Angel Beats! (エンジェルビーツ！, Enjeru Bītsu!) is an upcoming visual novel project by Key's Visual Arts based on the anime series of the same name. The visual novel is composed of six volumes, the first of which was released on June 26, 2015.
The story of the visual novel is to be based on the Angel Beats! anime series and retains the role of Yuzuru Otonashi as the main protagonist. The player takes on the role of Otonashi, a newcomer to the Afterlife who finds himself in the middle of a struggle between a group of students who call themselves the Shinda Sekai Sensen ("Afterlife War Front"), or SSS for short, and a mysterious girl who is known under the alias of "Angel". The story will undergo changes from the original anime and will include story routes with each of the characters. It also stated that Otonashi will be very different than his original personality in the Anime, and will change according to the choices made by the player.
News of a visual novel based on Angel Beats! started on November 2010, when Jun Maeda, who previously worked on bestselling visual novels like Air, Clannad, and Kanon, stated in a public audience in Kyoto University that there is a possibility of an Angel Beats! visual novel in development in the future. In addition to this, Visual Arts' president Takahiro Baba tweeted at a later date that the progress of the visual novel's development would be evaluated in 6 month's time.
During August of 2011, ten months after the announcement by Maeda, Baba implies a clear lack of progress within the development team on this replies on his official Twitter account. According to Baba, decisions have not been finalized and the game "hasn't progressed that far". As a result of these tweets by Baba, many fans speculated about the possibilities of the Angel Beats! visual novel being canceled.
On April 15, 2012, an announcement by Key Visual Arts in a press conference releases updates on the Angel Beats! visual novel. According to the said announcement, the visual novel is "in the works", with no specific details about the project, including whether if it is going to be an upcoming title or not. In a statement in his Twitter account, Baba stated that the game is not yet at the stage where an announcement would be possible, hinting at a slow, but steady pace of the game's development. A year later, Baba posted that the status of the visual novel project would be revealed before summer of 2013. 
Tweets by Maeda on April 12 reveal that the music and scenario of the visual novel is currently under development. Maeda also stated that he is also planning to write new songs for Girls Dead Monster for the visual novel.On March 28th, 2013, Visual Arts released the book All About Visual Arts ~VA20 miracle~ as an information guide for all Key games and other Visual Arts games. Included in the book were interviews with Jun Maeda among others. In one interview with Maeda, he confirmed that the Angel Beats! visual novel was being worked on, unofficially confirming its existence.Leo Kashida, co-writer of one of Key's previous works, Little Busters!, and Kai, co-writer of one of Key's previous works Clannad and Kud Wafter, were also said to be working with Maeda on the project. In addition to this, on February 5th 2013, Visual Art's president Takahiro Baba tweeted that the Angel Beats! game is still in the works as well, although some development on the project would be made after the summer of 2013.
In September 27th, 2013, the front cover for the November 2013 issue of Dengeki G's Magazine directly mentioned the Angel Beats! game and gave out details regarding the release details of the game. Among the details revealed were the decision to release the game in six "volumes" and the recurring involvement of scenario writer Jun Maeda and character designer Na-Ga in the project. The project is made official on December 2013 with the opening of its official site.
The visual novel will be released in six volumes, with each volume covering the story routes of selected characters. A free trial version of the first volume (Trial Version 1.10), which includes a portion of the story with limited player options, was made available on the official website starting May 14, 2015.
- 1st beat (June 26, 2015) - Includes story routes for Iwasawa, Matsushita and Yui; covers up to episode 11 of the anime series.
- Volume 2-6 (TBA) - As of May 2020, there has not been any further update on when, or if the remaining volumes will ever be released.
There are currently two songs released as part of the visual novel project. The opening theme song of the visual novel is entitled "Heartily Song", which is written and composed by Jun Maeda, arranged by ANANT-GARDE EYES, and performed by Lia. The first insert song featured in the visual novel is "Million Star", also written and composed by Maeda, arranged by Shuuyou Hikari, and performed by Marina. The title theme of the visual novel is the "SSS Theme" taken from the anime. Also featured on the album is the ED, entitled "The Beginning of The End of Everything".
- Visual Novel Project Official Site (Japanese)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Jun Maeda's Post on Twitter (@FJ_Staff). April 2, 2012.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "Volume 1 of Angel Beats! Game to Cover Up to Episode 10 of Anime Series! Routes for Iwasawa, Matsushita and Yui Confirmed! Main Character is Otonashi!" Yaraon Blog (in Japanese). October 29, 2013.
- ↑ "Angel Beats! Game Confirmed", Worldomonation Blog on Wordpress. November 20, 2010.
- ↑ "Angel Beats! Visual Novel Progress Not Good", Worldomonation Blog on Wordpress. August 5, 2011.
- ↑ "Angel Beats! Visual Novel Confirmed," SeventhStyle. April 15, 2012.
- ↑ "Key Head: Angel Beats! Game Not Yet Ready to Be Announced," Anime News Network. October 22, 2012.
- ↑ Takahiro Baba's Post on Twitter (@vavasyatyou). February 5, 2013.
- ↑ Jun Maeda's Post on Twitter (@FJ_Staff). April 2, 2012.
- ↑ Jun Maeda's Post on Twitter (@FJ_Staff). April 2, 2012.
- ↑ "Angel Beats! Game Details In Next Dengeki G", SeventhStyle. September 27,2013