Angel Beats!


Angel Beats is an anime that I really expected to be the best of this season. Upon seeing the first episode, I was introduced to writing that was humorous and fast paced, characters that were very interesting, an interesting concept, and superb artwork and animation. It had potential and seemed to be a show destined for perfection. It was until the fourth episode that the first signs of trouble began to show.
The story to Angel Beats follows the adventures of a group of dead students in the afterlife called the SSS, an organization rebelling against god due to unsatisfactory lives they had previously. The story centers around Otonashi, an amnesiac who is the newest member of the group. Due to his status as a recruit, we learn information about the characters and the afterlife through his experiences, something that is pretty standard in terms of storytelling. Thankfully, the main story is pretty interesting, as the plot constantly leaves the viewer invested with very interesting scenarios and a few plot twists along the way. While the ending is a bit unsatisfying, it's still worth watching due to the surprise you'll get from watching it.
Thankfully, the beginning of Angel Beats is phenomenal, as it introduces fresh dialogue, interesting main characters, an art style that is probably the best Key has ever done, and incredibly smooth and fluid animation. Unfortunately, the first signs of trouble come in the form of humor. A problem that Angel Beats faces is that the humor can get repetitive VERY quickly. That doesn't mean that new and fresh jokes aren't funny, but continuing gags become very old quickly, due to characters using these gags way to frequently. For example: a recurring gag is that all of the people in the SSS are called idiots by a girl named Yui. The problem with this joke is that it's used frequently despite the fact that it's not funny. That's not to say that their isn't some really funny jokes though, as the majority of the jokes are hilarious, the only problem being that a noticeable, if still small, percentage of these jokes are recurring gags.
The characters in Angel Beats are both a great plus and minus of the show. On one hand, you are given interesting characters, such as Yurrippe, Otonashi, Yui, Hinata and Kanade who are given plenty of depth and are also well developed. Some characters, a great example being TK, don't need depth, as their coolness and unique behavior make them already interesting. On the other hand though, a HUGE majority of the SSS members are not that interesting, as some of them are just bland stereotypes, despite some of them delivering some clever dialogue and jokes. An example of this would be Takamatsu, a guy who is mysterious... and that's it! While he does deliver one hilarious joke, he is given no back story, no development, and is an all around uninteresting character in general. If Angel Beats had spent more time developing the backgrounds of all these characters, then it would make for very enthralling characters, but unfortunately, it chooses too give them stereotypical personalities instead.
The biggest flaw of Angel Beats would be the execution of the story. While it is by no means bad, the amount of pointless fillers moments (as each episode is comprised of moments that seem to just be filler) is overwhelming at times. While they are amusing, if more time was spent on developing the plot and characters, then everything could possibly be developed in the thirteen episodes that are its run time. Unfortunately, the series seems to spend too much time on these pointless, albeit entertaining, baseball games, fishing activities and pointless missions that results in an experience that while good, can be so much better. Angel Beats really shines when it's delivering a serious story, not when it's trying to be lighthearted and comedic.
The animation in Angel Beats is amazing, as everything is colorful, vibrant and seems to shine with creativity. The character models also look very nice, as they are expressive, creative and very fluent with their body motions. The best part also has to be the action scenes though, as their is some really great fight scenes for a school-life anime. The gun affects also look nice, as a massive fire fight in the first episode gives viewers an idea how nice the series is. While the gun effects are VERY unrealistic (As I'm pretty sure they don't look this colorful or pretty.) they still look visually appealing.
Overall, Angel Beats is a show worth experiencing despite its numerous flaws. While definitely lacking behind Key's other works (Kanon, Clannad, etc...), it's still a great show that won't be forgotten anytime soon. It's by no means a masterpiece that some claim it to be, but it's still a great series due to its creativity, a few memorable characters (TK is awesome!), beautiful art and animation (Which is probably the best I've seen out of all of Key's creations.), and a story that isn't exceptional, but still entertaining with a very melancholy ending (Which is typical of Key.).

