OP Sequence

OP: 「不安定な神様」 (Fuantei na Kamisama) by Suara

「義侠の男」 (Gikyou no Otoko)
“The Righteous Man”

Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen picked up for coverage.

Before I Begin

So, I couldn’t resist—even though I joked about going full sci-fi blogger this season, I had to pick up a fantasy series in the end. Before I begin, let me give my bona fides for blogging Utawarerumono: I haven’t seen the original series. But I want to! So don’t spoil things. Though once intro week’s over, I hope to take a little time to marathon the previous series, so you might get a few updates on my progress through that as well. In the meantime, not having seen it isn’t hurting my enjoyment of this series at all.

Haku the Tactician

Who would have needed a calculator, or at least a piece of paper and a pencil, to solve those math problems Kuon was zinging at Haku? *raises hand* It’s clear that the point of this episode (following from the previous one) was to set up Haku as a smarty pants tactician. He doesn’t have the brawn, or even basic endurance, but he’s gots the smarts. Which it did well enough. Part of me wishes Haku had taken the time to ask what Ukon (Tone Kentarou) and others were capable of, rather than learnin about his wind scar mid-battle, but it actually fits, ’cause Haku remains a reluctant tactician. None of his tactics were groundbreaking, but that wasn’t the point. He’s thinking his way through problems. That is the point.

A Perilous Random Encounter

Rather than anything about the characters—save for Kuon, who continues to be a treat—what I most enjoyed was the depth added to the world. Or the character added to the world, really. Take the boro-gigiri battle. It was what would be, if we were playing D&D, a random encounter, and usually, random encounters are no big deal. (Or they’re supposed to be, unless your DM is a dick.) But here, there was actual peril. I appreciate that that Maroro’s (Sugiyama Ooki) magic was too slow to use (not to mention not very dignified, and Ukon’s wind scar (yes, I’m going to keep calling it that) was ineffective against the boro-gigiri. That meant they couldn’t take the easy way out, and had to get creative. It adds danger to the world, something I suspect will continue, though in different ways.

Saying Goodbye with a Smile

The one character illuminating moment I especially liked was Ukon and Haku pouring one out for the dead. It spoke volumes about Ukon and his group, that’s true. But more than that, it was just a good moment. Too often we treat the passing of those who aren’t important to us as if they’re—well, minor characters. It’s good to be reminded that even minor characters matter to someone, and that their graves will be visited, whether with sadness on their faces, or with happiness at a life well-lived. May you all drink again in Kotoahamuru.

Looking Ahead – New Characters Inc!

It looks like Haku and Kuon are heading to the capital to find Haku some work (Kuon has already pretty much appointed herself his waifu, ufufu~), which means more new characters to flesh out the cast. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the previous series (no spoilers!), so I hope it’s all right if I get a little hyped. Bring it on!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Haku has to use his wits to save the group, lest another boro-gigiri finish the job #utaware s2e2

Random thoughts:

  • My biggest gripe about this episode: The whole rubble jumping thing is definitely not how gravity works. When did this suddenly become a shitty Hobbit movie? Stop it.
  • Undoubtedly the most intriguing aspect of this episode was the way the curse seemed to recognize Haku. This is getting curiouser and curiouser.

My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel novella. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: The best content is in email, My morning routine, True Ends, and Rejection, the secret place, & fundamentals


ED Sequence

ED: 「ユメカウツツカ」 (Yume ka Utsutsu ka) by Suara



  1. Curious and Curiouser by this episode.

    Is this Haku is actually Hakuoro whom has been freed from his ‘Curse’?

    If that’s the case, then the 1st Utawarerumono ending really a bittersweet ones.

    1. i don’t know if this were true, but here’s my speculation of who haku is. it contains major spoilers from previous season, so don’t open if you haven’t watch it.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      please don’t confirm it if it was spot on. i still want to keep questioning(and not get spoiled).

      1. I think your second guess is more likely because of the fact that Show Spoiler ▼

        The curse always recognizing him and the hospital clothes he wore last episode are huge hints for those that saw last season. We know where he came from, but why and how?

      2. I agree with some version of your first, but not the second.

        I also have a third possibility to add.

        Show Spoiler ▼

    2. Well… if you all reallllly want spoilers… turn back or else if you do NOT want to be spoiled.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. I don’t really like that this retcons part of the first series since Show Spoiler ▼

        I feel like this will confuse a lot of the fans of the last series, but since that’s the fault of whoever made the changes from the game, I guess we’ll just have to roll with it. Can’t change such a huge part of the source because an adaptation got it wrong way back when.

