「Family Affair」

Otonashi treats Kanade to some mapo tofu to make up for stealing her meal ticket last time and she was as cute as ever when she quickly accepted and scarfed it down in seconds. I was so happy seeing him reach out to her after the absolute bullying she was put through last time, and I gather she would’ve tried to savor her favorite dish too had Naoi not arrived to punish them for eating lunch during break. The really sad moment though was when Kanade revealed that she’d given up on having friends since they all end up disappearing on her, indicating that she’s not really aware of how this world works.

It was at that point that things headed towards a more serious tone, which was a stark contrast from how things started off with everyone doing whatever the hell they wanted in class because Kanade was no longer the student council president and they knew the NPCs wouldn’t do squat about it. This includes busting out the mahjong, working out on the floor, and sleeping right on the desks. Depending on how observant you’ve been, the bigger revelations this episode were the discovery that Naoi is indeed a human like the rest of them and that Kanade’s “handsonic” ability is designed for self-defense, suggesting that she’s clearly not an angel that’s out to get them. The “guard skill” bit pretty much gave away the latter, but in Naoi’s case, I was surprised to learn that he offsets his good deeds in the student council by beating up NPC students to prevent him from disappearing. Pretty messed up if you ask me, but not completely outlandish given his understanding of this world and how everyone who ends up here led horrible lives.

While I’ve long suspected the circumstances of those who arrive here, I wasn’t expecting to hear that Naoi desires to become god — under the pretense that this world is for selecting one — and send everyone off to heaven using his hypnosis ability. After witnessing the massacre that he and his hypnotized NPCs committed on the SSS members, things got pretty intense with Yuri nearly falling victim to being sent off under a delusional feeling of accomplishment. I felt that whole raining scene in general was really well animated with the lighting effects and all, which is why seeing Otonashi charge in to stop him and screaming his head off gave me goosebumps. I wasn’t expecting a quick look into Naoi’s past life right after, but it’s clear this episode was more about him than anyone else.

The whole “family affair” title turned out to be about how his twin brother passed away in an accident and how he ended up taking over his brother’s life to appease his father and carry on the renowned Naoi family name as famous potters (ceramics). I could sort of understand Naoi (Ayato)’s angst as his brother (Hayato?) was the one with actual talent and he was a completely disregarded hikikomori for the most part, especially when he did his best to become the son his father wished actually survived. At the same time, Naoi seemed to actually take enjoyment working under his strict father’s guidance in hopes he’ll acknowledge him for who he is, which explains why things just fell apart when he suddenly fell ill.

Seeing as they left the details behind Naoi’s eventual death unsaid for now, I’m really curious whether there is something more to his traumatic past. So far, I say it’s regrettable what happened to him, but it’s still not as bad as Yuri or even Iwasawa’s cruel fates. It looks like Otonashi’s slowly turning Naoi around though, which has me wondering who’s going to really be the antagonist in this series.



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  1. I enjoyed how they did the massacre scene, as you can clearly see an up in the terms of quality. Even though the SSS can’t die, it was hard to watch it and I’m glad that they aren’t getting shot everytime they move cos that would have too much. I hope that we finally figure out the antagonist of the story cos its really hard to direct your anger at an unknown.

  2. Awesome episode. Still no clear antagonist though, maybe there won’t be one after all, they’ll just keep exploring the past of the other characters and have a giant realization at the end of what that world actually is.

  3. this is a really lush series to watch the little details are presented so well

    i’m really glad that the animation is really lead by the narrative, it was more intense not seeing the violence although my gut was nagging fight fight fight, although to balance it out i would have liked the skuffle with “Sleepy McSythboy” (to late to be wiking names) a little more extended, although stopping it short was better comic effect…

    any way point… i kinda want them to put in a motion heavy, complex, fight sequence. why, just to shut us up about quality to reassure us that this all ends with two eps of quality animated fighting talk… and accept that this is a very unique and cutting edge show that is forging into new territory, so we can all start pushing this to those that might listen.

  4. Compared to the last one, I think this episode doesn’t even worth mentioning ^^” The light-hearted stuff was not really funny. Kanade was cute, but somehow her behaviour felt really off with all these goofy moments she had. Showing Naoi’s past was also quite uncalled for since I didn’t find any relevation between that and his motivation to become God (or maybe I’m just too tired to see it?). I hope the next ep will turn out better.

      1. Angel Beats! (2014) would be nice but the moe powers of KyoAni combined with the moeness known as Tenshi would cause a moe blackhole that would destroy the universe.

