|Directed by||Paul Verhoeven|
|Produced by|| Charles Roven|
|Written by|| Screenplay:|
|Starring|| Rupert Grint|
|Music by||Brad Fiedel|
|Cinematography||Karl Walter Lindenlaub|
|Editing by||Mark Day|
|Studio|| DreamWorks SKG|
|Distributed by|| Walt Disney Pictures|
Warner Bros. Pictures
|Release date(s)||September 30, 2011|
|Running time||290 min.|
Angel Beats! is a 2011 action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Kay Panabaker, and Dakota Fanning. Based on the anime of the same name, it is the only movie released by The Walt Disney Company to be rated NC-17 ("for extreme graphic violence"), although the R-rated cut received a wider release (including all the film's IMAX 3-D screens). Ironically, it was released under the Walt Disney Pictures label.
A boy named Otonashi wakes up in the world of the afterlife with no memories of the time when he was still alive. Immediately after waking up, he meets a girl named Yuri pointing a sniper rifle at a girl in the distance named Tenshi. Yuri wants him to join her group the SSS—Shinda Sekai Sensen (死んだ世界戦線?, lit. Afterlife War Front)—in fighting against Tenshi, but Otonashi goes to talk to Tenshi instead. After Otonashi asks her to prove he cannot die, as he is already dead, Tenshi makes a sword out of thin air and stabs him through the heart. He wakes up the next day terrified by what happened and tries to find a way to escape the world he has come to, which leads him to the headquarters of the SSS. There, he meets many of the other SSS members and decides to join them for the time being. Yuri later explains things about the afterlife to Otonashi, such as the existence of numerous people Yuri deems "non-player characters" (NPCs) as they are not human, but look and act the part. That night, the SSS prepare for "Operation Tornado", a plan to steal some meal tickets from the NPCs. A girls band named Girls Dead Monster in the SSS distracts the NPCs inside the cafeteria while other SSS members engage in fighting against Tenshi long enough for the plan to be a success, and they retreat back to the cafeteria to eat.
Yuri decides to descend to the Guild for the day to see the situation of the Guild(the guild makes supplies like guns and ammunition). While going down they see Noda who has not seen Otonashi as a companion yet. As he was about to try to kill him 1000 times(in episode 1 he kills Otonashi 100 times) the trap gets set off and Noda gets smashed to the wall. They find out that because the Angel found the place that they reactivated the traps. They fight their way to the guild(Ooyama keeps on forgetting all the traps). Takamatsu gets run over by a steel ball, Matsushita gets cut to pieces by lasers, TK gets squished by the ceiling while saving the others, Ooyama falls as the floor collapses, Hinata falls also because of groping Yuri on accident while climbing(a human ladder)(on the butt or chest (don't know)) and gets kicked and falls down also, Fujimaki drowns because he cant swim, Shiina falls down a waterfall after trying to save a cute toy dog(she doesn't realize after seeing it close(Shiina's weakness is cute things)). Yuri and Otonashi are the only ones left. While drying themselves up Yuri tells her tragic life before coming to the afterlife. They arrive at the Guild and decide to blow the place up and go to the old guild(you can make anything as long as its nonliving using your memories even out of dirt). While Yuri buys some time for them to get ready to blow the place up Otonashi saves Yuri from getting stabbed in the head by Angel. They blow the place up and Angel falls down in the explosions. They go to the old Guild and Yuri calls the others to come to the old guild quickly before Angel recovers. In the end Otonashi praises Yuri of being a great leader.
We then see Iwasawa playing a song she wrote, however Yuri rejects it as it is too calming for their situation. Yuri then explains that their next mission will be in infiltrate Angel Area, which is the place Angel lives. Takeyama will hack into the computer controlled core which the SSS failed to do in their first attempt. Afterwords, Otonashi finds the band practicing for the concert. He learns that when Iwasawa was alive she often played the guitar and sang to get away from her parents who were always fighting. However, she suffers a stroke due to an injury inflicted while her parents were fighting and is left unable to speak. Soon afterwords, she dies. Otonashi realizes that the people in SSS are in it because they feel that their life was unfair and not because they are afraid of being resurrected. The operation is started as the GirlDeMo concert gets underway. The other members infiltrate Angel Area which turns out to be just Angel's room in the girl's dormitory. Takeyama then hacks into Angel's computer. Back at the concert, teachers come and stop the concert. One of them goes after Iwasawa's old guitar. Iwasawa headbutts the teacher, taking her guitar back and starts playing the song that she played at the beginning of the episode. Hisako broadcasts her song over the PA. After finishing, Iwasawa disappears. The next day, it is revealed that Angel creates her abilities in the same way Guild makes their weapons, meaning that she did not get them from god. Also in wake of Iwasawa's disappearance, they begin the realize that listening to Angel is not the only way to disappear.
