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Hit the Weak Point

June 7, 2010

In the latest episode of Angel Beats, Otonashi and Angel conspired to commit murder.

Watch the scene where they talk about “saving” Yui from her regrets. Listen to the way they talk about their scheme. They intentional pinpoint her because Otonashi feels that she’s the one who will make the easiest mark. She’s happy, she gets to do what she wants to do, and she doesn’t go about moping and bitching like half the cast of the series. She comes off as the closest to being regret-free, so they put her in their targets as their first victim.

All of this sounds exactly like something out of some movie about assassins and spies and shit like that. Find the weakest link in the opposing party, pinpoint their weakness, and formulate a plan to take them out of the picture. If Otonashi had lived long enough he would have been a great government spook or special ops type.

Yeah, seeing Yui’s “salvation” plotted out like a glorified mafia hit didn’t exactly make me trust Otonashi and Angel. Damn villains.

And speaking of trust, something’s been nagging me for the past week or so ever since I wrote my last few Angel Beats posts: Why in the hell does everyone automatically trust Angel? And by “everyone” I mean “the audience.”

When Angel infodumped on Otonashi last week, telling him the purpose behind this world and all that, why did almost everyone watching the series believe everything she said? If Yuri or TK or anyone else in the series said exactly what Angel said, would we believe them? If someone outright said “Yes, this is an afterlife where unhappy kids go to become happy” would we have believed them or would we have brushed it off as speculation and rumors? That’s how we’ve treated all of Yuri’s intel up to this point (and rightfully so), but why is it that I never read about anyone doubting Angel’s proclamation?

We already seem to know that she’s no closer to “God” than anyone else in the series. She’s supposedly just another unhappy kid that decided to help facilitate the “re-education” process taking place in the afterlife, so she’s just as clueless as Yuri and company when it comes to the true nature of this Purgatory’s inner workings.

So why should we buy what she’s saying?

Call me a suspicious, bitter, cold-hearted cynic, but my gut reaction to everything that’s going on tells me that we aren’t getting the full picture. Angel didn’t pull the curtains and reveal the complete truth to us. She might believe everything she said (although I personally doubt that as well), but she’s in no better of a position to know than anyone else.

I can’t help but think that people are buying into Angel’s spiel because of who she is. She’s a quiet, unassuming girl who appears to be thoughtful based on what we’ve seen in the series. We’ve never gotten into her head the way we’ve gotten into Otonashi’s. We’ve never seen her past the way we’ve seen Yuri’s or anyone else’s. We’ve barely seen her talk save for when Otonashi says something to prompt her.

All we’ve seen from her is a bunch of superficial impressions that don’t really say much about her personality or opinions. We don’t know where she’s coming from. We don’t really know her intentions or feelings. When she says something, the only reason why people believe her is because “she seems like a good girl.”

In the end I’d love to be able to say that this was all an elaborate ruse to get the audience to buy into Angel’s scheme. I want her to be a master villain who’s played Otonashi for a fool by leading him into believing that saving people from their regrets is the best way to go about things. I want her to look at Otonashi, smirk, and say “You believed me, a woman you barely knew, over the woman you’ve spent so much time bonding with while fighting me? Fool!”

I know I’m not going to get that ending, but that’s what I want. That’s the one regret that’d allow me to vanish from Angel Beats’ world happy and ready for the next life. And Angel will deny it from me. Bitch.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2010 11:12 PM

    I think you’re just bitter because Tenshi is going to be used goods in the end, after she hooks up with Otonashi. :3

  2. Taka permalink
    June 7, 2010 11:14 PM

    Obviously the reason we believe everything she says is because she is voiced by Hanazawa Kana and cute a button.

    But on a more serious note, I think people may have been drawn to Tenshi because yurippe was such a big question mark. (and remains to be) Her traumatic path notwithstanding I remember just a few weeks ago there was speculation that yurippe was the villain. (including this blog) She hasn’t gotten a lot of screen-time lately so no idea what she’s been up to but she at least didn’t seem like a villain from the way she played nice with Tenshi during the fishing trip and after the clone debacle.

    Also Tenshi has got to be something different. She’s got programming on a computer in the school. I doubt the other characters have that. Maybe Naoi but he’s something else too. According to yuri the regular students only have the ability to construct those things which they had working knowledge of when they were alive. Unless Tenshi is from some crazy future with energy weapons she’s got to be something else. She may not be any closer to god (and even my gut feeling has been telling me god is basically out of the picture in Angel Beats; a creator god maybe) but she’s not a normal student.

    Tenshi just hasn’t acted enough like an antagonist (except with the clone debacle) in my mind to qualify for an untrustworthy position. I will agree that it could be the case that Tenshi doesn’t know the truth. At this point though…with yui’s sad departure, I think it’s probably clear that within the series passing on=good; and maybe in the case of the series, the end justifies the means.

  3. June 8, 2010 3:56 AM

    My biggest question is why everyone ignored Kanade’s past.

    And I’ve never believed anything in this lame show, everything is so made up on the spot with the support of deus ex machina and the author’s intention of making audiences cry.

  4. June 10, 2010 10:52 PM

    I would believe your theory… If not for the fact that it’s Maeda Jun who’s creating the story! That man won’t make the story take a turn for the worse, I’m sure.

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