Is She an Angle or is She a Witch?
This review is a bit of a more unusual one since I’m having to split it into parts. Episodes 1-12 of Angels of Death finished airing for the Summer 2018 season but it still has four more episodes to go starting early October. These first twelve episodes are largely setup for whatever the final four episodes have in-store for us.
The premise of this one is that a young girl, Rachel Gardner wakes up in a strange building. There she is attacked and analyzed by various, “residents” of this bizarre structure. After her first encounters with a Dr. Danny and scythe wielding serial killer, Zach, Rachel longs for nothing more than death. She teams up with Zach in order to escape and have him make her wish come true.
Each string of episodes has the gang exploring a new floor and dealing with a new person. Zach yells and hits stuff and Rachel uses her brain to solve problems. Rachel begs to be killed and Zach tells her to smile. Rinse and repeat.
Angels of Death is an adaptation of a video game of the same name. I haven’t played it but it has good reviews and people really seem to like the story. This had me pretty excited for the anime. With a solid first episode, the show really declined in quality for some time following that. It wasn’t until Zach was given some depth, and eventually Rachel required to be the sole person in the spotlight, that the show really managed to do anything interesting.
With J.C. Staff at the helm for this one I can say that there are some really great moments visually but things are bogged down quite a bit by trying too hard to emulate the game experience. There are a lot of dry and dreary moments of not a lot going on. The world even has video game mechanics in it that just feel out of place. For a lot of people this is going to be a deal breaker.
I wouldn’t say this show is bad but I wouldn’t say it is good either. It is competent at the best of times and mediocre at the worst. In this slower season though, it made for a decent watch to slot between things I was more excited about.
Perhaps the most standout moments of the show came in the form of the Zach’s backstory and witch trail . Zach really needed fleshing out and given more of a role beyond yelling, being stupid, and hitting stuff. It actually made him a sympathetic character. The witch trail was far more interesting as it looked into Rachel’s character and presented some of the more dynamic moments in Angels of Death (both visually and between its characters).
One other aspect of the show that I particularly enjoy is the ED and the presentation of what the next episode will be. Generally the music is pretty standard, with an alright OP that rises just above that, but it isn’t particularly good. As for the title card and other such fare, it is really standard. The eyecatch looks good but it isn’t impact. Something about the ending works really well and is kind of something you just have to take my word on or experience for yourself since explaining it with text is kind of impossible.
As it stands, these twelve episodes weren’t fantastic and I’m largely going to be finishing the series just for the sake of completing it rather than for finding it compelling. The final episode gives you a, “revelation” in presenting something that shouldn’t be one for the audience and because of that I’m not really sure what the show can really do. The story seems like it only has one straightforward way it can go but maybe I’ll be wrong on that. We’ll explore that in part 2 though.
What did you think of Angels of Death? Was this one you stuck with or did you decide to duck out early? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you would like to support me and my work here please hit the button below. As always, thanks for reading and hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews again soon!