The home of Critic, Writer and Film-maker: Liam Walters

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?

[[WARNING: SPOILERS]]

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.

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5 responses

  1. random green haired guy

    well i’d love to watch the OVA (but since i cant find it or buy it thers a problem) but the epilogue was nice it really does makes me think i watched it a 20:25 its 23:56 and ive watched it 12 times already so im really waiting for a season

    January 24, 2011 at 21:55

    • You are able to view the OVA here: http://www.watchanimeon.com/angel-beats-episode-14/

      I do hope that you will support this series by buying the DVD when possible, though I understand how it can sometimes be difficult finding english subtitled anime dvds, especially due to region locked DVD players. (Though I believe that computers are region free, and region free dvd players are available)

      With that bit out of the way. I have to agree, ‘Another Epilogue’ does fit somewhat nicely into the story. Whether there WILL be a second series, Im not 100% sure on. Various places have ‘announced’ that there will be, though Im not sure, as the date it seems is ‘Early Spring 2011’. If it was that close to completion, we would know much more information than we do now. It would be likely that we would be seeing a official promo by now.

      In better news though, it has been officially announced that Jun Maeda has begun writing a script for an Angel Beats game (though it wont be greenlit for another 6 months or so) but that could be something to keep an eye on.

      January 25, 2011 at 01:25

  2. random green haired guy

    the OVA was great the part i laughed with most was when shiina said cute and the meter went over 9000 rly nice
    i’m waiting for the series to come out on DVD(but i live in belgium and anime is an unknown word here)when its there ill hav it ^^

    January 25, 2011 at 19:30

    • random green haired guy

      by the way i just noticed that acually that world could be a loop (if you get whut i mean) so otonashi could be the programmer of angel player as the on guy said (would be weird but it would explain why he was later than kanade)

      January 26, 2011 at 16:00

      • helen

        yeah i thought of that too. the guys name was never mentioned, just that he waited for a very long time. don’t remember too well but didn’t it also say he became an NPC? cause if that was the case then why didn’t they notice an NPC looking exactly like otonashi. will have to watch that episode again to confirm that though.

        also with the rumored second season. i don’t think it will be out this year. we haven’t heard anything official yet. when it does eventually come out though (it’s got to happen some day due to popularity. why would the makers miss out on a money maker?)
        i think it needs 2 more seasons worth. first to continue from the second epilogue, then moving onto the start of the sss like in the novel and manga. along the way, explanations of everyones deaths and lives would be nice. that way the story of angel beats will be complete.

        March 9, 2011 at 22:26

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