OP: 「Take Your Way」 by livetune adding Fukase from Sekai no Owari
「1ST DAY – 憂鬱の日曜日」 (Yuutsu no nichiyobi)
“1ST DAY – Melancholy Sunday”
Despite the troubled production and its mixed critical response, there’s absolutely no question that Persona 4 The Animation was a resounding commercial success, which practically sealed the deal for more adaptations from the Shin Megami Tensei franchise. It’s been over a year since then, and finally Devil Survivor 2 The Animation‘s (What a ridiculously long name to type out) here to bring in the dough once again.
But let’s put the P4A comparisions aside for now (I’ll still get to those in a bit.) and get the boring details out of the way first. DeSu2A, as it shall henceforth be christened for my typing sanity, is a separate spinoff series of the SMT franchise and has zero connections to the former show. Likewise, the storyline is its own individual beast; new watchers need not fear having zero exposure to the first Devil Survivor game or anything else of the franchise. And a disclaimer: I have played the game beforehand to completion, but rest assured I’ll keep my posts objective, spoiler-free and related to the episode itself.
If you simply haven’t played the game before or even read our spring preview (you evil, evil person) here’s a basic summary: Devil Survivor 2 is a modern fantasy story about the world facing its judgement day. It begins with the mysterious website Nicaea foretelling the characters’ deaths, and when disaster actually does strike, it offers friends Kuzu Hibiki, Shijimi Dachi and Nitta Io a chance of survival by forming a pact to give them the “demon summoning app”. As a disaster-struck Japan suddenly finds itself besieged by mysterious invaders, the characters are forced to use Nicaea and their newfound summoning powers to reverse their doomed fates and survive Japan’s annihilation. Peaceful days have died. Let’s Survive.
Even back when I first started on the game, there’s a lot to immediately like about DeSu2A’s premise. The combination of demon summoning phones, secret societies, and a world tethering on the brink of the apocalypse is as odd as they come, but made for a very unique premise to explore, its fantastical nature lending very well both to the gameplay and the themes explored. As this first episode goes on to show, it’s a combination that translate pretty well to anime form as well; Nothing screams judgement day more than when demons start walking this earth.
The comparisions to P4A are of course apt; Shin Megami Tensei certainly doesn’t stray away from its key pillars of demons, spirituality, and of the supernatural, more often than not explored in a contemporary context. But only just watch the first episode to know that Persona, this ain’t. Out goes the social linking and the exploration of the human psyche; here, a different set of themes and rules hold sway, with far grimmer prospects for the world and characters.
Nothing is particularly explained in this premiere, and there’s a definite sense of disorientation as the characters are thrust from one situation to another, making it seems as if director Seji Kishi intended for this first episode to overwhelm with its pacing; pull them in fast, and pull them in hard, with a bombastic action sequence to top it all off. As the battle with the first invader comes to a close and the characters are apprehended by the Japanese Meteorological Society (JP’s) organisation we’re left with a whole boatload of questions: who these people are, how the demons came to this world, the mystery of Nicaea and the summoning app, and why there’s a mysterious Kaworu-lookalike boy in the middle of all this. (Oh trust me, I’ve also got a lot to say about the inspirations DeSu2A draw from a certain mecha anime, but I’ll leave it for a more suitable time.)
While the pacing itself might’ve been on the fast side, I’ll refrain from commenting on it until we’re a couple more episodes in. For one, there’s no doubt they wanted to include a major battle so as to draw the viewers in, and rushed somewhat to get to that point; but with the reception I’ve been seeing so far I can’t say it hasn’t worked out for them.
