Anime Review: Gabriel DropOut

From beginning to end, Gabriel DropOut is one long comedy routine, and it had me laughing the entire time. It’s a slice-of-life comedy based around cute high school girls who are actually angels and demons, only the angels are not so saintly, and the demons are not so evil.

The story follows the friendship of four girls, two of them angels, and the other two demons.

It begins with the titular Gabriel, who graduated at the top of her class in angel school, and came to the world of mortals to help people and make them happy. Then she stumbled onto an MMORPG and was corrupted. She was drawn in because of how the immediate situation played to the literal interpretation of her mission, but then she got hooked, and the experience broke her neurotically-motivated behavior. The entire persona she had before, pristine, industrious, and utterly selfless and without flaw, was only what others wanted her to be, but now, free of that, she becomes lazy, slovenly, and her life revolves around her gaming.

So, Gabriel becomes “herself,” a “faillen” angel, as she puts it, and now she needs her friends to balance her out.

Ironically, the “angel” on her shoulder is a demon girl named Vignette. If Gab isn’t really so good at being an angel, then Vigne isn’t good at being evil. She’s the one always getting Gab out of the house and going to class. She’s the responsible one, the kind, selfless, considerate one, and boy does she have her hands full. Not only does she have to keep Gab going, but their other two friends as well.

The ever-so-creatively-named Satania is the most outspoken of the group, by a long margin. She’s always going on, very loudly and dramatically, about how she will be an archduke in Hell, a truly evil demon who does demonic things and has many terrible demonic deeds to her demonic name! It’s complete, absolute, paper-thin posturing, and all the more hilarious for the final addition to our main cast.

If Gab was the number one angel in their class, then Raphiel was number two, and if Gab let her past persona simply vanish to become an unvarnished version of herself, especially her flaws, then Raphiel has mastered the art of the false face which hides her true intentions. She takes delight in tricking people, like Satania, into entertaining situations. Basically, she is quite skilled at psychological manipulation and keeping a straight face.

So, with these four girls hanging out together at home and at school, humor is inevitable, and it comes pretty non-stop for a dozen episodes.

I’ve mentioned comedies once or twice before, I think, and there are usually two particular flaws with them these days. The first is that, without any real plot advancement, one tends to lose interest after awhile. The second is the brand of humor, almost always including something blatantly sexual that really just weighs things down the more its used.

In regards to the first, these four girls are basically just going through life, doing what they want together. There’s not much in the way of story, but, even in the endless comedy routine, there are some slow, subtle developments. There are a few small ways which Gab shows that, despite her current selfishness, she still cares enough to help a friend out, even one as annoying to her as Satania. Indeed, while it may not be so flagrant and saintly, it may be that her current brand of kindness is the better kind, the true kind.

Even more, however, none of the episodes felt “long” to me. It wasn’t necessarily riveting, but it never lost my interest either.

As for the second, I am even more pleasantly surprised to report what is nearly a complete absence of anything either explicit or even sexual at all. No women with absurd busts, no creepy infatuations, no blatant fan service that I readily remember. I can recall exactly one joke, where Gab, lazy and late, tried to teleport into the classroom from her apartment, but all she managed to send was her underwear. The real humor here being not the panties floating down out of thin air – though, yes, the boys pray to Heaven in gratitude – but Gab’s immediate embarrassment.

So, the humor is pretty clean, and therefore not weighed down by anything that can only serve to distract rather than entertain.

Yes, I am quite pleased by this.

So, for the lovable characters and their hilarious antics, for the constant laughs and clean humor, and for keeping my interest from start to finish, I give Gabriel DropOut:

Rating: 9 stars out of 10.

Grade: B-Plus.

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One Response to Anime Review: Gabriel DropOut

  1. Pingback: The Unique Blogger Award | Merlin's Musings

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