Gabriel DropOut – Anime Series Review

7 comments

Episodes: 12 (+ 2 OVAs)

Genre(s): Slice-of-life, Comedy

Aired: Jan 2017 to Mar 2017

Also known as: ガヴリールドロップアウト

Summary: Gabriel White Tenma, a honor student from Angel School, turns into a video game-obsessed hikikomori after she was sent down to Earth (which is required in order to become a fully-fledged angel).

As she lives life as an apathetic slob, she makes three friends: Vignette April Tsukinose, a kind demon; Raphiel Ainsworth Shiraha, Gabriel’s classmate from Angel School who has a sadistic streak a mile wide; and Satanichia McDowell Kurumizawa, a clumsy demon who’s terrible at being evil and basically acts like a full-blown chuunibyou.

This show is basically about four demons and angels failing to understand or care about what it means to be either demonic or angelic. 

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Review: This show lives and dies by its gags. If you’re in the mood for some comedy, then Gabriel DropOut could be the anime for you. If humor and charming supporting characters can’t tide you over, then it’s probably best for you to look elsewhere.

What kind of gags can you expect? References to other shows or video games, for starters. I must stress that the majority of the jokes focus on how the angels lead decadent lives while the demons struggle to be truly evil. The situation is amusing because it’s ironic, yes, but it grows monotonous rather quickly. There are a few jokes that were lost in translation and might not be properly conveyed to non-native Japanese viewers, however, due to the open-minded translator (who admittedly helped make the series more funny). To witness and understand such witty wordplay, I would recommend readers edsamac’s Lost in Translation series (post #3, post #6, and post #7).

JJ
Satania lookin’ like JJ here.
FF
Gab lookin’ like the Final Fantasy enemy, Cactuar  վ’ᴗ’ ի
gendo
The teacher lookin’ like Ikari Gendo.

In my opinion, what really hurts the series is Gabriel. Yes, the titular character is also a weak main character in many aspects. She’s mean, petty, and lazu, which are unusual traits for most main characters (let alone one who is supposed to be an angel). As a result, I found her to be unlikeable and mostly devoid of positive qualities. She does get a little better towards the end with occasional acts of kindness (which she did do from time to time in earlier episodes), but it’s overshadowed by how she’s usually a jerk.

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In fact, all three of the main supporting characters (Vigne, Satania, and Raphiel) are much more compelling and charming characters than Gabriel. While this usually isn’t a good thing, many episodes shift focus away from the sloppy angel and towards the interesting characters instead. Then again, a few of the other minor characters seem needless and do not add anything to the story (I’m talking about you, Tapris) since their relationships with the main characters provide nothing new. At any rate, I consider how they all befriend and gather around a terrible individual like Gabriel to be a major miracle.

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The OP and the ED were chaotic soundtracks that were also enjoyable to listen to. Nothing much to say about the instrumental OST, however.

As for the yuri, it’s subtle but there. Raphiel is unafraid to say she loves Gabriel and seems to enjoy seeing the other characters suffer due to her sadistic streak that’s a mile wide. Satania is obsessed with victory over Gabriel and her antics resemble the behavior done by an immature schoolboy who’s lovestruck (namely picking fights and acting mean in order to gain attention from the one he likes). I’m also suspicious of Vigne’s feeling towards Gabriel. Be that as it may, shipping fans can quietly enjoy themselves while watching this series.

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Verdict:

You will pick up Gabriel DropOut for only two reasons: for the memetic faces (expressive characters ahoy!) and for the humor. Some of the gags are nuanced and clever, but most of the them merely cash in the inherent irony of angels and demons not acting as expected. Your enjoyment of the show will depend on whether or not you can tolerate seeing familiar punchlines repeatedly occur.

If you don’t mind (or even enjoy) annonying main characters who act like jerks, then you might want to give Girlish Number a shot. Unlike Gabriel, however, Chitose has a somewhat clear goal in mind and isn’t overshadowed by her co-workers. Girlish Number also becomes rather dramatic at times; Gabriel DropOut, on the other hand, will always play a situtation out for humor and punchlines without exception.

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7 comments on “Gabriel DropOut – Anime Series Review”

  1. So in terms of shipping, Gabriel basically has a harem. Wonder what angel policy on polyamory is….

    That aside, I can see why the whole ‘angel mean, demons nice’ irony is good at first but wears thin when that’s all the show’s got going for its entire run.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It isn’t quite as clear-cut as I mentioned since Gabriel’s kouhai seems caught between Gabriel and Vigne while Raphiel is caught betwen Gabriel and Satania.

      I guess we would have to consult the good book for that one!

      Mmm right? But this is probably me being too fussy over my slice-of-life shows.

      Liked by 1 person

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