If you have seen or heard of the Angel Beats, you already know it is one of the saddest anime out there (and not without good reason). In this particular post, I want to talk about my experience with one particular scene from the anime, and the associated song with it. As such, this will be a heavy spoiler territory, so beware. Now, let us dive in!
Angel Beats has plenty of emotional moments, starting as soon as Episode 3. It is here that the lead singer for the band Girls Dead Monster, Iwasawa, moves on from the purgatory-like world all the characters are trapped in. Before parting, however, she sings a particular song that adds dramatically to the emotional impact of the scene.
When I was watching Angel Beats, the scene with Iwasawa definitely impacted me, but I was not far enough in the anime for it to be overly emotional for me. This is likely because I was not overly attached to any of the characters at this point yet. Why this scene was so impactful was it was such a stark contrast to the mostly comical mood present in the anime up until that point in the anime. This particular scene remains on the viewers mind throughout the rest of the show, and really sets up how dramatic future emotional moments will be. It also perfectly showcases the importance the anime stresses on music making the mood (if the title was not enough of a hint).
The most emotional scene for me personally was in Episode 10, when Yui passes on as a montage plays out. It was so emotional for me, it was the second time I ever cried at an anime (which has only truly happened three times ever, the other two anime being Toradora and Planetarian). I want to discuss why this scene was so well done, especially with regards to the tract that plays, titled “My Most Precious Treasure.”
In case you do not remember, or have not seen Angel Beats, here is the context for the song. Otonashi is trying to help Yui release all her regrets so she can move on to whatever the next step of existence is (whether that is reincarnation or Heaven within the anime is arguably up to interpretation). In order to do this, Otonashi spends the entire day fulfilling Yui’s various and random requests. Her final request ends up being that Otonashi fall in love with her. Otonashi hesitates to say yes or no, and Hinata jumps in to say that he would. This surprises Yui, which is greatly understandable. Up until that point, it could be assumed Hinata did not like Yui much, since most interactions between the two are antagonistic. Whether Hinata actually is in love with Yui or not is up to debate, but regardless he declares he is in love, even when Yui tries to argue.
“My Most Precious Treasure” starts to play at this point as Hinata goes on to narrate how they would meet and fall in love. The narration is ultimately portrayed by a montage that is both sad but also slightly comical. The montage ends and we see Yui has released her regrets and moved on.
The song “My Most Precious Treasure” is arguably the key factor in the weight of the scene. The title is obviously reference to Yui, as she is Hinata’s most precious treasure. This is clearly evident based on what Hinata says in response to Yui’s arguments. He says the following:
“Even if you couldn’t walk, even if you couldn’t have kids, even so, I would still marry you”
The instrumentation sets the somber, yet hopeful, mood of the whole ordeal with a soft piano with a simple repeating theme before the actual singing. In my personal opinion, once the singing starts, the piano part does not lose any impact. They compliment one another quite well, with neither part overshadowing the other.
The song is quite incredible for me, and I still really enjoy listening to it, having bought it from iTunes not long after watching the anime. Having seen Angel Beats about seven times by now, I can say that “My Most Precious Treasure” is still gets me every time. Maybe not full on bawling, but definitely I get choked up and a bit teary eyed.
Anyway, let me know what you guys thought of “My Most Precious Treasure” and Angel Beats by commenting below. I have actually included below a link to the RishRaff Reviews blog where my friend LowKev did an analysis of the Angel Beats opening, so be sure to check that out as well. Thanks for reading! Hope you look forward to the next post!