In episode 12, the Mysterious Boy (who is probably the first NPC) explained to Yuri that there was a boy from a long time ago who loved another girl who left him alone in this world. Thus he lost his grip on sanity, and created some sort of "requirements" to this world (the main one being to not allow love to spread). But the Mysterious Boy also told her that his chances of meeting her again are better than 0.

Based on this question, it is assumed that Otonashi didn't have regrets so he did passed on. But I beg to differ on that, because we can also assume Otonashi DID have regrets right after Kanade left him even when he begged for her to stay with him.

It's all based on assumption really, but could it be that the first NPC was actually Otonashi himself in some way?

  • So far, I have not seen undeniable evidence for or against this theory. The Mysterious Boy is just an AI. You probably meant The Programmer instead of the first NPC.
    – Gao
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 7:46
  • @GaoWeiwei According to the English DUB, The Mysterious Boy said the first NPC he is the The Programmer... Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 21:00

3 Answers 3


Theoretically, no. It's true that Kanade arrived before Otonashi and Otonashi died in the real world before Kanade (because Otonashi's heart went to Kanade), but I think this question never received a response from Key.

  • Theories are backed by facts.
    – кяαzєя
    Commented Feb 27, 2016 at 20:37
  • 1
    If Otonashi was related to first NPC, then should arrive afterlife before Kanade. But she arrives first for some reason (ep1). Maybe, Otonashi arrives, then leave afterworld, and dies a second time on real world...? Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 13:58

I still haven't gotten my head wrapped around the ending, but the creator of Angel Beats!, Jun Maeda, has purportedly said in an interview:

It was no use being there by himself, so I believe he also left the world after that. Besides, he was rewarded. It wasn’t a bad life. It wouldn’t be like Otonashi for him to stay. He’s a forward-thinker…looking towards his next life.

So it seems that Otonashi eventually passed on without regrets.

Otonashi is undoubtedly portrayed as a parallel of the Programmer, but it is not known whether he will end up turning himself into an NPC like the Programmer had done, because the anime didn't give us a clear and definitive answer, and neither did Jun Maeda in the interview. I guess it's really up to you to decide on what you believe in.

  • what about the epilogue where Otonashi v2 reached to Kanade v2 ? Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 3:44
  • @NamikazeSheena I believe that epilogue is the result of Otonashi having successfully left the Afterlife World, the "Good/True End". But don't forget the Another Epilogue, where we are not so sure if Otonashi won't stay indefinitely in the Afterlife World, like a "Normal/Bad End".
    – Gao
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 14:48

The Mysterious Boy, aka the AI, was created by the Programmer as the first NPC in the Afterlife. The Programmer's details match that of Otonashi's with striking similarities. Let's not forget that alongside the original ending of Angel Beats, Key issued another epilogue, aptly titled "Another Epilogue". In this, the main focus is another person that's arrived in the Afterlife, and he is surrounded by quiet, obedient NPCs. After challenging the reality of the Afterlife School, he is talked to by the Student Council President,

the Otonashi in an alternate timeline, who hasn't moved on yet,

and he is told that if he has any question about the world that they both live in that he should come down to the Student Council room. However, as

Otonashi heads back to the Student Council room, a girl can be heard saying, "There's a rumor that he's waiting for someone."

So therefore, it's entirely possible that

Otonashi is waiting for Kanade, and that this timestream somehow loops. Otonashi goes crazy waiting for Kanade, who has an infinitesimally small chance of reappearing in the Afterlife, but still, better than zero.

He turns himself into an NPC to be able to withstand the long wait, and creates the AI, or the "Mysterious Boy" to be able to maintain the requirements of the Afterlife, not allowing love to manifest, therefore possibly saving future arrivals from the pain that he has been exposed to. This may be why he creates Angel Player, because he knows that if Kanade reappears, then she'll know how to use it, and maybe program it to move him back from his NPC state. The members of the SSS arrive after this. Then, at the time of Episode 1, the timestream loops, causing

Otonashi to revert back from an NPC.

Forgetting everything that's happened to him, the events continue their course the same way they did before,

causing the timeline to repeat over and over and over.

Any thoughts? This seems pretty far-fetched, but it's out there now.

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