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Devil Survivor 2 The Animation – 02

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「DAY 2 – 激動の月曜日I」 (Gekido no Getsuyobi I)
“DAY 2 – Monday’s Turmoil 1″

Like my old man always said, if you’re gonna take, you take it from the best. (Okay no, he didn’t actually say that.) With episode 2, we’re introduced to the core premise of DeSu2A, and it’s a pretty familiar tale we’re hearing: 7 Septentriones -the first of which we’ve seen in Duhbe- heralding the end of the world, with one coming every successive day to wipe out civilization. Opposing them is the unimaginably well-funded secret organisation that’s been preparing for this doomsday scenario from before it even began. Any Evangelion watcher can (not) be a stranger to this yarn; it’s almost a note-for-note take on Evangelion‘s basic premise of Nerv defending Tokyo 3 from the Angels, and DeSu2A literally shoves it in your face. JP’s HQ gives off the same vibes as Nerv HQ. Hotsuin Yamato (Suwabe Junichi) is a shoo-in for the Ikari Gendou spot. Makoto fills for the conflicted “officer nee-san”. We have a Kaworu look-alike in the mysterious white-haired shounen. Even Hibiki’s…okay, thank god he’s not being as horredously annoying as a Shinji Ikari. (Surprisingly, Kishi’s found a not halfway bad protagonist in Hibiki, who’s convincingly mindful about the circumstances he’s in despite a lack of willingness to be involved)

But hell, just to underline the similarities of the two series, here’s the designer of the Septentriones: Mohiro Kitoh, who not only designed the awe-inspiring 3rd Angel from Rebuild of Evangelion (Still my favourite fight of all the movies) but also was the mangaka of Bokurano. (Which, really, more of you should go watch/read) For better or worse, this guy’s no slouch in the monsters design department, and take it from me, his Septentrione designs on DeSu2 will certainly show why. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that this show will live or die by it’s handling of the Septentriones.

Of course, it’s easy to immediately bemoan the lack of originality showing there, but let’s keep in mind that DeSu2A‘s take on this basic premise stands to be an incredibly different one due to its setting of a disaster-struck Japan, and here’s where the Tokyo Magnitude vibes (setting-wise, at least) come out in strength. The second half of the episode largely deals with our protagonists arriving at an emergency shelter to look for news on Io’s mother, and boy, it’s one heck of a bleak sight. Bridge really does have that fantastic apocalyptical atmosphere nailed down here, and I love how well presented the condition of the city was. The entire area within and without the shelter dense with resting people, sprawls of scribbles and notes lining the walls as people search for contact information, the unease in the ambient conversations and mutterings; punctuated by the moody score and the general bleakness of the imagery, the helplessness of the scene really got to me. Io’s characterization here is pretty much the thematic embodiment of this, her despair growing ever greater as she’s greeted by worse and worse news of her home area while still being in the dark about the condition of her parents. Looking at all this, there’s a surprisingly human side to this high sci-fi fantasy of demons, invaders and the apocalypse. And for the good of DeSu2A, they best not lose it as we go further into the series. Not to mention, there’s a really interesting mesh with the other side of the setting about JP’s stance on the situation: at the moment, JP’s is refusing the provision of aid to focus on the Septentriones situation, and I’d hate to see the dilemma -the idea of sacrificing the few for the many- go unexplored in a story where there is potential for a very interesting take on this age old debate. Makoto’s inner conflict seem to point us in a rather hopeful direction.

This all covered up in Persona‘s, or rather, SMT’s coat of paint: the demons and angels that headline the action in the show. But it also surfaces in other aspects of the storytelling, such with the religious references the SMT franchise so loves to play around with. Starting from a Sunday, God created the world in a week (if you count that day of rest) and the Septentriones are pretty much destroying it in the same time frame.

But hey, if you’re still concerned about the Persona connection, this episode’s pretty much shown DeSu2A‘s gonna be an entirely different kind of story, one whose grim atmosphere make it seems as if the show’s already prepared to step into some pretty heavy territory.

