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Devil Survivor 2 The Animation – 12

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「LAST DAY – 結実の日曜日 I 」 (Ketsujitsu no Nichiyōbi I)
“LAST DAY – Sunday’s Fruition I”

It’s hard to believe that at the very start of the show, this had been the one moment I was looking forward to the most. Oh, how I had hoped this would become a climatic finale in what might’ve been a truly interesting exploration of mankind’s ideologies, and of the conflict which resulted. How even in the face of the apocalypse, companionship is in scarce supply, and our worst enemies end up being ourselves. But reality falls a damn sight short of those expectations. I’m going to go on a bit of a gamer’s tangent here, so forgive me if I’m losing you anime-only watchers, but this is a point I wanted to address.

Now, at the heart of this climax, in both the game and the anime, was the central conflict between the philosophies of men, the apocalypse serving as the backdrop to this grand clash of ideologies. Arguably much of the narrative, even in the anime, has been focused not so much on the threat of the septentriones, but of the resulting post-septentrione world. There never any doubt the Septentriones were going to be defeated, and that the clash of ideals would bring this show to its close. Yet one never really quite connects to the babble spewed in DeSu2A; ludicrously simple generalizations about the nature of these philosophies and poor character motivations (especially in the case of Yamato’s meritocracy) distills much of the narrative’s potential. But the interesting thing to note here is that I never found the game’s narrative to do this particular aspect any justice either; never willing to fully explore the complexity behind its settings, and the philosopy of its characters. So I was hopeful; hopeful that a linear narrative and a fresh production might fulfilled the promise of these ideas. On hindsight, perhaps my expectations were far too ambitious for the production. Poor narrative decisions and abysmal execution of ideas has been turning DeSu2A into something of a trainwreck, especially in these latest episodes. This one was not exempt; the show was clearly setting the stage for the showdown between Hibiki and Yamato –and what a spectacle it is looking to be- by making its way through the complete elimination the supporting characters, but this is done so in an incredibly ham-fisted manner. Perhaps the most absurd was when Alcor self-destructed in a double suicide move to take out Yamato, only for the JP’s leader to come out of the attack, all sexily disheveled, which demanded quite the suspension of belief.

But I think enough has been said on the failings of the writing and the execution by this point, and I’ll leave the rest of my thoughts on this issue to next week’s final impressions. In any case, this episode did serve up one hell of a spectacle. With the void overtaking the last vestige of the world, the crumbling spacetime made for a visually stunning backdrop as Io and Daichi fought back Yamato’s demons to get Hibiki safely to the transport terminal. It’s a bit of a clichéd setup (especially with Io and Daichi reiterating to HIbiki that only he could do it) to put Yamato and Hibiki together on that final stage, but at least we’re in for a good fight. The question becomes what Hibiki might choose for the world should he win. (And to be honest, that’s the most likely the case) The winner would presumably be able to shape the new world as he wishes; would Hibiki thus return everything to the way it was before the attacks? Keep in mind mankind’s former state was the “decline” that caused Polaris to initiated this trial, and wouldn’t actually solve anything either. In any case, some kind of semi-reset seems to be the most likely outcome; how that can work out, we’ll have to see in the final episode.

June 20, 2013 at 11:08 pm
32 comments »
  • June 20, 2013 at 11:20 pmDefade

    Despite the narrative trainwreck of Desu2A, the last moments of Alcor, with the emotional song “Wings” playing in the background really got my tears running. Kind of similar to Io’s scene in episode 10, the execution of the whole scene was successful at wringing out emotions from me despite the otherwise subpar narrative (this one hit particularly hard because Alcor was the entire reason I started watching this show).

    Then B part came and it turns out Alcor just died to take off Yamato’s shirt and no reason was given for his survival? The sheer suspension of belief it required pretty much ruined all the emotional impact for me. And afterwards it was just a downwards spiral and I find myself not even particularly caring for the last episode anymore.

    It was a fun ride while it lasted, I suppose, and thank you for blogging it for the past 12 weeks! Only one more episode to go.

    • June 20, 2013 at 11:31 pmAsobi

      Was my pleasure to blog it. As much as I hated how it eventually ended up like this, I can’t say it hasn’t been a fun series to blog about, and it opened my eyes to certain aspects regarding the quality of adaptions. Am looking forward to seeing how it’ll all wrap up, despite everything.

