Very well made making of documentation for Angel Beats! anime. The recording of the OP/ED by Lia and Aoi Tada including comments by both singers and Jun Maeda. Interviews and more.
Angel Beats! (エンジェルビーツ!) The Making Episode 1&2
Angel Beats! (エンジェルビーツ!) The Making Episode 1&2
Angel Beats! (エンジェルビーツ! Enjeru Bītsu!) is a 13-episode Japanese anime television series produced by P.A. Works and Aniplex and directed by Seiji Kishi. The story was originally conceived by Jun Maeda, who also wrote the screenplay and composed the music with the group Anant-Garde Eyes, with original character design by Na-Ga; both Maeda and Na-Ga are from thevisual novel brand Key, who produced such titles as Kanon, Air, and Clannad. The anime aired in Japan between April 2 and June 25, 2010. An original video animation (OVA) episode was released in December 2010, and a second OVA will be released in June 2015. The story takes place in the afterlife and focuses on Otonashi, a boy who lost his memories of his life after dying. He is enrolled into the afterlife school and meets a girl named Yuri who invites him to join the Afterlife Battlefront, an organization she leads which fights against the student council president Angel, a girl with supernatural powers.
Key worked in collaboration with ASCII Media Works' Dengeki G's Magazine to produce the project into a media franchise. Three manga series are serialized in Dengeki G's Magazine and Dengeki G's Comic: two illustrated by Haruka Komowata, and one drawn by Yuriko Asami. A series of illustrated short stories written by Maeda and illustrated by GotoP were also serialized in Dengeki G's Magazine between the November 2009 and May 2010 issues. Two Internet radio shows were produced to promote Angel Beats!. The first volume in a six-part episodic visual novel adaptation produced by Key will be released for Windows on May 29, 2015.
Angel Beats! received generally positive reviews by critics. The integration of various individual elements together, such as musical performances, humor and action, was commended in one review but panned in another, saying that the story was overloaded with too many elements. P.A Works was praised for the animation of the action sequences and attention to detail with the weapons used. A major flaw noted by critics, however, is that the anime is too short, which leaves many of the characters with untold back-stories. The anime was selected as a recommended work by the awards jury of the 14th Japan Media Arts Festival in 2010.
Angel Beats! takes place at a high school acting as a limbo for those who have died, where students learn to give up any lingering attachments they still have from life before passing on. Those in the afterlife school can still feel pain as they did when they were alive, as well as dying again, only to awaken later with no injuries. The story follows the main protagonist Otonashi, a boy who has lost his memories of his life after dying. He meets Yuri, a girl who invites him to join the Afterlife Battlefront (死んだ世界戦線 Shinda Sekai Sensen?, (SSS)), an organization she founded and leads which fights against God for the negative experiences the SSS members went through in life. In the SSS, there is a four-girl band named Girls Dead Monster that acts as a diversion during missions, and an organization called the Guild that mass-produces weapons out of dirt and supplies them to the SSS. Their only enemy is Angel, a girl who uses her supernatural powers to fight against the SSS. Angel creates her powers with the aid of a computer program called Angel Player. The rest of the afterlife school is populated by a large number of "normal" students and teachers Yuri deems "non-player characters" (NPCs), which are not human but look and act the part.
The first of the characters to fulfill her dream and pass on is Iwasawa, the leader of Girls Dead Monster. Angel, whose real name is Kanade Tachibana, loses her position as student council president and the vice president Naoi succeeds her. Naoi uses powers of hypnosis to control NPCs to fight for his own interests against the SSS, but Otonashi stops him after acknowledging Naoi's existence and he subsequently joins the SSS. Otonashi regains his memories with the aid of Naoi's hypnosis and agrees to continue with the SSS. Otonashi befriends Kanade and invites her to join in on SSS activities. After Otonashi fully remembers the details of his life and death, he starts cooperating with Kanade to help the other SSS members move on, and Kanade is reinstated as student council president in accordance with their plan. Yui, the girl who replaced Iwasawa after she passed on, is the second of the characters who passes on.
When mysterious shadow monsters begin attacking the SSS, Takamatsu gets devoured by one, only to reappear as an NPC. Otonashi reasons with the other SSS members and many of them agree to pass on in lieu of becoming an NPC, including the rest of Girls Dead Monster, Chaa of the Guild, and several unnamed members. Yuri destroys the computers responsible for the shadow program, which was programmed to activate when love was detected in the world, to prevent it from becoming a true paradise and maintain its limbo state. Those who are left—Otonashi, Yuri, Kanade, Hinata and Naoi—hold a graduation ceremony where they thank each other for their support. After Naoi, Yuri and Hinata pass on, Otonashi learns that Kanade's regret was not being able to thank him for the heart she received from Otonashi after his death. Otonashi is heartbroken after she thanks him and passes on, as he has fallen in love with her. In the epilogue, two people resembling Otonashi and Kanade meet each other on the street in the real world. In an alternative epilogue, Otonashi is shown to have stayed behind in the afterlife to help people pass on.