• Genre : Josei, Horror, Mystery, Psychological Thriller
  • Studio: J.C.Staff

I was actually not that inspired by the shows this season, which is actually a good thing seeing as I am desperately backlogged in my anime watching. However, one of the few titles that caught my eye early on was Angels of Death and after seeing the first episode, I just had to share it with you!

Angels of Death episode 1 anime review
I just noticed this Danganronpa feel

I found out recently that this show is based on a game which I haven’t played but is currently available on steam for 10$. I’m tempted…but I don,t want to spoil myself. As is, I went into the first episode of Angels of Death knowing absolutely nothing about the story. I have to admit, as I write this, I’m not entirely sure I know that much more, and I love it!

After a traumatic event, a young girl is sent to the hospital for treatment. However, she soon finds herself in a frightening unrecognizable place, with cryptic questions scrawled on the wall, nosy possessed typewriters, suspicious doctors and a crazed murderer wandering the halls. But how did she get there, and more importantly, how can she leave?

Right off the bat, I quite liked the look of it. It’s not that striking or anything. The designs are classic, simple but pretty. The backgrounds are streamlined and occasionally use naive art aesthetics. But there are these tiny little visual cues that I quite enjoyed. The outlines are drawn in faded uneven lines that gives a very subdued sketch effect which gains and losses intensity depending on the scenes, and the character’s mindset.

Angels of Death episode 1 anime review
she’s worried – subtle right?

Colour schemes are also adjusted according to the mood of the scene and occasional color coded objects are inserted. The first episode had an emphasis on eyes. I must say, the sight of double pupils has always freaked me out even in cartoon form.

This episode also had a distinctly British feel for me. All the names sounded very traditionally Brit. Rachel Gardner, Danny (Daniel) Dickens.. Admitted, you read those while doing an accent in your head (unless you’re already from England then that’s just the way you speak…). All the writing we see is in English and Rachel can clearly read it so we can at least assume the story takes place in an English speaking country(dimension). And the empty bag of chips we see littering the ground, clearly had the word “crisps” on it. I think I rest my case!

Angels of Death episode 1 anime review
see – cleary English

The narrative itself also had a hint of England, at least for me. Rachel’s character design, with the long blond hair, simple clothes, bright blue eyes and stripped short looked like an homage to Alice Liddell (did you know that was Alice’s last name in Alice in Wonderland, I had to look it up…). The apparently sentient typewriter in the empty room reminded me so much of the “drink me” and “eat me” goodies, while the later part of the episode, with it’s hospital and reaper themes instantly made me think of Jack the Ripper.

I’m not sure if any of those elements are actually there or whether I’m imposing my bias and seeing what I want to see, but as I quite like both of these tales, I was delighted by the analogies that may have been there.

Angels of Death episode 1 anime review
don’t worry, it’s not what it looks like, he’s just going to gauge her eyes out…

The story so far has me excited to see more. The disturbing imagery was shocking enough to grab my attention without being disgusting. The mystery is paced well and I was (and still am) genuinely compelled to find out what exactly was going on.

From what I can tell, the hospital is some type of purgatory. A nightmarescape that traps wayward souls and keeps them from moving on. To be fair, this was pretty plainly spelled out. My guess is that this will turn into a bloody adventure to escape the place. I doubt it will be quite as simple as granting Rachel’s last minute request to get murdered. Although, I would be super impressed if this turned out to be a 2 episode show!

One last thing I noticed, is that the end song seems to be sung by the main character, without any embellishment or autotuning. I love this touch. It’s in line with the subtle little details scattered through the plot and I hope they can keep this level of stylishness.

Screen Shot 2018-07-06 at 9.33.40 PM

I just realized how much of a one woman show Angels of Death is:

 

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