        Roy Mustang
  5. WOAH that was a good episode! I don’t understand something though. There are “humans” like Otonashi, NPCs, whatever Naoi is, but they keep mentioning “normal students” (or at least they did in the sub). Like “the SSS doesn’t hurt normal students.” Are they the same as NPC? Can NPC even feel anything or be hypnotized? Or are there other “humans” that are just unaware of the situation?

    1. As far as I can tell, Yuri calls anyone who doesn’t really act differently than anyone else an NPC or regular student. My guess is that everyone in the school has a soul, they just don’t realize what is going on or they’re just trying to get their thoughts together and forget about their lives.

      It wouldn’t make sense to be in the afterlife with a bunch of soulless, mindless robots. It only makes sense (at least in my head) that everyone is human. With Kanade helping them go through everyday life, eventually they figure out their original purpose and find inner peace. Unfortunately, Kanade herself can’t figure out what that peace means to her, hence her lonely nature.

    1. Yes they are dead but will be back in about 20 minutes, which they will then be shot again to keep them dead while Naoi sends them off 1 by 1. At least thats the plan i get from it

      Zaku Fan
  6. Awful pacing issues. Naoi’s flashback was clumsily placed and Otonashi’s episodes of empathy were just presented awfully. Jun Maeda, KyoAni was what really made your work shine.

    Roy Mustang
    1. I agree that there were pacing issues. Some scenes could have been more heartfelt.
      But, I don’t necessarily agree that KyoAni made Maeda’s works shine. I think that it has more to do with Maeda transitioning over to an anime format rather than a Visual Novel format. Either that or Maeda has been baiting us and is saving the real tearjerker scenes for later on in the series…

      1. @Mikiya

        Lucky Star 22 taught us that KyoAni holds the secret to the “Tear-Inducing Trigger”, maybe Maeda was using their powers to makes us believe his stories are BAWL material…

    1. There is no manga :P. Angel Beats! is actually an original project by Key and P.A. Works. Although there is no manga, there is however a prequel light novel by Key.

  7. Kanade sleeping is uber cute. Just wanted to pull up the sheet and make sure she wasn’t getting cold :3
    I liked the episode, thought it made it to the point where there aren’t any real antagonist(s). Maybe this series is slowly showing each character in different perspectives which can be interpretated as bad or good.

  8. Hisako wins : Riichi Chitoi DoraDora, Oya mangan 12000. Dammit I’ve unconsciously….. orz

    Finally what bugs me last week has paid off; Otonashi’s treating Kanade mapotofu. Ya-y.

  9. There might not be any antagonist in this series at all. This may be a form of “slice of life” type of anime abeit in a very wierd environment.

    Although Naoi has a heavy handed approach in making sure everyone gets sent into their next life, the basis of his actions seems to be good intentions + ego massage.

    Otonashi also seems to have massive eye hand coordination (the can into trash), huge intelligence (the test being a piece of cake), very observant (many instances) and exceedingly compassionate (helping Naoi). I’m getting really interested in knowing who Otonashi was when he was alive and how he came to be there.

    Zaku Fan
  10. I think that Otonashi, not Tachibana, is the ‘angel’ of the series. He has no memories and therefore no regrets of dying, which makes it strange for him to be sent into the world with everybody else. Rather, I think his purpose is to help others pass on, even if he does it somewhat unintentionally. His discussions with Iwasawa help her accept her death, and Hinata also almost disappears. In this episode his purpose is a lot clearer and he directly helps Ayato.

    So basically, Otonashi is the final boss.

    1. I thought of that too. However, many people didnt have their memories at first either if you look back. There is also the problem that Tachibana doesnt seem to have any either. But, I vote for Tachibana was soo lonely that a friend came along to stay with her as they help others pass on. Who knows though, this series is awesome!

      1. She never says that she doesn’t have any memories. It may be simply that she has lost her emotions, not her memories. I am thiinking that she really really wants to disappear after getting hurt by having all her friends leave one by one and due to that has locked away her emotions and strives to be the perfect student.

        Otonashi may in fact be the one who sends her off to her next life due to just simply being her friend.

        Zaku Fan
  11. Naoi’s voice is in the Next Episode Preview, so I doubt he’s disappeared yet.
    But since Otonashi said that he accepts Ayato he’s still around, what if… (possible spoilers?)

    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Maeda has implied that he is a fan of Persona 4 (his reason of wanting Yuri to have a headband is because his favorite heroine Yukiko sported one). Naoto, another Persona 4 heroine, looks and sounds very similar to Naoi (not the same VA though). Rocking the same hat too. Throughout the course of the game, you learn that Naoto is really a girl masquerading as a guy.

