To investigate the effects that attenuation and anisotropy have on reflection coefficients, we consider a homogeneous and viscoelastic wave incident on an interface between two transversely isotropic and lossy media with the symmetry axis perpendicular to the interface. Analysis of PP and PS reflection coefficients shows that anisotropy should be taken into account in amplitude variation with offset (AVO) studies involving shales. Different anisotropic characteristics may reverse the reflection trend and substantially influence the position of the critical angle versus offset. The analysis of a shale-chalk interface indicates that when the critical distance is close to the near offsets, the AVO response is substantially affected by the presence of dissipation. In a second example, we compute reflection coefficients and synthetic seismograms for a limestone/black shale interface with different rheological properties of the underlying shale. This case shows reversal of the reflection trend with increasing offset and compensation between the anisotropic and anelastic effects.