      2. Recommend coming back to this once familiar with old series and how it related to game if you are not already familiar.
        Show Spoiler ▼

      3. @RedRocket: that would be fine if the first series was set in ancient Japan, but it wasn’t. There are similarities, but this is a fantasy world with different rules. It’d be horrendous story-telling to actually want the audience to assume something as massive as what you’re suggesting. A story has to hint that something is happening behind the scenes in order for the audience to know about it, not hint that it isn’t happening for the audience to not assume it.

        Show Spoiler ▼

        These things need to be implied, not just blindly assumed because of the customs in the country that made the story, especially when the setting isn’t even that country. I find it strange that this series seems to be more of a sequel to the game version than the anime, but since someone didn’t get the memo on such a crucial plot point and messed it up, we’re stuck. Gotta live with it.

      4. I agree bad story telling. But unless it has changed recently I have read many places that most anime and manga is made with a Japanese audience in mind only. So our thoughts on this don’t matter the only thing the producers care about is what the Japanese audience expects. Now the Japanese are frustratingly of two or more opinions on the same subject so have hard to fathom things going on. In male oriented high school characters don’t have sex and it’s not hinted. In girl oriented, non reverse harem, media almost everyone except the main heroine in high school are having sex even freshmen. In the wonderful Clannad the characters who become husband and wife never even kiss after being married and if the girl does not tell her mom she’s having sex it would be hard to tell it was not a sexless marriage.

      5. Well, the news about her and Hakuoro (original one) isn’t a new one for me.

        I do play the 1st one until the the ends. The 18+ on PC, that is. So I *ahem* enjoyed the scenes.

        Show Spoiler ▼

  2. I don’t know why, but this series seems to have a certain charm to it that I can’t really explain. Could it be the character designs? Or perhaps the Ainu-influenced setting? Regardless, I. Am. Interested. 😀

    Nishizawa Mihashi
  3. My biggest gripe about this episode: The whole rubble jumping thing is definitely not how gravity works.

    Nonesense, super-agile people do it all the time in anime (and a few other forms of media). Surely you’re not suggesting that anime is lying to me, are you? 😉

      1. stilts didnt you know that air resistance provides enough force for a person to jump of a falling piece of boulder in mid-air…after all it hasnt lost its mass. Geez mr. fantasy writer, go back to school and get your physics up; uve been far too trapped in your laws of make-believe ufuufuufuufuuuuu XD

      2. Pfft, part of being a fantasy author is being able to ignore physics! It works how I say it does, ’cause MAGIC!

        (As long as it’s consistent with the preexisting framework for my magic system. It’s all rules, I just get to make up my own… nishishi ^^)

      3. As sonicsenryaku indicated:

        Show Spoiler ▼

        In conclusion, Utawarerumono’s physics are logical up to a point until you think beyond just gravity and realize the logical death spiral that this consideration forces on other physical properties in its universe.

  4. “My biggest gripe about this episode: The whole rubble jumping thing is definitely not how gravity works. When did this suddenly become a shitty Hobbit movie? Stop it.”

    Actually the way this scene is set up this could actually work. It’s less an issue of gravity than it is an issue of the mass/inertia of the rubble.

    The problem with the Hobbit scene is that Legolas is stepping on tiny collections of relatively low mass bricks. The amount of upward force he could gain from those bricks is limited by that low mass and thus the low inertia of thos ebricks. As soon as the downward force from his legs pushes away the bricks he’s stopped gaining upward force and there’s no chance of the small gain countering the downward acceleration due to gravity.

    In this scene however Kuon is jumping off of large rocks at least 2-4 times as large as herself and far more massive and with far more inertia. She would be able to impart far more force to push herself upward before the rocks would be pushed away from her. Given the physical capabilities of the people in this show it’s entirely possible that Kuon’s legs could be strong enough to impart enough force against the rocks to gain the upward momentum necessary for the scene.

    1. You’re right as far as gravity goes.

      However, the problem becomes apparent when you consider the physics beyond that of gravity. Kuon’s ability to withstand teh force she’s exerting even though she’s supposedly much less massive than the rubble, given the rubble shows no perceptible reaction (so she MUST be far less massive).

      The implications this has on the chemistry and density of her body (which then circles back into physics because chemistry is simply a subset of physics) means that if Kuon’s actions are “possible” then applying our Universe’s physics becomes a death spiral in logic.

  5. @Stilts – Glad you decided to pick this up. No guarantees of course (never know), but I think you’ll be glad you did.

    Curiosity got the better of me after watching Ep. 01 (which I liked a lot) and marathoned the first season. Wow, I forgot quite a bit. XD Still, while there are a few bits here and there this season which tie into the first season, so far one really doesn’t need to have watched the first to watch this one to the show’s credit. As I mentioned before, if this season does a good job, it will stand on its own just fine.