      Yuri and Yukiko. Naoi and Naoto. It’s no longer a coincidence. I for one would not be surprised if you are right that Naoi is in fact, not a guy as we are lead to believe.

      1. Wow, Yuri’s headband is based on Yukiko’s?? And everyone was calling it Haruhi OTZ

        Come to think of it, the first kanji in Naoi is the same as Naoto’s, and if you separate Naoi’s name by kanji, it’s Nao-i Aya-to… Take the first and last characters and it’s literally Naoto. Maeda Jun is sooo obvious. ( ̄ー ̄)

  12. I felt kinda disappointed after watching this episode, but Tachibana <3.
    I just watched Iron man 2 as well, maybe its just the after effect of being depressed from the movie ._.

      1. Ah I know it’s halfway but I really hope this show gets more too it. I find it really interesting, and would love to see 24 episodes at least. Well, here’s hoping…

      2. I doubt it
        I checked wikipedia(no worries, doesnt contain spoilers) that maeda had to rewrite the anime to fit 13 episodes

        so unless he will rewrite again or make a 2nd season, the anime will end at 13 ep no matter how many watch and like it

  13. I bet Otonashi is the messianic figure of this world. Jesus/Buddha/Vishnu/WHATEVER. He seems to be here to understand people and to help them find their way.

  14. amazing episode, kinda hated final part of the episode though. thought that episode was gonna make things clear 4 us…i guess we still have 2 wait for an episode or 2 to fully understand what the anime is all about

  15. Pacing’s a bit confusing this week, especially with Naoi’s backstory just came in like that.

    Yaoi fangirls, rather than Otonashi x Hinata, how about some Otonashi x Naoi BL instead? 🙂

    Naoi, like Shinji from Evangelion, seems pretty messed up with his issue concerning his strict dad and all, not to mention having an after-life God complex. So who better to voice him than the original Shinji, Ogata Megumi?

    Tenshi storming out the classroom to the canteen at Otonashi’s suggestion of having mapo tofu together was just too cute. Though Tenshi still hasn’t found her inner peace for some reason and is still here as a result.

    BTW, I always wanted to ask this: Is it common for some schools to have two distinctly different uniforms amongst their students? For girls, there’s Yuri in the traditional sailor uniform and Tenshi in the westernized suit. Similarly for guys, Otonashi et al wears the western style suits, while Naoi is in his traditional gakuran uniform.

    I see this phenomenon in Nyan-Koi as well.

    Kinny Riddle
    1. I think it’s kinda that the girls have the westernised uniform and the guys wear the gakuran. If you’re a regular student that is to say. However, I recall (in the first episode I think) that Otonashi was wearing the ‘model’ uniform, not the SSS one, and was given a new one.

      So I reckon that the SSS, just to be contrary, have reversed the uniform pattern for themselves. So the girls in the SSS get the sailor fuku, and the guys get the blazer look.

    2. since the SSS battle front is also technically a club, maybe thats their “club” out fit.

      as for tachibana, maybe cause she was the student council president.

    3. The uniforms were brought up in episode one. Yuri told Otonashi that they purposely wear different uniforms from the model students (i.e. NPCs), likely so that they don’t get caught into their flow of things. There’s an SSS emblem on their arm with the motto “rebels against the god”.

      1. Yeah, those are their SSS uniforms.

        Tenshi on the other hand wears what all the NPCs wear, since she unknowingly acts in a manner that will lead to her eventual disappearance (i.e. moving on to heaven).

      2. I dont think they will move on to heaven but actually be reincarnated as something else on earth. That is a typical belief in Eastern culture and no one has said anything about Heaven but they have said stuff about being reincarnated.

  16. Man finally Kanade started talking a lot this episode and dam did she blew me away! She is awesome being paired with Otonashi! Their chemistry is a hell of a lot better than him with Yuri! Liking the fact that Otonashi has been interested in Kanade, whom he only knew as an angel from the first episode, and now he finally can relate with her! Finally he asked her out for lunch and even treated her to her favourite food! Guess he really felt guilty taking away her only means of solace when she was depressed from being fired from her position.

    I hope Kanade character development continues to improve, like her interactions with Otonashi are awesome!

  17. prediction check:
    Otonashi treats Tachibana to Hyper Spicy Tofu – confirmed
    Tachibana helps SSS bust out of cell – kinda confirmed, only Otonashi
    Naoi making life miserable to SSS compared to their fight with Tachibana – confirmed
    Tachibana created her weapons for self defence – confirmed

    of course biggest surprise is the story behind Naoi, and mystery now is who SSS is gonna fight now he is defeated?

