Angel Beats! (what is it with exclamation points in titles?) was written by guys from Key Visual Arts, who made Air, Kanon, and Clannad. It fits somewhere between Air and Kanon in regards to how much I enjoyed it. It was good, but it could have been better.
The setting is a school in the afterlife, where kids who haven’t accepted their deaths go to. The series is 13 episodes long, and while some stories can fit that length, Angel Beats! feels somewhat rushed in the second half. A lot of mystery is set up in the first half, but in the second half, new plot points are added and other ones are just… Dropped. Nothing more about them, they just disappear. I think the story could have been much cleaner and flowed better if the show had been a full 24-episode series instead.
That’s not to say it was bad. The story was definitely above average. There was a lot of great comedy in the show, but my favorite parts were actually the more depressing parts that moved the story forward. When we learned about the characters’ different backstories and how they ended up in this place. But again, the limited length of the show meant that not a lot of characters got this treatment, and were forced to remain comic relief characters. So if it sounds like I disliked the show, that’s wrong. I did like it; I’m just disappointed it had to be simply “above average” instead of stellar, like it should have been.
The visuals and soundtrack are amazing, regardless.
The random, English-speaking TK is far and away my favorite character in the show.