The ending of the heartbreaking Angel Beats anime is often not explained – but how does it actually end?
Kodoani.com – Originally aired in 2010, Angel Beats Famous has one of the saddest anime endings. The anime begins when the main character Otonashi wakes up and realizes that he is dead and does not remember anything but his own name. A rifle-wielding girl named Yuri invites him to join an organization she founded called the Afterlife Battlefront – a group of high school students who rebelled against god.
They fight against Angel, a silver-haired girl with supernatural powers. She serves as the student council president in the same high school setting they’re stuck in, and she’s said to be linked to the god who created this world. When one of the members of Afterlife Battlefront continues after fulfilling her wish to perform music and Otonashi regains her memories with the help of hypnosis, he decides to intends to befriend Angel and learns that the purpose of the afterlife is to let the people inside overcome their regrets from when they lived.
Realizing this, Otonashi and Angel, whose real name is Kanade, helped the other members of the Post-Death Front to get through. In the end, when only those two were left, Otonashi confessed that he fell in love with Kanade and wanted to be with her and help the others get through. Sadly, she reveals that her main regret is not being able to thank the heart donor who helped prolong her life, who she reveals is actually Otonashi. Thank you, she left the afterlife, leaving Otonashi heartbroken.
This is where the ending is a bit ambiguous. Many believe that the story ends here, but the final cutscene shows a reincarnated Otonashi that recognizes Kanade’s reincarnated in the living world and taps her shoulder. However, in Angel Beats!: Another Epilogue, Otonashi is said to have assumed the position of student council president and is helping the students get ahead, while the other students speculate that he is waiting for someone. , who the audience can guess is Kanade. Many believe this is the real ending as it is the most recently released ending, but others believe it is just a cutscene that happened before Otonashi’s reincarnation.
Many fans also made the point that Kanade was in the afterlife before Otonashi was present. Since Kanade had Otonashi’s heart, Otonashi must have passed away long before Kanade. So why was Kanade there when Otonashi died? As he recalls his circumstances – starving to death after being trapped in an underground train tunnel – he remembers that he died without regrets. Signing up to be an organ donor and encouraging others to do the same, Otonashi gave his passengers hope and passed just before they were rescued, meaning he shouldn’t. stuck in limbo. However, when he wakes up, he has no memory of his past, so it’s possible he was put in limbo for the sole purpose of satisfying Kanade’s remorse.
Taking these individual pieces and putting them back together, fans might have come to the conclusion that Angel Beats’ epilogue sees Kanade move on, Otonashi as student council president, and ultimately… overcome on their own, and the two souls reconnect in the land of the living. However, the beauty of the ending is that it’s ambiguous enough for the viewer to draw their own conclusions, helping to make it a classic in its own right.