Angel Beats! – 03
I don’t know what Kyoto Animation is doing with K-ON this season, but P.A. Works is upping the bar with a second concert scene already and it rocks even more than their first one. Houkago Tea Time eat your heart out. Girls Dead Monster is in the house! Before “Garudemo” kicked off their concert to divert the NPC characters and Tenshi away from their “sneak into angel area” plan, this episode was full of the usual lighthearted character interactions, including one revolving around the resident geek, Takeyama (Ichiki Mitsuhiro), who prefers to go by the codename “Christ”. With everything from his stupid codename to his verbal assault on Noda using the number Pi to jostle the latter’s dumb brain, followed up by Garudemo’s assistant Yui (Kitamura Eri) and her overzealousness, and eventually the operation of sneaking into the “angel area” being nothing more than Tenshi’s room, this episode was almost as goofy as the last one, which made me highly suspect an emotional bomb was going to dropped.
Preparing for the worse, I braced my emotional fortitude when the focus shifted to Garudemo lead guitarist/vocalist Iwasawa‘s past life (Sawashiro Miyuki). In particular, how her parents were always fighting with one another and her only salvation in life came from an old guitar she picked up off the streets. It was nice seeing her find that glint of hope in her life as she used music to guide herself towards independence from her parents, but knowing that she eventually died, I was semi-prepared for the incident involving her sudden collapse from a cerebral infarction (caused by a blow to a head from her parents’ quarreling) and her subsequent loss of speech (aphasia). It’s an admittedly sad fate for someone who was just turning her life around, but like Iwasawa said herself, isn’t nearly as traumatic as Yuri’s past. Still, I sympathized for her unfortunate end, which reaffirmed my theory that everyone here led sad and sorrowful past lives.
However, as the Garudemo concert went on for diversionary tactics and the girls rocked on ever so awesomely, it soon became apparent that the story revolving around Iwasawa wasn’t done just yet. With her desperately grabbing her cherished guitar back and playing the ballad “My Song” that Yuri originally determined wasn’t lively enough to draw a crowd, Iwasawa not only did that, but left the entire audience completely speechless as it was broadcast across the school airwaves. It was a really powerful song to say the least, but what caught me completely off guard was her sudden disappearance following its completion. I was more in awe and disbelief than anything else at that point and a completely mixed bag of emotions filled my mind. I was happy that my suspicion seemed correct and that this world serves as a transitional period for people who have died, allowing them to eventually move on once they’re content with accomplishing what they couldn’t while alive. However, Iwasawa’s song echoing through the gymnasium and the realization that the Sawashiro Miyuki character I was looking forward to the most in this series suddenly is now gone after only the third episode left me both saddened and… PISSED OFF! What will Garudemo be without her!? T_T
Anyway, that scene was pretty moving, but not quite enough to get me choked up because I was doing my darndest to prepare for Maeda Jun’s teary-eyed emotional bombs. Had I not, I think this would’ve gotten through to me, even though it’s technically a happy way for Iwasawa to move on. In any case, it doesn’t look like anyone will have time to “grieve” over her, as hacking into Tenshi’s computer shows that her abilities weren’t granted by God, but actually developed by herself. This of course raises the question as to who Tenshi really is if she’s not an angel of some sort. Could she just be another girl who met a horrible fate and is taking it upon herself to guide the people in this world into accepting their deaths? i.e. Is she just the polar opposite of Yuri’s actions? I’m starting to think so, but the fun is in not knowing with this original series. I can’t wait to see more.
Note: In case you were wondering, Iwasawa’s songs are performed by marina and not Sawashiro Miyuki as I mentioned before.