- Genre : Josei, Horror, Mystery, Psychological Thriller
- Studio: J.C.Staff
I’ve been on a business trip for most of the week. This means no Buddy, no anime and very little sleep. For those of you who aren’t forced to go on those and think they sound like fun, let me tell you right now, they are not. If you take nothing else from this review, remember this, you should get paid more if you have to travel, it’s not a benefit. I finally stumbled home on Friday evening and first (only) thing I did was watch Angels of Death. Priorities!
I mentioned the obvious Alice in Wonderland motif running through Angels of Death in my episode 1 review. In fact, I have noticed that anime in general seems to be very inspired by Alice, even more so than western fiction. I wonder why. It’s a great story don’t get me wrong . I hope we get a wave of little prince next, I love that book.
The ghost of Alice is back in fine form as Ray gets thrown right back into Wonderland. I’m pretty sure she’s hallucinating (dreaming) at this point but the rules of the Angels of Death universe have always been shaky at best so it’s hard to tell. In any case, Rachel finds herself once more separated from her port in the storm, Zack so of course she immediately follows a suspicious white rabbit down an enormous hole. Not a metaphor, this is literally what happened.
And just as Alice, she landed herself in a trial rigged from the start against her. There were a few things I really liked about this episode. The entire trial conceit is a nice sneaky way to essentially put together a recap episode just before the finale, even throw in some clips and everything, while making the whole thing feel new and as if it’s actually advancing the narrative.
It also made me realize just how much of a brick Rachel is as a character. I mean Rachel is just the basic materials of a character not an actually realized person. She could become anything but she is still pretty much nothing. A plot device to move the story forward. As such, other characters don,t have much to work with when they share a scene. It’s fine for Zack, even great, as all Ray needs to do is temper him for the dynamic to work. But for everyone else…
Fact is, all the previous characters were way more interesting and somehow felt more fleshed out this episode, and I really believe that it’s because they got the chance to play off each other. Not that anyone had evolved or anything. Cathy, Eddie, Danny and the Padre (Abraham Gray – I had to look it up) are still exactly the same people we met before, but they work well as a group. They are simply much better as supporting characters. Of course they do go a bit extravagantly crazy again, that’s the show’s signature after all. But it really didn’t bother me at all. It worked well within the fever dream atmosphere of the episode.
Angels of Death has never been shy about it’s thematic representations. Once again Rachel had to face her demons as both illusionary ghosts and judges. Danny, represents the judgement of rational as his own sanity splinters and breaks, as Ray defies logic. Eddie is the judgement of the heart, constantly betrayed and disappointed by the uncaring and selfish Rachel. He is all about feelings but Ray has no consideration for the feelings of others and few of her own.
Cathy is the most literal judgement of law and society. We do know that Rachel is not particularly interested in the rules of men. She shows little hesitation in doing what she needs to achieve her ends in the fastest way possible. I would not be surprised to find out that Ray has a criminal past of some sort. As for Mr. Gray, the good reverent has appointed himself as representative of the judgement of God. By now we all know how that goes.
That ending shot of a crucified Ray about to be burned as a witch was a bit much for my tastes however on the whole I enjoyed the episode a lot. The purity and extent of Rachel’s faith has been put into question repeatedly over the course of the season. Most notably the Reverent keeps asking what Rachel will do if God has a different plan than what she had in mind. But to me, this boils down to an even simpler and more intriguing question, what if God doesn’t like you? No real reason really, but you know how you sometimes just don,t mesh with someone, what if that was your relationship with God?
They found you sort of annoying or maybe a little boring and just didn’t really see things the same way you did. What then? Maybe it’s a silly question, but I would watch a show about that.
Here are a few more – once again the show is making me want to play the game. Have any of you guys reviewed it?