- Genre : Josei, Horror, Mystery, Psychological Thriller
- Studio: J.C.Staff
On Monday, I posted a Harukana review that I did with Matt in which I went on at length about the particular obstacles of an episode ‘2’. None of my readers picked up on that at all but I liked it. I think it applies for Angels of Death as well. After a very lackluster episode 2, I do believe episode 3 picked up a bit. Just a bit though.
First let me say that I watched this episode with my pal and reader Brad. So right off the bat, I’m likely to have enjoyed it more.
So far, Angels of Death has been staunchly linear. Episodes overlap by just a few seconds to really drive home the point that nothing happens between them. As such, this week started with a stand-off between the newly arrived creepy sack boy and Zack.
Our newest member in the circus of weird is called Edward Mason (another very British name) and is yet another creeper archetype. The weirdly inexplicable yandere that’s in love with Rachel for absolutely no reason and wants to show his feelings through murder. We’ve all been there… Once again the game mechanics creep in. We are reminded that we are in some type of tower and that every floor has a particular monster. You need to defeat the boss to pass the level.
For a stick in the mud like me, the nebulous nature of the in universe rules is annoying. Sack boy… I’m sorry I mean Eddie, seemed almost omnipotent about everything happening on his floor. His ability to write and place those notes for Rachel to find seemed almost supernatural. At one point I thought he could teleport but I guess he was just a kid with a shovel and a remote control that can turn out lights? Also it’s 2018 people, why don’t all remote controls work on lights???? But really, it’s frustrating not being able to gauge the implications of situations. Or is that the point?
In short, Eddie is a nutbag yandere who wants to kill Rachel because feelings. He manages to separate her from Zack and you get the feeling she may be the craziest one there and at the last minute she outsmarts him and then Zack swoops in to save the day. There’s a really cute elevator scene between Zack and Rachel.
Like I said, I liked this episode better than last week but in essence it was just a drawn out way to dole out a smidgen of character development. Eddie is a simple plot device that was dispatched in the same episode as he was introduce….ummm…spoilers… (of course this is assuming people stay dead which is yet to be proven. There is a whole lot of the doctor from episode 1 in the OP for someone that’s never coming back…) The only difference Eddie made in the overall plot is give Rachel and Zack a chance to monologue separately.
But that in fact, made a huge difference to me. For one, Eddie’s voice actor, Natsumi Fujiwara, (this lovely lady) was very good. Eddie really fixed the awkward chemistry between characters and had that fantastic skill of sounding both innocent and very creepy at the same time. His presence really eased the awkwardness between Zack and Rachel.
Moreover, although the episode still had many funny moments and comedic beats, the comedy remained unsettling and in tone with the rest of the show which was much more successful in my opinion. Still, I’m not completely sold on this. I prefer the mystery and unnerving atmosphere to the character building and relationships in this show. Unfortunately, they seem to be moving in the opposite direction. In fact, it feels like my joke title for the first episode may turn out to be on the nose after all.
Although the idea that all the potential suitors are just creepy freaks you wouldn’t ever want anything to do with, and that the heroine at the center of it all is just as unhinged if nit more so, sort of works for me. A ridiculous otome subversion.
My other takeaway is the now marked use of repetition throughout the narrative. Two main themes are being screamed at us but I’ve no clue what they mean yet. First we have Rachel talking about God. She’s mentioned God every episode so far in fairly dramatic lines that were insisted upon and went really ham with it this week, sounding like she may have already drank the Kool-aid, Zack hasn’t been quite so demonstrative but then again he hasn’t had as much opportunity. For his part it’s liars that he hates so much. There’s a very obvious panel in the ED that simply says “Liar”. It’s impossible to miss unless you skip over the whole thing.
On the downside, the animation in this episode felt particularly lazy during the fight scene. It was covered up but both Brad and I noticed immediately. There’s also some pacing issues here. Exposition is often just a touch too long and adds a slight drag to scenes while action comes out of the blue and dies down just as quickly making it more confusing than enjoyable.
There’s also this somewhat worrisome feeling that no one’s driving the van. I am in fact still curious to know where all of this is going, but there’s a non zero chance that it’s going nowhere. However, three weeks in and I still want to play the game so there’s definitely something there.
I’m not sure if my fellow bloggers will be as optimistic as I am or whether I’ll be the only one reviewing this next week. I will be in any case, I might even be looking forward to it just a tiny bit.