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

The show is back…. Yay! I mean the episode was…we’ll get into that in just a bit…but I had gotten into the show and when it was announced that the last 4 episodes were going to be on Amazon prime, I got a little worried. Thankfully, Crunchyroll didn’t just leave us hanging and is picking up where it left off after a week’s hiatus. I was relieved. The lack of completion would have driven me crazy…crazier.

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previously on…

For those that need a little reminder, Zack and Ray have apparently made it to Rachel’s floor and all I can say is: I told you guys! Ray be Cray! And I mean to the bone batsh*t crazy. She’s a resident of the tower like the rest of them, a killer like all of them and a liar. By Angels of Death standards, she’s really quite ordinary.

What I was wrong about is that her odd, emotionless personality is an expression of some type of traumatic fracture and that the remaining residence where those missing fragments of her mind or emotions made manifest. Nopes….she was always like that…

This episode also marked the return of the ridiculously overblown baddies. I’m not sure whether I had become desensitized and the week off brought it all back, but it was grating this week. I must say, it has given me a new appreciation for actors. The episode finally gave us Rachel’s backstory and we were treated to a flashback of other happy family.

If this show was live action, I would have sworn it was bad acting. Rachel’s parents were hamming it up BIG time. It’s only because this is anime that there was any scenery left as these guys were chewing it up with gusto. The writing didn’t help. The characters where all manically screaming all their feelings and intentions  straight into the camera. Basically it was bad on every level. In execution at least.

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so who’s going to clean up this mess?

In concept, I quite liked it.

The episode starts off by establishing Rachel as not quite right. We’ve known this for weeks, and probably suspected it from the start, then starts giving us a traditional Freudian excuse for her oddness. Classic abusive home story. Violent alcoholic dad (and a cop, of course!) taking his frustrations out on a fragile, broken wife who then turns on her kid in response. We’ve seen it before but it would have worked coherently enough.

Where Angels of Death broke away from the average, is in ultimately subverting Ray’s character. Rather than a lovely little girl destroyed by traumatic circumstances, we are slowly led to discover that Ray is in fact inherently broken. Born to a mother which seems to have been genetically predisposed to mental illness and a father with violent tendencies, the stress of raising a psychotic child is what broke them, not the other way around. This isn’t so much “I Spit on Your Grave” as it is “We need to talk about Kevin”.

Even after all that, Rachel is, and always was, the one true monster in the story. Even in the climatic face off with her dad, which included a straight up homage to the Shining (nice touch), we still get the feeling that this Rachel’s action weren’t motivated by fear or self-defence or anything a rational person could understand at all.

Angels of Death episode 13 - anime review
I feel like a cop should know what that is…

Aside from making Rachel a much more interesting character without betraying everything we’ve gotten to know about her so far, and giving us one of the lesser seen crazy bad guy archetypes, this great twist also dramatically changes the entire narrative flow. Now, on episode 13 of 16, the story flips the script and Zack is our sane man in the room.

This forces us to know cling to his viewpoint and interpretation as the closest thing we may have to a reliable narrator and it’s great. In fact, the episode got considerable better once we got Zack back in on the action.

We did leave off on a cliffhanger. Rachel and Zack having somewhat turned on each other and ready for mutual destruction. I’m not sure what, if any, the consequences of death are in this place. It certainly doesn’t seem like that big of a drawback. The real stakes is the future of Zack and Ray’s relationship. Those little weirdos had finally found one other person who they could connect with and it seems that’s gone now.

Like I said, in execution and delivery, the episode was lacklustre. Even framing and action animation was so so. But the concepts and narrative potential is still great. And as I write this, I’m still very happy Crunchyroll brought it back. Not my favourite episode but the next one could be. Also, Danny still has a fantastic laugh!

Angels of Death episode 13 - anime review
me either – let’s watch the next episode!

I even got a few more screencaps for you guys!

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9 thoughts

  1. Have they ever explained how Zack manages to talk through those bandages. I’m still wondering how they always manage to sit perfectly around his mouth like that?

    1. He changes them whenever he’s off camera… We’ll get a making of some day that will explain it all

  2. Fairly sure Zack’s going to survive this. I mean they can’t possibly make three Rachel-only episodes from now on. They can’t… can they?

  3. I was incredibly surprised to see the episode count on crunchyroll this morning had changed from 12 to 13. I think not even many people are aware of it (I cant even update my anilist profile for the show as it’s stuck on 12 and doesn’t even move beyond that point). Anyways, that aside, I was pretty happy as well. That said, I completely agree with the actors. Seriously the way Rachel’s mother was laughing maniacally, I think I could have pulled of a better job (lol😂). It’s interesting to note that you also caught the Shining reference.
    All in all though, I have the exact same feeling as you did with this episode. Not the best in exection, but still some good ideas and an overall pretty decent episode. Now we will have to wait and see what the next three are going to bring us: hopefully a good ending! 😊😊

    1. I’m fairly sure the episode count will never go beyond 12 episode, because the database entry is for the TV anime. There’s probably a separate entry for the 4-episode ONA, even though they’re probably the same production (aside from the distribution channel).

      1. Thank you so much: I just checked that, and you were right. Really strange to do it in that way, but nevertheless now I was at least able to update Anilist😊 Thanks again! 😀

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