Halftime Review: Devil Survivor 2 The Animation

It’s the middle of may which means the anime spring season is in its half. Many shows are entering their second half and Devil Survivor 2 The Animation is one of them. Sadly, not all of those shows developed well in their first six episodes. And again Devil Survivor 2 The Animation is one of them.

 

Devil Survivor 2

I remember when I praised that show for being like a “more mature” version of Pokémon and Digimon. I was so wrong… it’s more like a smartphone app that came to life with all the negative sides of a smartphone app. And that probably did not make any sense at all.

After watching six episodes of that 13 episode anime I came to the conclusion that I will not continue to watch Devil Survivor 2 simply because it bores me. Why? Well, there are many reasons.

First off: The story. It seems they wanted to pack all the cliches they could find into that one show, be it the oncoming end of the world, battles against giant aliens, children protagonists in a battle that should be fought by adults and so on. Even the antagonists which are aliens look like modified versions of the Angels from Neon Genesis Evangelion and just like them, they appear out of nowhere and start destryoing things. There is pretty much nothing original or smart in this show, it’s very easy to predict what is going to happen next and then exactly that happens. This got to a point at which I even stopped caring about what is going to happen because there was no excitement.

Then there are the characters. Again that cliche thing. You have your main protagonist, Hibiki Kuze who gains a power greater than everything he’s seen so far and stronger than those of his friends and he decides to use this power to protect anybody. He also tries to get away so they aren’t endangered even more and this has happened so many times… There aren’t even real motivations for Hibiki, he just runs away from his friends thinking he can protect them this way. Daichi Shijima makes use of the cliche of the guy who gets a super power but it’s pretty weak and he wants to become stronger. Stronger so he can be useful and help the others. Sadly he’s very obnoxious. And to complete the circle of average protagonists we have Sakura, I mean, Io Nitta. She’s useless. I don’t know why she’s even there. Anything she did so far could easily be done by other characters and she in herself isn’t significant in any way.

Despite the major flaws there is one upside to this show and that is the animation. It looks really good and the studio did a great job on the demons and fighting scenes but that alone doesn’t help the anime overall. Another issue I had was with the voice over for Hibiki (or all the characters, I don’t really remember). His lips move for over half a second in silence before his voice actor, Hiroshi Kamiya, starts speaking. If you don’t pay attention you might not realise it but as soon as you do, you can’t get rid of that fact. I don’t know what happened there because Kamiya is usually a good seyuu for example as Otonashi in Angel Beats, Koyomi Araragi in the Monogatari series or Izaya Orihara in Durarara!!.

After about the 4th episode the anime felt more like work than enjoyment. “I have to get through this now otherwise it will stack up and I’ll never going to watch it…” is never a good sign when you start thinking like that.
While the videogame might be very good and enjoyable the anime is not and it’s probably not getting better in the second half of its run. It’s not worth your time and there are many shows way better than that which use the same concept. You could go watch Neon Genesis Evangelion or if you not into sci-fi there is always Shadow Star Narutaru. Even Pokémon and Digimon did better jobs with their anime adaptions. That being said, there are many alternatives to Devil Survivor 2 The Animation and you would be far better off to choose one of them instead of this. Thank you for your time.

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Rebuild of Evangelion 3.33: You can (not) redo Anime review!

Finally, Rebuild of Evangelion 3.33: You can (not) redo.  Or how I like to call it: The Show-off of Evangelion 3.33.  Don’t get me wrong I liked the movie. It was very good  and enjoyable but not perfect. Or as good as 2.22. Still, I waited so long for this movie, got my expectations very high up, even watched 1.11 and 2.22 on Blu-Ray right before I watched 3.33 and was not disappointed. It just went a little different than expected.

Evangelion Girls!

The film starts with a super special awesome space action scene. Really, it was great! It had Asuka and Mari and Evangelions and Angels and space! Who’d even dare to ask for more? What a fantastic way to start the movie. But from there things got weird. Main protagonist Shinji Ikari wakes up from a long sleep, 14 years to be perceise, and he didn’t grow an inch. The Third Impact has happened and many things changed.

