Angel Beats! – 02
Oh wow, I had no idea we’re dealing with a comedy here. Or at least that’s what Key and P.A. Works made me think with this gag-filled episode that had me laughing more than other comedies this season. It all started with what was supposed to be a routine trip to their secret underground weapons manufacturing plant, a.k.a. the guild, except shit really hit the fan when Tenshi was detected and the guild reactivated all the traps. All the SSS members were quick to point out that protecting the guild’s location is much more important than their safety since they can’t die anyway, but let me be the first to say I’d never want to be part of this group. They will literally sell you out in a blink of an eye and let you meet your horrible “death” without a second thought.
However, therein lie the comedic gold of this episode as SSS members decided to make their way to the guild regardless, in an attempt to take out Tenshi. On route, they were crushed by a huge rolling ball Indiana Jones-style, sliced to bits via lasers, squashed by a collapsing roof, and splattered after plunging to their deaths. Otonashi and myself were of course shocked by the chain of deaths, but everyone else just moved along as if it was just another day at the park. My shock quickly turned to good laughs though, as everyone was dying for the stupidest reasons, including one where Hinata fell to his death because Yuri kicked him off for groping her while climbing up and another where Shiina was dumb enough to try and rescue a puppy (which was fake). Yes, it’s as dumb as it sounds, but pretty damn funny when you watch it all happen.
On the more dramatic side of things, which we got to when everyone was dead except Yuri and Otonashi, the former revealed a bit of her past life, describing how her house was robbed when her parents were out. As the oldest of four children, the burglars sadistically made Yuri bring them the house’s valuables even though she had no idea where her parents kept them, and proceeded to kill her two younger sisters and brother every ten minutes if she didn’t return with something. Pretty damn cruel if you ask me, as Yuri ended up being the only survivor of that incident. She didn’t reveal how she later died, but clearly stated that it wasn’t from suicide, so I suspect she may have tried avenging her siblings later on and failed doing so. What caught my attention though was how Yuri said no one in this world died from committing suicide, which makes me wonder if this place is primarily for young people who met ill fates. It sure would make for good drama later on if that were the case.
Animation-wise, yes there were notably epic failures in the first episode with hands and such, which a lot of people were quick to point out. Now in addition to those, I actually feel that the faces are poorly drawn in several scene and look pretty bad too, which includes the ones in this episode. However, despite the somewhat wonky animation, I’m still holding onto the belief that P.A. Works will pull their act together later on. The opening sequence gives me renewed hope about that anyway, which I find goes really well with Lia’s “My Soul, Your Beats!” song. The actual ending sequence that was shown this time around however is a bit simplistic, but goes well with Tada Aoi’s slow “Brave Song”, which will undoubtedly serve as a good outro when things get sadder in the story. On that note, Maeda Jun tends to make viewers drop their emotional guard by getting all the lighthearted stuff out first, so if the purpose of this episode was just that, I can only imagine the teary-eyed bomb he’s planning to drop on us later.