In comparing DeSu2A as the spiritual successor to P4A, here’s the one change I’m really positive about, and I’ll start by addressing the protagonist of P4A. As experiments go Yu Narukami of P4A was a very interesting one, a literal adaptation of the faceless avatar which gamers would project themselves into. It was a risky decision of Kishi’s to go ahead with a character almost completely void of personality, in which he seemed to have wanted watchers to project themselves into and grow alongside as the story progressed. But the delivery never quite worked out as intended. You can imagine the relief that set in when I saw Kuze Hibiki (Kamiya Hiroshi) who’s also another faceless avatar in the game, having a proper personality to himself to carry the story along, albeit not a particularly deep or memorable one at the moment beyond the fact that he’s voiced by Kamiya. Still, good change!
There’s not much to go on about Shijima Daichi (Okamoto Nobuhiko) and Nitta Io (Uchida Aya) in this introduction either, since events transpired so quickly that there’s hardly time for the characters to settle. But I’m looking forward to seeing what Kishi can do with the development of the characters; he’s got quite the huge cast to work with here, the first of which we’ve seen in Sako Makoto. (Sawashiro Miyuki – of course, it just couldn’t be anyone else) If anything, DeSu2A’s already showing it is willing to go down some grim and pretty dark paths with its story; hopefully, this will extend to the characters as well.
As it stands, I’m in two minds about the cinematography in the show. Bridge fantastically nailed the apocalyptic atmosphere of the world down, and this really was my favourite part coming out of the adaptation, the one thing I was looking to the show to play strongly on. With the location details accurate almost to a fault and the brilliant touches of destruction on a very familiar landscape, DeSu2A’s ruined Tokyo becomes eerily reminiscent of the scenes from the disastrous Japan earthquake some two years ago, with crowds of people huddling and trying to contact loved ones, civil workers trying to restore order, impromptu rest points and ridiculous lines to convenience stores. It’s almost mortifying to see the significant damage and destruction done to Tokyo, and these scenes very effectively punctuate that general sense of helplessness in the wake of a disaster.
That Bridge has never been particularly noteworthy about its production is the sticking point, and the general quality here really brings home the fact that they’re a mid-tier studio. The production quality is serviceable, but there’s nothing particularly spectacular about it. That’s not to say DeSu2A doesn’t have its moments; the cybernetic visual effects of the demon summoning are downright gorgeous, as was the action sequence of invader’s attack, and I’m definitely looking forward to their take on the invaders coming our way. And they certainly did justice to the amazing illustrations of character designer Suzuhito Yasuda. (Durarara!!, Yozakura Quartet)
As premieres go, you could certainly do worst. DeSu2A’s might’ve sacrificed sharing its characters and plot (which will no doubt come in the next few episodes) in order to draw viewers with bombastic action sequences, but does a great job in introducing its very intriguing premise with this introductory episode while presenting the fantastic apocalyptic setting of its story. I’m definitely liking what I’m seeing so far, speaking as both a fan of the series and an anime blogger, and I’m keen to see if Kishi can deliver with this adaptation in the way he couldn’t with Persona.
-No doubt there’s a fair number of you who’ve already played the game beforehand, and I ask that you consider about what you comment on. Please refrain from talking about events that have not been shown, even if they’ve supposedly occurred in the game’s story; this is an adaption after all, and events don’t necessarily progress in the same order. I won’t outright stop anyone, but be considerate and put ample warnings/spoiler tags or you’ll find your comments removed. Likewise, try to keep discussion of the game itself to a minimal as talk should instead be focused on the adaptation; again, I won’t stop anyone, but be considerate to the other commenters.
-6/4/13-Forgot to add a simple premise in the intro bit! It’s up there now.
-To anyone that ask, no, you don’t have to know anything about the first game, about SMT, or anything at all. DeSu2 is its own story with no ties to anything, so there’s no need to fear missing anything. I’m putting this here because I’m still seeing comments asking about this.
ED: 「BE」by Song Riders
Probably my most anticipated anime of the season. Having enjoyed the hell out of the game, it being in my top 5 favourite DS games, I couldn’t wait.
This first episode did not disappoint. The quality was there, it had good pacing, they showed what they needed to show.
