Closing Time: Angel Beats

Ya know, I think I’ve seen a love story told from pretty much every possible angel over the years. I’m a romantic, and I love a good love story. The only problem with that is, after a while, you start noticing a lot of similarities between the love stories. They tend to follow the same, very formulaic, beats.

So, when I watched Angel Beats, I was pleasantly surprised to see something I hadn’t expected. A love story unlike any other. One about a young woman, breaking the laws of time and space, life and death, to simply say “Thank you, and “I love you.”

If you’ve never seen Angel Beats, or missed my review of the series, it’s a 13 episode series from P.A. Works, and Jun Meada, part of the visual novel brand Key, who brought us such shows as Kanon, Air, and Clanned.

Yes, it’s a lot like those, only better. Honestly, I think it may be the best of Maeda’s work.

Music plays a huge part in Angel Beats, too. The power of music to connect people is a major element in the story, and carries through a lot of the characters interactions. To say music is one of the most important parts of Angel Beats would still be understating just how big a role it plays in the story. The power to communicate things through not just words, but notes, and songs, is a major part of the story.

So it seems fitting that the closing credits for Angel beats should utilize music as one of the most powerful aspects of the ED. Not to say most anime don’t use music for their ED’s, but Angel beats takes it another level.

Below is the final ED for the show, which features a reverse of the usual slow outward zoom as the characters come into the still scene. The final ED started with them all, the zoomed in as they left the scene, symbolizing their departure.

The music, “Brave Song” is performed by Tada Aoi, who is probably best known to Western audiences as the original Japanese voice actor for Ed on Cowboy Bebop, and Terriermon from Digimon Tamers. She more or less retired from voice acting after her music career really took off, and I can honestly say that is the VA world’s loss.

The choice to do the zoom in as the characters all fade away, one after another, was probably one of the most heart wrenching, and yet, beautiful and uplifting choices that could be made for this ED. It says so much, with so little. It’s really just an amazing piece of work, that brings an amazing show to a proper end. Especially with the way the big instrumental parts slowly fade into a piano solo, adding that much more nuance to it all.

Of course, if you’ve never seen the show, then a word of advice. Don’t stop watching at the credits. Stay with them. There’s a treat in a tiny post credit scene. Trust me, you’ll be glad you stayed, and really get what I mean about how important music really is to this show with it.

Now go watch Angel Beats. You’re anime viewing is incomplete without it.

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One thought on “Closing Time: Angel Beats

  1. I love how the ending visuals change as the show goes on and characters are added or moved depending on the relationships they’ve formed. I didn’t notice this the first time I watched the show but later I really enjoyed seeing those small changes. Plus, the song is awesome. Angel Beats really did an excellent job with their music all the way through the anime.

    Like

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