With Iwasawa gone, Yui suggests she take Iwasawa's place as the vocalist, but the other SSS members do not agree. Yuri suggests that the SSS illegally participate in the upcoming baseball tournament and any SSS team which does worse than the NPC students will receive a punishment worse than death. Hinata starts with recruiting Otonashi, followed by Yui, Shiina, and Noda after failing to get several other more athletic members that already had teams. With still four players needed, Yui gets three NPC girls, who are fans of Yui's, to join their team. During the first round of the tournament, the SSS teams beat their NPC counterparts, but soon each one falls to Angel's team made up of members of the school baseball team until only Hinata's team is left. As the game is nearing its end, Hinata recalls how he missed a fly ball in a similar baseball game in life, and Otonashi believes that Hinata will disappear if they win the game. Just as Hinata is about to catch a pop fly and win the game, however, Yui comes from behind and puts Hinata in a strangle hold, and Angel's team wins as a result.
During the exam period, Yuri wants to make Angel fail all her tests so as to make her lose her status in the school. For the plan to be a success, Otonashi manages to find out that Angel's real name is Kanade Tachibana. The SSS members create distractions to get Angel's and the NPCs attention so as to switch their fake answers with Angel's. When the results come out, Angel loses her position as student council president and is replaced by the vice-president. During another instance of "Operation Tornado", the SSS members observe Angel going to buy a meal ticket while ignoring Girls Dead Monster and the rest of the crowd in the cafeteria. Angel loses the ticket due to the operation's success and Otonashi coincidentally finds and uses it. Otonashi wonders if Angel could join the SSS now, but this receives negative responses by everyone else. Moments later, the new student council president arrives with a group of NPCs and tells the SSS they will be punished for their constant disobedience.
After the SSS members are removed from the reflection room, Yuri suggests everyone try to create disturbances in class to see how far they can go without Naoi interfering, but Naoi comes after them anyway. Otonashi convinces Angel to accompany him to the cafeteria to eat the spicy mapo doufu, but Naoi arrives and throws them in a more secure reflection room for eating when it was not lunch. Shortly after, the SSS begin a battle between Naoi, who uses the NPCs as shields to prevent the SSS from attacking him or the NPCs, whom Naoi had hypnotized to make them cooperate. Yuri tells Otonashi via a walkie-talkie that she saw Naoi beating up NPCs, and that he is actually human. Angel agrees to break out of the room, but by the time she and Otonashi arrive at the battlefield, the SSS members have been massacred. After attempting to hypnotize Yuri, however, Otonashi attacks Naoi, who proceeds to tell Otonashi about his unfair life. Naoi had to take his older twin brother's place after his death and became his father's apprentice in pottery, but eventually his father also died.
Yuri gets Naoi, who has joined the SSS, to use hypnosis on Otonashi so he can regain his memories. In life, Otonashi visited his bedridden younger sister Hatsune in the hospital frequently, which was he felt was his sole reason for living. On Christmas night, Otonashi sneaked Hatsune out of the hospital so she could see the trees covered in lights in town, but she died in his arms that night. Otonashi later regained purpose in life with the goal of going to medical school, but he died in a train accident before entering university. Otonashi deals with his regained memories and agrees to continue fighting in the SSS. Another day, the SSS carry out "Operation Monster Stream", which entails fishing out of a nearby stream as the SSS are low on meal tickets. Otonashi invites Angel too, who snags a humongous fish with the help of the SSS; Angel slices the fish before it can eat everyone. The SSS decide to serve it to the NPCs too so it does not go to waste. While preparing the food, Otonashi tells Angel that he does not want to fight anymore and that he wants her to have fun too. That night, Yuri appears covered in wounds after being absent from the food serving. She says she was attacked by Angel, and the other SSS members notice another Angel with red eyes looking down at them from the school roof.
The SSS try to defend themselves against the red-eyed Angel, but it takes the original Angel to stop her by stabbing her, only to get stabbed herself in the process. The SSS realize Angel used her "harmonics" program to create a battle-oriented copy of herself when she sliced the huge fish from earlier, but the clone did not disappear. While Yuri uses Angel's computer to find out something to defeat the clone, the others spend time in class pretending to be good students while actually concentrating on doing other things. Yuri ends up rewriting "harmonics" so the next time the original Angel uses it, the clones will disappear after ten seconds. The SSS descend into the Guild's old location after finding the original Angel was kidnapped. One by one, SSS members sacrifice themselves as they encounter more Angel clones on the way. Finally at the bottom, Yuri fights the last clone and Otonashi goes to save the original. After she manages to activate "harmonics", the clone tells Otonashi that the ruthless clones that attacked the SSS will all be absorbed back into Angel. After ten seconds, Angel yells in pain as Otonashi embraces her.
Otonashi stays by Angel's side while she is unconscious after absorbing the many ruthless Angels. The SSS decide to rewrite some of her programs as a temporary measure and wait to see what happens after she wakes up. Otonashi remembers everything about how he died. After the train accident, he and a handful of others were trapped in a tunnel with short supplies of food and water. Otonashi helped the injured with the assistance of a man named Igarashi. After a week trapped in the tunnel, Otonashi registered as an organ donor on his ID card, which prompted the others to do the same. Otonashi died shortly after, moments before rescue workers managed to finally break through into the tunnel. After Angel wakes up, she remarks that it is a miracle that her original self managed to beat the other ruthless Angel personalities. Otonashi comes to realize Angel's sole reason for existence is to help people move on by fulfilling any regret they had in life. Otonashi decides to cooperate with Angel so everyone can move on, but first Otonashi must learn more about their pasts. Meanwhile, Angel is reinstated as the student council president and Naoi returns to being the vice president. The rest of the SSS believe Angel lost her memories of her time with them and has returned to how she was before.
Otonashi tells Angel that the next person they should try to pass on is Yui. During Girl Dead Monster's practice, Angel goes in and steals Yui's guitar and leads her to Otonashi who tries to find out what her life was before. Yui was hit by a car when she was younger, thus leaving her paralyzed from the neck down and leaving her bed-ridden. Otonashi manages to get two requests done by becoming her temporary wrestling partner as she tries to do a "German Suplex" and with the help of Angel, succeed at a soccer game that he tricks Hinata, Noda, TK, and Fujimaki to participate in. Otonashi tries to fulfill her next wish to get a homerun. After many attempts, Yui stops and tells Otonashi it's okay that she didn't get one because she was able to move her body more. She then tells him that her last wish is to get married, and asks Otonashi if he would marry her. Otonashi is hesitant to respond, but soon Hinata appears and says that he will marry her. Yui tells Hinata that she is handicap and cannot move. He responds by telling her that he will marry her no matter what and promises to meet her by some incident and care for her in the next life. With her last wish fulfilled, Yui is able to pass on. Otonashi then asks Hinata if it was all right to let her leave to which he tells Otonashi that he still has more people to look over. In a school hallway, Oyama is attacked by an invisible creature that Noda is able to fend off but is left shocked by the fact that he actually cut through it. Yusa reports this to Yuri calling it a "Shadow".
Hinata and Naoi argue about who should help Otonashi when a shadow monster suddenly attacks Naoi, but Otonashi and Hinata are able to destroy it in time. Yuri calls Angel to a meeting to figure out if she is involved with the shadows, but the meeting is cut short when a group of shadows attack Noda, TK and Shiina. Yuri and the others jump in and everyone is safe, but Yuri notices during the battle that one of the NPCs transformed into a shadow. Fujimaki appears to relay that Takamatsu got devoured by one of the shadows as Ōyama helplessly looked on as Takamatsu was absorbed into the ground. Takamatsu later reappears, but is now an NPC whose soul has been eaten. Yuri calls an emergency meeting with all of the other SSS members, Yuri reveals she knew about Otonashi's plan of helping members pass on, and she tells everyone to think about passing on, lest they be eaten by the shadows. Yuri later reveals that Angel is a human to Otonashi, Hinata and Naoi before going off by herself to discover the source of the shadows. Yuri deduces that someone must be turning NPCs into shadows and she heads to the computer room in the library, as it is the only viable place to do such an operation. She finds a man programming a computer who tells her someone keeps steeling computers and he was programming a new one. After the man leaves, Yuri searches for the method the thief used to take the computers and discovers a hidden passes that leads back into the Guild.
As the girls of Girls Dead Monster and many other SSS members decide to pass on, Otonashi and the others continue to fight off the other shadows, which are increasing in number. Meanwhile, Yuri explores the Guild and comes up against many shadows. She gets ensnared by one and becomes an NPC, but she manages to fight it and returns thanks to Otonashi, Angel, Hinata and Naoi, who have come to aid her. While they fend off the shadows, Yuri comes across a computer room where all the stolen computers are, and she meets a strange boy who talks about the programmer of the Angel Player software, which manipulates the world. The boy tempts her with the prospect of being God of the world herself, but Yuri declines for the sake of her friends and destroys all the computers. As she rests from destroying them all, she has a vision of being forgiven by her siblings before waking up in the infirmary where Otonashi, Angel, Hinata and Naoi are waiting.
Three days after the shadows incident, only Otonashi, Yuri, Angel, Hinata and Naoi remain, the other having already passed on. Per Angel's idea, they hold a graduation ceremony, where they thank each other for their support. After the ceremony ends, Naoi takes his leave. Yuri makes her peace with Angel before she leaves, followed shortly by Hinata. With Otonashi and Angel left, Otonashi suggests that they could stay together to help others who come into the afterlife world, revealing in the process that he is in love with her. Angel is hesitant to respond, as her one regret was never saying thanks to Otonashi, whose heart kept her alive in the real world due to the donor card he left behind when he died. Angel thanks him and disappears in his arms, as Otonashi cries over the disappearance of his newfound love. Otonashi passes on shortly after. In the real world, Angel is humming "My Song" when Otonashi happens to pass by. When Angel turns to walk away, Otonashi chases after her to tap on her shoulder.
- To balance out the boy-to-girl ratio of the SSS members, Rupert Grint and a few other boys in the cast constantly crossdressed during breaks (among Rupert's costumes were a bunny girl costume, a maid dress, a nurse outfit, a gymnast's leotard, a bridal gown, and a princess gown, and Mitchel Musso once showed up dressed as a meter maid). Rupert himself always wore a bra and panties under his costume whenever it was feasible (i.e. his costume didn't expose anything on camera).
- Unlike in the anime, the Naoi and Student Council vs. SSS fight, as well as Yuri's encounter with Red Angel, are shown in graphic detail.
- After Yuri returns from her encounter with Red Angel, she references Toy Story 3 and tells the SSS upon returning, "You will not believe what I've been through tonight!"--a shoutout to a similar scene featuring Mr. Potato Head as seen in the second theatrical trailer.
- The songs that play during the end credits are "I Wish I Had" by Stroke and "21 Guns" by Green Day.
- Emma Watson went on record as saying her imitation of Yuri's laughter both at the baseball tournament's climax and when she's considering becoming the new god creeps even her out.
- All songs performed by GirlDeMo, Iwasawa, and Yui were pre-recorded by Emma Watson and then performed live by the girls portraying GirlDeMo, and during Yui's audition to replace Iwasawa, Dakota Fanning actually sang along to an instrumental backing track to "My Soul, Your Beats" (which was recorded in E-flat tuning as with all Emma Watson solo recordings). During GirlDeMo's performances, as well as Iwasawa's performance of "My Song", the girls portraying GirlDeMo (or just Kristen Stewart) perform the song live, and for shots away from the band where the song can clearly be heard, the Emma Watson studio recording is played.
- Since 2011, "My Soul, Your Beats" has consistently been featured at the end of Emma Watson's setlists.
See also: Angel Beats! home video releases
The film was released on September 30, 2011 in R-rated form and NC-17-rated form. It was Emma Watson who convinced Disney to go ahead and release the NC-17-rated cut in theatres. Rich Ross agreed on the condition that an R-rated version receive a simultaneous and wider release. The R-rated cut was shown on 70% of the films screens. Ironically, the NC-17-rated version grossed 55% of the film's box office total, outgrossing the R-rated cut by 10%. (The box office treated the cuts as two separate films: "ANGEL BEATS R" and "ANGEL BEATS NC17".) The R-rated cut is rated "for graphic violence throughout and pervasive language", while the NC-17-rated cut is rated "for extreme graphic violence". Both versions were released on home video on December 20, 2011.