Angel Beats! – Another Epilogue

“Another Epilogue” is an extra short included in Angel Beats‘ Japanese Blu-ray and DVD (I’m pretty it isn’t the same case with the U.S. release). It basically depicts Otonashi remaining in the afterlife as the new student council president, helping other students deal with their in the world (as demonstrated with one student in the short).

There are a couple of neat callbacks here and there. When Otonashi asks the student if he has what it takes to move on, he alludes to some of his friends as examples. “‘One needed courage to face the past'” refers to Iwasawa, “‘another person needed effort to make a dream come true'” refers to Yui, and “‘another person needed time and friends'” refers to Yuri. For each example, the short cuts to a place relevant to each individual to make the allusion more obvious. Another point of interest is a line where an extra mentions that Otonashi is apparently waiting for someone, presumably Kanade. This is further backed by the vase of sunflowers in the student council office which was the type of flowers Kanade grew in the school garden. A theory that floated around suggests that Otonashi is on the same path as the Programmer, waiting for his loved one to return to despite to severe odds against him. Based on what’s depicted here, it’s certainly believable as well as worrisome.

It’s pretty vague how canonical this short is, right down to the name. “Another Epilogue” could mean it’s adding to the end of Episode 13 but it just as easily could mean it’s an alternate ending entirely. The short doesn’t really conflict with the continuity, maybe Otonashi does stay behind before finally leaving, but I personally prefer to think this is an alternate ending. It’s much more emotional and romantic to think that Kanade leaving motivated Otonashi to do the same and he left right as the finale rolled the credits. The parallel with the Programmer certainly makes that plot element more relevant but it’s too depressing of a fate for the show’s protagonist.

Curiously, the eyecatch at the end says “Next Stage”. It’s possible this was meant to open the door for a second season. Given how much time it’s been since this came out however, I think it’s safe to say this hasn’t been followed up.

Thanks for reading!

Watch Angel Beats! on CrunchyrollFunimation, and Netflix

Read my Angel Beats! reviews

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