Another Epilogue

Special Episode

「Stairway to Heaven」

When Angel Beats finished airing six months ago, the December release of the last DVD/BD volume containing this bonus episode felt like an eternity. Well now the wait is finally over, we can have a final taste of the series that is undoubtedly one of the best this year. As a completely comedic extra akin to the rocket chairs seen in episode five, the more relevant bonus actually came in the form of a short alternate epilogue.

The emphasis of course was on the tear-filled conclusion without the happy ending where Otonashi and Kanade are eventually reborn and reunited. Instead, Otonashi stays behind and becomes the new student council president, helping other people move on if that’s what they’re seeking. The subtle twist is that Otonashi could very well be perceived the “bug” in the system that led to the ultimate problem the SSS had to overcome in episode twelve. I gather it’s no coincidence that the description of the programmer who arrived without his memories, devoted himself to another person, became unable to bear waiting for her return after she moved on, and developed the shadow program to erase his own consciousness fits Otonashi perfectly. The only thing that made it hard to grasp was the perception of a time line, which the finale seemed to suggest isn’t even a factor in this world with Kanade arriving before Otonashi. The other possibility is that this alternate ending is meant to depict Otonashi following in the footsteps of that previous programmer, which is what gave a bit of an unsettling feeling knowing how that played out. Whatever the case, the short two minute bonus sparked some very interesting thoughts.

As a result, the “Stairway to Heaven” title in the OVA episode was pretty deceiving. I was originally expecting it to be about the aforementioned alternate epilogue and supplement the story in some way, so I was pretty surprised when I heard Yuri talking about another one of her crazy operations — High Tension Syndrome. Surprised yes, disappointed no, as this wacky episode reminded me of all the funnier moments of the series leading up to the more serious conclusion. After all, seeing the entire gang get into a lot of idiotic scenarios was next on my list of things I’d like to see in the bonus episode, after one about the reincarnated Otonashi and Kanade. With more of Hinata and Yui at odds, Noda being psychotic as usual, Takematsu flexing his muscles, TK doing what he does best with a bunch of fatties (Ooyama and Fujimaki), and even Girls Dead Monster fighting amongst themselves, the only real things missing were Takeyama telling everyone to call him Christ, and Iwasawa having a cameo of some sorts. I also would’ve loved to see the making of this episode with everyone in the recording studio screaming at the top of their lungs with expressionless faces, but was otherwise pretty content with Yurippe being the evil leader that she is, and Shiina going over 9000 yelling “CUUUTE!!!” I just love it when anime episodes depict cavalry battles as well, especially in completely insane ways like they did here, because it’s something that I wish I had a chance to partake in when I was younger. It still blows my mind how Japanese school festivals actually have such a physical, head-on event.

After all the slapstick stupidity, I can’t imagine anyone expecting Yuri’s plan to actually succeed with Kanade opening the way to God and reporting how people are enjoying the afterlife yet not moving on. The fact that we know she isn’t an angel eliminated that possibility even before Yuri finished explaining the operation. I did enjoy how they played up the possibility at the end though, plus Kanade quickly shooting them down in her underground hydroponics garden, leading to the bad ending where everyone dies from being forced to fast for a week. I don’t know if I can call it fasting if Yuri won’t even let them drink water, but it sure made for a quirky conclusion at the end. I’m assuming everyone will eventually rise up some hours later since they’re immortal in this world, so this episode could have very well slotted in anywhere in the first half of the season. Anyway, now all we need to hear is an announcement about Maeda Jun‘s next original project, which I’m inclined to believe would be budgeted for two cours after Angel Beats’ success.

* Note: This post is later than I would’ve liked since I had trouble getting a hold of good screen captures.


