Angels of Death – Mini Review Part 1 of 2 (Episodes 1-12)

Is She an Angle or is She a Witch?

Image result for angels of death animeThis 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.

Image result for angels of death anime eye catch

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!

 

19 thoughts on “Angels of Death – Mini Review Part 1 of 2 (Episodes 1-12)

  1. Kudos for sticking with this one – I gave up after 4 episodes. I found this one so frustrating and directionless, not to mention the annoying characters. Shame as this is usually the sort of show I go for. :-/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t really blame you. Now that I’ve found out that the final four episodes may not even be available to people outside Japan, I probably would not have even started the thing. Too bad though because the source material is considered pretty good but this just doesn’t measure up.

      Maybe we’ll both have better luck on the next one?

      Like

  2. I was tempted on doing my own “part one” review of the series, but then I had to rethink the likelihood of me making a second part after I’d already gone through the effort. Anyway, I’m glad you ended up doing it, as it’s nice to hear someone’s thoughts on the series before the true end comes around (plus, I mean, you’re a cool guy). I think I’m one of the few who enjoyed the OP more than the ED, but both are really nice and fitting.

    Same goes for Zack—I actually didn’t care “too” much for him as a character, though I was definitely wanting to find out more about the floor bosses, so to speak. Perhaps the finale will give us explanations as to who they are, and answers as to who or what they may represent!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, yeah I hear you on that. Turns out the end of this show might not actually be made available outside of Japan but hopefully I can still watch it. The OP is fine, I just don’t think it conveys the tone of what they are trying to go for very well.

      I am mostly curious about what they are actually going to do with the ending because so far the series has been a little too obvious with its themes and, “twists.” Angels of Death did improve with its run after a rocky start but where does this ending go?

      Thanks for the compliment 🙂 Glad you enjoyed my take and decision to split this into parts. If you end up doing the same be sure to let me know (though it sounds like you decided against). Thanks for reading too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I liked the first episode for what it was regardless of the fact there were warning signs it may not be too great. But after seeing the decline in a few episodes after that, my heart kind of wilted. I was excited about a new psychological anime. I think when adapting video games there is that focus that creators need to narrow down and choose between: mimic the game or try for something a bit original? Persona 5 uses a bit of both in that respect and flourished much better as a video game adaptation. Excellent review, btw!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, for sure. I held out because the game is regarded pretty well so I figured it just had a rocky start but it didn’t improve nearly enough. I don’t really know for P5 but I’ll take your word for it. Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I really had a love/hate relationship with this series. Like you I really liked the first episode as it set up a pretty creepy atmosphere. But after that it just became a different kind of series almost. I really did like the way things were going in the last few episodes, as it seemed to be getting back on track with the rather interesting background story of Zack. But…as the show will now only continue on home video, I won’t be seeing how it ends, which I really would have enjoyed. So yeah, I stuck with it…but it seemed for nothing alas😢

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The final four episodes will only be on video? I thought they were just going to air those October 5th? MAL might have gotten me confused on that. I need to look into that because I don’t really want to finish the series /that/ badly.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, that’s what I heard last week anyway. I’m hoping it isn’t true, because I would definitely not spend money on finishing this, and besides I probably won’t be able too anyway as it’s not available for me here.
        But yeah Mel told me about that last week unfortunately. I still hope it isn’t true, because despite everything I still want to know how the series will end.😊

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I just looked into it and they are switching to streaming on Amazon Prime for some reason. It currently says Japan only but then there was an official statement about distribution to, “all services” so I’m not sure…

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Well, if it’s amazon prime, than I won’t be able to see it unfortunately. Oh well, it is what is. It’s crazy though. If I had known this from the start I would not have even started watching this 😢

            Liked by 1 person

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