Angel Beats – a brief retrospective

Turns out that Angel Beats premiered ten years ago today…

This was an important show in my development as an otaku.  I’d been kinda getting into anime and watching stuff on Netflix, and while I’d enjoyed most nothing had actually clicked.  I don’t know why I picked Angel Beats, but within a few episodes I was seriously hooked and ended up marathoning it across two days.

When my wife got home from work, I convinced her to sit down and give it a try.  And even though I’d just finished it hours before – I sat right down and rewatched it.  My first ever rewatch, and one of only a handful of immediate rewatches.  (The last immediate rewatch that I can recall is Laid Back Camp – two years ago in the Winter 2018 season.)

So, a question for you…  What show struck you like a bolt of lightning?  What show changed you in a measurable way?  Drop a comment and let’s chat!

9 thoughts on “Angel Beats – a brief retrospective”

  1. I’ve just started watching Angel Beats and am enjoying it so far – 4 episodes in.

    Back when I started watching anime a lot of it was on VHS so once I’d bought it, I would rewatch it over and over again. Rewawtching was pretty much all I had until I could buy a new one.

    Since the dawn of the internet, Highschool of the Dead has been the big one for me. It brought me back into the anime scene and it hit me hard. I really relate to the main character Komuro and was already a huge fan of zombies so it was a match made in heaven.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If you haven’t seen it before, I’ll not spoil you!

      And I’m glad I got into anime in the streaming era… Sure, there’s the occasional annoyance of a favorite vanishing, but there’s always something available. I lived through the pre-VCR era when we watched what was available when it was on, and I have no desire to live like that again.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. For me, Angel Beats was the first show I sat through wondering why I’m not enjoying it; I should have, but didn’t. I’ve gotten used to the feeling, and now I just say “doesn’t click”, which is vague, but true. Back then, I was just confused. It was also PA Works (I didn’t see it as it aired; I think I watched it after Hanasaku Iroha?)

    I’m not easily changed by any one thing. It’s a gradual biling process, and shows don’t tend to strike me like lighting. I mean, sure, there are love-at-first-sight shows, like Eccentric Family or Rakugo, but they’re more captivating what’s already there than opening up a new vista.

    Then there are slow shows that I end up feeling more and more affection for, like, say Kimi ni Todoke or Noir. And some shows have surprising staying power, like Ixion Saga DT (the proto-Konosuba, as I like to think of it).

    There are many ways a show can impact me, but no single show has ever changed the way I feel about anything. Contributed to a seed, maybe, but that’s it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve gotten used to the feeling, and now I just say “doesn’t click”, which is vague, but true.

      Come to think of it, I’ve seen you say that a ton of times running all the way to the heyday of Mage in A Barrel. Now it makes a lot more sense…

      Contributed to a seed, maybe, but that’s it.

      That makes sense too… But isn’t where you end up more important than how you get there?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Angel Beats is such a good series. I’ve seen it take a lot of flak over the years, but I feel like it balances its action, drama, and emotional peaks really well. That’s why it’s my second-favorite Key anime after Kanon.

    I’ve mentioned them before, but I got hit by two big bolts of lightning 15 years apart.

    The first one was Escaflowne in 1998. I’d watched other anime before that, and even liked a couple, but a lot like you’re describing with Angel Beats, that was the first time my reaction went beyond “Okay, that was kinda interesting,” to full-on, “OMG, this is freaking amazing! I gotta know what happens next!” Those nights of watching that series together with my roommates are still one of my best memories from sophomore year of college. It was also the first anime I ever bought on DVD and the first one that I shared with my Mom, too.

    The second one was K-On in 2013, which instantly reignited my passion for the medium after I’d gotten totally burned out on shonen long-runners and even action-oriented anime in general. I was getting older and I guess my tastes were already changing. I knew stuff like Naruto wasn’t doing it for me anymore, but I didn’t know what I was craving until those four slackers from the light music club came along and charmed their way into my heart before I realized it. I didn’t know CGDCT was a thing before that series, but it’s been a staple for me ever since.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve mentioned them before, but I got hit by two big bolts of lightning 15 years apart.

      It’s interesting when that happens… Happens a lot for me with bookbinding, I’ll get inspired, Do A Thing, and then not touch it again for years. But then, other than cooking and anime, I pretty much drift in and out of a lot of hobbies and often just go in a loop between them.

      The second one was K-On in 2013, which instantly reignited my passion for the medium after I’d gotten totally burned out on shonen long-runners and even action-oriented anime in general.

      I think that’s what/why took me so long to get into anime. For years, pretty much all I had available was Toonami – and long runners and battlers have been their key stock in trade basically forever. Not being fifteen, that kinda stuff held no interest for me. (And probably wouldn’t have at fifteen for that matter.)

      And I really need to watch K-On one of these years…

      How are you holding up otherwise? Monday marks the start of Week Four for me, and the charm has long since worn off.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kind of a funny story. A long time ago I listened to a podcast where one of the Toonami honchos was talking to Cassandra Morris. Most of it was discussing some of the notable roles she’d done for Toonami-aired shows, like Leafa in SAO, but he ended the interview by asking her if there was a show she’d worked on that she’d like to see on Toonami in the future. Without even hesitating she said Toradora and talked about how much she enjoyed that series. And the guy was just like, “Yeah, that’s not happening.”

        I’m managing here. We’re now closed until at least early May, and potentially even into June depending on how fast our state’s curve flattens. The governor only issued a “stay at home” order here about six days ago, so we’re probably trailing a few weeks behind you all in Washington. So far I don’t know anyone who’s actually been infected, though, so that’s a good thing. I bought the game Evenicle and took a bunch of movies and manga home from the library right around when we shut down, so I’ve had those plus whatever anime I feel like watching to keep me entertained so far, and I also discovered a couple of (non-anime) YouTube channels that I’ve really been enjoying. What have you been up to?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I can believe that story…

          Our governor wants the curve going negative and sufficient testing and contact tracing capacity to keep it there. How that will hold, I dunno… But our lock down now extends into May.

          Which will be (roughly) seven weeks for me, I locked down early because I could and there was no reason not to. For a person as social as I, this has not been fun. I’ve been playing a ton of City Of Heroes and that’s what’s mostly kept me occupied during the day. I love anime, and have been watching quite a bit, but I can’t sit passively all day and just watch. I can sit passively all day and read, and I’ve done that some days.


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