Opening: Beautiful! Well animated with great music by Lia. My Soul, Your Beats! is an excellent tune! (Actually own the My Soul, Your Beats! Album.)
Ending: While by no means a visual spectacle, the music is nice enough to warrant it a mention.
Rating: Great

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: Episode 63


HELL YES! They have done it! They have finally created a conclusion that works! By all means does this ending surpass the half-assed original, as it has better writing, no plot holes, and characters who don't act like freakin' plot devices! This episode continues where the last episode left off: Edward beating the shit out of Father. After punching him a few dozen times, Father finally falls down, and appears to actually die. Unfortunately, he is still alive.
In a final act of desperation, Father goes after Greed and successfully implants his fist into Greed's stomach, successfully steeling Greed's philosopher stone. However, Greed decides uses his ability to turn Father's body to charcoal, only to die right after Father rejects him from his body. Thankfully, this doesn't stop the affects of Greed's abilities from working, allowing Edward to punch a hole in Father's chest, releasing all the souls of everyone Father made into philosopher stones.
Greed's end was much more meaningful than his death in the first anime series, as he died satisfied with the friend's he had during his life. In the original anime series, he died after Edward accidentally killed him, making it a rather pointless death.
The death of Father was also interesting, as he was brought to the gate immediately after losing all the souls. We then see him having a conversation with god, the viewer then discovering that god seems to look different for every person who goes to the gate (I'm guessing this is an example of human beings being in god's image?). A conversation takes place between god and Father, Father desperately trying to rationalize his actions while god tells him the reality and how he will be punished. At this point, I actually had to feel a bit of sympathy for the homunculus (Small though, as I still haven't forgotten what happened to Maes Hughes!), as he was simply in the pursuit of perfection and knowledge, even if he did go WAY too far in trying to achieve godhood. (Sounds a bit like Light Yagami?)
After that scene, Edward desperately tries to find a way to save Alphonse, realizing that something or someone will have to be sacrificed. I was expecting Edward to sacrifice himself, his father or maybe just a philosopher stone, making me worry that the conclusion was going to be full of plot holes and problems. However, Edward comes up with a plan that not only defied my expectations, but it leads to an ending that is absolutely perfect!
Edward sacrifices his Truth (the gate that represents his alchemic ability), therefore sacrificing his ability to use alchemy. Never have I ever thought of such a genius idea! By doing so, Edward saves Alphonse, and doesn't sacrifice any lives in order to save his brother, a solution that would definitely seem cheap, lazy and completely out of character for Edward.
After returning Alphonse to the real world, the duo have a reunion with all of the remaining characters, making it a very triumphant conclusion to an exceptional series. While we still have an epilogue to go through, I must say that my expectations have been surpassed. While I do admit that my expectations were surpassed long ago (around episode 30), never did I imagine a remake could be so much better than its predecessor. By all means should this show be watched by everyone who saw and enjoyed the original anime series, as this one will surpass their expectations.
I also thought that Hohenheim's death at the end of the episode was really well done, as we see him die with satisfaction, not to the point of welcoming death, but with no regrets about his life. His death was again (like Greed), much more satisfying and meaningful than the way he died in Fullmetal Alchemist: Conquerors of Shamballa, where he committed suicide.

Overall, this episode was fantastic! This was probably the best episode of the series so far, as it was able to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of providing a sacrifice for Alphonse's revival without making it seem cheap. Plus, the death of some protagonists were much more meaningful than their deaths in the original anime series, which seemed to be thought up at the last minute and rushed. Hopefully the epilogue will wrap up any loose plot threads we have.
Rating: Excellent

Durarara: Episode 24


Damn was this a nice conclusion! While it did leave a few plot holes open, I loved how it gave lots of closure to the relationships between characters and left open the possibility of a sequel (Even though I seriously doubt that there actually will be one). The episode opens with Anri, Kida, Celty and Mikado being surrounded by the Blue Square gang, their numbers being way to numerous for them to fight off. However, Korodato and a few members of the dollars disguised as the Blue Square gang stage an attack against the Blue Square gang at the last minute, saving the lives of Anri, Kida, Celty and Mikado. Horada tries to escape in the last minute, but is unsuccessful after being attacked by a vengeful Shizuo and finally being captured by Kinnosuke.
The scene was very well done, as it was very nice to see Horada finally get what he deserved. I was also a bit surprised that Mikado accepted the fact that Kida was the leader of Yellow Scarves and Anri was the wielder of Saika very quickly, as Kida, took a very long time to accept the identities of Anri and Mikado. It was nice to see Kinnosuke finally get some screen time, even if it did feel like they put him in at the last minute. It was also very odd that the police stopped being concerned over Celty, as headless scythe-wielding motorcycle rider is a pretty huge phenomenon. The best part of the scene was how Horada was completely losing his sanity as his situation got worse, making for a pretty hilarious scene as his car was sliced by Shizuo.
The next scene where Anri and Izaya confront each other was also well done, as we get to see a pretty well done, albeit short, action scene between the two. The reason Izaya has for declaring war on Anri was also very interesting, as I wasn't really expecting him to fight Saika over the loving humans. Come to think of it, Izaya talks about humans as if they were a species he isn't a part of. Does that mean that he isn't human himself? (Just a possibility...)
However, the best scene in this episode was when Semyon successfully punches Izaya in the face! It was about time that Izaya received payback for all the atrocities he committed in the past, as his invincibility was becoming a bit ridiculous. I also was surprised that Izaya new Russian, as he started conversing with Semyon in Russian.
The remaining part of the episode has all the main characters resolving their conflicts. Thankfully, while the ending may not resolve all the endings, it resolves most of the problems that each have. Overall, this was a great ending that may not have ended with a bang, but brings closure to the series.
Rating: Great

Angel Beats! Episode 13


This episode was probably the saddest episode in the whole entire series. After Yurripe kills "God", she awakens three days later in the infirmary with Otonashi, Kanade, Hinata and Ayato at her bedside. We then discover that in the course of those three days, most of the members of the SSS finally passed on, making them the only members remaining in the afterlife. They all decide to hold a graduation ceremony, an event that is used as a means for characters to say their last goodbyes to each other.
Unfortunately, this scene is very slow and doesn't really have that much emotional impact. While it is nice to see Kanade and Yurripe reconcile, the reconciliation seems out of nowhere, as there wasn't that much conflict between the two after Kanade joined the SSS. Another problem is that Kanade suddenly has an upbeat mood, something that seems pretty out of character for someone who spent most of the series with an emotionless expression on her face. Other than those gripes, the scene was at least watchable, even if it was a bit long and tedious.
All that changes when everyone except Kanade and Otonashi disappears. Otonashi begins discussing the possibility that both should stay in the afterlife in order to help others who weren't satisfied with their lives pass on. In the process of saying this, he ends up actually confessing his love to her. Kanade then informs Otonashi that if she tells him her feelings, she will disappear. We then discover that Kanade's one regret was not being able to say thank you to Otonashi for saving her life. She then begs Otonashi to confess his love once more, giving the viewer the clear indication that she wants to disappear. This absolutely terrifies Otonashi, as he doesn't want to make Kanade to disappear despite the fact that she wants to pass on herself. Eventually he gives in, resulting in Kanade's vanishment.
This plot twist was ridiculous, out of nowhere and was absolutely means of manipulating the viewers emotions by all means. However, the execution of this scene was so well done, that I have to give them credit besides the fact that Otonashi's confession was completely out of nowhere. The scene was proof that Key is the master at making any light hearted show depressing, as they also successfully did this with Kanon and Clannad. This singular scene is probably the best part of the Angel Beats series, as the sadness this scene brought to me was incredible! To top it off, not only does Kanade disappear, but Otonashi completely loses it and starts screaming at his loss. If this scene doesn't make you shed a tear, then you have no soul!
However, I have to still say that the ending to the series wasn't that great despite that fantastic scene. Not only did it neglect to give information about any of the other characters, but it gave very little closure to the relationship between Kanade and Otonashi. Plus, it doesn't really help that the ending leaves huge gaping plot holes such as:

  • Where the hell did this romance between Kanade and Otonashi come from? It's an interesting romance, but it's completely out of nowhere!

  • If Kanade wanted to say thank you, why didn't she say so earlier? What were her reasons for doing so?

  • How in the hell did Takamatsu pass on? Wasn't his soul destroyed?

  • How did all the other characters pass on in the course of three days? Isn't it a little convenient that their problems were simple enough to be resolved in three days?