Honestly though, there’s no need to hesitate in calling DeSu2A unoriginal; but like I said, if you’re gonna take, take from the best. And when we see the sum of all these parts, for better or for worse, I can definitely say that we’re in for something that’s just that bit different and -dare I say, original- from all the other shows this season. Episode 2 really did good in building the foundation laid by episode 1, but now the real question, the one I’ve had since I first heard this show was being produced, is this: Can director Kishi and his team understand what made these examples as compelling as they were and properly incorporate it into DeSu2A‘s narrative?

Full-length images: 08, 13, 18, 21, 29.

 

Preview

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April 11, 2013 at 5:53 pm
72 comments »
  • April 11, 2013 at 6:08 pmZomtropo

    More gravity defying tits (≧∇≦)/

    • April 11, 2013 at 6:20 pmAsobi

      That perfect blend of brevity and wit. ^^

    • April 11, 2013 at 6:23 pmsortedevaras

      Well that budget had to go somewhere.

      • April 11, 2013 at 7:02 pmAsobi

        I’m definitely not complaining. ^^

        It really is funny how Yasuda’s designs ARE defined by it, along with the sharp eyes.

      • April 12, 2013 at 4:40 amCybersteel

        More of that next week!!!

    • April 11, 2013 at 7:54 pmzztop

      Super push-up bra?

    • April 11, 2013 at 8:29 pmAiras

      • April 11, 2013 at 8:32 pmAiras

      • April 11, 2013 at 11:35 pmzztop

        So from the graph: Boob size ∝ 1/(logic + physics) ?

      • April 12, 2013 at 1:43 amagr0n

        That pic will make any man like physics >:}

      • April 12, 2013 at 5:27 amsonicsenryaku

        either that or she s wearing a pretty good push-up bra. Since i like for things to make sense in my world, i’d go with the latter.

      • April 13, 2013 at 2:32 amdeVacto

        what a great theory

    • April 12, 2013 at 4:55 amRyusen

      Not as gravity defy, logic breaking, physic bending as Highschool of the Dead’s Saeko Busujima
      No pair of breasts can beat hers.

  • April 11, 2013 at 6:21 pmKarry

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • April 11, 2013 at 6:25 pmKim Pine

      Demon designs have been pretty standardized throughout most SMT games and spinoffs. There is rarely any actual change in monster design.

      • April 11, 2013 at 6:28 pmsortedevaras

        Even Dante was not immune to those designs.

    • April 11, 2013 at 6:29 pmAsobi

      Very serious in fact, good sir. Taste is subjective and I personally felt the distinctive designs of the Septentriones made them a very memorable and iconic entity in DeSu2.

      (And please Karry, I’ve already noted your preference for DeSu1 from the last post. Your opinion is entirely your own to express, but like I mentioned, I want the anime to be the focus of discussion, not the games.)

    • April 11, 2013 at 7:35 pmAnon

      Did you get tired of trolling the Cart Driver?

    • April 11, 2013 at 8:15 pmfragb85

      Let me guess, you’re one of those people who think DeSu 1 is better because of the darker storyline?

      Its fine to think that but the fact is DeSu 2 is a much better GAME. Its more balanced, less frustrating game mechanics, more variety in gameplay in addition to the more expansive setting and better developed characters.

  • April 11, 2013 at 6:49 pmkatsudon

    I’m just waiting for people to pop in shortly and say: “THE GAME IS BETTER!”
    But in all seriousness though, I’m liking the adaptation so far. The episode was slow, but it was well paced and everything is explained pretty well. And that music that plays whenever a fight actually does break out is awesome- Bridge is doing a pretty good job with the animation thus far.
    My only real concern now, is that they might not be able to fully develop all the characters, as there are quite a few more to go- but I have faith that Kishi will do a good job with it.
    Also, am I one of the few people who actually like the opening?

  • April 11, 2013 at 6:50 pmricz

    Who cares about the devil or the world’s destruction if you have io on your side <3

    • April 11, 2013 at 8:54 pmsortedevaras

      Rather have Makoto on my side any day.

