The worlds of heaven and hell couldn’t be farther apart, yet they both have the same idea: send their teenage angels and demons to the human world when they graduate angel and demon schools in heaven and hell. Spending time in the human world enrolled in human high school, unknown to humans of course, is the last step into becoming full-fledged angels and demons. Gabriel Tenma graduated angel school at the top of her class and heads to earth with the mission to become an angel who will bring peace and happiness to mankind. A cry for help changes all of that. The cry came from an MMROPG and as an angel she couldn’t turn down the cry for help, even if it was a virtual one. She quickly slides down the slippery slope of novice to addicted gamer declaring herself a “Fallen Angel.” She tosses aside the virtue and righteousness she once had and becomes apathetic toward everything. The only thing standing in her way to keep her from going from failing to truly fallen is her best friend, Vignette April Tsukinose -- a not-quite-so-demonic demon. We spend 12 episodes getting to know characters of varying moral quality in this modern animated morality play of Gabirel DropOut.
We first meet Master when Gabriel goes in search of a job in order to supplement her income. She had been burning through her student stipend with in-game purchases and needed to make some cash, so a job at a nearby coffee shop seemed like a good idea. The master is an odd man – a human, but odd. He seems to have lived a life of adventure as he chased his true passion: coffee. He, without much prompting, will tell you all about the beans, the bean farmer, the roaster, the temperature of the brew and the chemical composition of each cup if you give him a chance. He is often confused by his employee’s behavior and her sometimes rude manor towards customers, but assumes that it’s because she’s a foreigner. To love and enjoy something so much you learn everything you can about it doesn’t make you strange, does it? Or are we projecting? Regardless, Master makes the list simply for fitting in with this rather unique cast of characters.
Martel is the female butler of Raphiel Ainsworth Shiraha, a friend, classmate, and fellow angel of Gabriel’s. We meet Martel when the angels and demons go home on break to their respective realms. Martel seems like the polite, devoted and efficient servant, willing to take care of all the details of the lives of her upper-class masters. She does have a small quirk, an obsession with Raphiel. On multiple occasions, she is seen spying on her young mistress as well as being sure to collect the young lady’s laundry while it is still warm with the heat of her angelic body. We don’t see a lot of Martel, but this oddball of a butler does enough odd things to make our list.
8. Zeruel White Tenma
Zeruel is the older sister of Gabriel, and in Gab’s words, “Zelel-neesan has always been a square. She’s serious and hella strict.” A whole episode is devoted to our quintet of supernatural students trying to hide the fact the Gabriel has given up her halo for H.A.L.O. The well-described Operation Little Sis Moe Moe, in which Gabriel will use her powers as a little sister to flatter and lie her way out of the trouble she’s in. We don’t really count her as odd; we include her in this list because she’s a major catalyst driving the screwball antics of the rest of the cast.
7. Sugarbell Chisaki Tapris
We first meet Tapris at the beginning of episode 5 dressed in a space suit, walking down the street in the human world afraid of contamination while looking for Gabriel. Tapris was an underclassmen angel to Gabriel at angel school and idolizes the perfectly angelic Gabriel. She is also one of the most naïve (or just dumb) characters in the cast. Tapris is so shocked by her honored senpai Gabriel’s ragged, slothful look she doesn’t even recognize her. Instead, Tapris believes her to be a punk trying to shake her down for money. She can’t face the truth that her beloved Gabriel is a Fallen Angel, believing it must be a demon’s doing. We put her at number nine because her gullibility and permanent trust issues make her reactions pretty fun to watch.
Dog, or the melon bread thieving dog and tormentor of Satanichia, is one of the key members of this cast. The little white dog, most likely a mutt with some Akita mixed in, is first spotted in a standoff with red-headed “arch-demon” and classmate of Gabriel, Satanicha. At first, dog seems like he must just be a normal stray dog. The regular appearances during the series make us think twice about the commonness of this mutt. He often appears out of nowhere to snatch Satanicha’s melon bread and run off, leaving the young and somewhat delusional demon fuming. The question is, how? How does this normal dog just appear out of nowhere on a street, in school, or in an apartment to take her bread? The answer is, and this is just our opinion, he is magical and highly intelligent, slowly manipulating Satanicha toward some unknown goal. It’s odd enough to land him firmly in the middle of this list.