  • Didn't Hinata want to catch a baseball in order to pass on?
While it was unique and unexpected, the creators should of spent more time adding closure to the series. It's not a bad ending, just one that needed a bit of tweaking before it was released.
Rating: Fair

Durarara: Episode 23


Wow! What an excellent episode! While it does confirm my suspicion that Semyon, Shingen, Kasuka, the two Otakus, Tom, Saburo, and Kinnosuke won't be given any back story, it does make me very excited for the final episode. After getting fired by the yellow scarves and discovering that Horada knows who the leader of the dollars is, Kida then decides to leave his depressed state and take action, deciding to confront Horada in order to stop them from killing Mikado. He then confronts the gang, discovering that members of the Blue Square gang were actually inside the yellow scarves gang from the start. He then attempts to kill Horada, but ends up getting whacked in the head with a crowbar quite a few times by members of the gang, rendering him unable to achieve the task.
Damn was this plot thread well done, as we finally get to see Kida in action after seeing him get depressed for the last few episodes over... nothing. I was also surprised to see that Kida actually incapacitated quite a few gang members before becoming severely wounded himself. I also thought that his blood being splattered all over his face was a nice touch that added lots of intensity to the scene. Overall, this part was probably the highlight of the episode.
The part where Shizuo got shot by the yellow scarves gang last episode was not very suspenseful, as I knew that he probably would survive the attack. This episode confirmed my guess, as we see him walking inside Shinra's apartment as if the bullet wounds were not even painful. I mean, Shizuo survived getting hit by a truck, got smashed in the head with a baseball bat, was attacked by hundreds of people simultaneously, can lift vending machines and telephone poles with ease, and was actually stabbed once in the first arc. Does the author really expect us to believe that he can actually be killed by two bullet wounds that were fired in his leg and the very edge of his body? Those areas aren't even lethal! Well... blood loss could still kill him, but knowing Shizuo, he would probably shrug off the wounds as if they were nothing! These problems aside, it's at least nice that the creators didn't decide to kill him off due to blood loss.
Finally, Anri and Mikado then head to the warehouse in order to confront Kida after being misinformed that he ordered the attempted assasination of Shizuo. They arrive to discover Kida kneeling in front of Horada who is preparing to kill him via pistol. Next episode is going to have quite a tough job, as it's going to have to resolve the current conflict and must provide a resolution to many other plot threads that haven't been wrapped up. While I'm not expecting it resolve everything, it should at least tie up most of the loose ends.

Overall, this episode was fantastic, as it has built up enough suspense in order to have me begging for the next episode. Hopefully, the final episode will end with a bang.
Rating: Excellent

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: Episode 62


What an intense episode! After Father blows up most of central headquarters, Edward, Hohenheim, Roy, Riza, the remaining Briggs soldiers, Greed, Lao Fan, and any other people I may have missed launch a desperate counter attack in order to use up Father's philosopher stone. The whole episode is dedicated to achieving this endeavor, ending with Father turning into a monster, and everyone else severely wounded, Edward losing his automail and having his left arm impaled by a thick metal wire. Unable to move, Father nearly turns him into a Philosopher Stone, until Alphonse, on the verge of death, sacrifices himself in order to give Edward his right arm. This makes Edward go on an angry rampage that results in Father to get fucked up beyond recognition.

This episode was...awesome! The beginning where Father blew up the whole entire Central command was an amazing display of how powerful he really is, showing that it will take a while to finally destroy him. The mid point of the episode where everyone is trying to take down Father was very triumphant, as it was nice to see everyone coming together in order to destroy Father. I also liked it how Father snapped in the end, as he seemed to turn into a monster due to his hunger for power, something that will probably result in his downfall next episode.

However, out of all these scenes, the best one was when Edward goes completely ballistic over his brother's sacrifice, as he beats the living shit out of Father. The intensity of this scene made up for the lack of intensity in the middle of the episode. Seeing this episode does worry me though, as we are left to the same trap that the ending of the first anime series had, Alphonse having sacrificed himself AGAIN for his brother, meaning that depending on what Edward sacrifices to save Alphonse will determine the quality of the series, hopefully they will do it right this time around!

Overall, this was a fantastic episode that raises my expecatations for the next episode. Hopefully the conclusion will be satisfying and will leave no loose plot threads.
Rating: Excellent

Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou: Episode 12


The final episode does an acceptable job concluding the series. The episode begins with a battle between Akuto and Brave, ending with Akuto defeating Brave. Afterwards, Bouichirou tries to form a contract with Kena, only to he interrupted by Akutow who proceeds to beat the living shit out of him. He then talks some sense into him, telling him that he will destroy god itself in order to save Kena.
 The beginning of this episode was great, as the dialogue during the battle between Akuto and Bouichirou was brilliant. I actually find the idea of god being a system meant to control society to be an idea that actually parallels are own society. Wow! I actually found something deep in an ecchi show!

