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「DAY 2 – 激動の月曜日III」 (Gekido no Getsuyobi III)
“DAY 2 – Monday’s Turmoil 3″

Man, them DeSu2A folks are really looking to channel Evangelion, aren’t they?

Maybe it’s because the general mood seems to be about epic monster shows again. Maybe it’s because EVA 3.33 is just around the corner. Maybe it’s because of that amazing opening act in Shingeki no Kyoujin that almost nothing else this season, action or destruction-wise, can hold a candle to. Maybe I’m just being hard on it because I absolutely adore the “monster” genre. Regardless, what would otherwise be a pretty outstanding episode of DeSu2A in a lighter season get a middling mark from me here. So get ready folks, because here comes another one of my rants.

I’m still loving what Kishi is trying to do with this adaptation. Having played the game through, I can tell that this guy knows the source material well. He knows the strengths and flaws of this narrative bloated for the sake of gameplay padding, and is excising the fat. He’s constantly doing his damndest to bring some of the best bits, the apocalyptic and survival elements the game couldn’t convey well enough, to the animated screen with some degree of success, although I feel this might end up being something only players of the game can appreciate. There’s a lot more going on in the background of this whole septentriones business, as we see the separate factions starting to emerge with the demon-affiliated Alcor (Sakurai Takahiro) as well as Ronaldo in this episode. And so far, Kishi’s doing a marvelous job tying the branching plots together.

But what this episode brought into focus is that the execution seems to be falling flat. Four episodes in and I’m still having trouble connecting with the characters as they risk their lives to fight Merak, and by this point it’s no longer an issue that can be simply dismissed. Hibiki’s character is still flawlessly one-note in his repeated musings about his responsibility to protect everyone, although it seems he’s close to his breaking point by the end of the episode. The rest aren’t much better, or are otherwise like Alcor that speaks of choices and testing humanity, whom we still know too little about. It thus falls to newly introduced character Ronaldo Kukuri (Koyama Rikiya) to stir things up with his attack on JP’s and his invitation to Hibiki about joining him, which going by that ending means he must’ve accepted. At this point, I’m desperately hoping for this switching of sides -or anything at all- to give some depth to our characters, because there’s really so much that can be explored character-wise in the context of the setting.

I said that the Septentrione fight would make or break this show, but my mind about it is right now split in two. If I’m to be completely honest, I’d say I loved Merak’s fight, and all the things about it: The a constant sense of mortality for the humans. The impressively tense state of emergency JP’s was in as the army lines are broken and the Tsutenken barrier repeatedly attacked. The huge scope of the battle, where a JP’s army literally summons hundreds of demons only to be wiped out by the blasts from Merak. The Septentrione itself, which was everything a good monster should be: Utterly imposing, with some impressively destructive attacks to boot. But at the same time, Bridge’s average animation quality sticks like mud and occasionally rears its head, such as with the lazy attack animations. (3rd time with the Byakko orbital lightning. Really Bridge?) Perhaps most damnable is that the fight itself seem to carry little emotional weight with regards to the characters, ultimately leaving it an entertaining but slightly hollow experience. A poor man’s Eva, if you will.

The mood of this episode is impeccable, I’ll give Studio Bridge that. DeSu2A is looking positively apocalyptical now, and there’s that immense gloom of this familiar world falling in such ruin. There’s a sense of desperation to the fight present throughout, where multitudes die just to take down that single septentrione. Under Kishi’s direction, they’re really emphasising on the titular “survivor” aspect of the story, something the game’s narrative always seemed to be at odds with. And with Kishi’s considerably darker take on the storyline, it’s so far been working out really well for this show.

But still, why is the disappointment still there? To answer that, I look to Shingeki no Kyoujin which -barring plot and setting- almost seems to match aspects of Kishi’s thematic direction for DeSu2A. The desperation of survival, and the instinctual conflict between fighting and flying that comes with it. Except SnK’s case, this is nearly always better executed in any example, be it characterization or cinematography, action or moodiness. Hannes’s split-decision to leave Eren’s mom behind still holds far more emotional weight that any of Hibiki or Io’s musings about fighting for JP’s. Perhaps the key here is in the emotional heft of both shows; no one can possibly deny SnK carrying it in the heaps, and I had thought Keita’s death would bring some of that weight to DeSu2A as well. But alas, it’s still largely missing where it rightly should be.

