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Devil Survivor 2 The Animation – 03

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

Before I get into the episode impressions proper, I really want to talk about what the death of Wakui Keita (Saito Fuko) means for this show. Now, you’ll have to forgive me if I’m sounding a bit too much like I’m coming from perspective of someone having played the games, and thus end up not showing too much objectivity here. The question of which direction director Kishi intended to bring DeSu2A has been hanging on my mind since production on this show was announced. To say as much as I can without spoiling, there were so many different paths DeSu2’s branching story could’ve taken, and equally so of the many distinct ways this adaption could’ve turned out based on Kishi’s direction. And I confess here that I feared this would turn into another P4A, where the storyline itself became at odds with nature of its adaption. So thank you Kishi-san. Thank you Bridge. Thank you for going with was quite possibly the most unexpected -from you- and enthralling path in this story with Keita’s death, while -thus far- making it appear as coherent a story as any other anime. Thank you for veering off the straight path of DeSu2A’s story to potentially play up its more interesting elements, while still largely keeping to the core narrative and the setting that the anime has wonderfully built up over the last two episodes. (And arguments about faithfulness in 3, 2, 1…) To you players of the game, whatever your reaction was to the previous two episodes, it really is hard to argue with the direction Kishi chose to bring DeSu2A in with this upheaval of an episode. Keita’s death here, for better or for worse, has now thrown a wrench into the works of DeSu2A’s supposed narrative, and with many points of the story now up in the air, we’re all in for a compelling, unpredictable watch, gamers and anime-only watchers alike.

Lest I forget you anime-only viewers, this was a pretty decent episode in its own right, an exciting, frantic one that’s been an arguable step up from the previous two. The episode starts off with the group of Hibiki, Daichi and Io arriving at JP’s Osaka to begin their search for Kanno Fumi (Yamaguchi Rikako) the headquarter come under attack by an unknown cracker. It really is hard for me to drop the Evangelion comparisions here when the system hacking scenes of JP’s HQ just strikes a little too closely to Nerv HQ in emergency mode. But lest I discount Bridge’s efforts, DeSu2A hacking scenes were equally frantic, exciting and visually entertaining in their own right. Forgive me Bridge, for saying your production quality was merely serviceable. You’ve really done some pretty spectacular work with those CGI hacking animations, enough to almost make me overlook the average quality of your traditional animation. And the musical score’s really coming into its own.

With the priority now shifted to finding the cracker, the gang also receives a death clip predicting Keita’s death at the Osaka Festival Gate, and Hibiki determines that the cracker is located as the same spot. Yeah, I agree, it’s a fair bit of jumping with the logic even if it is implied that Yamato (or by extension, the white-haired boy) planned this, and is perhaps more a result of the pace than anything, since the show immediately rushes to find Keita under attack at the location. I love the use of the fall at this point as a fake-out; with the death clip seemingly “averted”, it made his unexpected death at the end pack a far greater punch. Less shocking was the fact that Fumi was the cracker attacking JP’s HQ, but the more interesting bit was that she was brainwashed by an intelligent demon, Botis, (the first of which we’ve seen, and mightily powerful too) who seems to be aiding the Septentriones by bringing the city barrier down.

To be fair, the pacing here feels almost as frantic as the episode itself; the show immediately assumes you’ve managed to connect the dots about how the JP’s barrier mentioned last episode has been the very thing holding the Septentriones back, and that the barrier is tied to the JP’s headquarter computer system, ALMADEL. Not to mention, the frantic scene transitions between JP’s Tokyo and JP’s Osaka (the main JP’s bureau) doesn’t quite help ease a viewer in.

Character dynamics also showed signs of improvement with the introduction of Kujou Hinako (Koshimizu Ami doing Osaka-ben!) and Keita, but in general still hasn’t developed enough for me to really get behind anyone’s characterization, asides from Hibiki’s. He’s certainly an interesting protagonist to follow, showing in equal parts intelligence and competence, but I fear somewhat we’re treading familiar ground with his Kira Yamato-esque resolution to protect his companions with his incredible powers. I’m glad to see Io deciding to shape up after her spell of despair in the previous episode, and her promptness in this fight with the demons was a welcome change –even if she did immediately get shoved into another damsel in distress situation- but we’ve still yet to really crack into the subtleties of her character. It’s the same thing with Daichi, whom Kishi’s seen fit to force into the typical comic relief role, and has become a necessary suspension of belief in a show that wants its viewers to buy into its heavy, apocalyptical atmosphere. (Though I admit, his useless demons got a chuckle out of me.) And poor Keita. We never really got to know you, you tsundere shota boxer, but your death did serve as the “shit just got real” plot device the show wanted.

