Anime Daze: Angel Beats! – Stairway to Heaven & Another Epilogue
So as you may remember, last September I wrote a review of Angel Beats, and in october, wrote
a slightly altered review for my Student Paper column, Screen Daze. And so, With a new year at hand, I have decided to create this Screen Daze type spin off column; Anime Daze.
For a quick recap, Angel Beats was a 13 Episode collaboration project involving visual novel company Key, anime companies Aniplex and P.A.Works. among others. Written by Jun Maeda,
who also worked on other key projects such as Air, Kanon and Clannad, the story does have a similar story themes as the aforementioned titles, whilst still being separated enough to have a sense of individualism.
As I stated in the review, I thoroughly enjoyed the series, and looked forward to the OVA that would be released in December. Well, December has come and gone, and I have watched the Angel Beats OVA entitled: Stairway to Heaven
Stairway to Heaven was an excellent addition to the Angel Beats Story. I would estimate that it was set between Episodes 4 and 5. It involves the SSS, as they try out a new strategy, called ‘Operation High Tension Syndrome’. Yuri’s idea is to have the SSS members do everything with high tension and excitement, so that they look like they are enjoying themselves and are fulfilled. This is so that Angel, who they think is connected with god, gets confused, since if the students are enjoying themselves with fulfilled lives, they should disappear to be reincarnated. Since they are not disappearing, Yuri believes Angel will panic, going to gain answers from God, at which point they follow Angel to confront god.
The SSS members are, at first, somewhat sceptical, and dont enjoy the thought of having to spend 12 hours doing things with high tension, though Yuri soon persuades them, as if they do not comply, or the mission fails, then the SSS members will go without food or drink for an entire week. The punishment works well, since, the members can’t exactly die.
It is a fantastic episode, and one to watch if you enjoyed the series. In all truth, there is nothing special about it, nothing which defines it from the other episodes of the series, apart from a quite humorous Tension Meter in the bottom corner of the screen… But with such a great series, why would you want anything too different?
So for those of you who have watched the final episode of the Angel Beats Series, you would have watched the Epilogue in which you see a young boy who resembles Otonashi, and a young girl who resembles Kanade. As the girl hums the tune to ‘My Song’, the boy looks over at her, before running after her.
Another Epilogue is quite a change. We see a boy with blonde hair looking distressed in class, before suddenly standing up, announcing that he knows that he has died with an unfufilled life, and questions what the point of the school is. Suddenly, Otonashi, now the student council president, walks into the school,as we hear the ‘Theme of SSS’. Otonashi challenges the boy, by telling him if theres something he needs to do, then just do it. Otonashi then asks the boy what is it that he needs to do.
The boy responds that he needs the courage to stand up to Otonashi, while at the same time, forcing Otonashi back, at which point, Otonashi relaxes. He tells the boy that he could do it, and says if he ever feels resentment or hesitation, then to come down to the student council room to see him, as he will always be there. The class explodes with praise as Otonashi leaves, returning to the empty Student Council room. It is said that he is waiting for someone…
I’ve been looking around, and it seems theres some debate whether this will lead to the proposed second series, supposedly titled ‘Angel Beats – Second Term’. Theres also the debate whether a second series would even be possible, as the characters disappeared at the end of the series.
In my opinion, there is every possibility that there will be a second series, and that Another Epilogue will lead into it. We never see Otonashi disappear, we hear him scream before the titles roll, and then we see the Epilogue. But we dont know how much time there is between the two. Since it is called ‘Another Epilogue’, it means that it is an extra one. Not an alternative one.
In the grand scheme of things, it could go Angel Beats > Another Epilogue > Second Term > Epilogue. You may be thinking that it couldn’t work like that, as Kanade and Otonashi are the same age in Epilogue. But for those who watched the series, you will know that Kanade got Otonashi’s heart when he died, and she regretted never being able to say thank you for it (until the end of the series, where she did and was able to disappear). This would mean that Kanade’s and Otonashi’s deaths were some time apart. Angel must have had some life with Otonashi’s heart before she died and went onto purgatory.
As we know, Otonashi fell into purgatory after Kanade, so as time does not work in the linear order we would think, there is every possibility that Otonashi did stay on in Purgatory, helping the lost souls who also ended up there, all the while waiting for the day when Kanade ends up there in a future incarnation.
Of course, this is all theory, but to me it makes logical sense using what we know. View Another Epilogue Below.
If there is a new series of Angel Beats (rumoured to be released in Spring 2011) then I will almost definitely watch and review it.
Did you watch the OVA and Another Epilogue? Do you agree or disagree with my theory? Post what you think in the comments section below.