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

I hear a lot of you grumbling about this show. I’m guessing expectations may have been very high at the beginning of this season because people feel let down? Nevertheless, a lot of you seem to be stubbornly holding on. Maybe you see a glimmer of hope. Maybe you have a masochistic side. I’m not sure whether this week helped or hurt from your perspective but for me – it stayed exactly the same…

Angels of Death ep4 anime review
except it’s a cute Slice of Life now

OK, that’s not entirely true. I do believe Zack and Ray are starting to play off each other a little better. It’s still not quite the synergy I’m hoping for but it’s not as painful to listen to as it was. Still, having another actor to moderate remains extremely helpful. I quite liked Zack unceremoniously carrying Ray around like a prop.

I’m just going to throw at you the jumble of random things I noticed this week. For one, it seems that everyone knows each other. So far every new floor “boss” (or judge…) has called Zack by name and seems to be very familiar with him and his personality. This week we had crazy Cathy, and they were chatting like old friends. Cathy didn’t seem as close to Ray as sackboy was but she didn’t consider her a complete stranger either.

Angels of Death ep4 anime review
I like the obvious fake sky in her window – it’s a nice touch

Likewise, Zack hasn’t been particularly surprised by any of the new players they’ve encountered and hasn’t ever questioned how they know him. The starting assumption was that people simply didn’t travel between floors and each was completely isolated. Zack having committed quite a taboo in the first episode by leaving his basement. However, that doesn’t seen to be quite the case after all. At least, it’s definitely not the full story.

Also why aren’t there anymore sentient typewriters? Rachel should have taken it with her. Sure it’s a hassle to carry around but I bet it would have had some nice insights.

Cathy looked like a B model compared to other characters so far. She seemed less detailed and her animation was rougher. Is it just me? On the flip side, light and shadow play remains interesting.

Angels of Death ep4 anime review
or maybe I’m just a little bored with the harlequin types

Here’s a mildly amusing to neutral fact. It seems that Rachel and I are pretty much the same size. I smell an easy cosplay in my future!

I warned you it was going to be a jumble….So here’s my crazy theory trying to link all this stuff together. I’m not completely sold on it myself but I think it works. Basically this is Rachel’s own personal purgatory or hell. She is the only real character in the show.

There’s a little scene in the OP that shows a person hanging. We only see the legs but from the build and size, it looks a lot like Rachel. Rachel also seems somewhat preoccupied with God and having broken God’s rules. I think Rachel may have killed herself. This entire hellscape is a product of her guilt ridden psyche.

Angels of Death ep4 anime review
in reality she’s only torturing herself…

This is why she’s harsh on herself. She judges herself quite clearly and worries about sinning but seems indifferent to the wickedness and misdeeds of those around her. She also doesn’t appear particularly affected by their deaths.

She’s the only one that doesn’t have her own floor so far, because the entire building is her domain. The rules don’t seem to apply to her in the same way. And although everyone knows her, she doesn’t recall any of them. My theory is that she is completely unemotional because the other characters represent different aspects of her fracture mind that she’s divorced herself from.

Zack is her savior but as she can’t truly accept that she deserves salvation. As such, her savior is a flawed, stupid, violent murderer who promises to kill her when she outlives her usefulness. Similarly the various villains are extreme representations of her ego and id corrupted by her self loathing and regret.

Angels of Death ep4 anime review
have dolls ever not been evil?

Danny is her rational self pushed into delusion and obsession. Eddie is her pride and preservation subverted into a yandere extreme. Cathy may be her righteousness gone way out of bounds and doling out punishments with impunity for any and all perceived failings.

This is why Zack can’t leave without her. None of them can. They don’t in fact exist without her or outside of this place. This is also why there are unsettlingly mundane elements all over. The inhabitants are clearly not quite human yet for all their striking appearance, they all remain very possible looking. At most like cosplayers, not like actual monsters.

All the objects and rooms we have seen may act in unusual ways but they remain common things we can all easily recognize and name. There aren’t any odd magical devices or strange contraptions we’ve never seen before. They are all things a young lady like Rachel would easily know about and know how to use. Finally there was that closing quote “A sinner has no right to choice”. Sure there’s a bit of intuitive leaping required but it all fits.

Angels of Death ep4 anime review
you just have to straighten it out a little

No one is punishing Rachel, no one is keeping her trapped against her will. This is a prison of her own making and she is the one with all the power. She is the only one keeping everyone else here.

Like I said, it’s only a theory and a rather subjective one at that. One of my favorite short stories is Etgar Keret‘s Kneller’s Happy Campers (it was made into a comic book called Pizzeria Kamikaze and a movie called Wristcutters. I own all 3 and love them all, the movie has a great soundtrack). As such, I have an odd fondness for post suicide redemption stories. It’s a peculiar niche…

Angels of Death ep4 anime review
everyone loves a good niche

I am loving the slideshow…do you guys like it?

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15 thoughts

  1. I finally caved in and dropped this show after this episode too. It’s going nowhere fast which one can forgive if it were a silly comedy show but for a horror mystery it’s testing the patience of the viewer a bit too much. :-/

    Good luck staying with it to the end – if you make it! 😉

  2. I like the theory. So much that if it is wrong, I’m gonna steal it for a book or short story or something someday. I’ll keep reading your reviews – you watch for both of us. When it’s all over with I’ll decide if it goes on the queue… you’ve never steered me wrong yet.

  3. “have dolls ever not been evil?”

    What about Shinku from Rozen Maiden? Sure, she was bossy, but I don’t think she was evil! And Hina Ichigo was anything BUT evil!

    In all seriousness, I really wanted to like this show, and I might go back to it, but I’m following Karandi’s lead on Angels of Death.

    For the record, I think your theory sounds plausible!

    1. As far as you know….Dolls can do things without telling you about it…
      Fair enough – I will watch it for all you guys

  4. I still like the show, but it’s coming with diminishing returns, as the pattern itself doesn’t really have staying power and it doesn’t change enough.

    It’s a very interesting theory you have. I find it quite fitting with Zack’s scythe, which holds clear grim reaper symbology (a Christian pastoral, perfectly fitting for a blond and blue eyed girl who talks a lot about god). Killing off a floor at a time seems a good metaphor for letting go (except, it seems to go the other way round – a re-inforcing of denial).

    Lets see where this goes (if it doesn’t have a play-the-game ending and ends in the middle somewhere).

  5. You’ll have to let me know if your theory proves correct. As interesting as it sounds, I’m not really willing to watch the rest of the season and hope that something interesting develops. Mostly this last episode just bored me and given episodes 2 and 3 also weren’t exactly grabbing me, it seemed time to move on.

  6. Haha..exclusive stream for Irina the Great. I really liked that one, that was great.
    Well I am one of those viewers that is holding on to this one, but I am getting more and more tempted to quit. This week’s offering was better thant last week’s but still its’ far from great. But, with not many shows to replace it with, I might as well stick with it.
    I like your theory by the way. And it’s not far fetched either. If it turns out that this is really the truth, you should definitely consider hitting the roulette tables in the casino as then you are clearly clairvoyant. Or…you secretly own that time machine from Stein’s Gate and you haven’t told us 😊

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