Still, how about that cliffhanger and preview!? With the barrier of Osaka now brought down by the brainwashed Fumi, the 2nd Septentrione, Merak, makes its incredibly grand appearance. And by grand, I mean downright epic. Crazy huge invaders, tanks, explosions and massive destruction ahoy! Sure looks like some other mecha series, doesn’t it? Like I previously asserted, the Septentriones are a huge part of what’s probably going to make or break this show, and if they can even capture a fraction of the glory that was the Angels’ astoundingly epic battles in Eva, oh boy, we’re in for something amazing in next week’s episode.

Full-length images: 04, 05.

Author’s Note

-Keita’s been removed from the ED! Will we see another one go?

-Reminder to the gamers to please keep your story and character speculations in spoiler tags with proper spoiler warnings, especially in the wake of this game-changing episode.

 

Preview

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April 18, 2013 at 8:01 pm
60 comments »
  • April 18, 2013 at 8:10 pmChris

    From what we learnt from Madoka, once a anime series hit its third episode, it’s only natural to expect a character death. At least Keita only got ziodynified, and not getting his head chomped off or anything. Looks like Daichi got his role relegated to the comic relief aka P4′s Yosuke Hanamura.

    • April 18, 2013 at 9:58 pmNatsu

      So its either these shows are really good as most of the bloggers say…..or they have really low expectations for anime. Which?

      • April 19, 2013 at 7:16 amAsobi

        I’m not sure if this was suppose to be a separate comment? In any case, I don’t deny that DeSu2A has its flaws, and I did point out the two most glaring ones in my impressions: pacing, and character dynamics/characterization. But so far, the show has been treading in the right direction on how a game adaption should be handled as a continuous narrative in an anime, and I’m in for the long haul to see if Kishi can follow through with this.

    • April 18, 2013 at 11:30 pmChris

      A couple of guys misunderstood my post or something? Not quite sure what this Natsu guy is taking about. Definitely not bashing this series. Just pointing out that it’s a trend for characters to get killed in the 3rd episode.

      E.g Madoka Magicia’s Mami, Red Data Girl’s Wamiya and now DeSu2′s Keita.

      Still enjoying it though. Looks like they are most definitely not going for at least a couple of the routes here…too bad Keita didn’t have Endure as one of his passive abilities…or the other party members with Recarm or Samarecarm >.>

      • April 19, 2013 at 6:54 amSin1505

        You for got to say
        Show Spoiler ▼

      • April 20, 2013 at 9:31 amSabaw

        Dem spoilers
        Dude, some people haven’t watched the 3rd ep of Red Data Girl yet you know.

  • April 18, 2013 at 8:18 pmVermillion

    I started a new playthrough of DS2, and named the MC Hibiki Fuze.

    My Keita died while because I was watching the 1st episode while playing.

    Now I know it’s fate.

  • April 18, 2013 at 8:27 pmTre

    • April 18, 2013 at 10:58 pmCybersteel

      • April 18, 2013 at 11:30 pmfragb85

        I’d argue that DeSu 2 protagonist has more swag than P4 Brotagonist. They both get lots of Bro’s an Ho’s but the difference is in the timescale. P4 takes the course of a whole year, while DeSu 2 takes place in roughly 8 days. Think about that for a minute.

        Still, it all depends on how far the anime wants to play up this aspect of him or if they even will.

      • April 18, 2013 at 11:58 pmCybersteel

        I rather go for Hibiki Socially Autistic route but I don’t they’ll go for that.

  • April 18, 2013 at 8:28 pmBBQ

    It’s funny that the Devil Survivor 2 ending is the complete opposite of the Persona 4 endings.

    Persona 4 increases the number of people/cards in the endings as social links develop. The theme of the show is “friendship.”

    Devil Survivor 2 decreases the number of the people in the ending as they bite the dust. The theme of the show is “survival.”