    Yurippe seems to keep barking at wrong tree again and again… maybe confronting her teories with experiences of Naoi and Tachibana will help clear the situation

  18. i hope the new antagonist doesnt isnt some mythical religous element like the seven arch and fellen angels of limbo or something cause that would kill the whole anime.
    Maybe jesus will come down( no offence)

  19. Seeing everyone do awkward things in class was funny but the highlight for me was when TK said “I’ll be back”.I’m not a TK fan like some people but this terminator line made my day.
    Oh yeah that’s why Naoi hypnotized Yuri and made her see her smiling siblings to make her disappear I didn’t understand it at all when watching thx for clearing this up Divine lol.

  20. Aw shucks, and here I actually thought that Tenshi would be in the credits team shot…ah well, I’ve already got enough emotionless girl moe this day 🙂

    Do you think Otonashi would get a glimpse of his life next episode? The preview are somewhat suspicious to me…

    @Rockmansii: Yeah, that terminator reference is pretty funny. I almost expect that he actually took down some of the brainwashed mooks…

  21. How did the NPCs get guns? Naoi should be the only human in the student council and only the underground SSS members should be able to make weapons. Naoi was a potter so there is no way he knew how to make guns. Was it because he was always playing video games and stuff? Some games go into pretty good detail so i guess he could have a basic understanding.

    I don’t remember if they said that a person only needed to remember how the guns were made, just some memory of how they work, or memory of actually making them.

    1. That’s kind of like asking “How do I get money if I don’t print it myself?” Why do they need to be able to make it to obtain it?

      So let’s say they don’t have the ability to make or obtain firearms – it can be taken from one who does. When said firearm can’t be used against you anyway because you have a NPC shield, after that all it is is just maneuvering to take it. It’s either that, picking up an abandoned one, or having ones that was confiscated from before (such as the end of episode 5). Then they can take more from fallen SSS members.

  22. i’m thinking either there will be no antagonist, or it will turn out that yuri is the antagonist for preventing everyone from accepting their deaths and moving on to find peace.

    diet otaku
    1. Here are my thoughts about the episode:
      1) I started laughing when Otonashi began screaming; it just seemed unbelievable to me for some reason.
      2) Kanade was super cute in the episode ^_^

  23. I’m just wondering where these peopel are getting their abilities from like naoi who spent his days learning how to hypnotize people O.o and tachibana’s hand sonic. Well neways im really excited for the next ep. My only weakness is having to wait a whole week for another ep XD

    Wotamin XD
  24. This episode wasn’t very good..
    It’s like they’re rushing everyhing, Otonashi hugging Naoi felt totally out of place and cheesy (Do you guys really think mental disorders can be cured with a hug?) and the flashbacks didn’t evoke any emotion..
    I hope it gets better.. I usually like Maeda Jun’s works but I can’t deny that he’s a one-trick pony, so maybe my enjoyment is more related to the KyoAni adaptations and their talent to turn all the Key’s novels they touch into gold.. p.A works is not a bad studio by any means but i’m not sure if they can handle well a series like this one.

    1. A hug might be just the trick for some one who was never been acknowledged by his family and was seen as, at most, a poor copy of his brother. Plus his entire family died. I am not gonna be macho on this one If that happened to me i would want a hug too.

  25. I liked this episode, I understand where people come from when they say it can be jarring, switch backing from comedy to drama.

    I have faith in Maeda’s writing, he has already given so much with the beautiful stories he weaves that I couldn’t bring my self to act as if he has disappointed me, even if the series flat lines plot-wise 7 episodes from now. Even if it isn’t portrayed on the screen visually enough to appease everyone’s hunger for the ‘diamond in the rough’ anime of the season; I can still feel the writing behind it, the creator’s intent. Peering into the lyrics of the opening, the ambiance of the music and lines of every character let me know that these first six episode have been portraying the ‘meat’ of it through what I believe to be a almost subtle way, which I’ll explain a later on. For those who mention the whole rush thing, I simply take it as either one of two ways. 1) they have a little amount of episodes to work with unfortunately, they are trying their best. 2) not even in stories is ‘life’ so predictable and preserved in a perfect flow; ‘a typhoon can hit fast, and hard, just because you haven’t noticed the calm has been the eye of the storm all along’.

