Angel Beats, episode 10 – The empire strikes back

Apparently the only thing more dangerous than being a lead singer for GirlDeMo might be drumming for Spinal Tap.

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Otonashi’s Operation: Make All Friends Disappear Without Really Knowing The Consequences is now underway. And for whatever reason he picks out Yui as his first victim. He strikes up a perfect plan with Kanade to confiscate Yui’s guitar while they’re practicing. Assuming Yui gives chase, Otonashi will just happen to bump into Kanade, at which point Kanade will apparently throw the guitar up in the air and pretend to forget the whole thing ever happen. Meanwhile Otonashi will get to be the heroic stud and use the opportunity to trigger Yui’s flags. Although it was pretty funny seeing dunce Kanade, the plan was pretty stupid. Why would Kanade steal the guitar, lose it… and then not get it back? Whatever, Otonashi didn’t think too hard about it, so I won’t either.

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Although the plan gets off to a delayed start, eventually it is keikakudoori, and Otonashi learns that the reason Yui is so energetic and has so many dreams is because she was paralyzed as a little child and never got to do anything. If it seems like all of Jun Maeda’s characters are bedridden at some point… well, that’s probably because it’s sort of true. I did like seeing that Yui at least had a caring mom and wasn’t victim to child abuse… like all of Jun Maeda’s characters that aren’t bedridden. It’s either being stuck in a hospital or bed, or being abused. I wonder what kind of childhood Jun had.

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From there on, Otonashi helps Yui accomplish dream by dream. First doing a German Suplex. Then scoring a 1 vs. 5 soccer goal, and finally hitting a home run (which actually she did not accomplish if we’re being nitpicky here). The episode was good, in a sense that I like Yui and liked learning more about her… but it also felt like a harem speed run. Flag one? Trigger. Flag two? Trigger. Flag three? Trigger. Pow! Pow! Pow! Rapid fire.

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Eventually leading to the final flag in which Yui (looking really cute, btw) tells Otonashi that her last dream is to get married. Otonashi hesitates here. But it’s Hinata who comes to the surprisingly strong rescue, forcefully confessing his love for Yui. Now, this wasn’t terribly surprising, as the show has hinted that the two had a thing for each other, but the strength with which Hinata confesses to Yui felt sort of out of left field.

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Still, it was a bit heartwarming to see the fake montage of events that’ll never happen roll by. The new GirlDeMo song was excellent for the scene as well. The only thing I felt a little bad about was that… Hinata confesses and talks of imaginary events that could happen, knowing (or at least thinking he knows) that those events will never really happen. We don’t see Yui die, but we know she’s dead. She’s not going to disappear and regain consciousness in the real world. And Hinata is never going to get there either. Should they be reincarnated, the situation would be totally different. It just felt very similar to Naoi creating false memories to make people disappear. Not quite as malicious, but Hinata’s (and Otonashi’s) actions weren’t exactly the paragon of virtue either.

At the end, Hinata decides to help Otonashi help their friends be demoned away, but again, this seems like a hasty decision. At what point did Hinata decide that disappearing was a good thing? If that thought occurred when he almost disappeared, we never saw evidence of it. As far as he knows, based on what Yuri’s told him, he might have just turned Yui into a barnacle.

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Seems like the next episode is going to introduce a new enemy. But what I really want to know is, why could someone like TJ have had a bad childhood? When are we getting that episode? My guess? I bet TJ is actually Butters.

14 Replies to “Angel Beats, episode 10 – The empire strikes back”

  1. lol you’re calling TK, TJ.

    As in, the actual blogger TJ.

    but alas, TK is awesome. I wonder if he was an aspiring singer/rapper that couldn’t fufill his dream or something stupid.

    And crazy theory time! YUI TURNED INTO A MONSTER.

    1. You might be on to something Jubbz. The monster is could be so many things (including a straight from Kanon insert), but what if it appeared because someone in this afterlife world was artificially helped into realizing her unfulfilled goals? Otonashi and Hinata’s cheat code just corrupted their save data!!!

  2. Good grief. I think TK’s dream was to master the English language.

    I liked this episode more than I expected. Maybe it was all the several failed the German suplex attempts which I never see in anime.

    Anyhow, I liked Yui more after this episode. Too bad she’s gone now. Oh, that Tenshi.

  3. Yui wasn’t a particularly liked character of mine, but she had a good showing in this episode. Otonashi still seems a bit reckless in following through with all of this; he doesn’t know Tenshi all that well even at this point in the series. She could be a moe Lelouch for all he knows (but I love her anyway <3 )

    Hinata's motives seem more plausible though. He's thinking less about the world than Otonashi and seems to have a bittersweet acceptance of its functioning. He seems to have found peace within it and is functioning more out of a desire to just finally give in to the peaceful fading away and take what may come with it. Though because of this he also seems to fall into the contradictory situation of Otonashi, as someone who's come to terms with things but yet hasn't disappeared.

  4. Hopefully that new enemy thing in the end messes up Otonashi’s plans for a while and shakes up the plot as well. Also seeing as this is Jun Maeda, we’ll probably see that fantasy that Hinata described become a reality in the end, but I’m only saying that because I MISS YUI T__T

  5. On the other hand, I’m not sure being stuck in a strict high school for eternity is much better then going poof.

    And when Hinata disappears, he and Yui can be barnacles in love~

    I can forgive it being rushed due to fact that 13 episode is just not enough time to tell the story.

  6. Hey wow, you’re the only guy I’ve read so far that had similar complaints to me about this episode (or had complaints at all for that matter). It was definitely way too fast, even a bit awkward when Hinata did the confession thing. Two episodes would probably have been better to develop a good build-up for the proper emotional impact it deserves at the end, but I hear Angel Beats is only gonna be 12/13 eps? If we spent one whole ep on Yui, I’d hate to think what could happen in the next 2/3 eps, especially since we now have an extra random mysterious shadow to deal with…

    1. Yeah I’m really curious to see how they wrap up the story. It feels like there’s still way too much to cover to wrap it up in the next few episodes.

      It’s a little bit of shame, because I really did like yui’s story, but agree with you that the pacing could’ve been improved.

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