It’s Angel Beats episode 7, and Yuri asks Naoi (who didn’t disappear in the last episode. doh!) to see if he can help recover Otonashi’s memories using his hypnosis. However, like everyone else, his life was anything but happy. We do find that Otonashi’s first name is Yuzuru, though. The Battlefront (and Kanade) then go up against the “monster” of a nearby river. That night, Yuri gets pretty beaten up by a new “Angel.”
OK, so Naoi didn’t disappear last episode. I guess everyone else was right and I was wrong lol. I thought for sure, how the episode ended, he had disappeared, but nope. But it does look like Naoi has joined the Battlefront, though mostly to hang around Otonashi, whom he seems to have a man-crush on now.
In any case, it seems like the “everyone committed suicide” theory is busted. Maybe some of the people there did, but Otonashi certainly didn’t appear to, with his memories ending during a train wreck (now that we’ve finally seen them). However, he is perhaps the only person whose last memory we see pre-death is actually looking forward, which makes him different from everyone else we know so far.
Initially it looked like he was going down the same path – Otonashi was a boy without purpose, except to care for his sick little sister, Kana Hatsune. But after she died, he found the motivation in life to try to help others. Unfortunately, he was never able to complete that wish, which is probably why he is here.
However, if this place exists to help souls who still have regrets, in order to heal those regrets, Otonashi is suddenly put in a similar bind that Kanade was in when she was President, in that, for him to heal his own regrets, he may very well have to help his own friends heal theirs and disappear.
I wrote a post a little while ago, comparing this show to Haibane Renmei, and while I think that comparison has gotten a bit weaker in the episodes since I wrote that, this might help strengthen it once again. In that post, I suggested that Yuri was like Reki and Otonashi was like Rakka. If my hypothesis above is correct, Otonashi could play a similar role, in that his salvation is perhaps tied to helping his best friend find her salvation.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see Kanade until near the end of the episode, but I have to laugh at how Otonashi obviously has a thing for her (I better get an Otonashi/Kanade smooch before the end!). Meanwhile, Otonashi is doing a good job getting Kanade and the Battlefront to buddy up, with them helping Kanade to reel in the “monster of the river” when fishing, and then her using her gadgets to save them from it later. Of course, the problem with all this buddying up is that, the Battlefront doesn’t appear to have anyone left to fight, with the old, and current, Student Council Presidents joining them. However…
How can I not mention the end? Another “Angel” appeared, huh? She looks quite a bit like Kanade, doesn’t she? Is she some copy of Kanade, caused by her powers, which has unconsciously gone amok now that the real Kanade has joined the Battlefront? Maybe a twin? A clone? Has Kanade gone all Agent Smith on us? In any case, she seems more sinister looking than Kanade ever was.