends until everyone leave eventually. Nothing can stay forever, memories are what made us brave to face the unknown darkness, regrets are the fire that ignites us to live our life to the fullest.
There are various characters, each with their own quirks but the most impactful characters are Yuri, the leader and the unlikely couple – Yui and Hinata Hideki. For Yuri, she has a darkest past than most but amongst them, she smiles the brightest. She is the protagonist that guide them and encourage them the most, probably the most awesome leader of all time. Hinata’s love story with Yui is one of the kind and it’s another level of mutual love. Their relationship blossom with a mess where they constantly tease and sumo fight each other but it ended beautifully and heart-warming. Their story is not the main line and is a bit rushed, but the sincerity that it built up certainly add a lot of merit points to the plot as a whole and just how lovely it is.
The opening theme starts with the angel playing the piano elegantly and the ending theme ends with the appearances of each members of the rebellion, both of which has the perfect song, ‘My Soul, Your Beats!’ and ‘Brave Songs’ which have a meaningful lyrics accompanying the beautiful melody. And here, I would like to say kudos to the outro! The outro managed to capture the whole beauty and sadness that Angel Beats was trying to portray, as the characters fade in one by one and fade out at the end.
Overall, Angel Beats is not just an anime consisting purely of fun and entertainment but it depicts the feeling of not being able to fulfill a dream, the pathway to achieve it and those who stay with you along the journey to help you achieve it. It’s far more than an anime of slice of life and adventure genre. It gave departure a real meaning. To leave the past that we cling on to so desperately and to move on into an unknown future with our faith.
Eventually, everyone ends up alone, and is left with only their memories. Some roads you just have to take it on your own. But be brave, for those precious memories will never fade in this world and will always be by your side.
Angel Beats! definitely has one of the most beautiful ending in anime that I’ve ever come across.
Thanks for reading!
Personal rating for it: 10/10!