Angel Beats is like WHAT Show?!

At the start of the Spring 2010 anime season, Angel Beats was being compared a lot to The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.  Perhaps that’s how it was being marketed, but after four episodes, while little glimmers of Haruhi may have shown up in Yuri here and there, I see very little similarity between any of the characters nor of the shows themselves.

Yeah sure, someone could be like “But Angel is just like Nagato!” but it’s not exactly like that character type is new.  And that’s about where the comparisons end, because no one can convince me that Otonashi is like Kyon really in any conceivable way that doesn’t apply to a multitude of other shows as well.  Indeed, I’m ready to smash the whole Angel-Beats-is-a-ripoff-of-Haruhi stuff right now.

However, there is a show that Angel Beats reminds me of.  None of the characters in Angel Beats are directly relateable, but the story sure is.  That show, which sits as the first show on the 2nd shelf of my anime bookcase, is Haibane Renmei.  Yes, you heard me right.  Angel Beats is (almost) just like Haibane Renmei.  “This is an affront to Yoshitoshi ABe!” some might say.  Perhaps it is, but time will tell.

Is this show...

Having said that, look at the similarities between the two shows so far:

  • The characters appear to be in some sort of afterlife.  The characters appear to have all gotten there after suffering some sort of grief or regret in their past life
  • There is a distinct possibility that most, if not all, of the characters committed suicide
  • It appears that a primary way to “disappear” from where they are is to forgive themselves for some regret that the held over from their previous life
  • After the 4th episode of Angel Beats, we can now add the element that the primary character, at least initially, is very apprehensive to the idea of his (or her) friends disappearing

Will more things line up later as Angel Beats progresses? Maybe, maybe not.  Only time will tell.

However, I’m stating to see strong similarities between the characters of Otonashi in Angel Beats and Rakka from Haibane Renmei.  They both arrive in this new world, without memories from their past world (though that’s true of all the Haibane) and, after one of the people in their world disappeared, they become distraught at the idea of it happening again.  I’m also beginning to wonder if Yuri is essentially playing the role of Reki as well, having the worst memory from her previous life, and really fighting the system more than going with it.  I also think Otonashi will have to accept that getting over one’s regrets and vanishing is ultimately for the best, much like Rakka had to do, and that Yuri will realize that forgiving herself is also for the best, much like what Reki had to.  And I rather fully expect Otonashi to aid Yuri in achieving this goal and disappearing, much like how Rakka aided Reki.

...just like this show?

Of course, Otonashi and Yuri are quite different personality wise from Rakka and Reki, but their roles in the story may be similar.  On top of this, there are obvious differences too.  There is no time limit (that we know of) on how long anyone can stay in this afterlife, unlike Haibane, for example.  But I’m not expecting Angel Beats to line up perfectly either.  They are, after all, different shows.  But the things that are similar are striking to me.

That brings up one final question for me:  What analogous character, if any, might Angel have in Haibane?  One possibility is that she could essentially play the role of The Communicator, in the sense that she’s there to guide everyone towards the path that will allow them to leave.  If this is the case, it brings up several possibilities: 1) she’s just someone put there to guide them, or perhaps, 2) much like how people hypothesized about The Communicator, perhaps she somehow failed or ran out of time to forgive herself for something she did, and was kind of left behind to help others.  The advancement of her weaponry, given that it’s made in the same way that Yuri makes their firearms, would present the possibility that Angel had been there for a very long time.

I’m looking forward to seeing if any other similarities pop up as Angel Beats progresses.

Cardcaptor Sakura – Episode 32

It’s Cardcaptor Sakura episode 32, and Sakura is once again able to catch a Clow card, but Kero and Shaoran end up swapping bodies as a result.

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Anime DVD and Manga Releases for April 27 – May 3

Anime DVDs

April 27, 2010
Gin Tama – Collection 1 (S)
Naruto – Season 2 Part 2
Rurouni Kenshin – Box Set

Manga

April 27, 2010

Broken Blade – Volume 3
Karakuri Odette – Volume 3
Negima!? Magister Negi Magi Neo – Volume 5
Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei – Volume 6
Tsubasa, RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE – Volume 26

April 30, 2010

Cirque du Freak – Volume 5
Spice and Wolf – Volume 1
Spiral: Bonds of Reasoning – Volume 11

Cardcaptor Sakura – Episode 31

It’s Cardcaptor Sakura episode 31, and Sakura and Shaoran have a big problem on their hands capturing a Clow Card, but once they’re done, an even bigger problem reveals itself.

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AniBlog Tournament: Days 5 – 8 Voting

Once again, if you see me criticizing something about your blog, it’s nothing personal.  I tend to tear apart people’s websites when I do comparisons such as this, so just keep that in mind.

Aniblog Tournament | HTML Bracket

Round 1, Day 5

Vote Link

Match 9: Just as Planned

Just as planned has a pretty straight forward design.  Easy to get around, even if it’s not anything flashy.  The one thing I didn’t like in that respect is that, while categories are right there, they’re pretty broad, with most posts about Anime merely piled under a category called, well, “Anime.”  The content is kind of in the mid-range of length I guess, but still seems OK.  Moe Check! looks a bit sharper, and has some posts which are more in-depth than most posts on JaP, but most of the posts just seem to be one or two liners commenting on a picture.  Not really much there.  Also, Moe Check! has 7 posts in the month of April.  Just as Planned has 7 posts in the last week.  I think I’ll go with Just as planned on content grounds in this one.