Well, my apologies for not talking much about the actual episode itself. Suffice to say, it was decent enough and I enjoyed it, but not as much I had hoped to. I’m still in for the long haul with this, and no, it’s not just because I’m blogging it. The execution leaves much to be desired, but Kishi’s direction has been solid; I’ll not be surprised if this ends up being the best example of how a game adaption (barring VNs) should be brought to screen at the end of all this. Even if what I’m watching can still be loads better, I don’t remember DeSu2 being quite this entertaining early on in the game’s story. And I like to believe this is not all DeSu2A has to offer; No doubt this going to be a dark, weighty story that explores some really interesting themes, and I really hope it can bring out the emotional heft in its execution for those themes to feel more relevant when we eventually get there.

Full-length images: 10.

 

Preview

Devil Survivor 2 The Animation   04   Preview 01 Devil Survivor 2 The Animation   04   Preview 02 Devil Survivor 2 The Animation   04   Preview 03
April 25, 2013 at 8:12 pm
57 comments »
  • April 25, 2013 at 8:26 pmTre

    The only guarantee we have with this adaptation is that Hibiki will continue to be awesome.

    • April 25, 2013 at 11:37 pmhaseo0408

      You´re right, he is a little emotional but way better than Hotsuin. I get what he´s doing from military point of view but te threats everyone around him like disposable garbage really infurites me, it´s only natural that Hiniki would want to learn more about Ronaldo´s request since his current boss is a heartless bastard.

      • April 26, 2013 at 12:38 amfragb85

        Yamato is grossly out of character. There is a reason that the Yamato x MC pairing exists. I imagine that portion of the fandom is disappointed in his characterization.

    • April 26, 2013 at 3:06 pmKarmafan

      Not having played the game all I have to go by is the anime and I am liking it just fine.

      If our main character Hibiki did leave its because the commander is such a dick with the personality of a chair.

  • April 25, 2013 at 8:28 pmRukia

    Cool. We get Airi next week.

  • April 25, 2013 at 8:48 pmhaseo0408

    So at the the end Hinako died?.

    • April 25, 2013 at 9:10 pmIzeKrystall

      No I don’t think she died. She is still kinda important for whats to come. I guess.

    • April 25, 2013 at 10:16 pmfragb85

      Hint: She’s still in the ED.

      Also Show Spoiler ▼

  • April 25, 2013 at 9:05 pmSelcca

    I don’t think the “Hinako seemingly dying” was necessary. It’s one thing for Hinako to die to push Hibiki over the edge (but would unfortunately null any future Airi/Hinako moments), but for Hinako to regain conscious after losing what seemed like lots of blood felt extremely cheesy.

    On another note, Byakko then Suzaku? I see what they did there.

    • April 27, 2013 at 9:09 pmSkasaha

      So the preview shows Suzaku. At this rate I get the feeling they’re going to later give Hibiki the demons Genbu and Seiryuu, and then finally Kohryu (in the SMT games it appears, it is always available only through fusing those four) as some super power boost. It’s kinda… lame, yet I still want to see Kohryu despite how cheesy it would be. If he had more variety in between it wouldn’t bother me nearly as much.

  • April 25, 2013 at 9:13 pmXDark-AlchemistX

    Wow…that’s pretty much my reaction of this chapter…a simple wow..sort of like
    “oh..wow..did not expected that”.Don’t get me wrong I thought it was a great chapter.
    This merak monster sure was destroyed for good, I just wonder if it took too many demons
    to destroy it how many more will be needed for the upcoming septentriones!?
    Anyway…for next chapter we sure will have a big dosis of new characters.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    anyway…looking foward for next chapter!

    Also,I cannot help but think how a DS1 adaptation would have been,it has a pretty good storyline in my opinion.
    Show Spoiler ▼

  • April 25, 2013 at 9:21 pmKeith

    Damn u Yamato! DAMN U!!! Don’t send your subordinates to meaningless deaths!