    1. im guessing…that since theres no ‘death’ there. they would just end up starving themselves till they ‘die’ and get regenerated or like…relocated completely fine again. but its the whole process and the pain of starvation thats a drag to go through

  1. Personally, I just want to thank you for finding the time to blog this.

    This episode was hilarious though. I spent the entire episode laughing. I was hoping Divine would have typed “My body was made for blogging Angel Beats!”. Great episode though, makes me wish the series was a bit longer. :O

  2. The 4-koma actually did reference something similar to dying from starvation with Naoi and Otonashi trapped in the room that originally Kanade and Otonashi was supposed to be trapped in.

    On Otonashi being the programmer, its improbable as the AI that spoke to Yuri mentioned that the programmer was still around at the time they were speaking, as an NPC (when Otonashi was not an NPC). Its only possible if
    i) The AI was lying (very improbable)
    ii) Otonashi as an npc looked completely different, was not on the student council (or Kanade would have detected it) and both Ootonashi existed in the same time frame

    Anyway the extra episode was funny. I loved how Kanade was actually calculating the remaining budget. Yuri’s plan wasn’t stupid though the way they went about it was :p and i think this is the one plan she explained why and what result she expected from doing such a thing. Most of her other plans aren’t explained and required thinking or it’ll seem completely idiotic

    Yusa making fun of Yuri by doing a news type introduction of the “on-site reporter” was great. In a way she a bit like Kanade but more scarastic :p

    Zaku Fan
      1. I don’t think so. Otonashi actually hinted it himself.

        Some people needed courage to face their past. Some people needed strength to reach their dreams. Some people needed time and friends.

        The fact that his comrades were able to move on is an evidence that their lives weren’t pointless.

      1. That’s another interpretion which is what makes Angel Beats good IMO. Each viewer who finishes it and understands it gains an insight on what the writer and director was trying to bring across.

  3. when I watched it, it didnt have the epilogue. is the epilogue worth checking out though?

    at first this ep made me feel cheated but the sheer comedy, randomness and craziness made up for it.
    hilarious things happened like the “racing” with cleaning part, GirlDeMo rocking it out and then the sports fest. gotta love yuri being the evil leader and her laugh.

  4. OMG a next stage…can’t wait…And is Otonashi going to be the main character or is it that blonde guy with the red eyes? High tension syndrome is a good one. I still couldn’t believe they didn’t die of fatigue (being all that energetic). LOL – good times ^_^

  5. From the point when that baseball deflected off of Takematsu’s pecs, I couldn’t stop the tears from gushing out. This was by far the most comedic thing I’ve ever seen animated. xDD He pitched that ball soooo hard against his chest and (lmfao) it flew so fast in the opposite direc(LOLOL)tion!! LMAAAAOOOO!!! X’DDD

    This definitely raised the bar for me. Never seen so much high tension before. I can’t wait for the next Comicon. I’M GONNA HAVE SOME CRACK CRAZY FUN WITH MY POSSE THIS YEAR! WOOO!!!

  6. this episode is absolutely win! HTS will forever be remembered…
    it is over 9999 for CUTE! and Yuri breaking the meter at 99 was funny too 🙂
    I like how Otonashi is the only one who tries to be normal even though he has been “infected” by the stupidity of the gang…
    Alternative ending is bad-ass with Otonashi being all cool and whatnot.

    ps. NOOOO, I am too late with the comment so I won’t get vote XD

  7. Actually its pretty hard for the special episode to slot anywhere at all. If we assume that Takamatsu only revealed his awesome muscles only during the exam period, the special must happen only after that, but by that time Kanade would no longer be the Student Council President (She had a meeting in the special) and Naoi would have joined the gang a while after that (Naoi was a stranger in the special). Looks like Angel Beats timeline is quite messed up.

    1. Could it be possible that everyone actually knows that Takamatsu has awesome muscles except for the teacher back in that episode where they were messing with Kanade’s results? Could be that Kanade only looked in Takamatsu’s direction in that episode because he was making such a scene?

  8. i didnt like the episode much but this was very funny.
    Tenshi picking vegi adding “pluck” as sound was cute
    shina was soo cuttee , reached 9999.(might be the reason why tenshi reacted to the vegi thing)

  9. Epic episode! i agree with Divine. i too would really like to see vids of them in the recording studio screaming at each other. i would espically like to see the recording of yui’s seiyuu screaming.

    if anyone finds the vid please post it!