    As for Ep. 02, I don’t think it quite measured up to Ep. 01. The comedy in the form of Maroro’s antics was OK IMO (as was he as a character), but nowhere near Kuon and her awesome tail in Ep. 01. Kuon is still easily my favorite character though I do like Haku (Yay for a likable male lead!). Pacing seemed a bit slow – slower than Ep. 01. Not bad with the battles and all, but still there really wasn’t much to take away other than Haku’s intelligence, the curse recognizing him (seemed to do that in Ep. 01 as well), and Ukon’s “wind scar” (eh, as good as any other name for it). That being said, I’d rather pacing be a little too slow than rushed to hell like some shows. I agree with Stilts that the tribute to the dead was a worthwhile scene. It gives some gravitas to the situation. Yeah, a bunch of no name characters, but “people” died which should be portrayed as something serious rather than throwaway.

    Despite some quibbles, I’m quite pleased with this show overall. Seems like things will pick up as they travel to the capital next episode, and I’m looking forward to new characters. After Owarimonogatari, this is easily my second favorite show of the season thus far. In fact, I’m trying to temper my expectations going forward. Definitely on the watch list and bring on Ep. 03.

    1. On the pacing: For comedy, I prefer it be on the fast side. Prisma Illya has always been an example of the benefits of quick pacing in comedy, whereas Shomin Sample showed how slow pacing in comedy doesn’t work. But for drama, it’s better to err on the slower side. We don’t want it to be lethargic and boring, of course, but it’s better to develop the world and the characters fully to make the drama work, whereas for comedy you need to build up that combo meter to hit the greatest laughs.

  6. Yay, no cute anime girls will cry today.

    Anyway, one thing I noticed while watching this episode is the amount of different animation movements. How the characters moved and the angle of the shots were always dynamic (sometimes needlessly so but meh). Contrary to the original series which suffered from the Spiderman school of animation in a few episodes.

    And that death… at least this series has established that it’s not taking the easy way out. I will admit, I didn’t expect a death like that on the second episode.

    Maroro will be an interesting character. He may seem like the butt-monkey now, but I can just feel that something is gonna happen later.

    Finally, YES!! About time we got to see the opening. Suara’s songs for Utawarerumono are great. I forgot what the original game’s opening song was called, but you had Musouka from the original anime, then Adamant Faith from OVAs. Now you have Nuedori for the game’s opening, and Fuantei na Kamisama for the anime. #Stilts, if you haven’t seen the game opening for Itsuwari no Kamen, you should see it.

    Anyway, Stilts, unlike other fantasies, and if this series is anything like the original, Utawarerumono isn’t the smartest anime out there, but it definitely has heart.

    Goodwill Wright
    1. Ya know, honestly? I’ll take heart over brains any day. In a story, that is. Of course, I want both, or heart in some stories and brains in others. It needs to be a good, balanced story. But at the end of the day, it’s the emotional resonance of powerful scenes and characters that make me remember a show. It’s why I still think of some scenes from Kyoukaisen and No Game No Life and Sakurasou all the time. (And Toradora, and Ano Natsu, and—I should stop.)

      1. Oh boy, there’s Sakurasou again. Been having a lot of people telling me I should watch that. The fact that you mentioned it along with the likes of Kyoukaisen and No Game No Life, means that I can’t ignore it anymore.

        Goodwill Wright
      2. The good news is, I still remember the characters and some events from the original story to this day. I might forget the names, but seeing a picture instantly reminds me of what happened to them. Same thing with Tears to Tiara. Their track record is good so far.

  7. Okay, I’ve just got to say it. Baring some sort of huge surprise from someone else, Kuon is best female cast of the year. I literally could watch this show if it was just for her, because she just steals everything when she’s involved.

    The added bonus of everything else being good I’ll take with glee!

    1. No worries. And I may still call on ya for a cover some weekend, if I find myself with something to do on a Saturday night. (It’ll never happen, amirite?)

      Also, I have a bone to pick with you! How come you did the first episode, and I still end up doing all the OP and ED caps? Hax! This is your fault, somehow! *assails Bystander-chan with adorable comedic fists*

  8. I agree. So far the biggest charm of the series for me is the depth of care given to everything. Foods, methods to fight monsters for normal peasants, building design, how normal people’s death treated with enough details and heart without being overdramatic, Ainu’s sempoa, good balance between Haku’s reluctance of doing anything tiring and his actual actions and care toward what actually matters most, Kuon’s tail…

    Other than the anime, I’d also love to play the game if it’s translated (I hope it will). Looking forward to more characters and capital!

    1. True. The show has a subtle, careful approach to building its world and characters, showing them off but never being overbearing about it. And it works, because it’s easy to get pulled into this world that way. It feels real. I find there’s a certain beauty to everything too, guess I’m just a sucker for these types of settings.