  • April 25, 2013 at 9:23 pmJager

    http://randomc.net/image/Devil%20Survivor%202%20The%20Animation/Devil%20Survivor%202%20The%20Animation%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2020.jpg
    Watch me appear in front of the MC with confetti-like feathers floating down from the sky.

  • April 25, 2013 at 9:38 pmkatsudon

    It’s a pretty solid adaptation thus far, but the show definitely hasn’t done a great job with character development- but there’s still time, so not too worried about it. (at least not yet) I’m not sure why Bridge is doing this out of all the studios, as during the action sequences it’s so obvious that they would be done so much better if it was done by a more well-known studio- I do agree with you Asobi, that they did a damn good job of capturing the atmosphere though.
    The show isn’t bad by any means, it’s just not great. Again, there’s still time for it to blow us away. And if that doesn’t happen, well, there’s always the 3DS remake that apparently has 20 extra hours of content or more to look forward to! :D
    PS: getting the whole party next week! yay!

  • April 25, 2013 at 10:10 pmfragb85

    This was ridiculous and not in a good way. The game has been compared it to Evangelion before but this took the cake. It removed any sense of isolationism DeSu 2 had by having JP’s as a Redshirt Army instead of being a small but expansive task force. It also doesn’t help that this adaptation has taken away all of its funny and goofy charm and made it so dark and bleak that its difficult to care about the many, many redshirt deaths.

    I also had my reservations about Hibiki and this episode pretty much confirms it. Instead of being a charismatic leader he should be in the game, they once again show him as a special super powerful summoner. The problem is here is that every party member results in being arbitrary because Hibiki is the only who ever gets anything done. Rather than lead a crack team of summoners to defeat Merak, Hibiki is pretty much just going to roll over every Septentrion. Its just makes him dull especially since he has used the same Byakko for four episodes already.

    And the characters are really suffering in this adaptation. At this point only Hinako has her characterization intact. Yamato who was supposed to have unbending faith in the MC’s abilities is now flanderized into a douche. And then there are the huge character derailing like Ronaldo being ex-JP (WHAT!?) and the Anguished One/Alcor being a Darwinist (WHAT!?!?!). [Asobi: Removed for implicit spoiler.]

    So yeah, I’m starting to like this adaptation less and less. The action is consistently tense and exciting, but the charm and the good characterization that DeSu 2 has is practically gone. At least Joe is finally coming after being shafted and removing his entire role in the first act.

    • April 26, 2013 at 6:42 amConster

      Actually, JP’s footsoldiers die all the time in the game.

      • April 26, 2013 at 7:22 amfragb85

        SMALL TEAMS of JP troops die the game. They never had a fricking army.

        Which brings another problem of how Yamato is improperly characterized. Yamato is a cold-hearted jerk but he considers ALL of the JP’s as valuable assets to be used properly and always allocates them to where they’re best at. He would never use his own people for canon fodder.

      • April 27, 2013 at 4:20 amConster

        Actually, there’s events in the game that prove otherwise – he doesn’t lecture someone who failed something because he considers it a waste of effort since they won’t improve anyway, he doesn’t give a rat’s ass when 2 JP’s members die right in front of him… if you’re not part of the elite, him using you as cannon fodder is completely in-character. He’s not the “100% meritocracy” character for nothing. Yamato being a total asshole is actually one of the few things that matches the game – Keita being halfway likable from the start purely so his death scene would affect the viewer was more out-of-character.

    • April 26, 2013 at 12:00 pmRocket

      I feel you bud. It’s dropped for me.

      Having your own spin on a story is ok, but after this I really hope the director isn’t allowed to do anything else. He changed the parts that were good, and took away some really key aspects

      Hibiki isn’t that special in the game. He is special because everyone looks to him. Io is still a pansy, and to be honest everyone else kinda sucks. They shouldn’t though. It’s not the point.

