Can’t believe we’re over 1/3 of the way into the Spring 2010 anime season already, it’s gone so fast.
EP5 of Angel Beats! takes things down a notch in some ways – and does the opposite in other ways.
“Favorite Flavor”. I couldn’t make heads or tails out of this title last week. Now that I’ve seen the episode, I understand why this episode was named this way.
We are also, for the first time in the series, revealed the name of who we call “Tenshi” about a quarter of the way through the episode. Her name – “Tachibana Kanade” – is actually a really pretty name, I can tell you that.
First of all, the OP video sequence changed slightly. Gone is Iwasawa from the GirlDeMo roster – and Yui is in her place. Take a look at the picture below:
Today, the operation is to disqualify Tenshi as a student council president. Yuri plans to demote Tenshi from president through the term exams that are occurring in the NPC world. More specifically, it’s a sabotage attempt at swapping Tenshi’s exam papers. Whether this will go down successfully or not depends on the co-operation among operation members.
The operation details are simple:
– a pre-designated member will create some commotion and attract attention.
– whoever that gets seated near Tenshi will swap her papers with one that contains nonsense.
After the students pull numbers from the box to determine their seating, it turns out that Takeyama will be sitting directly in front of Tenshi, with every other member scattered far and in between.
The operation section of the episode is where the fun’s at. Flying chairs, heads stuck on the roof, it’s all there.
Poor Hinata. His attempt at causing a diversion (standing up and shouting something about bamboo shoots) completely failed, so Yuri launched his chair into the roof.
Come Takamatsu-kun’s turn, he takes off his top and exposes his muscular body, and confesses his interest in the instructor.
It fails. And he gets launched off to space.
Lastly, Ooyama-kun’s diversion was an easy one. He just had to confess to Tenshi.
O: “Tachibana-san, sorry for not choosing an appropriate place and time, but I’ve always been in love with you!”
T: “In that case, choose a better place and time.”
Instructor: “You there. Sit down.”
Of course it fails. And we see Hinata get launched into the roof this time. Maybe Yuri only had 2 rocket boosters.
Anyhow, we have Otonashi in the background, always questioning, “what possibly can come out of this operation?” Frankly that’s the thought I had as well.
In the second half of the episode, we are told of the results of the operation.
Rumors of Tenshi receiving a 0 in every subject began swirling around the school.
Otonashi, while out on a walk, comes across Tenshi, who exited a room and seemed obviously dejected (even though her expression doesn’t change anyway, so it’s hard to tell).
We are told (probably on the same day) that Tenshi has resigned the seat of student council president, with student council vice-president Naoi (yes, very similar to Naoe Riki from Little Busters!) taking the position.
Meanwhile, Yuri decides to go ahead with Operation Tornado which is what we saw in the last half of EP1. This time around, Yui is the GirlDeMo lead singer, and the insert song is called “Thousand Enemies” – the last work left by Iwasawa.
Otonashi, on guard with Hinata, throws the same questions he had earlier. “What exactly are we fighting against?” Hinata’s reply was, “Whomever that is in our way.” More thoughts on these in a moment.
Tenshi does appear as expected, but Otonashi immediately realizes that something is amiss. He signals every other operation members to hold fire, which they do. It seems that other members also notice something is not right with Tenshi, and in fact even Yuri thinks so.
This “mabo tofu” or spicy tofu signifies a lot of this episode and lends itself to the title of this episode as well.
– This episode really shows the human side of Tenshi, assuming that she is even in fact, a servant of God. After watching, I honestly have doubts that Tenshi is really who the SSS makes her out to be. She just might be another one of the souls sent to this world to have a second chance at life. We won’t know now, but it’ll be likely revealed around EP9 I think.
This image really stuck a chord with me:
– That tofu above signifies more than just a spicy dish no one wants. It’s Tenshi’s favorite food – and that night when Operation Tornado was in effect, Tenshi showed up not to disrupt the event, but to comfort herself for losing her reputation. So from this it’s possible to conclude that this episode was focused on Tenshi – and portraying her less as an evil force, but rather just a regular human.
It does sound a bit ridiculous, but what Otonashi feels throughout the episode is also how I think. What exactly are we fighting against, if Tenshi is simply a normal human girl? Hinata’s response during the operation was, “Whoever that’s in our way” but I’m not satisfied with that response. That logic just seems so shaky in my eyes. More specifically, I honestly believe at this point that the SSS is directing their efforts at the wrong person. After Tenshi lost her status and reputation, she just became a lonely, isolated being – nothing something you’d expect from an angel.
If you skipped here because the above was TL:DR, then here it goes:
“Tenshi is not an angel. She’s just another soul cast to this world, trying for a second chance at life.”
That’s my take, from what I’ve seen in this episode.
Preview of EP6