“Angel Beats!” is a 2010 Japanese TV anime series produced by P.A. Works. It contains 13 episodes and two extra episodes. Original story and screenplay by Jun Maeda, who is a scenario writer of the visual novel game brand Key under Visual Arts, and is known for his “Nakige” works, – touching visual novel games that make players cry – such as Air (2000) and Clannad (2004).
A teen drama/fantasy set in a school in the afterworld. It deals with the theme of unreasonableness and preciousness of life in the context of the Japanese view of life and death derived from Buddhism, such as “Jobutsu” – acceptance of death at peace with no regrets – and reincarnation – transmigration of souls. In Addition to drama, it includes mixed elements, such as battle action, comedy, music – band performance, and love story.
A boy who died for some reason and lost his memories, Yuzuru Otonashi meets a girl named Yuri Nakamura at a school in the afterworld. In that place, the dead people, who had painful life experiences, vanish – be reincarnated – after spending their youth in the school and losing their regrets.
Yuri leads an organization named “The Afterlife Battlefront”, a group of the people who resist God and refuse to be reincarnated. Armed with heavy weapons, they have been fighting hard against Kanade Tachibana, their enemy and the student council president, called “Angel”.
Even though some drawbacks of its structure – too many characters, and lack of cohesiveness – makes this series difficult for some people to understand and empathize, it can be enjoyed as an entertaining anime with a serious theme, like The Book of Job, and a moving ending.
Directed by Seiji Kishi. Animation produced by P.A. Works.