The premiere of Key writer/composer Maeda Jun and P.A. Works‘ new original project is here! The first episode served as a good introduction to the surreal afterworld that male protagonist Otonashi (Kamiya Hiroshi) finds himself in, plus heroine Yuri (Sakurai Harumi) and her gang in their struggle against God, but what surprised me was the sheer amount of lighthearted humor involved. While it’s no secret that Key series tend to have a sarcastic male lead who’s always ready to dish out the tsukkomi, I wasn’t expecting them to approach this one from that angle immediately. Not that I mind or anything though, as Otonashi’s outbursts and reactions to being “killed” and coming back to life had me laughing a fair bit. What’s even better is that this first episode featured the live concert scene shown in one of the “making of” promotional videos, which I was really looking forward to after seeing how it was made.

If not for the concert and Operation Tornado (i.e. steal the other students’ meal tickets) at the end, I get the feeling this first episode might have been unimpressive to some viewers due to the amount of dialogue (and only dialogue). However, I actually enjoyed a lot of the character interactions between Otonashi and Yuri early on, particularly because of the latter’s somewhat brash personality. I also got a good kick out of the scene where Yuri was taking suggestions on renaming the Shinda Sekai Sensen (Afterworld War Front), a.k.a. “Class Three S”, to something that doesn’t sound like they’re already dead. From everything to the “Barnacle War Front” to Otonashi’s “Does Whatever the Hell They Want War Front”, it was just good laughs all the way through. A lot of the remaining portions of the episode served as an explanation to the backstory in this surreal yet oddly normal afterworld, hinting at where things will go from here.

As I mentioned in the Spring 2010 Preview, Yuri is staging a rebellion against God for giving her such an unreasonable and short life. In actuality, she doesn’t even know if a God exists and is merely taking her fight against the angel of this world, who’s conveniently named Tenshi (Hanazawa Kana) and serves as the student council president of their afterworld school as well. Yuri later explains how this world is full of model, law-abiding drones, whom she describes as the equivalent of a video game’s Non-Player Characters (NPCs). Acting in accordance to them like the angels want leads to deceased humans such as themselves eventually disappearing, which is why they resist and try to take over the world. Doing so ensures they would continue to exist at the very least, even though they’re no longer alive. Otonashi, whose name means “silence/wait-and-see” in kanji 「音無」, eventually decides to go along with Yuri and her gang, but only in hopes of recovering his memories of when he was alive. Amnesia is apparently common in those who first arrive in this world.

Despite the evil look Tenshi has shown, I already have a theory on where the story takes place. Take this with a grain of salt, but based on what’s been shown so far, I suspect that this afterworld is an intermediate staging area of sorts in the cycle of life, which gives people more time to accept that they’ve died. Rather than just letting spirits fade away or be reborn (in accordance to Buddhism which they hinted at), this world provides a merciful transition period for souls before they’re ready to go wherever they’re supposed to next. However, every once in a while you come across a person who just refuses to come to terms with their own passing, such as an overzealous girl who decides to establish a rebellion against God, leading us to story here. Whether or not this is the case, I imagine a lot of the drama will unfold as we learn more about each of the characters’ lives and how they died. Maeda Jun has said that this is yet another tear-jerker story (like most Key stories), so it’s only a matter of time before the waterworks start. I can’t speak for anyone else planning to follow this series, but I’m really looking forward to those emotion-filled scenes.

Finally, I should point out that the girl band, “Girls Dead Monster”, features Iwasawa (Sawashiro Miyuki) as the lead vocalist, but the songs are actually performed by “marina”. Also, there is indeed an English-speaking voice actor named Michael Rivas playing the character “TK” here.


ED Sequence

ED: 「Brave Song」 by 多田葵 (Tada Aoi)
Watch the ED!: Download, Streaming ▼


Watch the Preview ▼


  1. first of all THANK YOU VERY MUCH for this “new” site. i thought RC would die because i thought that you’d only create an archive and not post new blogs.

    after reading your blog, I think i’ll watch this one 😀

    the story you don't know
  2. I’m liking this anime, visuals are top notch, some humor here and there, story seems interesting, and since Divine pointed out that this may be a tear-jerker I say bring on the tissue paper.

  3. Great. If the after-life required me to go to school again, then screw it.

    Come on, this is just a twist on just having an anime title having cute school girls, and having the writer of Key getting involved.

