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"Angel Beats!" is a unique anime television series that centers around concepts of life and death, and the meaning of souls moving onto the afterlife. However, the way that it approaches these themes is quite different from what one might expect. The story centers around a young man named Otonashi, who initially finds himself in a seemingly normal setting. The only problem is he finds himself with a severe case of amnesia, and he cannot seem to remember how he got to the place he is in. He quickly realizes that looks can be deceiving, and the world he has found himself in turns out to be something quite far from normal.

The residents of the place he finds himself in--a high school setting--inform him that they are all dead and are in a sort of limbo. They are fighting with a small girl who appears docile and quiet, but is in fact a shape-shifting being that everyone refers to as "Angel." Much of the initial plot involves Otonashi joining the ranks of an oddball student group to combat and defend against the constant threat of Angel while he also attempts to remember his hidden past.

The anime is fairly lighthearted in the beginning. Otononashi learns that the people of this place have a constant risk of disappearing. The only way to avoid disappearing, according to people he meets, is to do as many abnormal things as possible. For this reason, the students rarely attend class, and often do rebellious things such as staging attacks or heists to keep things interesting.

The story slowly becomes more serious and the suspense increases as Otononashi learns that being normal isn't the only way to disappear. Some of his new friends begin disappearing despite adhering to the rule of doing crazy things, others revealing intense traumas from their past lives.

Both tragic and dramatic twists await him as he unravels the mystery of his friends' disappearances as well as his own dark past.

Angel Beats! is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (16 episodes). The series first aired on May 23, 2011.

Angel Beats! is available for streaming on the website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Angel Beats! on demand atNetflix online.

Visual Art's/Key
1 Season, 16 Episodes
May 23, 2011
Cast: Miyuki Sawashiro, Yui Makino, Kana Asumi, Takahiro Mizushima, Hiroshi Kamiya
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Angel Beats! Full Episode Guide

  • Yuri has a bright idea: to distract Angel, have all the members live at "˜High Tension Level' for the next 12 hours-or suffer severe consequences.

  • When she awakes from her dangerous solo mission, Yuri finds her surviving friends in Battlefront seem to have found some kind of peace. So, in an impromptu "graduation" ceremony, they all take steps to move on to the next level of existence. But this transition seems most difficult for Otonashi as it means losing his newfound bond with Angel.

  • The Shadow monsters show no signs of stopping as more Battlefront members and NPCs fall victim to their strange, marauding power. Yuri takes a dangerous trip into the darkened Guild.

  • The Shadow monsters show no signs of stopping. And more and more Battlefront members and NPCs fall victim to their strange, marauding power. So Yuri takes a dangerous trip into the darkened Guild. But in her search to find out just who-or what-is behind these new events, she discovers even darker secrets about herself.

  • As Hinata and Otonashi talk with Naoi, something strange happens. His shadow begins to take an enormous, powerful, evil form and engulf him. As he screams for help, their weapons seem powerless to stop the creature. Making matters worse, the Shadow monsters seem to be multiplying, appearing to take control of the members of Battlefront and the unlimited number of NPCs.

  • Otonashi decides that the high-strung, band-obsessed singer Yui needs to be pushed into finding her piece and thus "moving on" to the next existence. To do so, he enlists Angel who shows him her new weapon, the dark and evil-looking Hand Sonic 5. But Yui has other plans-namely to beat the boys of Battlefront in a violent game on the soccer field.

  • With the Angel clone situation reaching critical mass, the Naoi proposes they use the genius hacker, "Christ", to break into her laptop and erase vital information from her hard drive. Meanwhile, Otonashi begins to remember his past-specifically a terrifying ordeal in an earthquake-ravaged subway tunnel with a handful of other survivors.

  • With Otonashi and Angel's newfound alliance, dark and powerful clones of Angel have appeared and begin attacking the Battlefront with greater aggression and increased ruthlessness. So they must return to the trap-rigged Guild once more and risk heartbreaking, violent losses.

  • When Angel is believed to be breaking scholastic code, Naoi uses this infringement to exert his growing power and places both Angel and Otonashi in a kind of prison within the school. But when they get a communication from Yui, they discover that Naoi is using his power in ruthlessly violent ways and Angel and Otonashi must escape or risk heavy casualties.

  • To strip Angel of her scholastic power, Yui devises a plan for the Battlefront to replace Angel's test results with bogus ones. She will be shamed, stripped of her title of Student Body President, and be out of their way for good. But they never realize the one who replaces her may be even more sinister than Angel could ever be.

  • With the lead singer of Gldemo now obliterated, a replacement must be found. So the manic, high-strung wannabe Yui tries desperately to assume the role. Hinata, meanwhile, decides he must avenge a mistake made long ago on the baseball field by assembling the strongest team possible to defeat the other teams in the school. But Otonashi worries the game could strike Hinata out in more ways than one.

  • With the aid of a new member, the genius hacker, "Christ", Yuri and the Battlefront decide to break into Angel's lair and steal secrets from her hard drive. To distract the NPCs, they use the girl group Gldemo. But when the teachers interfere, the lead singer suffers a shocking fate.

  • Realizing they need more weapons in their battle against Angel, the group descends into the Guild. But once there, they realize that all of the hallways, staircases, and passageways have been rigged with deadly traps. It's a race against time to see if they can get through the violent maze before Angel catches up with them.

  • In a strange realm within the afterlife, a band of teens called the Battlefront fight to keep the mysterious, powerful Angel from taking them to the next unknown level.

  • After a mysterious accident, a young high school student wakes up to discover he is caught in some kind of violent afterlife where a strange and avenging Angel is pursuing him. Confused and afraid, he joins a band of gun-toting teens intent on destroying the Angel and gaining control of this world to take their destinies in their own hands.