Model student angel, Gabriel, has just been sent to Earth to learn about humans as the final step before graduating to official angelhood. This venture turns out about as well as can be expected. Gabriel and her small group of demon and angel friends attempt to navigate everyday life as plain mortal Japanese students. Adorable, possibly a little sacrilegious, hijinks ensue.
I got some pretty bad news a few days ago and was looking for something light and fluffy to take my mind of it. I had heard the general premise of Gabriel DropOut and figured this would be exactly the type of mostly harmless entertainment that I was looking for, and I was right! This little show did a great job of making me smile if nothing else.
First let me say this show is cute, cute, CUTE! Every single part of it, from visuals, to sound design to storyline, is simple, adorable mindless entertainment that asks the bare minimum of its audience. It’s junk food anime if you will, but the yummy type. In many ways Gabriel DropOut is reminiscent of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid. The aesthetics are similar although I did notice that everyone in Gabriel was oddly “shiny”. I don’t remember noticing this in Kobayashi (although I could be wrong). In this show, the characters looked like they were covered in wax or something, even their eyelashes were highly reflective. It gave off a silly, super cutsey look (I better find some synonyms for the word cute or else this is going to get real repetitive, real fast) that immediately screamed – there is nothing serious or important going on here! I liked it!
The storyline is pretty much summed up in the description. There is a perfunctory connective thread in that we are seeing the various characters’ ongoing adjustment to the human world and attempts to influence it in the favor of their respective realms (only not really…). For the most part, the show consists of a series of amusing skits which do not have much to do with one another. Each episode is split up in two or more of these skits so even if one seems boring to you, the series quickly moves onto the next. Fanservice is surprisingly unobtrusive all things considered, the first episode has quite a bit and I figured this would become a thing but it almost looks like the show forgot about it after a few episodes. I am very grateful that there weren’t recurring bathroom monologuing shots – it made me a bit uncomfortable.
Again, much like Kobayashi, the cast consists of a collection of supernatural weirdos (in this case entirely female – not that it changes anything), with poor Vignette playing the thankless role of lone sane man. Everyone here is some version of the comedic relief and they balance each other well, keeping the jokes and cuteness coming. By the end I was quite found of everybody and had a tough time picking a favorite, for about a second. It’s Raphi, clearly it’s Raphi! On a more negative note, I now reflexively count Gabriels when going to bed and I have a feeling this will get very awkward next time I’m not alone….
So, this is basically a spiritual successor to Kobayashi that you can watch instead or while waiting for season 2? Well not exactly. Yes, I did find it very enjoyable and once or twice even touching, it simply doesn’t have Kobayashi’s charm. Kobayashi hinted at a large complex universe that existed beyond the storylines we were following. It also made sincere attempts to examine the nature of friendships, especially adult friendships that are not often represented in anime, in an earnest, dare I even say thought-provoking way. Gabriel doesn’t have any of that depth. It refrains from either commentary or reflection and keeps everything very much surface level. It is a pleasantly adorable piece of fluff, no more and but also no less.
Some radom closing thoughts: Satanichia’s family is the best. I would have watched a spin off of them. The episodes around Satanichia’s dog made me tear up in the happy way. This is one of the very few times I’ve genuinely enjoyed a Christmas episode.
Favorite character: Raphiel Ainsworth Shiraha
What this anime taught me about myself: Gabriel is my shoulder angel
“In alcohol’s defense, I’ve done some pretty dumb stuff while completely sober too.”
Suggested drink: God’s Great Creation
- Every time we see the angels or demons in their true form – take a nip
- Every time Satanichia falls for something – take a nip
- Every time Raphiel sparkles or beams – raise your glass
- Every time Gabriel wants large amounts of people to die – take an understanding nip
- Every time Raphiel is a troll – cheer
- if it’s to Satanichia – cheer louder
- Every time there is lesyay – be happy and take a nip
- Every time Gabriel attacks Satanichia – take a nip
- Every time Vignette is a real angle – take a unironic nip
- Every time you see a video game – take a nip
- Every time Gabriel mentions microtransactions – feel her pain
- Every time we see the class president – take a nip