You have died, welcome to the afterlife, would you like to kill god?

The story starts with the main character Otonashi waking up in a strange place with no memories at all. Before he can find his bearings, a girl (named Yuri) with a sniper rifle informs him that he is dead and asks if he would like to join in her rebellion against God/gods. However, their only enemy seems to be the student council president, a white-haired little girl that they christened Tenshi, or Angel. Turns out, attempting to fit in gets you disappeared from this afterlife and the Afterlife Warfront really does not want to disappear from this world. (Yes, The description for the first few minutes came from Tvtropes, but it works.)

The setting of Angel Beats seems to be some kind of purgatory or afterlife that resembles high school, there’s a reason for that, but I do not want to spoil that for you. The story is about Otonashi and his time in the afterlife, attempting to regain his memories and interacting with the Afterlife Warfront and Tenshi. The easiest way I can describe the series personally is that it is like a combination of “The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Abom” (Read!) and “The Melanchony of Suzumiya Haruhi”, sprinkled with a whole lot of black humor and firepower.

What I find awesome about this series is the black humor, since nobody can really die in that world, the writers made good use of that fact and gave out a whole lot of funnies, like a girl attempting to look like some kind of hardcore rocker and accidentally hanging herself with a microphone, for example.

The characters themselves are rather sympathetic and well developed, at least for the first 9 episodes of the series, I can honestly say that I nearly cried was rather moved by some of the scenes in the show which were rather sweet.
If you like guns, see if you can identify some of the guns being waved around in the series, as they use some rather sweet and rare pieces of weaponry, for example, the sniper rifle used in the first few minutes of the show is a CheyTac Intervention and the submachine gun used in the second last episode is a Kris Vector, both are rather obscure and hard to find in real life.

The series however had some rather crappy moments of QUALITY animation, such as Yuri’s hands on the sniper rifle and the magical size changing bookshelves and racks of awesome in several episodes.

Angel Beats from what I heard, was originally supposed to be a 26 episode series and it shows, considering the amount of asspulls near the end of the series in regards to romance and plot resolution. Even if some of the plot was originally planned for in the first place, considering the name of the title and what Otonashi had to go through, it still felt like it came out of nowhere. Hell, the romance between him and some other character (sorry, no spoilers) felt like it was horrifically rushed and extremely sudden, like the Kool-Aid man busting through a wall.

Furthermore, while the characters that did get development were done extremely well, the other interesting ones, such as the ninja (Shiina) and the guy with the halberd (Noda) got no interesting character development.

The ending was rather unsatisfying and ambiguous as well, fan theory on that was that the ending is supposed to be unsatisfying and ambiguous considering the theme of the show (The afterlife), so that might be excusable.

Overall, Angel Beats is one anime that I really recommend watching, just ignore the blatant asspulls and it would be nice to watch. Do invest in a packet of tissues if your a emotional person though.