[WARNING: 56K ALERT! MORE THAN 40 HD IMAGES!]
The 4th episode of Angel Beats! was broadcast just a few hours ago in Japan, and the RAW file is already up! To download the RAW file, click here: [Leopard-Raws] Angel Beats! – 04 RAW (CBC 1280×720 x264).mp4
Anyhow, the central theme to this week’s episode is officially baseball, but as you can probably tell from the pictures later on – Yui’s everywhere this time around. In comparison, Yuri takes a backseat, only appearing a few times in the entire episode.
The opening sequence shows a baseball player in intense heat. The reason will be partially revealed later on in the episode.
Meanwhile, Yui with a pose resembling Ranka Lee from Macross Frontier:
Before the opening theme song rolls in, it shows the SSS discussing who would take the place of Iwasawa, which as we know, disappeared at the end of EP3. As you can guess, Yui is eager to take her place as the lead singer.
It’s been only 3 episodes until this one, but we already have a new OP movie, and it prominently features Yui!
Click to see it in its full 5110X2844 resolution!
It was a really nice OP movie, I think. I liked how it so prominently features Yui.
So, after the OP movie…in her attempt to convince the SSS to let her become the lead guitarist of the GirlDeMo, Yui twirls..
Twirls some more…
Smashes the mike into the roof..
And then proceeds to hang herself.
Today, the SSS is attempting a guerilla operation. In order to do this, SSS members will form a baseball team and then compete in a tournament hosted by the NPCs, all in an attempt to draw out Tenshi, of course. So while Yuri is explaining the operation to SSS members, Yui is blabbing on and on in the background trying to get attention.
But when no one pays attention to her babbling..
Anyhow, the hunt for team members by Otonashi and Hinata begins. They keep getting rejected after finding out their friends have all been invited to other teams.
…until they come across Yui.
She wants to join Hinata’s team but he doesn’t believe in Yui at all, it seems.
This part reminds me of Rin in Little Busters!
This scene was in the preview video available at the Angel Beats! homepage! Don’t try to comprehend it, its like a “lolwut” moment lol!
Anyhow they ask Shiina to join the team, and they find her in the storeroom in the gym. She apparently has been sitting here for the last while, ashamed at how Otonashi, being the freshman, survived all the traps back in EP2 while entering the Guild. So she’s been here, training her “concentration”.
…by holding a broomstick up constantly so it doesn’t fall.
Yeah, it seems that the trio decided that Shiina is in fact, バカ。
The same goes for Noda.
This episode is just full of comedy, honestly. The most I’ve ever seen so far from Angel Beats! and frankly, I like it, at least for now. I think the story will turn darker later on, but that’s with most anime adapted from visual novels. More on that in a moment.
Otonashi hits a pretty decent hit, but Noda, being the enemy of Otonashi that he always is, he screams “is that the best you can do!” and returns the hit with his halberd…
Meanwhile, Shiina is doing quite well with her broomstick, it seems.
Anyhow, they succeed in drawing Tenshi’s team out, and they take issue with Hinata’s team being unregistered for the tournament. Not sure what Yuri’s motive was, but I caught that she wanted to see if Tenshi would resolve things peacefully (through a ballgame) or forcefully.
Moar Hinata/Yui moment.
Anyhow, the theme of this episode – ballgame – relates to Hinata in a special way.
When he was alive, he was in a high school baseball team which made it all the way to the final match in the “koushien” (甲子園, High School Baseball Championship) which is extremely prestigious for the winner. Hinata’s team was up by 1 point, on the defence and the opposing team had runners in both 2nd and 3rd base and it was 2 out for the opposite team.
It was a very, very hot day and it seems Hinata had a “breakdown” of sorts when the batter hit a 2nd base fly. Hinata couldn’t catch it, and he became the target of scorn in the locker room. It was when everyone had left, that an older male, probably a senpai, consoled Hinata, and passed onto him a few things which he said “will make your life easier. Try it just once”. Nothing else is revealed, so how this relates to the story is up for speculation.
The flashback aside, in the ballgame against Tenshi’s team, the exact same situation occurs – which confounds Hinata. He mutters words not unlike what Iwasawa said before her disappearance. Hinata considers how great it must feel if he catches this ball – since this would allow him to win a tournament, fulfilling his wish from when he was alive. It seems that Otonashi also understands that if Hinata catches the ball, he will disappear, much like Iwasawa.
And the episode ends like that.
To reflect the events of this episode, the ED movie also changes slightly:
Preview for EP5
So what now?
– This episode is probably what you can call a “joke episode”. Yui is just everywhere this time around – and Yui and Hinata’s relationship reminds me of Rin/Masato in Little Busters!
– Yeah, she’s a lot more bold and aggressive in this episode, and guess what, that’s not a bad thing in my book. It’s just another way of showing her cuteness. My good friend Kevin has a differing opinion though, so I suppose its all up to what turns you on. I know I really loved this episode just because Yui had so much exposure.
– We’re shown just a little bit of Hinata’s arc in this episode. Nothing much is revealed to us aside from the fact that Hinata was a baseball player, missed the catch that would have allowed his team to win the Koushien, and was given something by a senpai.
What we know is that missing that catch was his biggest regret in life, and that he even contemplated how nice life would be if he can catch that 2nd base fly coming at him while facing against Tenshi’s team. But since he’s too important to disappear this early in the show, that possibility is wiped out thanks to Yui. Though, I think we’ll see more of Hinata’s story later on, perhaps when the episodes go into the double digits.
It seems that with each passing episode, it seems less and less likely that the characters are in fact, all dead. As much as I don’t believe that this world of the “undead” is simply like an MMORPG (as another blogger compared it), many signs are pointing towards an MMORPG comparison. For example, out of the three character arcs discussed so far – only Iwasawa’s arc came close to implying that her life ended, and even that was still vague. Yuri and Hinata’s arcs do not have any mention of their death.
Furthermore, all characters that have been dealt with so far are here either because of regret (in case of Hinata) or unfilled desires (Iwasawa). Perhaps then, like another blogger said, that they are in fact alive – but they refuse to recognize the harsh reality and instead escape into this virtual world, where they can fulfill their desires.