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Devil Survivor 2 The Animation – 09

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「5TH DAY – 驚愕の木曜日」 (Kyougaku no Mokuyoubi)
“5TH DAY – Thursday’s Shock”

For what seemed to be the most imposing Septentrione to date, that fight sure ended in a jiffy. To be fair, the events here don’t diverge much from how the fight went down in the game – you’ve got the ridiculously hilarious setup of Airi summoning Kama with her “sexiness” (Gods apparently love bellybuttons) and Hinako summoning Shiva with a dance ritual. Here shows one of my favorite aspects of the SMT series; its tendency to work exisiting mythology and legends into the narrative in some really interesting ways. JP’s attack plan basically puts a twist on the mythology of Kama being incinerated by Shiva, and has Shiva striking Alioth in the process. Two speculations can be made about this: the first being that the remaining Septentriones can no longer be effectively taken down by the summoners, and the second being the absolute necessity of JP’s if humanity is to survive the purge. As Hibiki comes to learn, the Hotsuein family had indeed known about the apocalypse for generations, and prepared counter-strategies to the Septentriones; strategies that are utterly merciless in consequences, which only Yamato seems to be willing to shoulder.

I’m actually a little surprised that a large bulk of the episode was devoted to fleshing Alcor out as a character; although it’s definitely not a narrative decision I’m complaining about. The enigmatic frenemy is certainly more interesting to watch compared to the bulk of the cast. As a mechanism of Polaris which developed self-consciousness, an existential crisis is found at the very core of his character- hence, the Anguished One. And while he speaks at length about human potential and their possibilities, he seems to know comparatively little about the humans themselves. An interesting dichotomy is built into his every action where he’s at once wise and clueless; leading to the open-ended perspective he offers to Hibiki, and his social awkwardness that earns a few small chuckles from the hilarious overreaction Daichi and Io had to Alcor’s behavior.

As Alcor himself states, his perspective vastly differs from Yamato’s single-minded pursuit to enforce a meritocracy in his new world. It’s easy to say here that Alcor’s vision of a future full of possibilities is the more attractive one for a new world; but likewise, its ambiguous nature also lacks the singular ideal Yamato’s vision possess, to let the truly talented guide the world to a better future. There are interesting cases here that can be made for both sides, and even Ronaldo’s fading vision of egalitarianism; if only DeSu2A had the time to truly explore the intricacies of the existential perspectives being offered here. Sadly, the exploration of the subject doesn’t quite reach the depth I had hoped it would, and at this stage, I doubt we’ll ever go any deeper.

With all that said, the pacing did feel noticeably quicker compared to what we’ve been watching up till now. And while it isn’t so fast that I’m assuming the average anime-only watcher can’t keep up, I can’t help but be slightly worried if the pacing continues to ramp up.

The next episode, which likely covers the entirety of the 6th day, is going to show how well they’ll be able to manage; Io’s foreshadowed sacrifice -whether it truly comes to pass or not- is poised to be the emotional climax of the character- possibly the show as well. I’ll be frank here; Io hasn’t exactly made a particularly memorable impression over the course of the anime, and given the pacing, I doubt the next episode is going to change my mind; I can only hope that they play it dramatically enough that my heart stirs a little.

Full-length images: 12, 27.

 

Preview

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June 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm
24 comments »
  • June 2, 2013 at 3:23 pmMasterDragonKnight

    Considering how much Alcor appears and disappears in the game, I would have liked it if he surprised Io and Daichi by suddenly appearing behind them when they walked in the room.

    Although socially-awkward Alcor is amusing too.

  • June 2, 2013 at 3:25 pmAkoriko

    Kama is apparently a god with a refined taste.

    • June 2, 2013 at 3:30 pmAkoriko

      And where is the Airi belly button image in the above gallery. Not showing it is at least borderline blasphemous.

  • June 2, 2013 at 4:10 pmKing

    The big tit blonde cant die lo nitta :P

  • June 2, 2013 at 5:40 pmewok40k

    OK…
    Summoning by ritual dance, I can understand. But summoning by belly button???
    Gods have strange tastes…

    We have 2 more Septentrions to go, and Alcor is probably the last one.
    But, I am not sure even defeating (or somehow, “disarming” him) will end the situation, as we dont know how Polaris will react. That he will give his audience to survivors doesnt mean he won’t detroy the world – or what has remained of it – anyway.

    Then there is Yamato and his vision of meritocracy. Yamato should beware on the 7th day, should mankind survive. Does he not understand its him who would be “unnecessary” then? His final conversation with Hibiki might suggest he is fully aware of that, and expects judgement…

    Last but not least, Io is asked to die for everyone. I hope this won’t happen, but if it will, Yamato has just signed his death warrant.