      *sigh* it pains my heart to see the directer on the team for the p3 movie…

    • April 26, 2013 at 2:20 pmAsobi

      I’m finally starting to see where you’re coming from, and while I feel you’re still straddling the line between faithfulness of characterization and its objective quality, your points on the characters are all strikingly valid. I say here now that I never felt characterization in DeSu2 was particularly well done, but the liberties Kishi has taken with the characters for the sake of his intended direction with DeSu2A have definitely been excessive. I’m chalking this up to poor execution on his part.

    • April 26, 2013 at 9:19 pmPringlesXD

      Didn’t Yamato say those tanks were from the government? So basically, they’re not part of JP.

  • April 25, 2013 at 11:01 pmMuhimu

    NO! Hinako cant be dead! Otherwise Show Spoiler ▼

  • April 25, 2013 at 11:03 pmSerapita

    Merak fight is awesome and I’m glad my Recarm-on-Keita joke didn’t come true.

    What worry me the most is that, if DS2A is really 13 episode animation, I feel they will rush the plot near the end of the anime… which is never a good thing to do.

    • April 26, 2013 at 6:31 amSoliloquy

      I read it was going to be 2 cour. No way is this going to work as 13 episodes when there are quite a lot of characters yet to show.

    • April 26, 2013 at 11:16 amglaciate

      part of my soul kinda believed in the recarm-on-Keita. ._.

  • April 26, 2013 at 12:17 amd-LaN

    I’m just glad that Hinako made it out alive.

  • April 26, 2013 at 4:38 amKarry

    “I’m still loving what Kishi is trying to do with this adaptation.”

    Are we watching different shows ? Its crap, totally devoid of meaningful drama and character development.

    • April 26, 2013 at 1:44 pmAsobi

      Which I do acknowledge? There’s a difference in loving his direction/vision here, and condemning the execution.

  • April 26, 2013 at 5:51 amJani

    Ummmmm can anyone tell me if daichi will grow a backbone at all? Or am I in for 9 more episodes of his whining to hibiki not to fight? I don’t need to be spoiled on all the details just a yes or no will be enough.. or a yes and no, I guess that could be a possibility as well.

    • April 26, 2013 at 6:39 amd-LaN

      Yes.

  • April 26, 2013 at 6:52 ambolton

    If there’s one thing this adaptation is successful at doing, it’s definitely giving me a reason to buy the game and actually experience the actual characterization for myself.

    For SMT and Persona series, almost a good 60% of their games is made up entirely of developing character relations and providing for good characterization. This adaptation expects me to care about this cast but I know almost nothing about them. Hibiki is steadfast to his feeling of obligation, but it’s just too strong a belief for some kid his age to be believable. I’m not saying that he needs to be like Shinji Ikari and provide as much resistance, but the emotions just aren’t coming out the way I think the director wants. Like you said, his repeated utterances just feel redundant, they don’t feel like Hibiki is actually struggling with his decisions. Daichi is probably the only realistic character but it feels like he’s just too far in the background to actually stand out, sadly.

    Another gripe I have with this show is the constant use of Byakko. Hibiki has shown no special feelings for Byakko, the only thing that matches really are their color schemes. If there is a reason for constantly using Byakko, then there should at least be a hint by now as to why that is.

    This is a nice fun show to watch to kill time, but from now on, I don’t think this is something I’ll be in a rush to see like I was to watch this episode. I’m losing a lot of faith that this will be as fun a series as I want it to be, but nonetheless, it’s not horrible.

  • April 26, 2013 at 7:08 amlegwkio

    I don’t care how many Itsumades you summon, Merak’s Circumpolarity is just going to wipe them dead.

  • April 26, 2013 at 7:13 amRockmanshii

    Last week’s episode showed there’s no plot armor, this episode told us at least there’s boobs armor, Hinako didn’t die (yet?). Show Spoiler ▼

    In my case, I’d be surprised if this ends up being a exemplary game-to-anime adaptation. I don’t like to judge shows early, but if there’s one thing that still catches my attention is the show’s length. I honestly don’t think the staff can make it “exemplary” with only 13 eps. Maybe a good show, but not more.

    Pretty funny how Byakko activated V-MAX super charge and became three times faster.

