Friday, February 22, 2013

Angel Beats! Episode 2 "Guild"

This episode kind of starts of like any usual filler would. The characters get into a sticky situation, some shit goes down, and then it gets resolved. And that's the whole episode.

 Luckily for me, there was actually some plot development between the filler. Between the deaths and outrageous moments this episode brought, we learned a few things about one of our loved main characters. And to be honest, the filler was okay. It was pretty comical- in an in your face way.

In this episode, SSS (Afterlife Battlefront-comes fromt he Japanese name) gang heads off to their secret underground factory. This place, called "Guild" is where SSS makes, receives, fixes, and stores all of their ammunition, guns, and explosives. It's hidden deep underneath the school so the Angel won't be able to find it. Because kids, you can't win anything without guns.

But when they reach the first (of many floors) on their way to Guild, they notice that the anti-angel traps haven't been deactivated- which means that the angel has infiltrated their hideout. And that Noda gets hit by a sledgehammer...again

I thought this guy would be Yuri's protector or something.
Turns out his soul purpose is this -_-
So after Noda dies a rather humorous death, the group leaves him behind and proceeds farther underground. However, the anti-angel traps are still activated. It's like venturing into a landmine.

Or a rock crushing, lazer cutting, floor dropping, bridge collapsing, boob-face pressing, and kawaii death trap.

However, throughout the way we seem to get a few hints on whose going to be the important characters, and whose going to be used for comical effect.

Take Hinata for example. It became evident that this guy would be Otonashi's closest friend within the first 3 minutes of this episode. He seems to be the only reliable one in the whole group, other than the girl and of course Yuri.

I mean, he practically saved Otonashi's life by jumping on top of him. And even though the picture looks like he's gay, I don't actually believe he is. Though I do expect there to be some gay jokes thrown into the picture after this.

And then there's Oyama, the guy who specialized in having to special talents. It looks like he's going to turn into the sort of clueless, says things at the wrong moment type of character. Like "oh, I forgot about that" right as a bunch of flesh cutting lazers gets activated.

He's actually really cute. Sort of like the baby of the group- all naive and high voiced and all. It's kawaii ^_~

 So as the others leave the dead behind, each of them drop like flies. Some fall from a cliff or something, others drown, and one falls off a waterfall. It's the typical "lets use comedy to make up for the fact that we don't really have any story progression that lasts more than 5 minutes". But that's okay. I knew this is what would happen when I started this anime.

Which actually brings me to my next point- Plot development

Now, we all know that our main character has to have some romantic intrest, or at least admiration for someone of the other sex. The author seemed to establish that with this scene:

Because I want you to smell my breasticles, that's why
But that wasn't the most interesting part of this episode. The real plot progression was seen after everyone but Otonashi and Yuri were left. After sitting down to dry off and take a break, Yuri revealed that she was the very first rebel- and why.

At a young age, Yuri's house was robbed while her parents were away and she was looking after her three siblings. The men searched for minutes and couldn't find anything valuable, so they turned to a yound Yuri. They told her that if she didn't find her parent's valuables, one of her siblings would be killed every 10 minutes. 

The police came thirty minutes after, and all three of her younger siblings were found dead. 

This doesn't explain how Yuri died, but it does explain why she became the first rebel. She vowed that she would fight against God, if there was one. And I completely understand why. What happened to her siblings was horribly unfair. If I were in her position I think I would do the same thing. What 'divine being' would allow something as horrible as that to happen? 

After their deep talk and some good insight on Yuri and her intentions, we finally make it down to the Guild. Where they decide to blow the place up to make sure the angel doesn't find it.

In a last ditch effort to buy time, Yuri engaged in some pretty cool close combat with the Angel. Though in the end, she did need rescuing by Otonashi. But it did allow some time for the workers to blow up the Guild, along with everything in it. 

At the end you're left with a cute little thought by Otonashi and a cheezy picture of Yuri lookin all...strong and leadery and cute and stuff. It even looks like Otonashi has come to respect Yuri and even the SSS team. 

"I can see why people support her. She really is a strong girl"

My Reaction

This was pretty cute. I mean it was funny in an in your face, physical way. I personally prefer a more subtle, witty sense of humor, but for anime- this works. And I'm quite happy they chose Hinata as Otonashi's right hand man. He seems down to earth and dependable...and maybe a bit gay. But there's no issue with that!

I also really enjoyed Yuri's story, as tragic as it was. It give a reason to her hatred and rebellion, and without it the story would really be lacking. This has made her ten times more likable, and even inspiring. Such a strong girl with a strong story is a perfect main character to an anime like this. I'm actually really excited to see where this anime goes!


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