      • April 12, 2013 at 3:48 amRyusen

        Psssh
        I have them both on my side and then some. There’s no way I’m letting these ladies fall victim to demons!

  • April 11, 2013 at 6:56 pmLondo

    • April 11, 2013 at 7:03 pmAsobi

      3310! Such a classic (for snake and space impact) but no, it has an antenna…which makes it older!?

    • April 11, 2013 at 8:31 pmAmatsu

      You need an unbreakable phone if you’re going to fight with demons man. XD

      • April 11, 2013 at 8:42 pmThymia

        Helpless when demons appear? Feeling powerless as u can’t summon any demons? Fear not! USE NOKIA 3310! It breaks OTHER demons instead of breaking apart!

      • April 11, 2013 at 9:18 pmAxel

        Amatsu my friend, there were never truer words than these. Lol!

  • April 11, 2013 at 7:16 pmEdios

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • April 11, 2013 at 7:19 pmEdios

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • April 11, 2013 at 7:42 pmfragb85

        Its pretty obvious you don’t know much about SMT. Most of the protagonists on the series are adults.

      • April 11, 2013 at 9:37 pmsortedevaras

        Not to defend this guy but he is technically correct as the majority of lead protagonists (the player character) have in fact been age 18. Remember also the age of adulthood in Japan is 20. Some characters like Aleph or Serph are not applicable because they can’t be given a definite age.

      • April 12, 2013 at 2:21 amEdios

        fragb, does meaning of my sentence changes if i change teenagers to adults? no, still, people gain powers, people summon powerful beings to fight for them, repeatx50

      • April 12, 2013 at 4:01 amRyusen

        You do know that that’s pretty much the story with the SMT series right? They get to summon demons, that’s the mechanic of the series.
        Most of the joy and entertainment of the series is in the story telling and the themes they talk about. In Devil Survivor That is the idea of survival.

        About the choice in protagonists, their target consumers aren’t 30 year olds, it’s teenagers and young adults(early 20s) so they are going to keep them young. The one with the oldest Main protag from the SMT series has to be Catherine, and that game was aimed for the more matured consumers.

        Not sure what you mean about infinity rainbows.

        I also don’t remember 20 SMT anime series. If your saying there’s already many genre of this kind then you’d best just stop watching anime, or playing games, cause if you think this is the same as the next demon related anime then you think the next magic girl anime is the same as the next magic girl related anime.

      • April 12, 2013 at 5:41 amCybersteel

        rainbow was a joke in reference to one of the dialogues in Devil Survivor 2 where you can give silly responses to people.

    • April 12, 2013 at 11:54 amAsobi

      No offence taken at all, because it really is as you say. But if that’s all you’re gleaning from SMT, then you’re only just looking at the tip of an iceberg, and not looking at the thematic predispositions SMT has for the psychoanalysis of the human condition, of contemporary society, and of existentialism. Of course, it still stands to see if DeSu2A will incorporate these themes.

  • April 11, 2013 at 7:43 pmanon

    Not all that great but fairly enjoyable.

  • April 11, 2013 at 7:51 pmzztop

    For a long-established organisation, most of JP’s staff seem surprisingly young, including Director Yamato. Where’d all their (experienced?) middle to senior age staff and high rank officers go?

  • April 11, 2013 at 7:57 pmfragb85

    One thing the series does way better than the games is the atmosphere. The shots of refugees and wrecked cities are much better than the limited graphics of the DS which were all spites and picture stills. I could actually sense the feeling of hopelessness the civilians are going through. I’m not sure I like the implication the the protagonist has special powers though. There was no indication on the game for that., he was just a charismatic individual that could garner the loyalty of those around him. Not to mention all the females party members have a thing for him.

    Also where the **** is Joe!? He should be with this party, going through the same situation, feeling the same despair and going through the same decisions as the main trio. The completely cut him off and its annoying. Where the producers afraid of including an adult male going along with the teenagers?

    At least they are going to introduce my favorite party member next episode. Hopefully they won’t screw that one up.