Idk, the fight with Dubhe was rushed but more importantly where the hell is Joe? Otherwise everything looked good to me.
Pretty excited about the show, I loved the game, and the music and character designs are fantastic. So far the casting seems pretty solid, and the director and writer have a pretty good track record, so there’s no reason to doubt that this adaptation will end up anything less than good.
My only real complaint is the animation studio, not quite sure why they went with Bridge when there are better choices out there, but asides from that- liked what I’ve seen so far.
PS: I know you said to be careful about what you write in the discussion Asobi, but… THE FIRST BOSS FIGHT WAS NOT THAT EASY! XD
He’s using a level 53 Byakko against the first boss in the game, of course it’ll be easy.
OH WAIT SHOOT- LOOK AT WHAT YOU MADE ME DO TOO.
If you don’t mind, would you plz report the results on the next episode post? ;P
Well, actually, if you go back through the game with high level demons, it’s impossible to damage Dubhe with anything period, no matter how strong the demon may be. That was a slight gripe I initially had with the anime, until I realized that Show Spoiler ▼
. That was definitely an improvement in the anime I came to appreciate after the realization!
The bromance vibes in this show is strong. =))
Its a good start. It was able to set the apocalyptic tone, especially the chaos of civilians and rescue workers. Its also not shy on killing people off to set its daker atmosphere. Hibiki’s is alright, but a little bland right now so I’m hoping he gets more personality later. Unforutnately its also rushed. Then I looked it up and realized this will be only be one cour so its going to be very tight if they can tell the whole story.
Nitpick hat on: The whole Dubhe fight was idiotic. Dubhe’s shtick was that he was supposed to be invincible. The only reason our heroes won in the game was sheer dumb luck. Daichi crashed the truck on Dubhe at the very small window where it was vulnerable and it hurt him enough so the rest finished him off. Here Daichi’s awesome moment is completely negated so that Hibiki could summon an over-powered Byakko to one-shot Dubhe.
Also where the the **** is Joe!? He’s supposed to be the fourth party in this fight by now but he doesn’t even a have a few seconds of screentime. I wanted to hear his terrible puns.
Laslty I hate the OP. If there was one song that would be ill-fitted to the tone of DeSu 2 it would be this. Especially if you compared it to the Game’s OP.
To be honest, in-game they mention that they tried various weapons and nothing worked out, only demon can seem to do any dmg to Dubhe. Yet by a sheer “dumb” luck Daichi truck ramming worked out (and it wasn’t really explained why it worked out). I can’t say this is any less “dumb” than the anime script.
That aside, Daichi still looked awesome even when his attempt failed. I mean, he could have died doing it but he still did it to have a chance saving his friends. Tell me this is not awesome.
To each his own i guess. About Joe, no idea why they didn’t include him here, but i don’t really mind. As long as they keep the core story they can change stuff around. If i want the game story i will play the game so i am kinda looking for something new and fresh from the anime itself.
tl;tr this ep was decent, didn’t disappoint me.
It’s true that Devil Survivor is a spinoff of the Shin Megami Tensei series, but it does share similarities. I know you haven’t actually mentioned what ‘inspirations’ it borrows from a ‘certain mecha anime’, but just pointing out the first game in the Shin Megami Tensei series came out before the ‘certain mecha anime’. But then again maybe I’m just getting ahead of myself. Still, I really enjoyed the first episode and am eagerly awaiting the next.
The two are around 3 years apart. I did hear resemblances with the ‘certain mecha anime’ and Shin Megami Tensei series, but I never played the 1st or 2nd game in the franchise to comment on any similarities.
I think you misunderstood something here.
Asobi never mentioned the Shin Megami Tensei Series drawing inspirations from a ‘certain mecha anime’, but only Devil Survivor 2.
The other games in the Shin Megami Tensei series have nothing to do with this comparison, as the insipirations drawn from that mecha anime are unique to DS2.
