I’ve heard of Angels of Death a couple of times before, having seen the game a few times on Steam and the manga at the Barnes & Noble I go to. The reception to both products is largely on the positive so that was enough to get me curious about the anime adaptation premiering this season. While I wouldn’t say I was amazed by what I saw in the first episode, I did find it to be pretty entertaining.
To begin with, I think the premise of the show is pretty darn eerie. The main character, Rachel (Haruka Chisuga), finds herself trapped in a strange building where each floor is governed by a deranged lunatic that’s out to kill her. Already in Episode 1, she runs into two and she’s forced to rely on her instincts and wits to survive against threats she has no chance at defeating directly. There’s definitely potential with that concept and I’ll admit that some of the close shaves Rachel experiences do feel a little intense. The fact that each floor is run by a different psychopath also lends to some distinct locales that match that boss’s character. For example, the second floor resembles that of a hospital which suits the fact that the man running the place is an insane doctor.
What worries me about Angels of Death though is that while the premiere does feel eerie and a bit intense, it’s not exactly a haunting experience. Simply put, the bosses Rachel runs into are very comical with how they go about their lunacy. The first opponent is a bandaged man wielding a scythe which by default, is just plain silly. Nobuhiko Okamoto is admittedly a solid casting choice though I’m not sure if directing him to go full on Bakugo will allow his character to sound scary. The doctor, Danny, is worse though. Even before he tries to kill Rachel, his true colors was practically telegraphed a mile away with how much lens flare was drawn on his glasses. By the time, he sticks out his tongue, I couldn’t help but laugh at the sight.
With those things in mind, I’m doubtful that Angels of Death will genuinely feel horrific. If the intent is be cheesy though, then I think the show is working out quite nicely. I won’t lie, I still found myself enjoying the goofy sights populating this episode in a B-movie kind of way.
This first episode leaves things on an interesting note. Apparently, bosses aren’t allowed to trespass each other’s floors and this causes trouble for the scythe wielder since he kills Danny to get another shot at Rachel. At the same time though, Rachel wants the man to kill her so that she reunite with her dead parents (a fact she learns from Danny at one point). That the scythe wielder won’t immediately kill her and the two will find themselves working together is foregone conclusion if the promotional materials are anything to go by. Still, I’m curious to see how exactly these two will interact from her on out. A man who’s happy to kill and a girl who wants to die is a strange yet potentially fascinating dynamic.
I won’t say that I’ll watch all of Angels of Death just yet but I enjoyed this first episode so I’ll check out more of it for the time being.
ED: “Pray” by Haruka Chisuga
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Angels of Death is officially available on Crunchyroll.
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