    • April 11, 2013 at 9:24 pmAxel

      We’re only in the 2nd episode so who knows when other people will pop up or whatever, but I’m pretty sure you should probably have put alot of that in spoilers or something. Not everyone has played the games and who knows how faithful (or unfaithful) they’re going to be with this adaptation. So if you have insight into what’s going on or what might happen from playing the game, could you try to keep it in spoilers dude?

    • April 12, 2013 at 1:23 amNitro

      Cut it out with the game spoilers, would you? :/

      This is an anime adaptation and it has the right to stand on its own without being compared word for word to the games, thank you very much.

    • April 12, 2013 at 2:26 amAsta

      You should use spoiler tags. BTW, what your Io-related spoilers does not happen until day 3.

    • April 12, 2013 at 4:05 amRyusen

      As far as I can tell the only spoiler he said was the one with Io.
      If you consider giving another character’s name a spoiler then he said Joe’s(And I also said it now) but that’s just a name, and only half of the name(Didn’t say his last name). you also still don’t know how he looks like… so it’s more of a quarter spoiler!

      • April 12, 2013 at 9:37 amd-LaN

        Its not even that spoilerific anyway. Ppl need to calm the hell down.

    • April 12, 2013 at 11:47 amAsobi

      Fragb85 please keep in mind to include spoiler tags if you’re going to reference events that haven’t occurred in the show, even if chronologically they should’ve happened by that time of the game. I’ll be taking a hard stance against this and deleting entire chunks if I see anything like it.

  • April 11, 2013 at 8:24 pmRyan Ashlight

    Chalk it up to my sadistic side if you will, but I can’t help but want for Hibiki – what with his Kira Yamato-esque desire to save people simply because he can – to suffer and be dragged through the proverbial mud.

    Indeed, it’s always so fascinating to watch those with power fall from grace and face harsh reality; particularly when met with the loss of someone close to them.

    And though I haven’t yet had the pleasure of playing the original game… dare I hope for an unfortunate demise for our soft-spoken heroine?

    Whatever the case, looking forward to the next ep. :D

    • April 11, 2013 at 9:14 pmfragb85

      Sadly no, this isn’t an Urobuchi show. All things considered, Hibiki is being portrayed as fairly straight hero protagonist. If anything the missed opportunity here would be portraying a hilariously autistic MC.

      • April 13, 2013 at 10:59 pmShootPointBlank

        OMG, that is so friggin’ hilarious XD. This would be my favorite show ever if that was our MC.

  • April 11, 2013 at 8:38 pmCraigs

    Mmm…since a phone is needed to summon the demons, wouldn’t Hibiki and gang be in deep trouble if their handphone runs outta battery as they’re fighting?

  • April 11, 2013 at 8:56 pmRasen

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t one of the story writers for DeSu2 (the game) also part of the Eva team?

    • April 12, 2013 at 7:52 pmAsobi

      Now this is the first I’ve heard of. 0.0

  • April 11, 2013 at 11:39 pmChris

    Ever since the first episode came out last week, I finally decided to start playing the first devil survivor game…currently on the 6th day and I’m at the Belial fight…seeing that scene in the church with those onlookers reminds me so much of the “HE’S A DEMON TAMER! WE ARE GOING TO DIEEEEEE!” encounters that I keep coming across in-game.

    Yay. Another two demons animated. The fight between the three Power and three Decarabia was so annoying, even though Power is definitely one of my favourite demon out there.

  • April 12, 2013 at 1:25 amNitro

    “And when we see the sum of all these parts, for better or for worse, I can definitely say that we’re in for something that’s just that bit different and -dare I say, original- from all the other shows this season”

    Words to live by. There is no such thing as true originality, you can’t create something out of nothing. Everything is built on influences. It’s how you bring together those influences in a personal, unique way that makes the end product original, even if its elements were taken from somewhere else.

  • April 12, 2013 at 1:46 amagr0n

    Go forth my tiger and shoot lightning!