  • April 18, 2013 at 8:49 pmRandom

    Character Spoilers

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • April 18, 2013 at 8:56 pmAsobi

      You know that the bolded author’s notes are there for a reason? >.>

  • April 18, 2013 at 8:53 pmAmatsu

    Yes, “Another” anime that actually kills off the characters unlike some other anime i know *coughvalravecough*. No pun intended XD

    • April 18, 2013 at 11:59 pmCybersteel

      Technically the MC dies. His “humanity” that is.

    • April 25, 2013 at 10:35 amsilver_huskey

      But… He did die. He just refused to stay dead.

  • April 18, 2013 at 8:57 pmizekrystall

    I couldn’t believe they killed keita, somehow I though he was going to b ok next episode but after the ending I really realize they killed him off… I’m a bit disappointed but I’m only hoping they won’t kill all of the possible character who can die.

    • April 18, 2013 at 9:04 pmVermillion

      Show Spoiler ▼

  • April 18, 2013 at 9:02 pmSelcca

    For all those who also played the game:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    • April 18, 2013 at 9:13 pmVermillion

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • April 18, 2013 at 9:24 pmSelcca

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Back on topic however, after some thinking I’m glad something unexpected happened; scratch the worries I had, I welcome the director to do his own thing. Plus I never liked Keita anyway, and the next Septentrione looks a lot bigger and badder than I recall.

      • April 19, 2013 at 7:22 amKerfirou

        Show Spoiler ▼

  • April 18, 2013 at 9:33 pmhaseo0408

    They are going to need a Gundam to take down that thing!.

  • April 18, 2013 at 9:53 pmXDark-AlchemistX

    oh I do agree with the phrase “shit just got real” in this review
    Also I must admit that the whole “septentriones” idea that they are akwardly similar to
    the “angels” of evangelion did not crossed my mind (Even when I played the game)
    But what to say about today’s chapter…Talk about a shock, Keita’s death did managed
    to surprise me,also made me think if actually the people behind the adaptation did research about the people on their first playthough of DS2 and found out that the majority ended up
    with keita’s death in the first try (NOT my case, I wanted Keita to live!!)
    But agreeing with the review, this episode DID showed up the idea that gamers would expect:
    “If the adaptation would show up with the unexpected twists the game has”.
    So, with that said..I’ll be looking foward to the next chapter!!

  • April 18, 2013 at 10:29 pmkornpone

    Great good fun seeing a sort-of realistic Osaka get pummeled here (speaking as an Osaka resident).

    What a deliciously chaotic homage! Of course their HQ has to be under Tsutenkaku (what, no Billiken? no kushikatsu?!), and the sexy shot of a roughed-up Umeda Sky Building at the end was pure Naniwa pr0n. (What, no Osaka Station?! —Okay okay, there’s always next week, and Grand Front Osaka isn’t even open yet…)

    But undoubtedly the destruction of the defunct (and now no longer even standing in real life) Festival Gate mall took the cake: for years a crazy carnival ghost town, just the perfect setting for an apocalyptic tussle with demons and malevolent spirits. Even in its decay it used to be one of my favorite places to visit.

    And just wondering… I like that the super secret underground shink bypasses Shin-Osaka and heads straight to Minami, but what’s the need for windshield wipers? ^_~)

  • April 18, 2013 at 10:30 pmfragb85

    Keita’s dead!? Wow… that is so AWESOME!!!!! Now I don’t have to listen to his annoying, smug “I’m so Macho” BS. In hindsight that just means some of my favorite characters are in the chopping block, but hey Keita is dead! HAPPY DAYS!

    There is one thing that is really annoying me though. Io is completely useless. The only reason think I can think of why she’s becoming the designated damsel is because she one in the trio with XX chromosomes. This completely at odds with her portrayal in the game where she was very competent and brave when things get serious.

    In contrast though Hinako is better portrayed which is good since she’s one of my favorite party members. Being voiced by Kallen is a plus. Too bad they skipped her intro, it was one of the funnier moments of the game.

    I did like one deviation in the anime though. Merak is HUGE now when he was only a size of a car in the game. Makes him much more indimidating, especially since he was a laughably easy boss. So I’m actually excited on how they can deal with him now since now he actually seems like a threat.