    Those raving about the whole BL thing

    1) personally I thought the Hinata joke was funny, I don’t get where they are deriving the whole yaoi thing from, just people blowing smoke I suppose. (lets not forget OTONASHI was the one teasing him about it the first half of the series). Who wouldn’t check on their friend, regardless of gender, when they’re laying in a puddle of blood on the ground? Hell, I would even check on a damn stranger for all it matters.

    2) The hug at the end. People are on the fence with this scene, the majority i see being either a) “RAWR don’t sympathize with the guy who just ‘murdered’ your whole school!” or b) “LOL BL hug that was completely out of place and un-touching. Nice try making him look worth saving–he’s still an ass.” If you fall under A or B’s opinion I think you’ve been missing some of point of the series, and especially some of Otonashi’s character.

    Everyone that is brought to that afterlife is someone to be sympathized. It’s even more sad that Naoi has been warped by his dreadful life that he bore this grudge with ill-will towards and against everyone. They aren’t trying to make you like him, or convert the villain to the victim either; sympathize…probably sounds best after all. Now you’ve seen first hand how tragic some people’s pasts are that they can bend someone’s sense of morality and innocence into something seemingly wicked that would make you cause all that havoc. Otonashi hugs him…because he’s seen it. He’s seen the pain of someone ‘existing’ in this afterlife. After all, hes been around these kinds of people for a while now, and being the only one spared from such a tragedy clouding his thoughts the least he can do is reach out to these people and, maybe not help them move on, but just let them realize their past life isn’t something to be ashamed of. He embraces Naoi in a way two human beings would regardless of sex or gender; it’s sad. His fate is sad, especially when he has tired to justify it by blindly conjuring this theory of being some harbinger to put people of out their misery, when truly he is the one in the most pain, and wants to be free from it.

    To me, the theory that Otonashi seems like an angel is plausible, but it could be in a different sense–everyone has angels and demons residing in them. Could you say for your self that you would have the compassion to reach out to someone who just put bullets in your friend’s heads like he did? If you answer no, I’d have to disagree. If you were in Otonashi’s shoes, in that after life, being around the people who are all bound by their miserable fates like them, you WOULD try to help them walk a path free of regret. Naoi and the SSS. NPCS and Tachibana. They all share something in common, and in a way they are a make-shift family. Inherently or not, family will at one point try to reach out among one another.

    Summing it all up, the story has many tones, and its a shame if you only tune into some of them while disregarding the rest; there’s a balance in life too, of times that are happy and comedic, and painful and dramatic (maybe they didn’t have such an introspective intent of the content of the episodes thus far, but that is how I’ve taken it, and unfortunately I over analyze everything, so sorry if it sounds like a huge ramble but I find the beauty in a lot more things this way).

    1. Wow Dawn,

      Impressive comment you have there, practically taking the words right out of my head when it comes to this episode. XD I liked your emphasis on your argument on how one man helping another man is simply being part of human nature and not just BL only. As well as the notion of feeling rushed. I will admit that even I can sense that “rushed” feeling, but I can understand that due to the limited episodes and/or budget. If the audience watches an anime in its entirety, while at the same time making them enjoying the music, the good laughs here n there, or thinking seriously about the drama, I would think that the creators are happy in making that kind of impact.

      Lastly, do not feel that you over analyze everything =D Your thoughts and opinions can make people think about and/or confirm what they believe after watching each episode.

      Words from good ol Divine, “Ramble Away” ^_^

  26. Otonashi was interesting, although I don’t get how she uses her abilities that way. So far all of the ‘protagonists’ have used them for weapons, not for superhuman attacks. The episode is alright, but the theme “I’m the younger, weak brother always living in my dead brother’s shadow” has been done to death several times over. There are plenty of ways to mess up a character without it. You could have them about to graduate from high school and get into Toudai when it’s revealed they cheated on the exams. You could have them questioned about the murder of another student and unintentionally bring shame on the family. Yuri’s pain was creative. Sad but creative. Same for Iwasawa.

  27. Im serious, this anime is perfect xD I really love it!
    this episode was just so good, and I love all the characters, ALL.
    Who is the real antagonist, im just too curious about it.

  28. omgosh that was an intense episode. i agree it was kind of a fast pace in comparison to the first 5 eps. I really dont know where the story is going with this. Tachibana sure was cute thru out this ep tho X)
    i liked Hinata’s joke ref too.
    But i wonder what will happen to “Kami-sama” now. Is Otonashi going making a break thru to him ? hmm~~
    But overall i was impressed by the drama, action, music, scenes, and graphics (especially the character facial structures xD)


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