I watched Angel Beats last year (2015) and since then I have seen quite a few people are confused by the ending. Thus the birth of this post, explaining the end of Angel Beats in a nice clear and simple manner. Below I delve into why and how Otonashi and Kanade (Angel) are able to be there at the same time, even though he had donated his heart to her and she was there before him.
Otonashi had finally managed to convince all of the others that they should move on and find peace. Now that it is just he and Kanade left he has second thoughts and wants to stay there with her to help guide other souls that go there find peace and move on. Kanade then tells Otonashi that he is the reason that she was able to live a little longer in the real world.
That is where the wheels fall off. Since the Not Yet Dead Battle Front had been fighting against Kanade for quite some time before Otonashi had appeared, how could he have been the one to save her?
It is simple really; when he died, he had died feeling at peace since he was able to become an organ donor. He had also managed to help the others that were trapped with him. His heart had then given to Kanade who had as a result been given a little extra time to live.
Kanade then dies and finds herself in the afterlife. She is then joined by the others. While time passes and the SS is formed, Otonashi’s soul has been lost or travelling through limbo. Eventually, it makes its way to the afterlife world of Kanade and the others. He is drawn there due to Kanade’s regret.
Everyone in the ‘afterlife’ had felt cheated and that they had an unfair childhood, thus they could not find peace. The afterlife world was created to help each of their souls to find peace and let them have the ‘normal’ childhood that they wished they could have had.
Since Otonashi had managed to find peace before he died, he should not have gone to the afterlife world in the first place. However, since he did, he was able to help all of the others including Kanade find peace and move on.
I hope this has cleared up any confusion you may have had regarding the end of Angel Beats!
To read my review on Angel Beats click here.