  • June 20, 2013 at 11:32 pmkirigiri

    I really liked Alcor’s part but was disappointed that there was no explanation on how Yamato managed to survive the blast with barely a scratch, except ripped clothes. -.-
    Strange, I thought Yamato threw his phone out as the world was getting rewritten- must be hiding multiple phones in his coat.

    • June 27, 2013 at 10:25 amno381

      From what I saw, just as Alcor self-destructed, the tower glowed meaning Yamato used his crazy superpowers to live, but it still really devalue’d Alcor’s effort just for him to come out all bishounen disheveled.

      I personally have liked DeSu2A so far, even though the characters dropped like flies and felt like there wasn’t much development of their characters. I haven’t played the game yet (I was thinking of waiting for the 3DS version but may just play the DS) but I personally like it when series have stories that derail from the original. Gives you more timelines to explore rather than watching what you know will already happen; keeps me guessing.

      To Asobi, thank you for blogging this every week! Only 1 more!

  • June 20, 2013 at 11:37 pmRaila

    And so..it is finally time for Yamato to confess to his true love unhindered!

  • June 20, 2013 at 11:42 pmZelos

    Death by bro hug.

  • June 21, 2013 at 2:02 amKF

    Poor Makoto, even poor everyone except Hibiki and Yamato. Who will prevail I wonder. I really hope they kick Polaris butt next episode even if we endup with a Liberator ending because Polaris should just die!

    TQ

  • June 21, 2013 at 3:04 amewok40k

    I must admit I was much more entertained by the playtrough of the game I managed to get on youtube – from all sides of the ideological conflict much better formulated and argued for, to characters better developed, and not wasted easily for fake drama.
    I guess we are heading for “reset” ending now when everything and everyone goes back to pre-disaster status since otherwise we would end with one – or two, if Yamato survives – person world and that would be anticlimatic to say the least…

    • June 21, 2013 at 10:51 amsortedevaras

      Yamato and Hibiki left alone to repopulate the world.

      • June 21, 2013 at 2:38 pmPringlesXD

        “Makers” Ending

  • June 21, 2013 at 3:45 amKarides

    I see what they did there with the ending.

    • June 21, 2013 at 5:44 amGekokujou

      Yeah, I never seen an ending so BEARran before.

      • June 21, 2013 at 10:58 amsortedevaras

        Its almost unBEARable.

      • June 21, 2013 at 2:59 pmiRandom

        …Teddie, this isn’t P4
        stop it with the puns.

      • June 22, 2013 at 11:15 pmsortedevaras

        Oh believe me, we are all aware of just how not Persona 4 this is. :p

  • June 21, 2013 at 5:40 amlegwkio

    It’s kinda stupid though. Everyone who played the game knows that Black Frost/Lugh is hell of a lot stronger than Byakko/Suzaku so we should have sacrificed Hibiki and let Daichi face Yamato.

    • June 21, 2013 at 6:41 amVip

      Not if they are at the same level. They can have similar stats/strong skills if you have time to level them up. Lvl 99 Pixie hits as hard as your Lucifer if you have time to waste. By seeing how he got Baihu at first day I can assume he’s in his NG+ so chances are it is high leveld.

      • June 21, 2013 at 10:56 amsortedevaras

        More importantly both Hibiki and Yamato are using Action Replay to cheat.

      • June 21, 2013 at 11:13 amsilver_huskey

        If I’ve learned anything from Persona 4 and now Devil Survivor 2 it’s that the anime MCs are *always* on new game+, with a bit of cheating thrown in for good measure. ;)

        A five way persona fusion in the middle of a boss fight? No problem!
        Summoning a Byakko on the first try? Summoned without breaking a sweat!

  • June 21, 2013 at 10:29 amanon

    Screw this show, all thats left is 2 characters who are horribly derailed from their game counterparts.

    This show is trying to paint Yamato as a generic villain. The meritocracy is the Chaos route in the game, but here it’s something that must be stopped at all costs.

    Look, they discuss this in the game. While it’s true that in a meritocracy, those with talents thrieve while those who have none must follow those that do or die, it also means that things like age, gender, race, sexual orientation, (etc.) are no longer an issue.

    Heck, the ending shows, that a little kid is talented enought to lead an army. Yeah demons still exist though.

    Makoto Uezu the guy who wrote the script for this is to blame, not the director, he did fine with P4′s anime, it had a different script writer.