  4. Finally here, awesome! Dling Mazui v2 as we speak. Can’t wait and looks fantastic! I really hope it doesn’t turn outlike a Haruhi-clone
    Btw, I really like the new blog layout. Everyone has side pictures 😀

  5. I’ll definitely watch this show, the first ep lived up to my expectations. The battle was really nice with the insert song as a background music, and the concert scene was very well animated in my opinion.
    I was looking forward to three series this season, two of them (B Gata H Kei and this one) started off well, K-ON can’t fail, so I’m happy 😛

  6. Have to agree with Phocus, Hayuri. I think my head was playing mind-games with me because whenever she was talking I kept hearing Haruhi’s voice instead. Although I’m sure that will change as we delve deeper into her character. 😛

    Maeda Jun will not let anyone down, I have to give him credit for everything hes done, and I know this won’t be some shallow ‘flashy’ show. He breathes life into everything he touches, and it in turn bewilders me.

    Let the waterworks fall, fall, fall!

    (kudos for Araragi too, I enjoy his narration, but somehow I felt like Nakamura Yuuichi should be in here somewhere..)

  7. I wasn’t sure I was going to watch this series but the visuals are looking good that I am giving the first few episodes a try & see where it leads to. The male protagonist seems like an interesting character too.

  8. Dang the first episode was pretty awesome to me. I’ve read some people had some minor gripes here and there, but for me it was great. Tenshi’s rpg-like skill usage was fun for me to see haha.

  9. I’m glad you’re taking over for Omni, man. I hope to read more of your reviews since they are rather entertaining. I also use some of your images (giving credit where it’s due) on a spanish forum I help run. Hopefully in the long run, I can write as good a review as you guys do and maybe do a guest spot here.

    Anyway, keep up the great work. I’ll miss Omni, but this is a new era.

  10. Those fake subs were…wow. The fake lyrics were almost plausible

    I pretty curious what the characters’ past lives were. Also..what’s with these agressive weirdos? (with the bokken and the…halberd?) I’m a little irritated with how much whimpering the main character is doing, he didn’t bother trying to aim for the legs like he was told to do -_-

    btw…where do they get their bullets from? At least we know where food comes from now.

  11. Certainly an amusing episode indeed. I gotta hand it to Jun for this episode. The animation was rather impressive during the firefight to say the least. I couldn’t help but to think “Why are they all using tracer rounds?” but that is only my military.

    I have to say there has been a lot of Haruhi Clone talk going around. If nothing, people seem to judge originality pre and post Haruhi. I see no real similarity between Yuri and Haruhi at this time. Especially when context is taken into consideration.

    Keep up the good work. I originally thought Omnis leaving was an april fools joke but Hey, I kind of like the layout for the new site.

  12. While totally different, I’m getting the same tingle as Haibane Renmei. You have a society of dead people. There are rules to be followed, people disappear, some people rebel, etc.

    I know this is probably going to be a tearjerker. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for “happy” tears.

  13. @divine-

    the site loads much faster than the previous one and visually looks stunning too.so good work done on the site.I am relived to know that the site is in good hands after omni left.

  14. https://randomc.net/image/Angel%20Beats!/Angel%20Beats!%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2002.jpg

    If you look in the screen shot 02 her left hand is holding that gun in an incredibly awkward manner. I mean it looks like an open palm but with her clothes as they are her wrist would have to be broken to achieve that.


    Also if you look at screen shot 14 look at her hand! That looks like the right hand is attached to the left arm. And look at the hands of the big guy in the same shot… something is seriously wrong with his fingers. His left hand is spaced awkwardly and his right almost appears to have 6 fingers and a thumb.

      1. I didn’t notice that really, but now that you mention it yeah. I guess if you pay really close attention to it, then yeah. I do also note that some of the animation is definitely on lower quality. They’re probably up it later on.

        Sora no Kaze
  15. Not sure I completely understand the setting to this afterlife world.

    A limbo-like world where souls gather after they die and are instructed to play along the “rules” set by some unknown omnipotent being – Gantz came to mind when I heard of such a premise.

    Yet instead of Gantz, after watching this premiere episode, I was now thinking of the Matrix.

    The drones would be the humans being plugged into the Matrix, oblivious to their existence as their life is slowly being “sapped away” by the “system”. Yuri and her team would be the Zion rebels who realized the truth and decided to fight against the “system”, and Angel Hanazawa (that’s what I call her anyway, since she’s nameless 🙂 ) would be like the Agents, ensuring the status quo of the “system” is maintained at all costs. Of course, that’s just the superficial comparisons and nothing in Key is as it seems.

    Now that I think about it, the logo of the series title resembles Little Busters a bit. The way they have a bar informing the viewer where each scene was taking place is also reminiscent of LB’s style, as though playing a visual novel game.

