YURI YOU ASS! TENSHI JUST WANTED TO EAT HER MAPO TOFU ALONE AFTER YOU RUINED HER LIFE!
I don’t normally do episodic posts but after watching the latest episode of Angel Beats I felt that I had to make a slight exception. If you haven’t watched this far skip this post. Otherwise keep going for possible ranting.
This episode essentially focuses on what Yuri deems Tenshi’s Assault AKA exam season. Yuri organizes a subset of the crew to actually attend classes for once. The plan essentially is to mess up Tenshi’s reputation by intercepting her exam papers and replacing them with joke answers. Yuri has no clue what will happen by being a massive jerk but she wants to see. However there is a slight hitch in the plan–the characters do not actually know what to put as her name. They argue and eventually it’s decided that Otonashi will leave to check the student records. Tenshi intercepts and Otonashi says that he’s leaving for a bit because he’s a little nervous. She “calms” him down and reveals her true name Tachibana Kanade after he asks in thanks.
During each of the exams the team members take turns trying to distract the class as they pass in the papers so that Takeyama can switch Kanade’s papers for the fakes. Each time the distraction becomes more and more exaggerated. The team argues each time and every time Otonashi has to explain to Kanade how everything is fine.
Despite how funny it is I was always thinking maybe the SSS is taking things too far. Aren’t they just being mean? It’s clear at this point that Kanade is human given all the clues presented thus far. Yuri doesn’t seem to consider the possibility that maybe Tenshi just wants to be a good student and is just doing her job as student council president? Unlike them maybe she wants to go back to the mortal world and is doing things her own way. The SSS ignores the other students who are following protocol as well and yet they actively try to attack her.
After exams finish Otonashi sees Kanade walking out of the teachers room. The look on her face was so sad and when he asked if there was anything wrong all she could say was nothing as she continued to walk off. Furthermore during an assembly she is stripped of her title as student council president in front of the whole school becoming just another student. With her total soul-crushing plan a success Yuri decides it’s time for Operation Tornado once more.
During dinner Kanade approaches the dining hall. The SSS is ready to strike first but Otonashi realizes that something is wrong and tells everyone not to shoot. Kanade walks in to the dining hall and everyone in the operation notices and wonders what she is doing. Against the entire crowd she makes her way to the meal ticket machine and orders the super spicy mapo tofu that no one ever gets. After she gets it she is pushed back by the crowd. Yuri orders the fans on and her meal ticket is blown away. The look on her face is so sad and depressing.
Eventually Otonashi using the meal ticket he gets ends up ordering the food Kanade wanted. Reflecting how how he “stole” that simple pleasure from Kanade he starts thinking about how wrong everything is. Kanade is just an ordinary person and after all the crap the SSS put her through, ruining her reputation and bullying her, all she wanted to do was go get her favorite comfort food and eat by herself. Everyone has had that moment. I certainly have and it angers me that Yuri would go so far to do that to her. She’s human just like everyone else and her feelings can be hurt the same way.
With Kanade’s morale and position broken what will happen to her? Given how well she has been following rules it’s strange that she hasn’t yet disappeared. Did she have a special privilege as president to remain in this world? Now that she isn’t president anymore is such an exemption gone? Right now I’m with Otonashi who is the only one shown to sympathize with her. Maybe some of the others do too but really have any bothered to talk to her at even a superficial level like Otonashi? If I were in Otonashi’s place right now I would defect to Kanade’s side and cheer her up.