I was very surprised when I first heard about this second Angel Beats! OVA. Bear in mind, this was produced for a Blu-ray release in 2015, five years after the show’s original broadcast and right before the premiere of Charlotte, Key and P.A. Works’ second collaboration. At the time, I wasn’t expecting any more from the Angel Beats! anime (my hopes for the franchise pretty much lied in the visual novel). But whatever, we got one more episode and I was all for it.
This OVA is set between Episodes 2 and 3; that much is certain as Yuri flat out says in the episode that the first trip to Guild has just happened. It’s Golden Week and Yuri decides to arrange a picnic for the SSS. But not just any picnic; Yuri wants everyone to “kill” each other in the hopes that one of them will become a demon that will fight Tenshi and compel her to call for God’s aid. The logic here eludes me. I mean, the existence of demons was never brought up so it feels a bit random that Yuri suddenly thinks they do exist. Perhaps this is meant to be a little cheeky considering what happens at the end of the show.
I actually consider this OVA to be the better of the two. The first one has a lot of deserved laughs but it does feel monotonous and exhausting since everyone in the cast is acting off the rocker at all times. Here, the characters act as usual so the jokes feel more pronounced. It also helps that the jokes are funnier. This episode taps into the best running gag of everyone “dying” one by one and this time, it’s by their own hands no less. I really like how the boys alternates between wanting to enjoy the field trip more genuinely and also trying to fulfill Yuri’s insane demand. An amusing detail is that each of the boys asked one of the school clubs to help them devise traps and gadgets and, as it turns out, those clubs are far too good at producing them. Perhaps the SSS aren’t the only troublemakers Tenshi should be looking into.
The real stars of the episode are the members of Girls Dead Monster. A mischievous Sekine (Emiri Katou) and a reluctant Irie (Kana Asumi) secretly plot to incapacitate Iwasawa during the SSS battle royale so that they can become the new band leaders. To their horror and our amusement, Iwasawa survives every pitfall they trick her into falling into and they can’t seem to “kill” her no matter what. The best part is how Iwasawa shares her life story (albeit poorly so that it doesn’t give away what she shares in Episode 3) and the show plays “My Precious Treasure” every single time before she falls down and gets back up. There’s also something very meta about the gag. When you think about it, Iwasawa is the only character who has never died on screen (aside from her actual death) which makes Sekine and Irie’s inability to kill her even funnier.
Later in the episode, Sekine and Irie try to use their last resort: with the help of Shiina, dump a gross concoction containing raw liver on Iwasawa’s head (is this a Carrie reference?). Unfortunately, the bucket lands on Hisako (Chie Matsuura) and causes her to enter into a fit of rage. It’s a glorious scene. Tenshi fights her, I love that she sounds uncharacteristically enthusiastic that she gets to fight a “demon”, and actually loses in the process. Yuri gets targeted and, were it not for how early this episode takes place, this feels like her comeuppance for putting her team through so many shenanigans. Everyone else gets beat up because why not. I think my favorite part though is what happens to Sekine and Irie. It’s essentially karma for those two. Hisako shoves some of the raw liver down Sekine’s throat, giving the poor girl a bad case of diarrhea. Meanwhile, Irie actually comes out unscathed which is deserved since she’s just going along with Sekine and clearly wants to give up on the plan as time goes on.
All in all, it’s nice seeing GirlDeMo have something to do. With the exception of Iwasawa, that band is among the most underutilized characters in Angel Beats!. Hisako says a couple of lines but that’s about it and I believe they never mentioned Sekine and Irie by name until now. Granted, this OVA leaves their backstories completely unexplored. To me, that would’ve been most ideal for an extra episode. Still, it gave these characters some overdue characterization and screen time and while they’re mostly just provide some laughs here, they do a superb job in that regard at least.
With that, I’m truly done with Angel Beats. Maybe I’ll cover the manga spin-offs and/or the visual novel down the line (the latter recently received a fan translation) but this is it as far as the anime is concerned. And I doubt there’ll be more of the anime. With Charlotte and the upcoming The Day I Became a God, it’s clear that Key and P.A. Works have mostly moved on. I’ll always wish Angel Beats! was a much longer show though the OVAs do help in that regard. They don’t expand on the story in any significant way but they do allow me to experience it for a little bit longer.
Thanks for reading!