    And gotta LOL at Key’s shameless product placement. Do they really sell Key Cola?

    Seiyuu wise, Kamiya Hiroshi’s star continues to rise, so does Hanazawa’s, I now instantly recognize their voices, sort of. Can’t say I’m too familiar with Sakurai Harumi yet.

    Kinny Riddle
  16. Oh yeah, I liked the lighthearted feel it went into it. I mean I understand everyone else possible disappointment, but you know, you can’t go into something so serious that quickly. It’s been the way for Key anyways, and it certainly works, cause what’s being shown is the thought of everyday life and nothing could happen, then bam! Everything falls apart. It’s harder to do it in this context, since it’s already considered supernatural to begin with.


    I like your thoughts on how it’s more of a place to accept death. I generally took it as heaven, and that they were angry at the injustice given rather then a place to accept death. I do like to note however that rather then a place to accept death (they note that people just pretended and still got erased, perhaps they eventually accepts or didn’t but who knows) that it’s more of a shock buffer. It’s hard to explain, I think it’s where the dead rather than accepting death, are to eventually forget about death through interaction of daily life (hence we had some pretend, but they got erased) and when they forget about death, when they don’t remember about why they were pretending, or fall into the trap of believing for even a second the possibility that they are real eventually fall into a sense of acceptance identified by their actions and when deemed “being able to move on” (perhaps the possibility of those reincarnated have a very very small chance of remember how they die and might cause a craze which is why they need this buffer) are reincarnated since they show that they can do normal everyday activities without doing something rebellious like what Yuri and the Afterworld War Front in real life after they reincarnated. I also suspect that there are multiple of schools and places for those to go through this integration to keep the world balance in check by making sure the reincarnated don’t cause chaos in the real world by making sure that they’re in familiar environment. Also the fact that a violent shock may have caused their death which is why they don’t remember may be the first step to integration rather than the shock to the head when dying, cause this would not explain those middle school students who may have died due to disease or perhaps wounds rather than what you would call “accidents” (unless they’re saying that due to lack of oxygen the brain is damage and hence this is what happens)

    Sora no Kaze
    1. Oh I forgot to add that another reason why I believe it’s a world to forget about death entirely is the fact that the supposed NPC don’t acknowledge it, nor would they answer you. They don’t help you cope with it or accept it. You just forget over time, cause asking is completely pointless. That’s the main purpose of this world I believe, not to accept, but to forget and eventually have no knowledge that you died in the first place. No knowledge that this is the Afterworld. Hence a possible reason why those who pretended got erased, cause they soon doubted whether this was the other world or not. And bam, God decided they were ready to be reincarnated.

      Sora no Kaze
    1. Well considering that most viewer are young, then yeah pretty much. Not only that, I could very well see it move to an office setting (read my post of multiple afterworlds). But you know, how often will there be a funny setting with Office, or lets make it more ridiculous, adults. It’ll have a more serious undertone. They could have done it with college perhaps, but the point is, the reason why they are rebelling is because they died so young. If it was kindergarten, that would be ridiculous, so this is the next best step.

      It creates drama because of the age, and why they think it’s unjust. I know that it’s annoying at times with generic school scenes, but at times, if they want to portray certain things, then some things may get overused. It’s what needs to be done at times.

      Sora no Kaze
  17. I really have high hopes in this newborn (not exactly new but…) blog, I’m really miss omni’s randomc, but I believe you’re going to do a nice work, divine o/~
    Thanks for continue this blog alive ^^

  18. I liked the series for the most part but its a mess. When the characters can’t even explain whats going on to make any kind of sense to each other (and thereby us) then we know we are in for a bumpy ride. Make the series so complicated and confusing and people will start to lose interest unless you show them something cool (like Umineko no Naku Koro ni did with so many spectacular and grisly deaths). Hopefully in the coming weeks this series will start to make more sense.

  19. I’m kinda a little sketchy about this plot. I feel like it sounds interesting, but needs a bit more explanation (even though there was a lot of dialogue.) I still don’t really get what this battlefront organization actually is. Feels like we just jumped into the second episode or something. But I’m sure all will be explained soon, and I’m loving the art and animation!

  20. Woohoo, my first post on the new site! It’s looking good and many, many thanks to Divine for not letting RC fade into net oblivion!
    This series looks promising, the graphics and animation are up there as well. I’ll follow this along with a few others, this season. Hayuri sounds about right. There is a big reminescence from Suzumiya but it’s the first episode. We might be in for a surprise and be able to make the distinction between these two(like how Kanata/Sora no Woto reminded me of Yui/K-on!).
    I’m also liking Tenshi. For some reason, I feel she won’t be your regular antagonist.

