The setting of this series is one of the unique ones I've seen in a while. Who would have thought of a world where everybody is dead and they are fighting god for giving them a very unreasonable life. Jun Maeda was able to exploit that setting to bring us one remarkable series that have made us laugh and cry to the antics and background of the characters. Like many other KEY series, the style on this one is quite similar to the likes of Air, Kanon and Clannad where every arc one character is the focus of the story and as the story of the side characters unfold it leads to the development of the story and the main characters. Though in this one since it's quite short, not all of the side characters were able to get a development since the main focus of the series is the story of the main characters. I would love to know the background of Kanade and even TK specially on how they died so I'm hoping there will be OVA or hopefully a sequel/prequel story. The recurring theme of this series is having regrets in life and as the background of the characters are shown, it's really heart wrenching that they died without even accomplishing anything which made me think that I'm one lucky person because I'm still alive and still has a chance to achieve my dreams. Another factor that I like in this series is that its very unpredictable. Every week I keep on guessing what will happen and who really is the final boss though I'm always wrong about my speculation, I really enjoyed the mysteriousness of this series. Though it's not as moving as Clannad (which the only anime series that made me cry like a baby) and a very short, I will never deny that fact that it's a touching series which I enjoyed watching every week.
I have to say that the characterization of this series is it's weak point because it has a lot of cast and only six characters have been developed namely Yuri, Otonashi, Yui, Kanade, Hinata and Naoi. Iwasawa's characterization on the other hand is rushed that she disappeared as early as episode 3 but I've got to admit that her back story is really tragic. The characters really stand out as a whole but individual characters didn't have much attention. I just wished that like other KEY series the other characters have a time to shine for even at least one episode but because it's only 13 episodes the back story of other characters are either rushed or a bit lacking. The character of Otonashi and Kanade is well done but Yuri on the other hand felt a bit rushed specially in the last episode when she was acting like she's been a friends of Kanade for years but despite that I still like Yuri's character but of course my favourite is still Kanade. XD
The animation is just simply wow, I can’t find the words to describe its awesomeness hands down P.A. Works…if only you could do an anime series with more than just 13 episodes. It really looks like there are a lot of money spend just by animating this series. The animation makes me feel like I'm playing a game rather than watching an anime. The concert scenes was just as spectacular that it even surpassed the concert scene of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and it made me ask what the hell is KyoAni doing with K-ON for all this time. The lighting during the concert scenes is really amazing because it's like I'm watching a real concert. The palette they used in this series simply describes the mood in a certain scene. The character design on the other hand is also good, they don't look mediocre and it best describes the character's personality.
One of the best part of the series is it's soundtrack. When they are played in a certain scene they could evoke emotions. I've got to admit that Jun Maeda's a really good composer, he's one talented guy. The OP "My Soul, Your Beats" has different renditions and both are remarkable and the animation that accompanied that features Kanade playing a piano which I think is an amazing idea. "My Song, Your Beats" is one catching song and I really like the piano opening (I'm such a sucker for piano pieces) and now, it's still currently in my iPod together with other Angel Beats soundtrack . The OP sequence also feels like I'm watching the OP of a KEY game. The ED song "Brave Song" on the other hand is a sad ballad that best describes an ending which is really fitting as a ending theme. The ED sequence are stills of the characters but what amaze me is as new characters are being introduced, they also added it in the stills. The other ED song which was played at the last episode which is "Ichiban no Takaramono" really made me have goose bumps and had me a bit teary eyed at the end. The songs that was played by GirlDemo are also good and catchy and accompanied by awesome concert animation, simply splendid.
Despite that this series is short and kind of rushed, I still enjoyed it since it's a whole package of entertainment that I'm looking in an anime show. It has a comedy, drama, romance coupled with superb animation and awesome soundtrack. I really appreciate the creativity that Jun Maeda put in this series. I just wish that it was a 24 episode series but I'm not closing the possibility that it might get an OVA or even a prequel *cross fingers* I need a dose of more Kanade goodness. I recommend this basically to anyone specially to those who are a fan of Jun Maeda's works and people who likes to watch a moving anime with a touch of comedy. I hope to see Little Busters get animated after this. XD