Hey all, Luna back again with another first impressions!
This time we’re going to take a turn from what could be the best anime of the season, to an anime that I just can’t quite put a finger on yet—something that is pretty, but confusing; interesting, yet typical; strange, but…wonderful? That’s right guys—I’m talking about Angels of Death.
Angels of Death (also known as Satsuriku no Tenshi) is an anime that, similar to Banana Fish, is an adaption. Whereas the latter was an 80s manga, Angels of Death was actually a horror-adventure game. It was made with RPG maker, and consisted of four episodes. Now, when I started the anime, I hadn’t played the game. By the time of writing this, I have spent 10 hours completing said game thanks to the anime—and to be honest, I’m still not sure how to feel.
Angels of Death is, in no means, whatsoever, a bad anime thus far, despite many coming at it with mixed reviews. Personally, the first episode hooked me enough with both art and story to continue watching. The premise being so simple, and to be honest, promising at first glance despite it following some common tropes. The main character, Rachel Gardner (Ray) wakes up to find herself on floor B7 with no memories except for her name and why she’s in this “hospital”. That alone leave plenty of avenue open for where the story could go, and in that nature, it’s very intriguing to guess where it might go. Especially when suddenly there’s someone on each floor who seems to want to kill Ray for one reason or another. Seems like a perfect hook for a horror.
But to honest, after a few episodes, the horror just…isn’t horrific. Instead, what pushes the story forward becomes the strange relationship that develops when Ray teams up with the first guy who tried to kill her, Zack, so that they can break him out, and in return, he will kill her as she desires.
If you had to take a moment to read that several times—believe me, I understand. It’s a strange promise that somehow creates this compelling relationship between Zack and Ray that I still can’t quite put my finger on. It’s a kind of friendship that is both entertaining to watch, and also curious and odd enough that you kind of want to watch just to figure out where it came from. In fact, I wanted to know so bad about them that I actually bought and played the whole damn game. Which also to say, the game’s story is fairly good, though the actual game play lacks variation. But we’re not gonna discuss the game now—that’ll be saved for the full review at end of season. The most I’ll say for now, is that having both played the game and watched as much as the anime that’s currently out, it’s the dynamic between Ray and Zack that carry the whole story.
Yes, there is the mystery of who Ray is that is also an intriguing premise for others, and while some still cling to wanting to know why Ray got there, both of these thoughts are honestly back seated in my opinion. Having watched through episode five, there doesn’t seem to be any real development on Ray at all, which is strange considering as our main character, she doesn’t leave much of an impression. The biggest impression she leaves is when she actually does something, since she seems to mostly act and talk like a doll.
On the flip side, we have Zack, who not only has some good back story, but is also genuinely interesting. If I’m being completely honest, Zack carries the story on his back. Introduced as a simple crazy serial killer, he starts as almost annoying, but once he joins Ray, we’re introduced to some more…endearing sides of him. Sure he’s an idiot, sure he’s a little psychotic, but he’s also strangely heartwarming at times, and at one point you start to really feel for this psycho. It’s really weird to say, but he almost seems like a serial killer with a heart of gold. His treatment of Ray is somewhere between friend, annoyed older brother, and disinterested stranger. It’s the most curious but most delightful thing to behold. If there was anything to complain about him though, it’d be that he seems to be wearing a heavy suit of plot armor.
Overall, my first impressions of Angels of Death are mixed. I was hooked on the mystery when I decided to watch it, but found the mystery sidelined for a lovely, albeit slightly strange relationship between Zack and Ray. It was unexpected, but not entirely unwelcome. The animation, while not astounding, makes for some beautiful scenes amidst the dreary story. Right now, I’d say if you like pseudo horror and pseudo thriller—definitely give it a go. Actually, you know what? I’d say anyone should give it a go. I can’t promise all will find it entertaining, but I know some will. Plus, it has to be doing something right because even though I can’t definitively say whether or not I like it, I also can’t seem to drop it. Maybe it’s because I want to know Ray’s situation, maybe it’s because it’s pretty, or maybe it’s just because Ray and Zack are so damn fun to watch. Either way, it’s worth a try.
That’s about all I have to say about Angels of Death for now. I plan on doing a comparison of the anime to the game once the season ends, but until then, these have just been my first impressions.
First Impression Rating:
6/10 Angels of Death will try to kill you
P.S. Zack’s real smile is the cutest fucking thing