    For those who want to watch it, Uezu’s also supposed to be the scriptwriter for the Dangan Ronpa anime. I haven’t even played the game so I don’t know how badly he’ll mess it up

  • June 21, 2013 at 10:48 amTheVoid

    When it concerns Yamato and Ronaldo’s beliefs, they’re best shown in the endings of the game. It also helps that Yamato treats the Protagonist as a friend and equal instead of a pawn like he does in the anime, where he’s just a generic villain who wants a world of strength, which is not even what a Meritocracy is solely about.

    The whole Makoto being in love with Yamato came out of nowhere, which covers most of the stuff in this anime.

    • June 21, 2013 at 10:54 amsortedevaras

      Poor Makoto, of all the characters you were butchered the worst. And she was supposed to have loved the protagonist, not Yamato.

      • June 21, 2013 at 6:50 pmfragb85

        Makoto’s obvious cougar crush on the MC is all gone in the anime. What a waste.

        To make you feel better, here’s a scene of MC getting ridden by two women. (Topped with Makoto being moe)

      • June 21, 2013 at 9:42 pmsortedevaras

        Wasn’t she like 26? A little young to be a cougar. :p

  • June 21, 2013 at 1:53 pmDvalinn

    Guess that dashes any hope for an AO ending. What an anticlimactic death he had too.

    I’m guessing the show will go with a crappy reset button ending, either the one that solves nothing, or the true one that would make no narrative sense whatsoever at this point in the show (by the game’s logic, anyway) so I wonder what kind of explanation they’ll give for that (if they even give one at all).

    Meh, this adaptation fails from both an adaptational ánd stand-alone standpoint, as far as I’m concerned. It’s not the worst show I’ve ever seen, but it really is kind of a letdown.

    • June 21, 2013 at 7:06 pmDefade

      I’m with you there, man. Of all the endings in the game I’ve always found AO’s ending to be the most poignant, because it’s the only route where the MC doesn’t just take a choice that was thrown at him, but voluntarily seeks out AO and (forgive the somewhat bad wording here) uses AO to further his own plans, which are on a completely different scale than what the three other camps are offering. What they want might be different, but it doesn’t change the fact that they’re just asking Polaris for a favor instead of completely solving the root of the problem. Restorer/Triumphant endings leave a bad taste in my mouth for the very same reasons (heck Restorer even spells it out with “History repeats itself”). And indeed Triumphant ending wouldn’t make shit sense at this point because of the lack of character development.

      And here I thought the whole expanded past on Hibiki (with his parents enforcing their own ideals/choices onto him) would fit amazingly with AO’s route and Hibiki learning to say ‘screw you’ to other people’s decisions and forging his own road instead. But alas they wasted a perfectly good plot.

  • June 21, 2013 at 2:40 pmPringlesXD

    Yamato is such a one-dimensional villain, it’s kind of annoying.

  • June 21, 2013 at 6:41 pmfragb85

    So basically they make a dramatic emphasis on Io’s rescue(which cost hundreds of lives to save her) and built up Daichi’s grand moment throughout the entire series only to have them die shortly. *Derp* WTF are character arcs?

    Also are they ever going to show why Hibiki was designated as the Shining One or are they just going to keep using lame dialogues to say that? Apparently to important rule of “Show don’t tell” is lost in this horrid narrative. All I’ve seen is a protagonist that’s a complete angsty puss, that’s totally who I would root for.

    My only regret is that Yamato is the last to die, he’s by far the worst of the character of the show with the worst dialogue and yet he keeps getting screentime. At least the others were barely around to be annoying.

    Well, congratulations to the writers of DeSu2A, they’ve now proven how much of a hack they are. They ought to just stay away from any adaptation. Or any anime in general. I’ll be wary of whatever crap they make from now on.

    • June 22, 2013 at 5:59 amanon

      Blame the script writer Makoto Uezu, the direct did fine with a different script writer when he did P4′s anime.

      Sadly it seems the same script writer and direct will be doing the Dangan Ronpa anime. I’ve never played that so I don’t know how badly they’ll screw it up

  • June 22, 2013 at 8:01 amRandom

    I calling it the ending for the next ep will show everyone who died and and expect hibiki and yamato. I bet they both have some yaoi death together sereiosuly this anime ruined the the entire DeSu2 game

  • June 22, 2013 at 6:17 pmMagoiichi

    Is it just me or is Yamato blushing almost throughout the whole episode?

    This is the tale of the ugly Polaris. There was an ugly Polaris, who was so ugly that everyone died. The End

  • June 25, 2013 at 1:44 amFree

    Everyone is dead: The Animation.