All of this intrigue continues until the midpoint of the episode, where Kena tries to chase after Akuto, who is trying to destroy god by blowing up a tree. Unfortunately, her actions causes everyone to lose their memories, resulting in an ending that is just cheap! Thankfully, it does leave room for a sequel, a prospect that almost redeems the cheap, albeit hilarious ending. Hopefully, a sequel can help give this series the ending it deserves.

Overall, while the beginning of the episode was actually pretty deep and interesting, the ending ultimately feels rushed, and while a possible sequel does bring me hope of a better ending, this does knock the episode and the series down a few pegs.
Rating: Fair

Angel Beats!: Episode 12


This was one weird episode. In the course of a few minutes, most of the members of the SSS disappear. Afterwords, Otonashi, Hinata and Ayato are attacked by the smoke monsters, gaining the upper hand in battle when the remaining SSS members arrive. While I felt it was a bit convenient that the whole entire main cast chose to stay and fight the smoke monsters; their entrances were both memorable and refreshing. (Ooyama actually does something, and TK beats up an insane amount of enemies with awesome dance moves while continuing to say
incomprehensible babble in English.)

Meanwhile, Yurippe begins to venture into the guild in an effort to kill god, a task that seems very improbable to solve even with the use of guns. Seriously, when going after god himself, don't you think that it will take more than a few gunshot wounds to subdue him?

She then regroups with Hinata, Tenshi, Otonashi, and Ayato, where she then runs off to confront god while Otonashi and the others hold off the black smokes.

The "god" character is very disappointing, as he turned out to be some bland character who is surprisingly forgettable for the supposed main antagonist of the series. I was hoping for a character that was, at the very least, interesting. Thankfully, the ending to the episode was very interesting, making me very excited for the next episode. I was also surprised that the power of love was the reason why the smoke monsters appeared, as the person who was experiencing love for someone who wasn't in the afterlife was to never disappear, therefore prompting "god" to eliminate that person's soul via the black smoke.

The writing in this episode was a bit poor, as a flashback moment and the confrontation with god had characters talking in a very philosophical and unrealistic manner. Yurippe even ad libs a speech in front of a freakin' classroom! Since when did these kids become philosophers all of a sudden!

Overall, this episode may have moments with poor dialogue and an anti-climactic antagonist, but the ending to the episode, the action scene with TK, and the triumphant return of the main cast make up for it. Hopefully, episode thirteen will not fail in delivering a satisfying conclusion.
Rating: Great
Rating System:

Site Changes


Due to it being past the one year anniversary of the site (Which was created in April 2009), I have decided to make a few changes in the way I review items. From now on, I will be writing episodic reviews, as I don't seem to have enough content to write about when I do reviews of an entire show. Due to fan subs being illegal, I will try to watch licensed shows that have been distributed online the date the licensees distribute it. This means that while I may be able to watch the latest of episodes of thing on Crunchyroll, my free membership will not allow me to see them the day of its release, as I do not have an actual credit card to buy the premium membership. Anything that can't be accessed legally, I will watch fan subbed. To find an index of the shows I'm following, please make sure you visit the tab on the of the page titled, Anime Series. This tab will show an index of shows I'm watching, which will show if I'm following, or dropping a show. I will be blogging about more series later on. Here is a preview of what I'll be following later:

  • Bleach- Yes. This show. A show so good/bad/awesome/retarded/amazing/stupid/epic/ridiculous that it must blogged about. The reason I'm not blogging about it now, is the fact that I'm about 50 episodes behind episode 275. I will TRY to watch filler episodes, but if they involve too much stupidity and retardation, then I will skip them. Due to it being on Crunchyroll, I also won't be able to watch the latest episodes the day it comes out.
  • Giant Killing- I developed an interest in this show after seeing the first episode on Crunchyroll. I wanted to start following a few sports anime, so I will be sure to follow this on Crunchyroll. Again, my lack of a premium membership on Crunchyroll won't allow me to see the latest episode the day it comes out.
  • Shows of interest this Summer season. (Haven't seen the releases yet, so I don't know what is coming out.)
Hopefully, this new format will allow me to write more content on this blog.