Like Zanafar said, I think you misunderstand, though I can see why you would connect it to the franchise as a whole. I’m just saying that DeSu2 borrows quite liberally from coughcoughevacoughcough. But I’ll explore this more clearly in the next post, when the actual exposition comes.
I didn’t misunderstand. I saw the comment about Devil Survivor 2, which is why I added that I might be getting ahead of myself. It just depends on what Asobi meant by ‘inspirations’, because I can see where some of that is true, and some isn’t. Hence the fact that I am merely pointing out that Shin Megami Tensei came out before coughcoughEvacough. If only because someone might point it out later. Also I am well aware that Devil Survivor is a spinoff so it doesn’t share everything in common with the main series either way. But certain themes are prevalent in both, that’s all I meant. Honestly it’s not whether or not I am a bigger fan of either series and I’m not trying to sound rude. I wasn’t sure if that’s how it came off. I apologize if it did.
Hmmm, I though the Persona 4 adaptation was pretty good.
At least, I don’t know what fans would hope for from this adaptation that wasn’t done with the Persona one.
I mean, I’ve heard that some think the anime should be more “faithful” to the game, but I don’t know how it’s possible to do that with a game that can have wildly diverging paths in the plot. Everyone is going to have a different idea of what they want to see animated.
A very interesting point. I’d actually say that I had mixed feelings about P4A because Kishi adapted it far too literally. It doesn’t help that the structure of Persona 4 is essentially that of a game: Kidnap, go into TV and rescue, social link, Kidnap, go into TV and rescue, social link…well, you get the idea. Plot progression and pacing never felt like it flowed organically, and made P4A feel…well, just like watching someone play the game. Not to mention the very liberal use and focus on the incorporated gameplay elements; they were nice fanservice touches, but I personally thought that it distracted from the fact that it was an anime, not a game. DeSu2 is actually guilty of this as well; I didn’t need to see such a strong focus on things like the status/menu references, or the location cut-ins. I’m here to watch a narrative, not the game. Small, subtle glimpses would’ve suffice.
Here though, DeSu2 presents a very unique opportunity for Kishi to work around the “game” structure because of the context of the plot. This is something I’ll explore when the exposition reaches that point, but because of it I’m very curious to see how he will adapt DeSu2.
Pretty good first episode. Hopefully this anime doesn’t disappoint
As a huge fan of the game I’ve gotta say I’m kind of disappointed, the MC’s once again lacking in personality IMO (like P4) and not one song from the game was used?? I get that P4 maybe overused the game songs, but not even the Nicaea theme was used as they opened the app. Battle at the end was great. Overall I reckon this’ll fall into the same kind of traps that P4 animation did, I’ll stick with it though!
I enjoyed the first episode very much, and coming from a person that played the game, it stayed as true to the actual game as it could. I agree with Tre on how the adaptation had to choose a certain path to go on because of the many ways the story could play out in the actual game.
Overall, the animation was beautiful, the character designs are as wonderful as the original, and the music was definitely fitting for the anime. (Especially that ending!)
Hmm…so I never played Devil Survivor 2 the game, I played Devil Survivor 1 on the NDS a lot and loved it.
Does this have any relation to the first game or is it completely separate? Still debating if i should just watch this before playing the game or not.
Completely separate, still a different doomsday story though 😛 Overall the gameplay is pretty similar, although DS2 has a far bigger variety of battle themes, keeping things interesting. I got pretty sick of the battle theme in DS1. 😛
“Hmm…so I never played Devil Survivor 2 the game,”
Good. DS2 is not as good of a game. Primitive enemy designs, dorky characters, no character motivation to speak of, and yeah, the character development that is forced on you through the stupid link system…urgh.
Enjoying this a lot even though I’m not familiar with the game. Looking forward to how this goes down.
I sure hope that the following episodes are going to give us more Ogre. Goddamn, what a bro. Or rather, a Brogre.
