Gabriel Dropout follows the story of Archangel Gabriel(who is a female, surprisingly) as she tries to fit into human life. Throughout the season(12 episodes), we see a slice of life story with 2 not-so-angelic angels and 2 not-so-bright demons at their experiences at a high school and various Japanese events. The characters include Gabriel, a lazy slob of an angel, Raphiel, a sadistic prankster, Satania, a failed demon, and finally Vignette, a demon who acts like an angel. Though these themes might seem mature, it's presented in a very cartoonish and innocent way.
Immediately, you can draw a lot of Christian and Biblical connections via character names & props(such as Gabriel's horn. which Gabriel jokingly threatens to use to end humanity). The presence of numerous crosses as well as repeated usage of 'light vs dark' is a heavy enforcer of this theme give it a very contrasting set of protagonists and worlds. However, the anime doesn't really touch on the religious aspects, and focuses more on simple comedy that can be achieved with supernatural humanoids living a more basic life, building on a very simple concept, rather than focusing on it.
The backdrop we're given is that Heaven's 2 top angels are sent down to earth to guide people to happiness, who, on their trips, encounter 2 demons at the same high school they go to. There is no real overarching story throughout the twelve episodes, following a one-off fest of gags and somewhat depressing comedy. There really isn't much to summarize due to the nature of the anime and the characters.
Gabriel is initially the perfect angel, who helps everyone and looks heavenly. Halfway through the first episode, she discovers an MMO, blows all her money on it, and turns into a slob(The "dropout" in Gabriel Dropout). While this gag can be entertaining along with her now more sadistic nature, it gets stale kind of quick. While more relatable than the other characters, she's probably the least entertaining due to her one-sided personality, though others might find her more enjoyable due to how relatable she can be. However, I believe that simply presenting reality, though a bit sobering and depressingly humorous, does not necessarily make for a good character. Just like a lot of us might be in real life, she's very one-sided, and that's generally not what we look for in characters.
Raphiel also falls into the category of one-sided characters and is in my opinion the most forgettable of the bunch. The second most perfect angel in heaven, she too just completely bails on her angelic theme and becomes a pretty sadistic prankster on Satania, a demon. Though it's kind of funny to see Satania getting demolished at her own game, the constant repetition of never-ending mocking by Raphiel, combined with her pretty much singular ****** expression, creates yet another stolid character with no growth at all. Her constant ruse of being "good" wears down viewers over time.
Vignette is probably the best character we're presented with in the series. A demon from ****, she too completely fails at her role by being nice and helping people out. And it's that aspect of her, combined with more realistic issues that paints her as a character viewers can actually understand the feelings of. She still has a more evil side at times, so she feels like the only character which isn't a one-sided painting. Her disapproval of Gabriel and Satania is a running theme, and it's honestly kind of nice to see the show acknowledge that their characters are really repetitive and have a counterbalance, rather than just letting them run the same gag over and over.
The god(or devil, in this case) that r/animemes worships, Satania is a "demon" who can barely pull off elementary school level pranks. The running gags with her include a dog stealing her melon bread, and all her attempts at tricking or pranking the angels failing. And honestly, I don't know why anyone likes her. She's super narcissistic and annoying as ****, and I feel actual satisfaction from seeing her fail or suffer at the hands of the angels. She's always acting like she's above everyone, and overconfident in her abilities as well. She's just a catalyst for more gags, and nothing else.
Does it fit the genre well?
Gabriel Dropout, as a slice of life comedy, does alright. It can set up some pretty nice gags and jokes, but those are far and few between, with more episodes containing the same constant plot: Satania does something dumb, Raphiel torments her, Gabriel is a slob, and Vignette tries to get Gabriel together. There's no real change over the season, and it's a pretty generic anime at that. I've no clue how it got so popular when there were much better animes at the time to watch.
The Second OVA is actually touching and completely distances itself from the rest of the episodes, focusing on the gang meeting a near-blind girl who can see the angels and demons. She dies after being hit by a car, and Gabriel goes against Heaven's rules to save her. This complete 180 from the otherwise comedic show is nice to see, but still disappointing to see what this anime could have been.
The anime's alright, I guess. It's pretty overrated though. For the aforementioned reasons above, I would give it a 7/10. It's nothing great, but it can be good and it's far better than a lot of other animes. You may as well watch it due to its popularity.