  • June 2, 2013 at 5:46 pmlivevoid

    • June 2, 2013 at 9:14 pmsortedevaras

      I keep waiting for them to just start making out and it never happens. :/

  • June 2, 2013 at 7:01 pmLondo

    • June 4, 2013 at 5:09 amSherrisLok

      Yamato surely turned tsundere for Hibiki… That was amusing to watch. So much denial…

  • June 2, 2013 at 7:42 pmfragb85

    How disappointing, I actually thought this show was getting better . After the impressive effort of portraying the Megraz battle, the “fight” with Alioth barely gets 10 minutes of screentime when it was one of the more complex Septentriones to defeat in the game. Its also nowhere near as entertaining, not showing the part where Airi OWNS A GOD WITH HER FISTS. Or Yamato being awesome enough to troll said God hilariously. (Because contrary to what the anime shows you, Yamato actually does have sense of humor).

    Worse is how the deaths of the previous episode have become arbitrary. They are barely mentioned or alluded to. At least Keita’s death actually meant something and did develop Hibiki for better or worse. Otome is supposed to Makato’s best friend, yet did Makoto even grieve her loss? If there’s one thing I hate in any show, is how it makes death as just irrelevant attempts to squeeze some pathos in the show. Its just being dark for darkness sake.

    Io is next on the chopping block. Unfortunately she’s been portrayed here as nothing more than Hibiki’s cheerleader rather than a girl learning stand to up for herself so its difficult to be invested. I can already predict that the next episode will have lots of “HIBIKI-KUN! HIBIKI-KUN! HIBIKI-KUN! HIBIKI-KUN!”.

    • June 2, 2013 at 11:59 pmewok40k

      you have just ruined the whole series for me… the game is so much better!
      (down to the can rolling thru the screen when “nothing happens”… and hilarious dialogues!)

  • June 2, 2013 at 8:19 pmKF

    Could they be following Alcor’s route? I always believe it to be the best route.

    TQ

    • June 3, 2013 at 1:13 amDefade

      It seems the likeliest atm just by the process of elimination…

      Ronaldo route has been wiped off the face of the earth as of episode 8. Yamato route is pretty much a no go either both for storytelling reasons and HIbiki himself liking Yamato’s ideals less and less. Daichi route is still possible, but doesn’t seem very likely considering the adaptation’s treatment of Daichi so far (i.e. comedic relief), and the increased focus on Alcor since episode 7 as well as his bonding time with HIbiki in this episode seems to indicate that Alcor route is the likeliest one. Which I’m glad for, since that was the ending I found to be the most profound…

      Unless, of course, they decide to throw all that out of the window and go with the downer ending in the original game…

  • June 2, 2013 at 10:58 pmZelos

    Hibiki: “Hey Alcor, I’m making coffee. How do you take yours?”

    >”Black”
    >”With cream”
    >”Cream & sugar”
    >”Surprise me”

    • June 3, 2013 at 6:46 amCybersteel

      Coffee is bitter, sugar is sweet therefore they go together… wait wrong show…

  • June 2, 2013 at 11:50 pmkatsudon

    I have no idea what to think of this adaptation anymore. They could have done this fight so much better, but instead it was incredibly rushed and wasn’t interesting in the slightest. Oh well… Let’s just see how it ends.

  • June 3, 2013 at 6:36 amSerapita

    It’s just as I’ve feared. They are going to rush the story in the later days. Seriously, the show could be much better if they have times to glean the characters and give times for them to develop.

    As for the ending route, I’m sticking to anime original Hibiki route.

  • June 3, 2013 at 11:10 amZarathos

    Seriously these guys r killing a perfectly good plot, da way dis story is progressing compared t da game i get da feeling they realy r gona kill off Io. And Io is actually a really good character too.

  • June 3, 2013 at 1:35 pmRolca

    You know you don’t have enough episodes when you have to use the time usually allocated to the preview, the opening and the ending and it still feels incredibly rushed.

    I wish animes followed the cour system less. It wouldn’t be so awful if DeSu2 and DR had a cour and a half each.

    At least they know how to capitalize the watchers with fanservice.

  • June 3, 2013 at 6:09 pmKarides

    Just like how you are limited by time in DeSU2 the game, I got the feeling that Kishi is kinda frustrated by the limited time he had too.

  • June 4, 2013 at 3:49 pmMagoiichi

  • June 4, 2013 at 6:36 pmc2710

    Hope Io survives.

    Cute blond with “BIG ROUND PLOTS” to protect her.

    PLEASE LET HER BE SAVED

    • June 5, 2013 at 1:23 pmewok40k

      Io has PLOT armor? I’d hate to see her go, too. But so far the series have been expending characters at Urobutcher’s pace.

    • June 7, 2013 at 10:21 amewok40k

      Show Spoiler ▼