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Devil Survivor 2 The Animation – 07

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「4TH DAY – 変容の水曜日I」 (Henko no Suiyobi I)
“4TH DAY – Wednesday’s Changes 1″

For a supposed “fanservice” episode of DeSu2A, this turned out better than expected.

Well, I say that, but it’s true that the first half of the episode was anything but light. “Anguished One”. “Purge of Polaris.” “Unbroken Covenant”. True to anime form, when exposition is being delivered, it is delivered by the truckload. With all these arbitrary terms being thrown around, it is times like this that I wonder how much I would’ve caught had I not played the game. A huge chunk of it comes from Alcor, the non-man-non-demon entity. There’s no doubt that he’s involved in the orchestration of this entire doomsday scenario -referred to as the “Purge of Polaris”- and he seems to have a hand in nearly every part of it. We saw him command the demon Botis that tore down the barriers for the septentrione Merak to attack, and now we also learn that he provided humans with the tools to fight back: Nicaea and the demon summoning app. Every action he reveals seem to make his motives all the more ambiguous, and there’s even some disagreement with his demons about “the purge” itself; The key to it being his search for a “Shining One”, which seemed to have manifested in Hibiki. Boy, if there’s one thing all SMT stories love, it’s their mysteries.

A mandatory JP’s checkup –which is sure to be more than meets the eye– next forces our characters into some downtime; and sure, it’s unabashed (but glorious) fanservice for players of the game. The checkup’s basically a twist on the “secret garden” event, and there’s even a cute gag about Airi’s bellybutton. It’s fun, albeit slightly mindless stuff; but for a short moment, it allows characters to stop being plot devices and just be, well, characters. We see Otome talking about her daughter. We get a glimpse of Joe behind his cheery façade. Makoto again shows her doubts about Yamato’s philosophy by referring to Hibiki as a weapon, and then a friend. And nearly every other character gets a small moment like this as well. There’s nothing particularly original about how DeSu2A goes about this, and in some cases the character moments will feel exceedingly simple or trite; but these small touches go a long way in humanizing the show and making me appreciate their presence all the more. (Or it could just be death flags, all of them. Wow, that’s a depressing thought.)

After a tumultuous character arc that saw him switching sides and slipping into the now infamous bunny-mode, Hibiki also seems to have finally hit some kind of a milestone in his development; where he proclaims he is no pawn, and that he wouldn’t let anyone else use his powers. It’s the conclusion to a development we all saw coming, and to be frank, I’m a little apathetic because of how generic it all turned out to be. But that said, this is finally feels like a Hibiki I can start to get behind, and with another 6 more episodes to go, Kishi still possesses the capacity to bring him to some interesting places by the end of it all.

And then there’s Yamato. There’s nothing much else about him that hasn’t already been said in some form; and it might not quite redeem him in the eyes of critics, but this episode does throw a couple of things out there to clear up some of the chaff about his characterization. That he finds “friends” to be complicated and that “Might is Right” seems to strike at his characterization in the anime; something of a social inept due to his elitist upbringing, who genuinely believes in his Darwinist ideal that the strongest (effectively himself due to his upbringing) should lead humanity. And little wonder why he continues to believe this, thanks to the clichéd portrayal of the self-serving Japanese leaders. Thus, it’s interesting to find that Yamato saved Hibiki at the cost of hurting himself; and this contradictory act certainly goes against a few assumptions we’ve been making about the goal-orientated leader. That, or he’s starting to consider that there actually are others equal to him by openly inviting Hibiki and Ronaldo to challenge him if they survive till the end. Again, there’s still a solid 6 episodes to go, and if Kishi plays it smart the way he did in P4A’s second half, the show can still salvage what they have of Yamato’s characterization.

All in all, I’m glad we had a breather of an episode here at the midpoint of the show, especially in the wake of a rather disparate first half. We’re reminded the stakes are steadily being raised with each passing day, and that the fights from here on are going to require demons of a “Byakko-Class” level. The episode even closes off with the foreboding scene of Io being found to be compatible as a sacrifice for “Lugh”. This is most likely the last time we’ll get to see the cast in such high spirits; it definitely doesn’t feel like the ominous second half of the series is going to get much in the way of sunshine and rainbows.

Random Notes

-Pleasantly surprised by the Mugen no Sekai (game OP) instrumental insert, the first time in the anime I’ve recognised a piece from the game’s OST.

-All this time I’ve never noticed how Ronaldo ended up with his “Clicky” nickname. Kurikki, d’oh!

 

Preview

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May 17, 2013 at 7:41 pm
29 comments »
  • May 17, 2013 at 7:53 pmKama

    • May 17, 2013 at 7:54 pmAsobi

      Clever, very clever. I see what you did there :3

    • May 17, 2013 at 10:06 pmewok40k

      When comes to navels, I was glad to see Hinako again!

      • May 20, 2013 at 12:01 amVaans

        Good thing is she’s okay. I’m happy I feel like trying like Hibiki did.

  • May 17, 2013 at 7:53 pmTSouL

    I have been slowly playing Devil Survivor 2, just to keep up with the anime progress, and try to match my game/deaths with that of the show. Getting kind of hard to stop playing at the correct places.

    • May 17, 2013 at 8:01 pmAsobi

      That’s exactly what I tried to do with P4A! Except I gave up my replay around the second dungeon…

      • May 18, 2013 at 3:10 amCybersteel

        P4A != P4G

  • May 17, 2013 at 8:04 pmLondo

    Tsundere Yamato!