  10. More awesomeness.

    I’m not sure what Maeda is up to, since he resigned from screen writing from Key’s latest VN, (which was peculiar in its self, perhaps he was just bogged down from many projects), and through various interviews he seemed to say that he was ‘running out of ideas’ when it came to concluding the Angel Beats series.

    However, perhaps hes been inspired because they’ve green-lit a Angel Beats visual novel, which would probably expand upon the premise of the anime.

    Honestly, im just crossing my fingers for a Little Busters! anime adaption.

  11. could the title “Another Epilogue” (emphasise on the another) possibly mean that the reincarnated ending was true but this was just a scene on the possibility if he didn’t move on??? o.O

  12. I was laughing throughout the entire episode but half the time I forgot what I laughed at…until I watched it again. It was that random and stupid. Kanade at the start was awesome, heck, Kanade is always awesome!

    As for the “Another Epilogue” I doubt it’s another epilogue but the actual epilogue seeing as Otonashi didn’t pass on while Kanade did in the final episode, and there’s also the fact that the Afterlife doesn’t follow the time principles of the real world.

  13. At first, I thought Angel Beats! was about a semi-serious war game with some rock band and comedy elements, very much like what is presented in the “Special Episode”. But the production had the vision and talent to divert the story to give a soul and meaning to the whole series. My only disappointment is the unexplained part about the “God” behind the program bug. I am hoping this “bad” ending will finally bring closure to any outstanding loose ends.

  14. i liked how the flowers kanade picked were there with him in the student council room as a subtle reminder of who he misses. sad to see that he stayed behind and everyone else is gone. but at least the new people have someone who can guide them when they arrive clueless. and i don’t think it’s a prologue, cause pictures of the SSS are on the wall. so this happened after SSS. if there’s any sequel of some sort based on this epilogue, it would be new characters that otonashi helps move on. and he could be following the steps of the programmer, but isn’t the programmer himself.

  15. The special eps is AWESOME!! It’s like everybody turns into Kamina, all high strung and high pitched. The class disruption was ecstatically fun especially and to see Yui and Hinata the baka couple fight is fantastic! I kept laughing. It has been so long since I watched AB.. :))

  16. This Extra Ep has got to be the most WTF and LMAO episode ever.

    Biggest LMAO has to go to Shiina’s literally “over 9000” KYUUUTTEEE! XDDD

    Even the ED decided to capitalize on the laughter by promptly removing everyone except Yurippe the Evil Mastermind from the get-go. lol

    Besides being an awesome fictional band (as seen in the excellent real life sales of their album Keep the Beats), this episode has shown that GDM has a potential as a great comedic act that does not rely on Yui’s antics alone. (HTT take note)

    All the more pity that Angel Beats is only 13 episodes long.

    Kinny Riddle
  17. Abit late. Never expected this extra episode to be this wacky. The regular crazy clowns like Yui,Noda and Takematsu somehow infected the serious ones like Hisako and Shiina with their hyped-up attitude due to Yurippe’s scheme. Even the stone-faced Yusa isn’t immune to their antics.

    WTF though @ the Girls’ Cheerleading Competition shot! Hisako’s boobs are so damn big!

  18. My interpretation of the alternate epilouge is that Otonashi was just doing what Kanade would have done. He has that will to help people move on as well, which helps. Wherelse the programmer seemed to only force people to move on because love was not meant to exist in the world. I don’t see Otonashi being like the programmer.

  19. Horrible episode. Everyone trying to outYui Yui.

    Don’t know a thing about the mentioned epilogue. Would like to see it.

    You can go up to a month without food if you really have to (I knew a pastor who did just that. Lost a lot of weight too! I do NOT suggest one try it!) Water, 3 to 4 days. It’s thirst that did them in.

    Further thoughts & speculation here:


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