Angel Beats!

Plot: In a strange religio-fantasy world, the afterlife is a school full of NPCs (for anyone unfamiliar with gaming, that stands for Non-Player Characters, or computer-controlled characters, in other words) and teens who haven't had the chance to live out their adolescence. Otonashi is one such teen who winds up in this video-game-like purgatory without any of his memories and finds himself swept up into a conflict with a girl called "Angel" by a resistant group of students calling themselves the Afterlife Battlefront (in the Japanese, the SSS). Otonashi soon finds out that the members of the Battlefront are all struggling with the memories of their unjust lives, and that they are fighting Angel to keep from being "erased" from this world. But just who is "Angel"? And what causes the students to be "erased"? (A)

Characters: Lots of different personalities and backgrounds; the explored characters are very realistically portrayed. (A)

Art & Animation: The animation is superb! (A+)

Music: A

Voice Acting: Japanese is great (A), dub leaves something to be desired (C-)

Objectionable Content: Blood, fan service, profanity (PG-13, recommended teen and up)

Other: Much like other Studio Key works, Angel Beats! has random humor and tearjerkers in abundance. It's high in emotional content. It is only 13 episodes long, but there are plenty of twists and turns.

Overall Grade: A-

Recommendation: 3.5/5

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