First Impression #1: Aku no Hana & Devil Survivor 2 The Animation

Here I am again. This time not with a review but the First Impression thing I wrote about last time. So far I’ve watched two of the animes coming out this season and created my first impression based on many various criteria that include the basic code of the universe and lots of cereal. Since I’ve only seen the first episode of each anime there is not too much to talk about so don’t expect me to go deep into the meaning of the animes or what they might or might not want to express to the viewer. Like I said and I called it, it’s only a first impression.

FI

Let’s dive right in with an anime called Aku no Hana or “The Flowers of Evil“. After reading the synopsis I was a bit curious because it doesn’t seem like your normal high school romance. It’s a bit darker and I like the dark stuff.

Aku no Hana

Takao Kasuga is an ordinary student who reads a lot and one day forgets his book in the classroom. He goes there to get it to not only finding said book but also what seems to be the gym uniform of classmate Nanako Saeki. Takao likes Nanako but only admires her from a distance in the form of daydreaming. He can’t figure out a way of talking to her because he’s just your ordinary student with average grades while Nanako is good student and on top of her class. But now he’s alone in the classroom with her gym uniform… all the possibilities! And this is where the first episode ends. Yes, what a cliffhanger! In the synopsis it says that he steals her bag out of mad impuls and feels ashamed afterwards. The next day all the mean girls in the class wonder what perverted asshole would steal her bag which makes the situation even worse. As if that wouldn’t be bad enough already, Takao finds out that the creepy girl in the class, Sawa Nakamura, saw him stealing it but doesn’t tell anyone instead she uses this secret to take control over his life. And this is where the story continues. Can Takao escape Sawa and get close to Nanako? Will the secret ever be reveiled and what have evil flowers to do with it?

While the story might be interesting and could develop well it’s the animation that put me off. I don’t know if it was the idea of the producers, Starchild Records and Zexcs, since I haven’t seen much by both of them or the idea of director Hiroshi Nagahama, who directed Detroit Metal City and two episodes of Fruits Basket, but something about the animation seemed so odd. The characters moved strangely and unsettled and have no faces when they are not close enough. When they get closer faces suddenly appear.

Seriously where are they?

On the other hand the backgrounds are beautifully done and they know it. Seriously, most of the episode was just background. Not for too long but again and again. Background images! Sometimes characters moved in those backgrounds sometimes even they stood still… in the backgrounds. Is this what the show is about? Beautiful background images? I don’t know… and I don’t want to know either because I won’t continue to watch it. This style of animation is probably just not for me but I felt uneasy watching it and spaced out pretty often. The general reaction to this anime wasn’t so great either. If you can look past that and only want to concentrate on the story it might even be good. But then I’d read the manga because there is no reason to watch the anime in my opionion if you can read the manga. Besides from the background images of course. Just look at it.

Oh, all the backgrounds!
The second anime I watched is called Devil Survivor 2: The Animation. There is no Devil Survivor 1 by the way when it comes to anime because this one is an adaption of the game of the same name. Both Devil Survivor 1 and 2 are stand alone games so you don’t need to play 1 to understand 2. It’s just a bit confusing when you decide to watch it or not because of the 2 in the name.

Devil Survivor 2

Anyways, protagonists Hibiki Kuze and Daichi Shijima are friends and go to the same high school. One day Daichi tells Hibiki about a new app on his smartphone that let’s you take pictures of people and if they happen to die you get a short video of their “dead face”. Creepy an funny the same time? Seems so because this app is popular and the guys try it out. On their way home they suddenly get a notification from this app and see the dead face of the other one buried under a crashing train. Incidentily they are on the train station. Someone puts way too much work in photoshop… or not? Just a few minutes later a train crashes and buries them underneath! Story over, protagonists dead. Happens.

Yes, he looks dead

Not here. They are asked if they still want to live. After their STRONG will to live is confirmed the app downloads a Digimon, I mean, demon summoning app and they come back to life. The same thing happened to Io Nitta, a girl who goes to school with them. She survived the train accident as well but is attacked by a demon. Before she gets killed she somehow summons her own demon from the app which defends her. Battle ensues and the flee. What were those demons? They don’t know and they can’t delete the app either. They just want to go home. Shortly after that they are being attacked again. Io summons her demon to fight the thing. Other than Daichi, who steals a truck and tries to run the demon over only to die again. Next thing, Hibiki, who saw Daichis dead coming, sees a new demon unlocking on his phone. He summons the powerful thing which fights the evil demon in a badass battle.

Tigermon?

Victory! Oh, and Daichi is also back from the dead. Happy end? No, the three are being taken into custody by some government organisation called JP’s and this is where the episode ends.

Not bad for a first episode and it reminded me of Digimon when they first summoned the demons. It looks like they are able to get more than one demon which would then be more like Pokémon than Digimon. Anyways Devil Survivor 2 seems on first view like a more mature and darker version of Digimon and Pokémon which is not a bad thing. I loved both shows and always wanted something more mature by both franchises. It’s not clear as to where the storyline of Devil Survivor 2 will go but I liked what I saw and will continue to watch.
That’s it for today. In the coming days I’ll probably do another First Impression entry with two more shows I’ve watched over the days. I don’t know what I’ll watch next because I don’t know what is still coming but I’m looking forward to more anime! Thank you for reading and as always, feel free to leave a comment, like or whatever. It really helps me a lot.

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One thought on “First Impression #1: Aku no Hana & Devil Survivor 2 The Animation

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