There’s nothing incorrect with a present pandering to an viewers — in reality, most count on it to. A high-stakes psychological homicide thriller that ends with the villain apologizing for his or her crimes and turning themselves in would really feel absurd as a result of the viewers needs the adrenaline rush finale they anticipated — and most reveals pander by giving it to them. Anime ultra-classic Neon Genesis Evangelion, for instance, did the other of pandering to followers in its collection finale and obtained large backlash for it.
To keep away from fiascos like that, a present will nearly at all times pander to the viewers in some method so as to succeed — even Evangelion did so with Finish of Evangelion. However collection like Angel Beats!, regardless of having loads of followers, are sometimes criticized for giving followers precisely what they need by way of payoff. So why is it that reveals are accused of pandering once they make good on their guarantees?
Emotional reveals like Angel Beats! typically instantly take care of grief and tips on how to transfer on from it. For a lot of within the English-speaking world, nonetheless, the method can really feel jarring as a result of easy distinction of faith. Japan is primarily a mixture of Buddhism and Shintoism, so it is smart that reveals that depict loss of life and grief typically take a distinct method than these rooted within the worldviews of Christianity and Judaism. Shintoism specifically emphasizes the significance of the present life, which could be seen in lots of reveals that concentrate on letting go of a beloved one, like Anohana.
These anime lay naked ideas not often explored in Euro-centric media, which tends to focus extra on the judgement of these concerned with a loss of life and shifting previous feelings, moderately than working by them. Nonetheless, Angel Beats! is an instance of a present that handles loss of life and acceptance in an emotional and cautious method.
Angel Beats! wastes no time in organising its story: Yuzuru is dropped into an afterlife that appears similar to a highschool, handed a gun and requested to affix the Afterlife Battlefront. Yuzuru joins his classmates who wish to defy destiny by refusing to maneuver on from limbo. This means preventing in opposition to the Angel, who can be the scholar physique president. Yuzuru finally ends up roped into a number of ridiculous plots to outsmart the Angel because the Afterlife Battlefront fights to remain of their limbo. However, when a member of the Battlefront disappears, Yuzuru realizes that this limbo isn’t fairly what the Battlefront believes it to be — it is truly a spot the place wounded souls can heal from their lives. He befriends the Angel and the 2 start working to assist the members of the Battlefront settle for their deaths and transfer on.
Although the overarching story is unhappy, there are many humorous moments in Angel Beats! and whole episodes crammed with gags. The idea of falling into limbo and being handed a gun is ridiculous from the onset, however saying goodbye to every character as they discover peace in loss of life feels earned with the time taken to grasp them and actually care about in the event that they transfer on or not.
Angel Beats! by no means pretends to be something however what it’s, with no try to pull folks in after which hit them with the reality. It by no means tries to cover that it is a present the place the characters are already useless. In some ways, it’s reveals like Puella Magi Madoka Magica which are actually manipulative. Angel Beats! has its surprises and its darkish turns, but it surely in the end stays true to its premise. In the meantime, collection like Puella Magi rope in followers of 1 style, solely to sucker punch them with a whole about-face.
Angel Beats! is about younger folks shifting on to the subsequent stage of the place they need to be, having come to just accept their previous lives and having had an opportunity to have a traditional highschool existence. Dying is a part of a cycle and depicting that’s not emotional manipulation. It’s a approach for viewers to look at a troublesome subject and perhaps even come to phrases with grief of their lives, whether or not that’s loss of life of a beloved one or the necessity to transfer previous a troublesome time.
Does Angel Beats! pander? Sure. All anime does. However what Angel Beats! does successfully is set up a premise, be sure that viewers know what they’re entering into after which ship a narrative that offers with loss of life whereas offering laughter, gags and way more that is sudden, however not unfitting. It wrenches the viewers forwards and backwards between heartbreak and therapeutic, however in the end delivers one thing actually particular that reveals how acceptance and look after others at all times comes again round. It doesn’t exist to control an viewers however to “pander” by giving precisely what it promised.