    Also still no Joe. (I am not getting over this!)

    • April 19, 2013 at 3:54 amNitro

      you say all that like it’s completely impossible for a character to develop over the course of the plot. give Io time.

      • April 19, 2013 at 6:15 amfragb85

        If you have to designate a character to look pretty and be incompetent and constantly need rescuing for no reason then I consider that a failure of writing and creative decision. I don’t even need knowledge of the game to find her infuriating.

  • April 19, 2013 at 12:03 amkatsudon

    I did not see Keita’s death coming, that was unexpected… So is it safe to assume that everyone asides from the main three are safe? I was having my doubts about this adaptation, but things are definitely getting interesting. And that episode preview, I see explosions, and a lot of people yelling.

  • April 19, 2013 at 12:24 amploon

    Gah can’t unlock the perfect ending now. Must reload last save

    • April 19, 2013 at 12:57 amSerapita

      Maybe they will do that for 10 episodes and then…

      Show Spoiler ▼

  • April 19, 2013 at 1:02 amSerapita

    I’m really looking forward to the Merak’s fight next episode. Judging from the preview it’s going to be awesome. Merak is one of my favorite boss fight of the game.

  • April 19, 2013 at 2:04 amLondo

    http://randomc.net/image/Devil%20Survivor%202%20The%20Animation/Devil%20Survivor%202%20The%20Animation%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2016.jpg
    That moment when u realised your summoned demons are possibly the “noobest” among your friends.

  • April 19, 2013 at 3:02 amDjisas

    I dont know what everyone see in this show, but it is very generic too me, not much different from Persona from my perspective, we have a very similar in nature cast, monster of the week, death’s are not too unpredictable…
    I have watched 3 episodes and find it hard to like this one, specially never having played the games, but i heard the company is bankrupt so probably their works are not really that good after all…

    • April 19, 2013 at 4:38 amAnza

      Are you kidding? Atlus is one of the more profitable gaming companies because they know how to market and whom to market to, to sell their games, no there games aren’t huge best sellers everywhere but they don’t need to be because they spend less on translating and localization then many other companies out there. Idc if you like the show or not but I wouldn’t just start talking out of your ass without anything to back it up.

      • April 19, 2013 at 6:41 amRasen

        But on the flip side, Atlus’s parent company, Index, has been declared insolvent and has been delisted from JASDAQ after posting their worst financial losses ever.

      • April 19, 2013 at 7:04 amfragb85

        Index is a big company with lots of businesses including studios like Madhouse and GONZO. ATLUS is actually still making money for Index (P4 Golden and P4 Arena have earned $58 Million). That basically means ATLUS is safe(for now) since there is no reason to cut of its biggest earners. Its the under-performing companies within Index that should be worried.

      • April 19, 2013 at 8:10 amCybersteel

        You forgot one of the most popular games Demon Souls.

    • April 20, 2013 at 1:53 amchiu

      had you not insulted the company, i would’ve understood this

      the anime is mediocre at best. Please play the game, it’s very great.
      It’s nothing like this trash adaptation.

  • April 19, 2013 at 4:53 amzztop

    Ohmygod, they killed Keita!
    YOU BASTARDS!!!

    • April 19, 2013 at 6:48 amSerapita

      And on next episode… someone use Recarm on Keita. I saw someone using Kikuri-hime on preview and if my memory serves me right, she has Recarm as innate skill.

      If that happens, this death scene will be an epic trolling from the studio.

  • April 19, 2013 at 5:52 amewok40k

    Not bad at all, not bad. The third epiosde is definitely risky period for characters involved, but apart from that remember our characters have been witnessing death and destruction on massive scale since hour 0, and htey hardly knew their deceased comrade. Only exception is Kujou who seemed to be friend with Keita before the crisis hit the town. BTW it is interesting how her sultry look is reflected in her demonic servant, as was with Keita’s aggresiveness and Berserker…
    On another note, while Daichi and Io play definitely secondary roles, they seem to become slightly more useful on the battlefield, even it leads Io into damsel in distress situation, and Daichi ends up as crowbar server smasher (Saten sends her regards!)but not least

    Last , whatever you do during monster attack, dont EVER volunteer to man the tanks. Yours truly, JSDF tank crews.