Machiko is the one of the few humans with speaking roles in the cast and the only one with any impact on the actual plot. She is the class president and looks out for all of her fellow classmates. Machiko stays on top of things like making sure her classmates turn in their reports and projects on time. She does seem to be a bit of a busy body though and listening in on conversations and jumping to the wrong conclusions. We only need listen to her internal monologue to realize that she’s really got an active imagination that might be a little to active.
4. Raphiel Ainsworth Shiraha
Raphiel is the perfect young lady. She comes from a well-to-do, high-ranking family of angels. She radiates beauty and grace and is admired by girls and boys alike at school. Raphiel is looked upon as a perfect angel, but she is far from it. The silver cross barrettes in her platinum hair might be one of the few angelic things about her. She is a devious girl who loves toying with people for her own amusement. At one point, she even orchestrates a conflict between Tapris and Satanichia just to watch them bumble their way through it. Raphiel has also been known to keep a gag and rope on hand, just in case someone needs tied up. That’s enough of a reason to place her on this list of weirdos.
3. Vignette April Tsukinose
Vignette is a perfect angel of a girl, despite being a demon. She cooks, cleans, takes care of others and is a model student. She is Gabriel’s best friend and neighbor. Vignette does her absolute best to take care of the wayward angel by getting her out of the house and to school as often as she can. She puts up a good front when Gabriel asks to copy her homework, but likely gives in or at least helps her with it. Vignette doesn’t lie, doesn’t cheat or litter and does everything she can to help people. She is simply a very un-demonic demon, placing her on this list of characters just behind the titular character of Gabriel.
2. Gabriel White Tenma
Gabriel was once one of the brightest stars in heaven. She was at the top of her class in angel school, a heavenly body to be gazed upon and admired. Then she went to earth, the angel version of study abroad. She, like study abroad students in the human world before her, went completely native. She cast aside her angelic pursuits of cleanliness, charity and enlightenment to become a NEET. Gabriel cast herself out of the light of god, preferring the flickering light of her computer screen in her dimly light apartment. She occasionally and reluctantly goes to school where she puts in the minimum effort necessary. Gabriel considers herself a “Fallen Angel” or one who really just wants to be a shut-in. More than once we see her pull out the horn to sound the End of Days so she can have fewer distractions from her gaming, only to be stopped by her friends. Gabriel has some amazing lines in this show and is definitely one of the oddest angels out there – but certainly not the oddest person in the cast.
1. Satanichia McDowell Kurumizawa
Arch-demon and future queen of hell describes Satanichia perfectly, well at least in her own mind. Needless to say, she is completely full of herself, constantly looking down on people, especially angels. Her mission in life is to prove her prowess as a demon by doing things so awful that it would make one avert their eyes. The horror of things like not doing her homework or recycling a plastic bottle WITH THE CAP ON! Oh, the horror we face from this spawn of hell. She is constantly being toyed with by the much smarter Raphiel, who revels in the reactions and antics the most intellectually challenged members of the cast. The scene between Satanichia and Tapris, arranged by Raphiel, will have you laughing so hard you’ll cry. She is in constant fear of dog. Dog, as we’ve mentioned, often steals her melon bread from out of nowhere and is one of her constant antagonists. In the end, we find she really is a sweet and kind girl, always willing to help out those in need. She may be the oddest demon and a big old dork, but she’s also the best girl in this cast of weirdos.
The first moral of this story is that blowing the horn for the “End of Days” is NOT a choice that should be made to avoid school and gain more time for gaming. The second moral is simply beware of Dog, he’ll steal your lunch. The third and final moral from this interesting morality play is that not all demons are demonic and not all angels are angelic, and that whether a servant of heaven or hell we’re all basically human.