FreakAngels is a post-apocalyptic web-comic created in 2008 by writer Warren Ellis and artist Paul Duffield. In January 2022, Crunchyroll adapted the web comic into an animated series, and we decided to do a little Round Table Review to discuss the most important things. Joining me is Tess. Are you ready for some anime stuff?
Six years ago, the world “ended” in a single, apocalyptic event, trapping Great Britain behind a mysterious dome of purple energy. London’s last neighborhood has persevered thanks to the protection of the “FreakAngels” – a small group of psychically-powered twenty-three-year-olds. Their fragile peace becomes threatened, however, when an exiled friend returns, exposing past conspiracies and new conflicts within their fractured, makeshift family. Can Whitechapel survive?
Q: What do you think about this series in general? Were you an anime fan before or is this a whole new territory for you? If yes, what made you start watching this series?
Rike: I’ve never seen an anime in my life nor have I read a manga. So one could say that this is a whole new territory for me, yes. When I found out that Daniel Gillies would be a voice actor in this one I just had to give it a try. It was worth a shot and I didn’t regret it. Maybe it wasn’t the best anime series ever, but I also don’t have anything to compare it with. Some things were a bit over the top and not necessary at all but in general it was a good start for me to kinda step into this whole new world.
Tess: I like anime and I’ve watched a variety of titles in my day so this one was familiar territory. I found this one because of the news that Daniel Gillies would be voicing a character, otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have known about FreakAngels at all.
Q: Each FreakAngel brings a unique personality to the series. Did you have a favorite one talking about the group of 12 individuals?
R: My favorite right from the very beginning was Connor (voiced by Christian Lees). I feel like he was the most compassionate one of them all. Always willing to risk his life to save another. I love the fact that he would rather take the longer, and probably less violent, route than do things in a dirty way like other FreakAngels loved to do. However, I also enjoyed watching KK (voiced by Marsha Thomason). Her whole little crazy behavior and being badass in general kind of got me. Also loved her helicopter thing.
T: I can’t say that I did, though Connor was charming (I think that’s his name anyways) and I enjoyed that his personal music choices were sad music or depressed bands… because same.
Q: Do you agree or disagree with the fact that the swearing was a bit too much throughout the whole series?
R: I think the swearing made it somehow extra special, if you know what I mean? There’s nothing bad about swearing and in my opinion it wasn’t over the top. Some mumbling here and there can’t hurt anyone, right?
T: I didn’t mind the swearing but it’s always been jarring for me to hear them in animated films. Over the years, I’ve grown used to it, but every now and then it becomes a bit distracting for me personally.
Q: Talking about the ending: The series has an open end which might lead to getting the viewers hopes up regarding a possible S2. Would you like to see how the story continues or are you okay with imagining it in your own head?
R: I definitely wouldn’t mind another season of FreakAngels. It felt like they were leaving the door open for more possible storylines. It’s not over yet. Excited to find out where the journey will be going. So, fingers crossed for a Season 2.
T: I would be curious to see where a second season would take all the characters. There was a lot of character development in the first season and I feel at the end there was a sort of excitement of what the characters could become within the journey ahead of them.
Q: Mark (voiced by Daniel Gillies) got cast out of the group after he went insane and started using his powers to control people to achieve his own goals. Do you think his following actions were justified by all means? Is he a true villain?
R: First of all he’s acting like a true villain for sure. I mean, Karl (voiced by Darren Jacobs) and Kirk (voiced by Tru Valentino) were trying to eliminate him and actually believed they did until he showed up again. There’s no way that a person wouldn’t change after everything that happened to them. Like Tess already mentioned, he suffered unfortunate events in his life. This may not be an excuse for people around him but it was for himself. That’s all that matters when you’re the villain. You do the things that you think are okay to do so in your head and don’t doubt your decisions. You just go for it and see where it goes. Easy like that for a true villain, right? Mark did exactly this.
T: Isn’t the very essence of a villain truly believing that their violent and morally challenged decisions were justified? I would argue to say that Mark is a good person at heart that suffered unfortunate events in his life that caused him to seek the power and control he currently seeks. So, yes. he is a true villain.
Q: Most of the show is about the conflict between the FreakAngels and the White Chapel community. And the main question is: Can people overcome fears and differences or will they continue fighting without an end? What’s your thought on this statement in general referring to our life here on earth?
R: The key to facing your fears is to take one small step at a time. People don’t have to be friends immediately. They don’t have to understand each other immediately. The important thing is that they’re willing to try to take small steps one after another. It’s tough, I know. Sometimes, or most of the time, people are prejudiced. They hear stuff about people and immediately believe it’s true. They don’t question it. Questioning something and doing research on your own would take time. Time is precious and people are lazy. That’s how it is.
However, I do agree with what Tess said. People can overcome certain fears when they are faced with reality. When they actually see with their own eyes that everything they heard isn’t true at all e.g the FreakAngels aren’t all mind controlling people who want to take over the city. They have powers. Yes. But this doesn’t mean that they have to use them for doing something bad. I was happy to see them making this a big topic on the show. It is and always will be important. People are different. Life is different and it is a good thing that each of us has their own weaknesses and strengths. We should be proud of it and accept each other rather than redlining specific groups of people.
T: My thought is that there is always going to be a group of people in this life that is “othered.” People are continually exploring what thoughts and actions go behind this kind of behavior and what they can do to solve it. Freak Angels seemed to take on this same problem with the twist of the “others” actually having good reason to be feared and set apart.
I think people can overcome certain fears when they are faced with the reality of the situation and in the company of others who do not possess the same fears. Different perspectives can bring enlightenment. I’d like to say that I can see people eventually overcoming their fears and learning to be kind to one another indefinitely, but I can’t.
I think FreakAngels did a wonderful job exploring the human nature of fear of those who are different from ourselves.
Your score on FreakAngels (1-10):
R: A solid 6.
T: It’s a 5 for me.
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Rike is a very optimistic person who's trying to make the best out of everything. She's passionate about traveling, concerts, football and conventions. Most of the time she’s carrying her camera around to capture some moments. Her favorite football club is Borussia Dortmund and if she’s not watching the games on tv she's probably being in the stadium supporting the team.