Angel Beats! – 03

The SSS break into Tenshi’s room while Iwasawa leads an effort to distract everyone.

Impressions:

Ok I’m really betting on my earlier guess that this is a world full of people who committed suicide. Sure there is a possibility that Iwasawa died of her injury. It’s entirely possible she died that way. Of course she was in a position where suicide would be very possible. Her parents had made her life hell for such a long time. Finally after all of that she found a way to live her life as she wanted to. Then near the end they take that away from her with their incessant fighting and now she can’t sing anymore. Considering she leaves it with this vague “my life just ended” line it leaves us to piece things together.

I’ve got to say Yuri is a very astute leader. Her group is full of complete idiots. Of course they couldn’t crack the password the last time they came. Anyone would have a semi-decent password guarding their personal computer. What did they try in order to crack it last time? Putting in password attempts like “god”? Considering this group I really can’t put it past them.

No doubt that cracking the computer lead to very interesting information. I mean getting data on Tenshi (I’m going with this since just about everyone else is) is pretty big all by itself. While they probably have seen most of her abilities it does show what else she might have up her sleeves. At the same time it makes you wonder just what Tenshi is. We got to hear her monologue a little. It wasn’t enough to deeply probe into her personality, but she did seem bothered by people treating her like the bad guy. At the very least she does have faith in that she is doing the right thing. Regardless it does beg the question of what Tenshi is exactly. She gets her abilities in a similar way to how the SSS gets their weapons. Yet obviously their methods of taking action are very different. The SSS are making items from memories and Tenshi is making pretty fantastical abilities. The method hints that they are similar, but what is the difference that makes their abilities different?

Now of course this just leads towards the theory that this is some artificial universe. I mean Yuri brought up the key question. Why does Tenshi have to make her own abilities? Shouldn’t they just be given to her? God makes the world and hands out powers to Tenshi to help keep things in control. This whole making her own abilities makes me wonder just what Tenshi knows about the situation. Could she be in the dark as well? The artificial universe theory does have some legs to stand on. With the two stories can piece together a possible common situation. Everyone there possibly attempts suicide, fails, and are put into this artificial place to help try and work through the issues that brought them to that point.

Still there is nothing really solid yet to make any certain judgments. Iwasawa`s vanishing could be interpreted as being part of this purgatory afterlife. She’s worked through her problems and is ready to move forward. Of course this kind of hurts the virtual reality theory. If her inability to sing brought her to that point wouldn’t she just be back in the same position upon waking up? Anyways the virtual world might be too obvious to move on. Maybe God is a mean guy who makes even his minions work for their skills.

Anyways this episode was pretty important for more background and information on Tenshi. Should be key to keep an eye on the ED and wonder just who will vanish from that group after Iwasawa.

8 thoughts on “Angel Beats! – 03”

  1. My theory is almost exactly like yours, only with a tiny little bit of difference.

    My theory as far as episode three goes is that this is not some sort of afterlife but an advanced second-life type of artificial world for trauma patients. The flashbacks we’ve seen so far all reveal deep traumas and I am sure that Otonashi’s amnesia is also the result of such trauma. I don’t know if they really attempted suicide but my guess is they at least lost their will to life. In episode 2, Yurippe clearly said she didn’t commit suicide. Ok, this could be some sort of delusion but I believe her here. You could say they were borderline dead or borderline suicide hence the doctors put them into this new system to resolve their deep problems and start again to live. The constant fighting against Tenshi pushes this point, moreover it seems that the whole “afterlife” is more or less designed like a game with NPCs, a non endless level you can’t leave, food tickets you can steal from the NPCs and so on. Heck they even call them NPCs. Tenshi therefore could be some kind of operator who serves as an obvious obstacle so the patients have something to fight. Because she “only” is the operator she has to maintain her avatar herself which could explain the PC with her stats.

    At the end of this episode, when Iwasawa finished her song, she might have realized that it’s not only singing but the songs as a whole that save people (and her). So by this realization she can still write songs she might have regained her will to live, meaning that her trauma is at least reduced to a level where she can talk about it and fight it head on – and move on. Hence, she got ejected from the system.

    It this is the case I am wondering how everything started since the patients don’t know they are in fact in a game of some sort. Perhaps this gets revealed later on.

    Can’t wait to see whether my theory is spot on or total bullshit.

  2. Yuri did say no one in the world had committed suicide, but I wonder how she knows that or if she’s telling the truth.

    You’d think Tenshi would have some security on her dorm room given what’s on her PC. Maybe she knew that the SSS from before didn’t have the ability to crack her password, or maybe she doesn’t really care.

  3. @Gunther
    I think your theory has some validity to it. I’d like to believe Yuri although I just can’t completely let go of the suicide possibility. But for now can just say they ended up in a near death state for some reason. One issue I have with the artificial world theory is the ethical part. Clearly these people don’t know that they aren’t dead (assuming this really isn’t the afterlife). I can’t see how legally you can just plug people in here. This would be crossing some very iffy moral positions. Of course they are all teenagers so could say their parents still have consent and said it was fine. Anyways it might just be a world to help them get used to living normal lives. Once they accept things then they can live again.

    With Tenshi I’m just not sure. She just doesn’t act like a regular person that is in there playing a role. It seems like she is just as stuck in there as Yuri and the others. I mean she has to be around almost at all times since the SSS can take action at any time. But she seems too human to be an artificial program with the duty to keep things moving smoothly and to be an obvious enemy. I really want to find out more about her since there are so many questions.