    • April 26, 2013 at 1:38 pmAsobi

      Sorry, maybe using the phrase “best example” might’ve given the wrong idea. What I’m really trying to say is that DeSu2A might just be the best example I’ve seen of how a game’s narrative should be adapted into anime form, given the difference between the storytelling in both mediums.

      To put it simply, what I’m really loving is Kishi is showing that he’s not feeling constrained by the progressive structure of the gameplay elements (those lvls, monster types, fate lvls, etc.) or it’s segmented narrative, and is instead confident in taking the many liberties the anime has been taking in an attempt to tell a better paced, sensible and continuous narrative. I’m just seeing this as the direction game adaptions should rightly take. Concerning this point, whether that end result of DeSu2A is good or bad becomes irrelevant, since the execution of his direction is something else altogether.

      • April 26, 2013 at 2:01 pmRockmanshii

        Aah that’s what you meant, my bad.

  • April 26, 2013 at 9:49 amsilver_huskey

    I’m going to have to agree with you about DS2A having a hard time standing out this season. It’s a solid (not great) adaptation but better shows like Attack on Titan and Gargantia on the Vedurous Planet are so much better. Tough timing Bridge and Atlus, I guess.

    I have yet to play the game (it’s looking at me from the shelf) but I am following this show as a Megaten fan. As a fan I’m actually enjoying being able to judge the anime on its own merits instead of comparing it to the game. I’m also glad so much is being changed/chopped out that the game probably won’t be too spoiled for me, if at all.

    As for the actually episode, I feel bad for all the regular summoners. Is the body count that high in the game? Also, Hibiki got himself one hell of a custom Byakko. In all the Megaten games I played none of them were awesome. Surely he’ll have to summon something more powerful down the line… Or not. I just looked at the list of demons appearing in DS2. The levels are just all over the place. Ah, anime adaptations. -_-;

    • April 26, 2013 at 1:53 pmAsobi

      That’s the thing, the narrative of the game could never quite convey the nature of setting or its severity well enough, which the anime has improved pretty greatly upon. There definitely wasn’t as strong a sense of ruin or foreboding in the game.

  • April 26, 2013 at 10:40 amJ_the_Man

    Nobody ever seems to learn that when you are faced with the apocalypse, you DON’T EVER line up your tanks like ducks in a row against the doomsday death monster weapon. NEVER.

  • April 26, 2013 at 11:14 amSaber7

    Maybe I came into this anime with high hopes, or maybe like you said its because of SnK. But after today’s episode, I’ve decided to drop the show. The show has potential, but its execution tends to color everything in a generic overtone. The fighting strongly reminds me of digimon, which isn’t a bad thing, but I would rather watch digimon then Ds2 at this point.

  • April 26, 2013 at 2:34 pmewok40k

    -We have posit of at least 3 factions now, with a hint that JP’s are not all that good.
    -”second of the seven” was great “giant monster” (no pun intended), not only easily smashin mortal defences aka “Tanks for nothing!” (T) but slaughtering successive troops of JP’s summoners and even deflecting first assault by Byakko. It took combined might of some japanese deity wth Byakko for finisher to drag him down
    -actually the commander trying to gauge enemy weaknesses and reserving his strongest units for a final clash is a sound military tactic. For military geeks: Think Zhukov at Kursk, multiple lines of defences, and when Germans thought they finally got thru, he sent entire friggin’ guards tanks army at them. Prokhorovka ensued.

  • April 26, 2013 at 2:40 pmDvalinn

    I’m going to stick with this show, because, well, I’ve played the game and the monster fights are at least fun (Merak was a pain in the ass in the game, but not that intimidating – unlike this one).

    On the other hand, man, the characters took quite a hit. Whereas in the Persona 4 adaptation they made Yuu a stoic, snarky badass (which was a good choice imo), Hibiki in this adaptation was made into a stereotypical ‘I fight for my friends’ shonen hero. Io was lacking in self-confidence, but assertive enough to at least do something in the game, unlike here, Yamato is too much of an asshole, and Ronaldo is ex-JP? Since when? [Asobi: Removed for implicit spoiler.] And, of course, besides the nitpicking of a fan, it’s a problem that most of the characters just aren’t developed enough. It lacks a certain soul, really. And this show has a chance to crash and burn if it really is a mere 13 episodes.