      A guy I know also made the interesting observation that this feels like a show from ten years ago in how it handles its pacing and plot, and I kinda agree. This show certainly feels different from your usual fantasy fare lately, in any case. And I like it!

      1. It does feel like an older show, doesn’t it? Which is good. Sometimes the older ways are better. And often, a mix of the old and new in different stories is best. Variety is the spice of life and all that.

  9. You’ve inherited a legacy passed down by the Great One Omni, Stilts.

    Remember just like Haku would be judged along side his predecessor of the OG series from 9 years ago, you would be too, forever. No pressure.

    (P.S – Really glad you picked this up!)

    1. Pffft, if being compared to better writers bothered me, I’d never do anything. Being compared to other writers is my life. Bring it on! I will blog the $^&@ out of this show and make you proud, Omni-sempai!

      *rips off shirt*


  10. let me give my bona fides for blogging Utawarerumono: I haven’t seen the original series. But I want to!

    I went and checked out a few episodes of the old one right after the first episode of the current one, right now I’m currently hooked. As of now, already watched 13 out of 26 episodes; and that’s not including the 3 episode length OVAs and 4 mini-episode length specials. Its one of the more interesting stories I’ve watched in a while.

    Tip to Stilts senpai:
    – Really worth a watch, you should get to it soon, as it does enhance your viewing experience for Itsuwari no Kamen.
    (Eg those who watched Fate Zero first would enjoy the FSN: UBW references)
    – On the topic of FZ though… MC in the original Utawarerumono is voiced by Kiritsugu’s VA.

    1. Don’t you mean Kiritsugu was voiced by Hakuoro’s VA?

      And the original is great. I won’t lie, I first watched it because I remember seeing an awesome wallpaper with girls that had “animal” features. Not my cup of tea but there was something so authentic about it (like the ears ACTUALLY being where ears should be instead of on top of the cranium). Anyway, I don’t regret it to this day.

      Goodwill Wright
    2. @Techim

      I plan to! I just gotta get past intro week, and then the original will probably become my go-to anime when I’m not blogging other stuff. Which, er, means I’m going to fall behind on the ENTIRE season.

      ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Fuck it, whatever! Worth.

  11. Thanks for picking this up Stilts. Should be a good ride.

    I was initially confused when they showed that those villagers had been bitten by the gigiri and Maroro described them, since I assumed a bite from the thing in the first episode would probably involve missing limbs at the very least. Then a head goes flying…

    It is nice to see an expansion of the world, compared to the first Utawarerumono. There wasn’t any goofy-looking dance to perform magic for other characters, which I’m assuming is because magic is a natural trait for some races but not others. Not quite sure why Maroro would stick around instead of retreating against the boro-gigiri (aside from, I’m assuming, being one of your combat characters in the game.)

    Has there been any confirmation that they are in Tuskuru? I’m guessing that they’re going to the same capital as before.

    1. If Maroro is this Magic Caster, then i give you the Answer. He is a Noble, they would laugh him out and lose his face if he run away.. So the proud of a Noble is here the culprit

    1. Uh, no. Because this happens quite some time later (I assume) in a completely different location/country.

      Those graves are for the people that died in the village, like in the fight against the giant centipede.

  12. Yay this picked up the comments on other boards very positive. Plus Stilts shows again that we share some similar tastes.

    The video introduction with song for this game and show is fantastic I watched it over and over and the music even more times.

  13. Character and costume design was always a strong point of Utawarerumono past and present.

    I always though it was brilliant putting the ears at the right attachment point for a human head and making tails & ears shaggy enough that they have to actually be animated with some care.

  14. The character interactions for this series is what really makes it so fun and charming to watch. Even in the 1st episode where barely anything happens, you feel compelled to keep watching it to see how these characters behave. This episode, a bit more things happen yet the interactions is still really exciting to watch haha.

    Also, Kuon is <3. Don't know if anyone said it before but she's really like Eruru + Aruru from the original Utawarerumono.

    On another subject, it's seems so obvious by now that Haku is related to Hakuoro haha. They look sort of similar, both use fans, and both suffered from memory loss. The fact that Kuon chose to name him Haku which is also part of the name Hakuoro makes it even more obvious haha.

    1. hehe, its fun to see how you are kinda misguided, but it’s ok,

      only remember,
      1.- he didn’t have the fan, kuon gave her the fan
      2.- eruru and aruru weren’t the only girls in the series, there’s other with more similar traits
      3.- by the way you are saying this, it is easier to relate hakuoro and kuon and not the other way arround

      i’m not going to spoil you, just saying you things you have already know, you just have to match them in the correct order 😛


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