    You might be right about Iwasawa. Maybe she accepted that she can find other ways. Plus maybe she is satisfied now. She touched people’s lives in that world. Even if she can’t perform again at least she will have that. Of course having reached people might have satisfied her and so she could move on (if this is really the afterlife).

    @TJ
    That line from Yuri really makes me wonder. It’s almost like that’s something that was decided. Otherwise it’s a strange statement. I mean sure maybe no one she knows ever committed suicide. But how can she be so sure? Does she have some information that says no one can get there that kills themselves?

    Yeah for all they played it up the security wasn’t amazing. Getting into the room was simple. She did have her computer protected, but hackers can get past simple passwords. Plus what we’ve seen from Tenshi is that anything she does only affects herself. She doesn’t create the same kinds of things like the SSS. Her abilities are very Tenshi focused. So besides password protecting her computer maybe there was nothing else she could do in terms of security.

  4. The only way god wouldn’t exist is if that world was indeed a virtual reality.

    Also Yuri said so herself that she didn’t commit suicide. In fact, nobody who ended up in that world committed suicide. Which supports the Virtual Reality theory.

    Though, the purgatory theory is a bit more plausible now since Iwasawa’s disappearance.

  5. @FlareKnight
    I don’t see much of an ethical problem here. As you already mentioned, their parents could have given the permission to do so and up to now, both flashbacks shows that there are parents. On the other hand I’d go even that far to state that the doctors could have plug them in without anyone’s permission. In Europe / Germany there was once a discussion if it’s alright to let patients die which can’t be helped anymore. The consent was: no. You have to help them. Those kids here could be such cases.
    Regarding Tenshi: I also don’t think is artificial, but “only” an operator/admin who is plugged in as well, meaning she is human but with certain rights in this world. Perhaps she’s also a patient who took over from someone else, or was the first to enter this world. The possibilities are vast at the moment, so I think we have to patiently wait for the moment. Oh yeah…when I commented in another blog one thought crossed my mind, that clearly hints at the composition of this “afterlife”: as this episode hinted at, Tenshi seems to be able to create fighting abilities using a computer. This has to mean that Tenshi can modify “herself” using a computer, meaning she has to be digital. And if she is digital everyone is. I don’t mean that the persons/patients/whatever are digital or artificial, but at least their avatars you see and with which they interact.

  6. @Jubbz
    I’m not sure that no one having committed suicide validates the theory. After all if this is an artificial world clearly no one in the SSS knows it. Plus it makes you wonder how Yuri knows this. Has she set up a poll? Otonashi doesn’t have his memories so his death is still a mystery. Plus even if no one there had committed suicide the afterlife theory is still alright. Depending on your religious stance those who kill themselves might not even make it to purgatory.

    @Gunther
    While I can see life saving procedures as being allowed when you can’t ask for consent this seems to be a bit of a different situation. It would be plugging people into a world without any knowledge, thinking they are dead, and making it so they can feel pain whenever something happens to them. You could almost say it’s an anti-suicide system, if they try anything in that world they suffer the agony but don’t get out. Who knows what kind of psychological damage that could be done after going through this situation. Thus you reach the question of ethics. There is a difference I think from saving someone and holding them prisoner against their will. Even with parental consent it would be a very difficult line to walk along.

    The only issue I have with the operator theory is that she appears to be in there all the time. It’s not like some 8 hour shift she is taking. The SSS can act at any time and Tenshi appears to be there at any time. Unless we are opening up the possibility that there are multiple people acting as Tenshi. Really are too many possibilities especially with even the artificial theory still being just a theory.

  7. Interesting concept. Though it bit differs than my own theory.

    I figured that this “stage”, is a boundary world between life and death. Yup, if you’re dead, then it means you are dead, go reincarnate or something, but why the heck did “god” put these people here? Whats the point even?
    So the people put here are might be in a comatose state or struggling between life and death in real life. So they basically aint dead yet.
    Kanon and Little buster which is of course another Key’s studio products, uses these as a major theme in their story. Its possible for them to uses the same theme again this time.
    So its up to them to “win” or “lose” in this “stage”, or living and dying in real life. But as for now, the condition of winning or losing the game is not known yet. Even Iwasawa’s “passing on” couldnt confirm if she actually loses the game.

    Well, I could go on for a while. Or I could go totally wrong with this.
    Just let the episodes rolls~

  8. Yeah, the thing with Tenshi really opens up a bag of possibilities. Currently I don’t think that there are more than one people at work here. At least her room hints to someone who is sleeping at night but that could be fake.
    Another point here is that we don’t really see her being active all the time up to ep 3 and I believe it also was never mentioned. Thinking about it, it’s more like she only acts when the SSS gang acts or appears “conveniently” just at the right moments. Does she know anything beforehand or can read minds? If she really is an angel of some sort it makes sense. When she is some sort of person it would open up yet another bag of possibilities.
    Regarding the plugging in: yes, I think it would be really nasty as you’ve described. a twist would be that they agreed to this themselves. But why should they then be plugged in at all since they know they have a problem…sheesh…I think we need some more episodes to find out the secret. On the other hand, the comatose idea of KYPMbangi might solve almost all the ethical problems here, if the source of their conditions are their respective traumas.

    (by the way: there seems to be a problem with your plugins since I constantly got some error stating I have to wait 15 seconds before posting again)

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