Posts Tagged ‘key’
Studio: P.A. Works
Premiere Date: 4/2
A war is being fought between those who have died and those who wish to make them disappear. Taking place in an afterlife which looks like a Japanese high school, a boy named Otonashi wakes up to find a girl training a high powered rifle on a seemingly normal girl. After being informed that he is actually dead (and proceeds to have that proven to him with a stab through the chest), Otonashi begins to learn the truth. The girl he met before is named Yuri and is leading a group of others in a fight against the world they’ve in and the angel who wants them to disappear and reincarnate back to Earth. Invited to join their ranks, the group wants him to help overthrow the angel and take over the world they’re in.
Good and the Bad
Ever since this series premiered early this month, it’s been hard to go more than a couple of days without hearing someone mention this series. After a few days finally I watched it for myself and was left with a sense of wondering what the huge fuss is about. That’s not an attempt at knocking Angel Beats, the first episode is actually pretty decent there were just a few things that I found… odd, I suppose.
To get this bit out of the way; yes, the lead female looks a lot like Haruhi Suzumiya. There’s nothing new I can say on that subject and I have no explanation for why they would do that other than to possibly generate buzz. Moving on… conceived and put together by Visual Arts/Key (Kanon, Air TV, Clannad), the animation and designs look nice enough from an aesthetic point of view. While there is a large cast of flatly designed characters there is still enough variety in the cast to give most people in the audience something to enjoy and connect with along the way (though I’ll admit that I was having trouble on that part).
For me, the biggest turn off of the episode was the visual novel feeling created by director Seiji Kishi and Jun Maeda, who is being credited with the composition of a series for the first time. Throughout the episode, Kishi and Maeda leave prints all over the episode. For those who aren’t fans of visual novels or have never played one, you may not even notice the little details. For anyone who has played even one, it will be impossible to not notice the little things along the way; constant location tags (especially in the second half), prolonged still shots, the laundry list that ends up being the character rundown, soundtracks that sound like they were composed on a Casio keyboard, etc.
This early into the series, it’s difficult to determine if these are going to be mainstay details throughout the series. Even if these little details do stick around, it’s still hard to judge on if they are going to be a distraction or if it will prove to be a unique charm point for Angel Beats. For my personal tastes, I would much rather the anime attempt to dial those elements down and feel more like a television series than a computer game.
After one episode however, the story is where I’m running into the biggest problems. I’m not going to complain about the concept of the series; a group made up of dead teens that want to fight back against the power that made them die without asking their opinions first. Perhaps a touch unreasonable but I’m willing to go with it. The part that I don’t really understand however is the current plan; fight back against the angel who patrols the grounds and eventually take over the afterlife world that they inhabit. But what happens after that? They’d still be dead and living a life in eternal limbo, so why? Hopefully this will be explained in the next episode because at the moment I’m failing to see the logic of anything in this series really happening.
I’m not saying that I disliked the first episode of Angel Beats. It had its clever moments which made me chuckle but many of these moments occurred during the same scenes which left me confused. While darker than previous Visual Arts/Key releases, there are enough elements here to make this worth checking out. Visual Arts and P.A. Works have at least created an intriguing beginning if nothing else. I make no guarantees that you’re going to completely fall in love with the characters but it’s hard to deny that there is a certain charm here.
And once again we’re back to another fun filled Monday. With only a couple of weeks left until the start of the new anime season, the new flood of anime trailers and promotional videos should be starting any time now but for now it’s unfortunately still at a slow trickle.
In case you were wondering, yes I do plan to do another season preview which hopefully will be up by the end of the month… which reminds me, I should probably get started on that in the near future. ^_^;; Oh look, a change of subject!
A new trailer lasting about two and a half minutes has gone up on the official Angel Beats website. Unlike most of the previous trailers, this one is actually almost entirely made up of new character scenes, story footage and a couple of short action sequences. It appears that the series is being sold as a dark action, moe series not unlike Higurashi – When They Cry (only I’m assuming less twisted) or Fate/Stay Night. I’ll be keeping an eye on this one when it premieres next month but it’s hard to say that I’ve actually been sold on the series yet.
Also premiering next month, another trailer has also been posted for the third season of the ecchi fighting series Ikkitousen: Xtreme Xecutor. The video is almost two minutes long though the trailer itself is only about 90 seconds. If you’re a fan of the series and want to make sure that it’s going to keep the deep philosophical tones that made the first two seasons so popular you can be rest assured: there is a panty shot within 23 seconds of the trailer beginning and a second one less than 6 seconds later.
Last update for me tonight, I still have a large stack of review anime waiting for me but I wanted to get a better late than never Trailer Roundup posted for everyone. Two new trailers have gone up on the official Angel Beats website which features two of the lead characters. Neither one of the trailers shows anything particularly special beyond some line art and designs. Neither one is very long though with the first one being 15 seconds and the second a little over 70 seconds.
By the way, if you’re still wondering about the resemblance between the lead character and a certain leader of the SOS Brigade, you’re not alone. Apparently Angel Beats is going to be a thirteen episode series filled with inside jokes and parody references sprinkled throughout including (but not limited to) the lead characters belonging to the SSS Brigade. Yeah, this is going to be interesting.
Do you remember a month or so ago when I reported on the new visual novel from Key titled ‘Angel Beats’? You might remember this game more clearly if I remind you of the Haruhi look alike pictured to the left. Well, it’s being reported that the title is actually going to be an Aniplex produced anime. The announcement will be made official in the latest Dengeki G’s Magazine but no word on when fans should be expecting to see this one hit screens.
Update: A translation of the interview has revealed new information regarding the new anime series. In the new series, the main characters are all people who died after leading “unreasonable lives”. But instead of going to their designated places, they decided to rebel against god and start a war. So far around 30 characters have been designed (which includes minor characters) by character designer Na-Ga. Still no word on when the series will be released but we do now know the animation is going to be produced A-1 Pictures whom you may remember from such moe hits like Kannagi and Valkyria Chronicles.
Updated: Added story information, corrected visual novel references
Visual novel creator Key (Kanon, Air) has announced their next release will be titled ‘Angel Beats!’ and as per usual, that’s about all they’ve announced for it so far. Sankaku Complex reports that the June issue of G’s Magazine will have an eight page feature on the project but until then fans can be comforted with some artwork from character designer Na-Ga which may or may not look a little familiar to anime fans: