Horror anime series have really declined as of late. With Ousama Game becoming the new measuring stick for everything you shouldn’t do when making a horror anime, it’s time to see if the latest entry into the genre fares any better. Satsuriku no Tenshi (Angels of the Death) has a pretty standard but interesting premise. Did it deliver in such a way where faith could be restored in the horror anime genre?
Rachel is a 13-year-old girl that wakes up and finds herself trapped in a basement. She also can’t remember anything so she decides to wander the building until she’s almost killed by a scythe-wielding maniac named Zack… and then again later by a crazed doctor named Daniel Dickens. Apparently, there are many floors in this building and certain people are only allowed to roam certain floors. When Zack meander’s up to the doctor’s floor, an announcement is made over the P.A. system that he’s in violation of the rules but he doesn’t care.
After learning that her parents are dead (just like 99.9% of every other anime main character), she decides to approach Zack and asks him to kill her.
An unlikely friendship between a homicidal maniac and a monotone turned suicide watch-worthy girl seems interesting on paper but the execution was just absolutely HORRIBLE. Zack’s character was so over-the-top that the voice actor sounded like he was trying too hard after coming fresh off of graduation from voice actor academy. That is a shame considering that Zack’s voiced by Nobuhiko Okamoto, who voiced Rin in Ao no Exorcist. Some voice actors have their limits and I think we found his. I found Zack more cringe-worthy than scary and I couldn’t really take anything he did seriously.
The second thing that really struck me odd was some of the decisions made by the characters. Let’s take Rachel’s first encounter with Zack. She narrowly escapes being killed by him and decides to make a break for it. While running FOR HER LIFE she actually stops to tend to a dead bird… a bird killed in a previous scene where Zack just flat out stepped on it in front of Rachel. She decides, for whatever reason, to sew the bird up, despite the fact that it wasn’t really broken in such a way where it needed it and then continued to RUN FOR HER LIFE.
Sorry, but who the hell stops to sew a dead bird when you’re being chased by a homicidal maniac!? Of course, Zack catches up and finds her and that’s when she escapes to the next floor where she meets Daniel. Daniel seems normal at first until he turns into a full psycho pedo who is infatuated with Rachel’s eyes and he wants them for himself. The acting here is even more cringe-worthy which is, again, sad because Takahiro Sakurai is an accomplished voice actor with so many good roles and well-portrayed characters under his belt.
I don’t know if they’re being terrible on purpose but this is obviously not their best work. I did watch a little bit of episode two to see that Zack, who was more than willing to kill Rachel in episode one, suddenly became so sickened at the thought of killing her, that he vomited colorful rainbow puke. At that point, I just couldn’t take the anime seriously anymore and stopped watching.
OP and ED Thoughts
If there is a redeeming quality about this show, it’s that the opening song is pretty decent and its ending song is simply phenomenal.
“VITAL” by Masaaki Endo kind of starts off sounding like an In NO Hurry to Shout song and then evolves into some T.M. Revolution-sounding vocals. It’s pretty decent but while the song does stand out, to me, I just don’t find it good enough to warrant picking up once it is released. It was just “okay” at best but not bad enough to where I would want to skip it.
“Pray” by Haruka Chigusa serves at the ending and WOW. If any song SHOULD have served as the opening, it was this one. The pace is slow and menacing enough to really sell the horror aspect of the song. It also has a certain beauty to it that also maintains the “pain” of the vocals. This is probably one of the best ending songs that I’ve heard this year and this is a song that I’m definitely going to pick up… which you should as well.
NO – Sadly, an average opening and an amazing ending song can’t sell this series for me. The over-the-top voice acting and nonsensical plot twists that I’ve seen thus far really killed any hope I had in this series. I already suffered through Ousama Game merely out of morbid curiosity and I refuse to put myself through something like that again. The wait for a halfway decent horror series to come out continues!