Match 10: JanaiBlog

Rainbowsphere: Very nice design, very good content, but haven’t posted a thing since March 8th (and sparsely updated even before then).  JanaiBlog: Not as good design as RBS, and perhaps not quite as good content level, but still a pretty good level of content.  And they’ve posted recently, so I’ll go with JanaiBlog.

Round 1, Day 6

Vote Link

Match 11: Colony Drop

This one is a big of a toughie for me.  Canne’s blog is more anime review (with some editorial thrown in) with some pretty good content and a good design. Despite only posting 6 times in the month of April, Canne’s blog still more than it’s competitor: Colony Drop.  However, CD has it’s own interesting design aspects, and I think an overall superior level of content – it’s just that posting is more infrequent.  So it seems like my choice is coming down to this: a little better content vs. getting more content.  I think if Canne had a significantly higher post rate, instead of just 6 posts in the month vs 3, I’d be inclined to take it, but since both are somewhat infrequent posters, I’ll go with the content winner, which is Colony Drop in this case.

Match 12: Beta-Waffle

If the last match was hard, this one is even more so.  How do you compare a predominantly comic blog against an episode blogger (all those who would vote against one or the other merely by what type of blog they are can skip that question).  Beta-Waffle consists of pretty consistently funny (if dubiously drawn) comics posted daily or every other day.  That’s a lot of work to keep it up like that, and Beta-Waffle certainly gets a lot of credit for that.

bananaMuffin, as you might have guessed, is the episode review blog.  bM certainly posts quite a bit, so it can keep up with B-W in that respect.  There is also a decent amount of content on the blog as well.  However, where I think bM stumbles is that it appears that, while postings are somewhat frequent, it’s posting episodes 1 and 2 of series when they’re pretty much airing episode 4.  If fan subs were slow, I could live with it, but I know for at least one of the series that’s not the case because I’m blogging it too.  Now, the caveat to that is it looks like they took a bit of a hiatus at the start of April, and they seemed to be keeping up with series before that.  Perhaps one plus in bM’s favor is that I do think it has the cleaner design.

I think in the end – and this is probably the longest rationale I’ve written so far – Beta-Waffle wins because, not only are they posting frequently, but it’s something that’s hard to keep up.  That combined with the immediate fact that bananaMuffin is behind and I think I’ll go with Beta-Waffle.  However, it would be an even tougher choice if bananaMuffin was keeping up with their series.

Round 1, Day 7

Vote Here

Match 13: Major Arcana

Black and Blue Socks appears to be pretty much an average, run of the mill episodic blog.  The content is pretty good and they appear to be posting pretty regularly (though they’re a little behind it looked like) and the design was OK.  There isn’t anything obvious I can really criticize them for, but there isn’t anything in particular that stands out about it either.  Major Arcana appears to be a mix of some episodic blogging along with editorial blogging with reviews thrown in.  Again, the content looks pretty good and they post at a pretty good pace.  This is a very difficult pick because these two blogs are very similar in how much they write, the quality of writing, and the rate of posting.  That means this one is probably going down to design and navigability.  I like the originality of Arcana’s blog better, but I think the navigability of BBS is a little better.  However, I think the navigability issues are a little closer than the design, so I think I’ll ultimately, by a sliver, go with Major Arcana.

Match 14: Mecha-Guignol

Daijoubu is another comic blog which posts (more dubiously drawn) comics. Occasionally anyway.  Mecha-Guignol appears to write mostly editorial pieces, which are nicely done, and appear to be pretty regular.  After a long string of some pretty long write-ups, I think this one will be short: quality posts + consistent posting…I think I’m giving this one to Mecha-Guignol.

Round 1, Day 8

Vote Here

Match 15: Ani-Gamers

Ani-Gamers, despite the blog’s name, appears to mostly do anime series reviews, as well as has an active, semi-regular podcast.  I know that keeping up a regular podcast is difficult – I put out 90 episodes of a podcast myself before finding that I just didn’t have the time for it in comparison to the number of people who were listening to it (which was basically no one).  I’ve had delusions of grandeur about restarting it again at time but…well, I guess I should move on since this isn’t about me.  The series reviews appear to be pretty informative, which is nice too.  The site design is a little unusual at first, but is still manageable.  Anime Full Circle has mainly, well, I guess you could all them editorials.  Kind of random scrawlings might be a better description for the type of posts that are on the blog.  Some of it is useful, but a lot of it is, well…random.  Perhaps it is someone’s cup of tea, but it really isn’t mine, so I’m going with Ani-Gamers.

Match 16: Anime Instrumentality Blog

This match involves something of a rarity: an anime music review blog.  That’s the role that Anime Instrumentality Blog fills.  It includes info like album title, show title, track list, music samples, and of course the review itself.  It’s really quite an interesting site to visit.  And being one that likes anime soundtracks myself, I’m rather sad that I hadn’t really run into this site before.  Maybe the only thing I could diss about the site right now is that the design may not be as clean as it could be, but it’s still not too bad.  Kita ze Inbou does beat up AIB when it comes to design. However, I have two major beefs with it. First, on their blog posts, the intro text on the home page is next to useless.  Second, I’m not much of a fan of taking so much space on headline and featured articles – all of which are, at the moment, at least six days old while the “new” content is buried toward the bottom of the page.  While the design of KzI is very tempting, I think I’ll go with Anime Instrumentality Blog

Cardcaptor Sakura – Episode 30

It’s Cardcaptor Sakura episode 30, and after trying to capture another Clow Card, the card is able to get away and hides out in the house of another student at Sakura’s school.

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