    The show is still enjoyable to a certain degree, but I can’t really ignore its flaws either. Can’t blame people for dropping this, really.

  • April 26, 2013 at 6:20 pmMW

    Has the anime story gone off in its own direction? The first two episodes were essentially a panel for panel adaptation of the Devil Survivor 2 manga, so I wouldn’t exactly credit the anime team for working through the source material……

    In short, the conversion went from game -> manga (adapted from game) -> anime (adapted from manga).

    • May 25, 2013 at 4:57 amDetrimont

      um, sorry, but the anime started production before the manga started being made, the manga is actually based off the anime(they do that to hype the anime)

  • April 26, 2013 at 8:01 pmagr0n

    My main question is where did Nitta get her new demon? She has 3 now.

  • April 26, 2013 at 9:12 pmKarides

    I believe that they gave Ronaldo the ex-JP tag so as to elevate him to equal status as a credible threat, probably to convince the viewers that all routes are currently of equal consideration(besides the True Ending). Frankly in the game, I thought of him as nothing but a no-name jerk with really not much motivation to overthrow JP other than a personal vendetta (Yamato didn’t even know his name ffs), which made it hard for me to sympathize with him. Now, making him ex-JP who doesn’t like what JP is doing would really solve the characterization the game has for him.

    And anyone gets the feeling we are going Kingmaker? That’s the route we know AO’s name after all.

  • April 27, 2013 at 6:16 amElle

    Speaking as one of the (apparently) rare people here who haven’t played the game, I must say I love this anime so far. It’s exciting, it has nice visuals (some lazy animation, blah blah, I know, but it still looks quite amazing and I’m not someone who starts complaining when a scene doesn’t look as good as it could have had with twice its budget) and it makes me want to play the game. Sure, it has its fair share of flaws, too, mostly in the storytelling department, but it’s still a very enjoyable anime that has me looking forward to the next episode at the end of each. So it really works for me.

  • April 27, 2013 at 11:43 amsealouse

    I think that “poor man’s Eva” pretty much sums up how I feel about it.

  • April 27, 2013 at 1:53 pmSDFSDG

    This should have been released this summer instead. Its kind of like how in the US they delayed the GI JOE 2 movie since it would have originally been debuted around the same time as one of the Transformer movies and the director knew they wouldn’t be able to handle the competition, so they waited a few years before actually showing it….Japan could learn a few things in this department because there’s too much action this season for this show to even stand out that much (attack on titan pretty much dwarfs over everything when it comes to battle/animation this season)

  • April 27, 2013 at 1:56 pmMagoiichi

    Byakko uses Strike Laser Claw!!!

  • April 28, 2013 at 10:07 pmiPONG

    Anyone else felt that one of the missing elements in this show is that the character themselves cannot use “demon powers” to fight the demons on their own? Cuz it just didn’t feel right with me that all they can do is summon and get tired from it..

  • April 29, 2013 at 11:57 amRasen

    So….just referring to what I had mentioned back in the post of the first episode, I was wrong about the story writers.

    However, the designer for the Septentriones, Mohiro Kitoh, did design the 3rd angel for the Eva Rebuild.

  • April 30, 2013 at 12:08 amYukie

    After 4 episodes..I think I like P4 better. I’ve never played the games, so my opinion is totally just based off from the anime. A lot of the game aspects in P4 confused me in the beginning, but the plot, the characters, the humor and mystery gradually drew me in. In comparison, I find the characters in desu2a rather flat and the battles confusing since random new monsters pop out of their cellphones (well I guess it’s difficult to show the characters level-uping in an anime…for P4, it was easy since the protagonist lvls up through forming bonds and connections). But I think I’ll stick with this show just to see what happens next and since I already have scarcely any shows on my current watchlist.

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  • July 3, 2013 at 10:13 amiron2000

    Felt like I just watched one of those Digimon Tamers endgame episodes + Evangelion :P