  • April 12, 2013 at 1:47 amSerapita

    Not to mention, there’s a really interesting mesh with the other side of the setting about JP’s stance on the situation: at the moment, JP’s is refusing the provision of aid to focus on the Septentriones situation, and I’d hate to see the dilemma -the idea of sacrificing the few for the many- go unexplored in a story where there is potential for a very interesting take on this age old debate.

    You can rest assured, it is going to be explored deeply and thoroughly. Show Spoiler ▼

  • April 12, 2013 at 4:34 amCybersteel

    I hear Rikiya Koyama at the end there :D !!!

    • April 12, 2013 at 8:25 amKyle

      The moment I heard his voice I only had 2 words in my mind : EMIYA KIRITSUGU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • April 12, 2013 at 7:01 amlegwkio

    Byakko should have just cast Maziodyne from the start.

    Seriously though, I like the fact that the adaptation is taking the core elements of the game and is still following the general flow of the game while putting its own spin in the interpretation of the anime adaptation.

  • April 12, 2013 at 8:07 ambolton

    I definitely get what you mean by “Evangelion feels” but I feel that the elements introduced similar to Eva are general to a lot of anime. I doubt this would be a psychological mind blast Eva was, but this show is pretty fun regardless. Super push-up bras, kids being forced to save the world by summoning demons, and super secret organization that walks the thin line between saving everyone and sacrificing too many… It’s sure to be fun, but not anything to go wild about– at least not yet.

    • April 12, 2013 at 12:06 pmAsobi

      Definitely, and I confess that point was hanging around in the back of my head as I wrote this post. But in this case, I thought it fair to bring up the Evangelion comparison because the parallels in premise, characters and even setting are unmistakable. You don’t see many other shows that cite Evangelion as an inspiration trying to take this much from it.

  • April 12, 2013 at 10:14 amRockmanshii

    I haven’t seen Shin Sekai Yori yet, so it’s my first time reading your posts Asobi. You’re doing a pretty good job. This adaption too is doing a fairly good job for now (I also played the game). I’m looking forward to the rest.

    • April 12, 2013 at 12:09 pmAsobi

      Shameless plug: GO WATCH IT! It’s a brilliant, beautiful show that only comes around once in a while.

      And thanks for the compliment!

  • April 12, 2013 at 10:30 amUnknownVoice

    As for Evangelion feels – well, SMT franchise predates EVA by at least a decade and has always focused on apocalypse, religious undertones and cyberpunk elements.

  • April 12, 2013 at 11:07 amCutePoison

    It reminded me of season 3 of Digimon, when the fights were in the real world and the Digivics were modified from cell phone/electronic devices. That is actually kind of what attracted me to the show.

  • April 12, 2013 at 11:19 amMinus Magnus

    Byakko is such a buly. The bird… skull… thigies just wanted to break some windows an scare some kids, what’s so bad with that?

  • April 12, 2013 at 6:11 pmAzumi

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Anyway, this episode was better than I had expected. I really shouldn’t have such low expectations on this anime, because it has the potential to be a good adaptation.

    One thing I really like is that they made Io’s emotions believable. She hasn’t seen nor has been able to contact her parents in the midst of an apocalyptic situation, and the emotional turmoil she is going through just SHOWS through her actions and reactions. It depressed me to see Io crying and being broken because of her missing parents! It’s an achievement to make me feel sorry and empathize with a character, so I suppose that’s one thing the writers did right.

    A minor gripe I have would be that I really hoped that the game soundtrack, which I’m a huge fan of, would be played in one scene or another. But of course, I don’t think I heard any of them as of now? I’m sorry I just really want the regal JP’s HQ music playing, and all the badass battle themes too… ;w;

  • April 13, 2013 at 8:30 amThe Moondoggie

    Gave it one more go, but this time I have to accept it will not go as with how it did in the game. It helped a lot and I saw this episode better than the last one.

    Still day one went by like the wind and it’s now Day 2(or 2-1?). I do hope they give this show a proper pace.

    • April 17, 2013 at 6:40 amThe Moondoggie

      On second thought…

      Dropped, permanently. I really can’t take the corruption this show will do to the story. 0/10 for creating a new story that would be anime only.