    • May 17, 2013 at 9:46 pmewok40k

      “It’s not like you’re anything more than useful weapon to me! B-baka!”

  • May 17, 2013 at 8:14 pmIzeKrystall

    Im really trying to like Io, but somehow i just find her a bit annoying…

  • May 17, 2013 at 8:40 pmKaris

    If there is one more death that involves a character, I’d rather stop watching this: because I read a part that one of the characters die a cruel, agonizing death if you made the wrong choice in the game…

    • May 18, 2013 at 6:13 amJeroz

      Seriously, when I played to that part in my 2nd playthrough I was literally shocked. It was sudden and brutal, and caught me completely offguard.

      I never swore that loud before when playing a videogame, not even during IWTBTB

  • May 17, 2013 at 8:44 pmRed HeartGold

    Finally, some signs of Main-Character-romance. :3 Daichi >> Io >> Hibiki

  • May 17, 2013 at 8:47 pmRed HeartGold

    Somehow, I wanted Nitta-san to confess to Hibiki around the end of the series, with poor Daichi accidentally overhearing. That would make my day.. :)

    • May 18, 2013 at 10:13 amd-LaN

      You theory is surprisingly Show Spoiler ▼

      XD

  • May 17, 2013 at 9:49 pmewok40k

    Sacrificing young virgins to the demons?
    Daichi, hurry! Make Io INCOMPATIBLE fast!

  • May 17, 2013 at 9:50 pmlegwkio

    The BL undertones… Yamato/Daichi/Alcor X Hibiki

  • May 17, 2013 at 10:00 pmlegwkio

    But, seriously though, one of the better episodes of the series.

  • May 17, 2013 at 10:04 pmsonicsenryaku

    If anything Asobi, i agree with your previous statement about the way that Kishi is handling this adaptation of DeSu2A (though it’s not perfect, this is how game adaptations should be handled); A game is fundamentally different from a movie or television series both in structure and narrative. Trying to replicate it on screen does not work for the most part. That’s why it is better to take the important themes, character interactions, and plot points that the game emphasizes on and adapt them in a way that fits a tv series. Kishi has taken the idea of having to survive in an apocalyptic world and what it means for these characters to survive and is focusing primarily on that. Kishi doesnt have to follow the game scene for scene if he can pull of the emotional impact a setting like this would instigate. That is what this series has been lacking so far due to weak character development, but if this episode along with the last is any indication, it’s starting to get there.

    • May 17, 2013 at 10:48 pmfragb85

      Kishi’s biggest mistake is the poor portrayal of Hibiki. This is very glaring especially since most of the important events and character development result on his participation. MC was a person could be relied on and everyone trusted him. He wasn’t special because of some contrived power, he was special because he kept proving to everyone that he was someone who could get things done. Its why Alcor’s becomes fascinated by him and desiganted him as “Shining One”. Its why Io trusts him and relies on him. Its why Yamato’s always happy and smiling around him(come to think of it I haven’t seen him crack a real smile even once in this show).

      Hibiki the bunny-hood emo whiner though? Why does he have special powers? What does Alcor see in him? Why would Yamato send him into important risky missions when he has not even proved himself? Why is Io having ship tease to him despite barely interacting with him? Answer: Because Shut Up!

      Basically he brought everything down, which is remarkable since he’s the one thing you shouldn’t screw up. But they did.

  • May 17, 2013 at 10:07 pmfragb85

    Ughh…. NOW they decide to go for the light-hearted comedy? This is what happens when you try to deviate far away from the game’s tone and and then try pander to its fans anyway, it becomes a bizarre shifting mess of a show that makes it feel like the writers have ADD.

    Still I’m not going to complain about fanservice, at this point I’ll take whatever scrap of good things that this show can give. The whole check-up scenes are a clear reference to the Secret Garden event. The biggest crime though? Hinako’s not there. How they can put fanservice in and not the game’s hottest girl participate in it is beyond me.

    And finally Hibiki grows a spine. It only took 7 episodes. Yay. Maybe now he’ll actually be the leader he was supposed to be since the beginning and not that annoying whiner they made him into. Also, I’ll did quite enjoy how Yamato played Ronaldo. Nothing much to say, I just love it whenever Ronaldo fails.

    • May 18, 2013 at 4:27 amd-LaN

      Why the **** are you still watching it then?

      • May 18, 2013 at 4:32 amd-LaN

        Where is the edit button when I need it…..

        In the game there plenty of lighthearted moment too…. You can apply the same complaint to the game…

      • May 18, 2013 at 7:14 amfragb85

        I’m not a quitter and since I’m this far in I might as well go all the way.

        Also the game established its light-hearted tone amidst the seriousness quite early in the game. Here its just out of place since its already well through the half-way mark.

      • May 19, 2013 at 9:43 pmd-LaN

        Obviously the previous episode does not have comedy scenes in between serious scenes, no sir.

  • May 18, 2013 at 12:15 amTheVoid

    Self-serving officials is the reason why Yamato started his whole desire for a meritocracy to begin with.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • May 18, 2013 at 5:24 pmMagoiichi

    I like how Jungo was about to do some damage on the peeping toms, but Hibiki managed to persuade him lol.

  • May 19, 2013 at 2:38 amRandom

    why are they foreshadowing that thing so fast if you know what i talking about Trail of the Dragon!!!!

  • May 19, 2013 at 11:54 pmVaans

    I have a bad feelings about Io…I hope I’m wrong.