  • April 19, 2013 at 5:56 amMinus Magnus

    Anyone else notice that the name of one of the levels during the hacking scenes changed to Nyarlathotep near the end?

    • April 19, 2013 at 6:00 amFaolan

      All the levels of the firewall had names from elder deities/elder mythos. One of the earlier monitors showed all the names. Hyarko and co mainly.

    • April 19, 2013 at 6:21 amFaolan

      at time 6:26
      from level 1 to 10; Lliogor, Zhar, Cthugha, Hastur, Cthulhu, Tsathoggua, Nyarlathotep, Yog-Sothoth and Azathoth

    • April 19, 2013 at 8:11 amCybersteel

      Yog-Sothoth aka The Great Intelligence

      • April 19, 2013 at 8:30 amzztop

        The Great Intelligence! Are you following new seasons of Dr Who?

  • April 19, 2013 at 1:40 pmRockmanshii

    “We’re all in for a compelling, unpredictable watch, gamers and anime-only watchers alike. ” Pretty much yeah. I often watch anime adaptation of games I played raw but maybe I’ll consider waiting for subs next week. I really didn’t expect this. Speaking of which, of the worst news I heard this week is that the show is only 1 cour. I was wondering how they’d be able to develop the characters properly, I never thought killing them fast would be one of the solutions the staff thought of.

  • April 19, 2013 at 2:31 pmRocket

    I don’t know why everyone is so worried about spoilers, this show has about 45% constancy with the game. I’m all for adding plot devices, but they have already “reviled” about 3 of the major plot twists. They also made the MC ‘super special’ which is a bummer because in the game all of your friends are actually competent. They made Io way more of a cry baby then she should be, and it’s really stepping up to the plate as a generic anime. I feel like such a tool for being so hard on the show, but they’re really starting to mess all of the pieces up. I’m not expecting it to be exactly like the game, but I did hope it would keep what made the game good- so far, it isn’t.

  • April 19, 2013 at 3:13 pmagr0n

    http://randomc.net/image/Devil%20Survivor%202%20The%20Animation/Devil%20Survivor%202%20The%20Animation%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2004.jpg

    For some reason when she was first introduced I thought she was a human incarnation of Harpie lady from Yugioh :P

  • April 20, 2013 at 12:09 amMeldoy

    I’m liking it so far. Glad to see an anime that isn’t afraid of killing characters off.

  • April 20, 2013 at 9:31 amZzz…

    I wonder which route the show will follow? That’s going to be a thing right? This is a devil series after all.

    Unfortunately haven’t played the game yet so I don’t know the plot but I figure it’s still early.

    • April 20, 2013 at 11:23 amUnknownVoice

      let’s just say that this episode makes the “most positive” ending out of reach ;P

  • April 20, 2013 at 9:58 pmMatthew

    As someone who hasn’t played the game, it’s hard for me to care much about them killing off a character who was only introduced this episode. Why should I care more about Keita’s death than those ten summoners who died off-screen? Lots of people are dying in this series.

  • April 21, 2013 at 3:18 amAlSmash

    Is it me or does this remind anyone of the Neue Ziel from Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory

    http://randomc.net/image/Devil%20Survivor%202%20The%20Animation/Devil%20Survivor%202%20The%20Animation%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2036.jpg

  • April 21, 2013 at 4:40 pmkornpone

    Sorry to be rather off topic, but as an Osaka resident I can’t help getting excited to see the city get a sort-of realistic pummeling here.

    And what a deliciously chaotic homage! Of course their HQ has to be under Tsutenkaku (what, no Billiken? no kushikatsu?!), and the sexy shot of a roughed-up Umeda Sky Building was pure Naniwa candy. (What, no Osaka Station?! —Okay okay, there’s always next week, and Grand Front Osaka isn’t even open til Friday…)

    But undoubtedly the destruction of the defunct (and now no longer even standing in real life) Festival Gate mall took the cake: for years a crazy carnival ghost town, just the perfect setting for an apocalyptic tussle with demons and malevolent spirits. Even in its decay it used to be one of my favorite places to visit.

    And just wondering… I like that the super secret underground shink bypasses Shin-Osaka and heads straight to Minami, but what’s the need for windshield wipers? ^_~)

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