OP:「Twister -Animation OP ver.-」by MJR
Subarashiki Kono Sekai’s second episode helps settle viewers into the main concept of the Reapers’ Game with how Neku, Shiki, and the others are roped into a lethal series of fetch quests, Noise battles, and challenges where they’ll have to imprint positive vibes onto the people of Shibuya to survive. At the same time, Shiki’s development in this episode also lays down the most important detail of the Reapers’ Game as an odd way that shinigami pass the time to torment those who have died recently.
Among the different plot points that surface with Neku learning about the Reapers’ Game, one that has the most intrigue this time around is finding out the secrets that Shiki’s been keeping to herself. Namely, her appearance is a disguise to resemble her friend Eri. A sad misunderstanding was created when Shiki was led to think that Eri thought she was a nuisance for having a dream to be a designer. However, the tragedy that struck Shiki made Eri feel even worse because she intended on apologizing to her and telling her that she’d be free to do as she wishes and that she was just being possessive, preferring her to stay as her seamstress over being a competing designer.
The ordeals in this game involve resolving the anger and negative tension in average people in Shibuya to clear out the Noise, but at the same time, the Reapers’ Game’s competitors also have to acknowledge the mental strife that dragged them into the game to begin with. For Shiki, it was her dream of being a designer that became both a goal she wanted to set out on, the source of her jealousy for Eri, and the lack of self-esteem in her own abilities that drove her to take her friend’s appearance. It wouldn’t be until she had to face on her missions with Neku that she’d eavesdrop over what her friend really thought of her.
Though Shiki was able to find some form of clarity on what her hang-ups in her past life were like, the rest of the Reapers’ Game competitors still have vague ideas of what life was like before all this happened. For Beat and Rhyme, their close bond is reinforced by their current ordeals, but Rhyme’s uncertainty as far as what their dreams and aspirations were like prove to be a wedge that prevents Beat from being able to do anything for Rhyme beyond protecting them from danger.
Similarly, Neku’s avoidant personality makes him unable to think about anything beyond completing the Reapers’ Game as quickly as he can without growing too attached to anyone. On top of this, he is given one last unpleasant surprise by the end of the episode when he finds out from Shiki that he must have died to have been trapped in the Reapers’ Game. It should be interesting to see how the anime deals with the aftermath of all of this, considering how this adaptation starts Neku off on a more positive note as he re-assures Shiki that she’s impressive for being set on her goals and for offering him forgiveness after he lost himself. But even with his milder personality, realizing the truth might set him even further back than where he started.
ED: Carpe Diem「カルペディエム」by Asca