We’re not at NERV anymore we moved on to WILLE. And for some reason WILLE wants to destroy NERV. Also, Misato is captain of WILLE. They are just throwing information at the viewer that confused even me a bit especially since Asuka, Mari and Shinji did not age at all! For heavens sake, they’re 28 years old now and look like 14 year olds! The only explanation for that is a one liner calling this fountain of youth the “curse of the EVA”. Nope… 14 years was too big of a time skip in my opinion. This doesn’t stop anyone though from more epic action scenes. And they all looked just so… pretty. This is where the showing-off takes place, in the battle scenes. They must’ve thought “Hey, we got loads of money now! Let’s make beautiful battle scenes and giant flying ships! A whole fleet of them. The fans will love it!” And they were right. The animation was so smooth and everything looked amazing in those scenes. It was truly epic and it must’ve been mindblowing watching that in cinema on a giant screen.

Ships

Into the sunset!

Besides lots of action scenes the movie also had a lot of Shinji. Which makes sense since he’s the main protagonist, but that was a lot of Shinji. The only person with nearly as much airtime was Kaworu Nagisa. In the series he was already a sympathetic character and this didn’t change in the movie. He’s smart, friendly, Shinjis biggest fan and the real star of the film. His build up from beginning to ending was very well done and his relationship to Shinji thought out in a way that was more ‘pleasant’ than in the series. Yet these two are only second when it comes to duos because Asuka and Mari were amazing together. Really, they were a perfect team and gave the film its pretty much only comedic moments thanks to their interaction with each other.

Asuka

The ultimate badass

In addition to the almost lack of comedy there was also something else missing that made Evangelion known for what it is today. The mind fucks. Sure, they were there but not as strong or impactful as they were in 2.22 for example. It had some “What the hell is going on?” scenes in but that was more confusion than actual mind fuck. Questions were raised that were never answered and probably vital information was left out completely. The focus was really on the action scenes and if you like action you’ll like 3.33. Like mentioned earlier they did a fantastic job with those scenes throughout the film.

I feel like You can (not) redo is kind of a build up to the fourth and final movie. It raised more questions than it answered and had a rather open ending. Questions like “What happened to humanity after the Third Impact? Did almost all of them die?” “What happened to the original Rei Ayanami?” “Where the heck is PenPen?” “And where was the Mari fanservice I was promised in the after credit scene from 2.22?” With all those questions in mind the ending didn’t satisfy me completely even though it was a good ending. The ending itself delivered but I was left there on my bed wanting more. Well, what I then got after the credits was a short preview with new action scenes for 4.44 and a new promise that there will be fanservice! I hope this time it’s true.

Where Rebuild really shined, as always, was the soundtrack. Shiro Sagisu is probably one of the best anime composers Japan ever had and he never fails to impress. I love his works and he deserves to be mentioned here. Sagisu is amazing.

God’s Gift

All in all Rebuild of Evangelion 3.33: You can (not) redo was still a great and enjoyable film. It was different from its predecessors in many ways but that is what you have to expect after a 14 year time skip. Watch it.
And if it’s true that 4.44 really comes out this year, 3.33 was really more of a build up to the final Rebuild of Evangelion film which will hopefully answer all those raised questions in an epic Evangelion extravaganza which blows everybodys mind. And please make it a bit longer. Really, I wouldn’t mind a whole 2 or even 3 hours of film. 4.44 deserves it. With that being said I’m going to end this review on a positive note and rewatch You can (not) redo. Kyou no hi wa sayounara.

 
Sidenote:
In the last article I wrote that I’m going to do first impressions of Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S and Suisei no Gargantia. I will still write about both shows but rather as full review for Gargantia and mid-season review for Railgun. I hope nobody got their hopes up for those. xD If so I’m sorry. So so sorry.