  21. As a first timer to any and all Key/PA Works/Aniplex related works I was completely taken about by how awesome this episode was. They have set us up for an amazing ride and I am looking forward to following it.

    Tenshi has in many ways be set up only as ambiguously bad so far and I am very interested in seeing how the plot develops around her character.

  22. Hallo Everyone : )

    Just came back from Con and the first thing I did was to DL this First episode and read Random Curiosity Blogs about Angel Beats! I am really glad Divine that you are taking on the role of blogging all these anime and I, as well as many, Thank you =D

    When it comes to the episode, I hope that some viewers noticed that the VA for Tokido Saya from “Little Busters! Ex” is the VA for Yuri and it is just amusing how you can see a lot of similarities from Tokido Saya integrated into Yuri XD. I hope that the success of Angel Beats will soon lead to the creation of an animated version of Little Busters! =D

    Sorry if I rambled on too much XD I will see yall laters <3

  23. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this show. The previews made it look pretty generic, but I can already tell this is gonna be one of those shows I had no anticipation for but ended up loving like Sora no Manimani.

  24. I find it extremely ironic and hilarious that everyone was comparing Yuri to Haruhi. And as it turns out, Haruhi is sort of like a God, and Yuri is trying to opposs God. Haha, maybe that’s just me, but I find that quite amusing. Anyways, I wouldn’t expect anything less from Jun Maeda, and I am really looking forward to this one. XD

  25. The first thing I’ll note is that the setting of this show isn’t really the native habitat of your typical drama series. The whole “fighting for our very existence in the afterlife” scenario at first glance does seem to have some dramatic potential, but upon closer scrutiny looks more at home as a psychological thriller. For every avenue of emotion there is to explore in this setting, there are two avenues of psychology. The case is the same even if the setting does turn out to be a kind of Matrix computer world.

    I have no doubt that this plays a large role in why this show is so short, only spanning 13 episodes (whether or not the producers and writers are conscious or unconscious of the fact). Budget could be a factor, but this is highly unlikely because I don’t think a well-known author like Jun Maeda would have any trouble getting at least a full 26 episode season for one of his stories, especially with the success of the anime versions of many of his previous works.

    With the limited emotional potential of this setting, I predict that Angel Beats (being a drama) will focus on one main theme (with no more than 3 sub-themes which tie in with the main one), and play on it as heavily as possible (eg: the meaning of life, or coming to terms with death). The quality of the story will hinge almost entirely upon how well this is done. They may touch issues of psychology briefly, but will not go into any real depth with it. There is simply not enough time, (and emotional material) for an arc-based build up of different themes like in Clannad. Any attempt to do so with this show would almost certainly result in a rushed mess.

    The biggest danger here is of course that the story will turn out to be too one-dimensional to be interesting. In focusing so much on the one main theme, the story becomes too boring and predictable, or other essential elements such as characterization are neglected.

    So the success or failure of Angel Beats will rely upon whether Maeda and his crew are able to bring out a strong enough emotional impact in the end with the theme they have chosen, while preventing the plot from becoming too one-dimensional or predictable.

    Quite a daunting task, in my opinion. With any other author, I would predict an epic failure. With Maeda at the helm, I’d dare to venture into the realm of mediocrity, but no better than that.

    This first episode was plagued with cliches and parodies, and I felt the whole scheme of stealing lunch coupons was completely meaningless, given that the rest of the people at the school are mindless “NPC” characters anyways. Sure, it was an “act of rebellion” but it also had no real impact whatsoever. The presence of weapons felt completely out of place, mainly due to the fact that there is no death. It’s a classic “wooden novelty prop” scenario; guns were inserted deliberately for the sole purpose of introducing an action element, in a (perhaps desperate? :P) attempt to make the show more interesting. I should be very surprised if this messy hodgepodge of ideas actually turns out to be something coherent and meaningful in the end.

    Those are my thoughts on Angel Beats, after watching the first episode. Rather negative, I’m afraid, but I could always be wrong (after all, it’s only the first episode), and another great show is always a good thing.

    Lol, and no I’m not some crazy English major doing a literary analysis. I’m just some random dude who occasionally gets a compelling urge to write something analytical, not unlike the urge vampires get to drink blood 😛
    When the urge come along I just HAVE to write SOMETHING… And episode one of Angel Beats just happened to come along at the wrong time… ]:->


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *