Attack on Heaven & Hell: Angels & Demons


Gabriel Dropout: (From left to right) Raphiel, Vignette, Gabriel, Satan-chan

Throughout your life you probably have heard about angels and demons descending from heaven/hell to lie among humans for various reasons (should I use "ascending from hell" for demons?). This kind of story comes in various forms such as books or TV shows/films and even anime. Gabriel Dropout is the most recent anime that falls under this category. However it's not as straight forward as "angels help people, demons kill people".

In "Heaven" the angel Gabriel was the top junior high school student who becomes a perfect example for other young angels. As per angels tradition, junior high graduates are sent to the human world to understand the human life so they could use this experience to better help them in the future (well, it's an angel's job to help people right?) However it's also this motivation to help people that caused the downfall of Gabriel. After "helping" people in MMORPGs she ended up being and addict herself, to the point of becoming a complete shut-in. It's as if her reputation as an honor student at her former school was a lie. However she is aware of this changes but accepted it and kind of cool with it. She even came up with the term "faillen angel" (failed + fallen) to describe herself. She enjoys her current state now and thankful that she is introduced to human entertainment, something that was missing in heaven.

Now the most unlikely thing to happen in this anime is, Gabriel's closest friend in human world is Vignette, a demon, who also descended (ascended?) from hell following a similar tradition as in heaven. She's the most normal, most responsible, most down-to-earth person in the anime, and is some cases she's even called "angel" due to her kindness and helpfulness, which is contradicting her background. At this point I started to think that "angels" and "demons" are just jobs instead of races. I mean the angels are not always angelic, and the demons are not always 'demonic'.

Gabriel and Vignette are not the only angel-demon pair in this anime. We have another angel, Raphiel (Raphael?) voiced by HANAZAWA-SAN! and a demon, Satan-chan. Just like Gabriel and Vignette, Raphiel and Satan-chan also exhibit behavior that is quite the opposite of their respective 'race'. Raphiel for example enjoys tricking Satan-chan for her own amusement (poor Satan-chan). Satan-chan is the least fortunate character here, often fell for Raphiel's tricks. She wants to do evil (but incapable of doing it properly) and actually quite a responsible person too deep inside. At one time she cleaned up the floor voluntarily (out of responsibility?) after Gabriel spilled her drink. Sometimes I feel sorry for her because of what Raphiel and Gabriel did to her (like tricking and taking advantages of). It makes me think she's the best girl of this show.

This is not my top anime this season but definitely one of a few titles I can't afford to miss. It won't leave much impact and probably not many people will notice once it's finished airing but for me it's still quite enjoyable. At least there's no character that I hate here, though I wish Satan-chan is treated better because sometimes the fate is quite unfair on her.