Angel Beats – Episode 05

It’s Angel Beats episode 5,and Yuri has a cunning plan to strip Angel of her power to interfere with the Battlefront.

It’s time for exams, and Yuri comes up with a plan to discredit Angel and remove her as student council president. Several Battlefront members are dubious, but Yuri sees it as a way to test to see if Angel is really an operative of God or not. Yuri’s plan is to have them taking the exams in the same room as Angel. Christ ends up getting the draw to sit in front of her, and he’ll swap a fake exam with hers when one of the other Battlefront members create a diversion, resulting in Angel flunking every exam.

On exam day, Christ realizes a fatal flaw: none of them know Angel’s real name. Otonashi then about to leave in frustration when Angel leaves, asking him what’s wrong. He tells her that he was just nervous, but also finds out her real name: Kanade Tachibana. The Battlefront members fail spectacularly at creating diversions, however, causing Yuri to repeatedly go to her backup of igniting a rocket under their chairs, sending them into the ceiling.

Otonashi doubts whether what they’re doing is right all along, but his doubts are increased further when he sees a bothered Kanade in the hallway after the exams, when he hears that bad rumors are beginning to spread about Kanade, and finally when an assembly is held where it’s announced that Kanade is resigning as student council president, leaving Naoi as acting-President.

Betting that Kanade has lost her authority to stop them, Yuri executes Operation Tornado again (the one from the first episode). Angel arrives, but both Otonashi and Yuri stop people from taking action, since she’s acting weird, and sure enough, she just goes into the gym to buy a meal ticket for the rarely bought spicy tofu meal. All of this causes Yuri to come to the difficult but obvious conclusion: Kanade isn’t’ an angel working for God. She’s a human, just like them.

Otonashi continues to feel sorry for what they did to Kanade, especially when finding out from Yuri that he’s actually eating the meal that Kanade bought, and wonders what she’s thinking. However, suddenly Naoi shows up with a hoard of NPC enforcers, and announces that he’s bringing them all to detention and, as the new President, he’s not going to give them any leeway.

Some of the antics in this episode were kind of lame, but some of the things we learned or confirmed were important: not only do we, the viewer, confirm that Angel aka Kanade is actually a human, but Yuri is forced to conclude this as well. Yuri now realizes that the only reason why Kanade was making her weapons was to keep the peace as student council president. Now that she has lost that title, she no longer feels obligated to stop them. This hopefully will cause Yuri to rethink exactly what she is trying to accomplish.

After all, if who she is fighting against are merely other humans who are doing their responsibility as leaders of the school, and not agents of God, what does Yuri gain by fighting them? But if she doesn’t fight them, doesn’t that mean she’s giving in to the system? Yuri may have some difficult choices to make pretty soon.

This episode may also lead Otonashi to start rejecting the Battlefront and to get close to Kanade. It may very well be through her that he learns the real truth about where they are and why they are there. Otonashi kind of jokes about, couldn’t Kanade join the battlefront now, and I doubt that the Battlefront members would accept her even if she wanted to join, but his comment clearly shows how the situation has now radically changed.

Also, Yuri’s mission may have one large negative side effect: if Kanade was merely doing what she was doing as Student Body President, there is a chance that her replacement, Naoi, may be even worse and more ruthless in stopping them, and his showing up at the end of the last episode clearly suggested that this might be the case. This may ultimately be a lesson in “be careful what you wish for.”

In any case, I think this episode did a good job of basically turning Kanade from the enemy to a very sympathetic character.

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