Aww crap. I just got this game and I’m not very far in. I’m in two minds as to if I watch this.
The pedantic bit in me forces me to point out that Persona franchise is not Shin Megami Tensei, but Megami Ibunroku. As is Devil Survivor, actually. They are both not SMT al all.
This is the least boring anime of the season…
Nice effects, summoning reminds me of guilty crown
Good thing it isn’t as bad as Karneval with all the random sh*t
Yahari Ore no Seishun is okay, but i bet it will sux as it goes on…
Shingeki no Kyojin, flying around killing giants… W.T.F
Feel free to thumbs me down. Hope devil survivor won’t dissapoint me ^_^
Suddenly I feel like eating strawberry ice cream XD
One shotting the boss with Anti Pirate + Invulnerability!? 643999M (IIRC)!? Hibiki, you using Show Spoiler ▼
Overall, a good first episode despite the stuff they skipped/altered. My only nitpick is they removed a certain character and they make Daichi “sacrifice” seems useless…. But I can live with it. Hope they don’t rush the story too much.
PS So Io gets Ogre+Pixie, Hibiki gets Byakko/Baihu and Daichi gets a Poltergeist. Poor guy.
Liking this show a lot, doesn’t feel too “game-y-ish” (i don’t even know if that term exists xP) unlike P4A. I know nothing about the game, but I hope this dark atmosphere and peril will stay longer in this anime and not turn to a gotta catch’em all Pokemon nonsense.
Looks pretty interesting so far, definitely picking this one up!
Certainly excited by this Anime, but were quite disappointed with the pace. Seriously Hibiki started off with NG+ -.-
What’s with the Byakko and extremely high amount of Macca man~
I wasn’t that happy with the Dubhe fight, it seemed kind of boring. To be honest I really wish the characters would assist in the fight too, other than just standing around and telling the demons what to do. That makes them quite useless.
Either way, I’m still going to watch this till the end and I’m very excited as to what is to come.
The other boss fights will certainly be interesting xD, there is one I’m looking forward to very much!! Day 4th haha, that one will be epic as it was one of the most annoying one lol
Seems like someone is on an disliking spree? Whoever that person is, he/she seems to be disliking everyone’s comments ==
There are people who just have nothing to do eh?
Dammit, it’s only going to have 12 episodes.
These 12 episode animes need to stop…
24 at least- especially with a storyline as epic as this…
OP is quite catchy, but stylistically it doesn’t really fit the atmosphere of the show. Still, quite a nice score, and the visuals are a treat. I’m interested in seeing where this goes.
Finally, a positive response to the OP! I don’t know why everyone’s hating on the OP because I really liked it myself.
Count me in as another one who is OK with the OP. But I am not too fond with the vocal….
The pacing was alright for a one-cour anime. There’s only so much you can fit into the anime, and this game is quite huge.
One downside: Dubhe battle. Dubhe was supposed to be invincible: in the game, Dubhe nulls everything (even Almighty), except Physical which it reflects. He’s basically like a certain boss from the first game – hell, your mission was to get away from Dubhe at first. And since Dubhe didn’t seem to get nerfed by Daichi’s truck action in this adaptation (which sort of lacked the awesome build-up that was present in the game, which sucks), he’s still supposed to be untouchable when Hibiki fights him.
Byakko’s obviously not an initial demon, but hey, Yu had Persona that he really shouldn’t have had, so I’m not complaining.
Other than the above scene, DeSu2A looks to be promising. I love the visual effects, and I hope to see an entertaining adaptation that does justice to the game! 😀
Am I the only one smelling a downvoting troll going around here?
Animation. Cast. Story. All solid. Ready to be put into full throttle and take us deeper into an apocalyptic world where death abounds – and, thankfully, they’re not shy about demonstrating it – and where the only way out is to a fight for a life that… may not even be yours anymore?
All things considered, a solid adaptation I’m expecting some decent entertainment from.
That said though, I almost wish these game>anime adaptations; particularly the ones with more or less linear storylines, would risk a bit some with originality to throw a curve ball at us from time to time.
While I somewhat enjoyed this first episode, I was kind of disappointed because it seems so far, Show Spoiler ▼
To be fair, it’s actually the manga following the anime bit by bit. It was pre-release material to hype the anime’s coming, and most likely based off the original storyboards for the anime itself.
After enjoying P4A (and platinuming the heck out of the Vita version of P4G), this looks like another enjoyable series for me. Haven’t really play the game, so I’ll just go into it blind.
I don’t remember if Devil Survivor 1 had an anime, i think it did, but I didn’t get into it.
This first episode seemed okay.I hate that I recognized the Kobolds but couldn’t recognize the Jaki ;/
And Daichi is a badass!
Show look awesome just like the Persona 4 anime.
The demon summoning thing makes me think of a cross between Persona 4’s personas and Future Diary’s cellphones.
Dropped, for a number of reasons.
1. Byako is a high level demon. You do not get shit like that early in-game unless blatant cheating.
2. No Joe in episode 1. Joe appeared within that chapter.
3. Too much toasty humans. The game only toasted 4 others after that train incident.
4. Daichi’s truck didn’t do damage. In-game, it did and crippled the enemy to be weak enough to receive extra damage from phys(physical) attacks.
Sounds like the silly argument back then about Narukami using Pyro Jack when the P4 gang wanted to save Yukiko, or when he used Beelzebub while saving Naoto. For me I don’t bother. This is the anime adaptation. In-game logic doesn’t apply…or maybe the main character is just start another New Game+.
Still took away Daichi’s moment of awesomeness. The scene, if it was faithfully done like in the game, would have been x10 more awesome that what we got right here.
1. New game +, and blantly cheating after you finished the game 5 times.
2. Not necessary, you had the option of meeting him, it’s optional up to a certain point.
3. To be perfectly honest there would be alot of toasty humans normally. Just because the game showed 3 people getting toasted doesn’t mean that only those 3 people were toasted. The anime just showed more than the game. It also helps with the whole “helplessness” mood that is being shown.
4. Daichi’s Truck scene was show in the game to explain how they weakened the 1st “Angel” so that it can take damage. It also was a Anti-piracy trap. In which he would refuse to appear and leave you for dead against the Angel.
4. Daichi’s Truck scene was show in the game to explain how they weakened the 1st “Angel” so that it can take damage. It also was a Anti-piracy trap. In which he would refuse to appear and leave you for dead against the Angel.
So I take it:
> Producer researching the game
> Downloaded the game
> encountered AP option
> enabled cheat
> New anime-only scene
I see myself liking this show, despite dropped Persona 4 some time ago.
Episode 1 shown some promising aspects for me, having zero knowledge about the game/manga.
is it just me or do the characters look like the main trio of durarara even the girl has short hair and big boobs and the guy (Daichi?) is wearing a yellow scarf. the main character is wearing blue. totally going to make a dollars gang.
I know the series is already going to be good if not better than good. My question is how is it going to end?
Much like any adaptation that has the source material having multiple ending, the question “Which ending are they going to follow?” has to be in everyone’s mind. Normally it would be the best possible end but there’s always exceptions to that.
The opening’s got a sort-of-“Angel Beats” style in it.. I liked the OP & also the ED. This show’s already my most favorite anime of Spring 2013 so far.
I loved the ED’s animation style – especially how they went from “fun and sunny” to suddenly apocolyptic and cool, and introducing the other characters. Then full circle back to our 3 again. Loving the style and the effects. The song too. Gonna stick with this series!
The train station reminded me of Gantz.
Feels like Digimon without the kiddy stuff.
Lots of mysteries but since the games is already out, everything is out.
Supposing they stick to the original material.
Got that Guilty Crown feel too.