Devil Survivor 2 The Animation Episode 6: Tuesday of Turbulence – II

‘Kuze Hibiki. He’s our hope.’

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 What an episode… Now I know I’ve been bitching a lot for the last couple of episodes and I know I’ve (at times) made this anime appear weaker than it actually is, but I’ve had good reasons for this and I know a lot of people would agree. What drew me into this anime was the supposed survival feel and the fact that it was an adaption of a Shin Megami Tensei game… basically I expected great things. This episode showed us again what made the first episode so great, it returned the show to it’s roots and gave us the epic feeling that we know we’ve felt before and well… that’s great! The cast of characters continues to expand and the ‘epic’ (yes, I know I’m overusing the word) sense of foreboding has yet again returned… let’s just hope the rest of the series is this good.

Shin Megami Tensei - Devil Survivor 2 Episode 6 Image 0009 The episode begins with Airi and Jungo crawling through the ventilation system in Nagoya in an attempt to gain access to the JP’s base there (now occupied by enemy forces). I know I mentioned this is my last review but I just had to bring it up now, mainly because they received some more screen time in episode 6: Airi and Jungo are awesome. The dynamic the two create together is A. hilarious and B. a breath of fresh air. As the episodes have gone on, the series has tended to lose the comical moments that made it so awesome (a part from Daichi’s ‘My demons are weak’ gag… I don’t think they’ll ever give that up… I hope they don’t anyway…) and replaced them with lot’s of dialogue and character development. Now I am in no way complaining about character development, I mean, hell, I complain when there’s not enough, but the thing that does did bother me was how much they tried to make it seem they were developing characters, when they were simply rehashing the same character development points in different ways and from different angels. Let’s look at Hibiki for a moment. Since the series began he’s been the typical hero type. Every episode since then has just been him playing hero whilst making heroic speeches and slowly becoming a fake anti hero. He’s still a hero (and not an anti hero), it’s just that we’re seeing that from a different perspective. Bad ass Hibiki and I’m going to save everyone Hibiki are the same character and both are the same character development plot point just with a different twist. I don’t know, it just annoys me…

 Oh! And (to finish off the Airi and Jungo point from earlier) I’m glad Airi and Jungo don’t suck total ass at fighting… it’s good to see that they can hold their own for all of ten seconds…

 But that was me getting off track. Let’s get back down to business… Why is Hibiki so strong? I’m sure that Yamato probably has some ‘logical’ reason for being so strong, but Hibikit however will probably have no such reason… I just confuses me, y’know? I get that he’s ‘The Hero’ but that doesn’t give them the right to give him godly powers and allow him to become complacent with being unbeatable, I mean, that’s the reason why he’s so gung ho right? He charges in without thinking and knows that he will always win… until today… but I’ll get to that later. As I was saying, Hibiki is unreasonably strong and I wish they would explain why… even if he’s just strong because fate/chance/evolution has made it that way they should at least say so! They could make a philosophical point out of thing or something along those lines…

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 You know what the two things I really like about this episode were? The music and the emotional feeling. Both went hand in hand together and created an atmosphere so intoxicating that I couldn’t look away –  the tension, the drama, the turmoil… it was all just so amazing. Is Yamato good or evil? How far is Hibiki willing to go to save everyone? Is Ronaldo as good as he seems? How far is Yamato willing to go to rule? Will Daichi ever receive a stronger demon? It’s these questions that plagued my mind whilst watching this episode and I loved it. Survival is one of the best genres when you want to portray emotion effectively due to the hopelessness of the situation. Anyone could die, sides must be chosen and the fate of the world rests on the shoulders of high school students (again?!)… seriously, why haven’t my years at school been anything like this? I could do with a bit of demon slaying action… but I digress, this episode is definitely the best for emotion, tension and music. Whenever Hibiki appeared on screen you knew something emotional was going to happen, whether that be the reuniting of friends or the sacrifice of a desperate high school student, emotion was abound and it was awesome. I just hope this ’emotional streak’ continues into the next episode because it is truly awesome and fits the show perfectly. We saw glimpses of it when Keita died and we loved it then, so why can’t the emulate that feeling every episode? I’m sure they will from now on anyway…

 The battles in this episode? Yeah, they were alright. I haven’t been excited for a battle since the first episode (oh! And the last episode when Hibiki Shin Megami Tensei - Devil Survivor 2 Episode 6 Image 0015went all bad ass…) and this episode certainly didn’t change that. It’s the same old battle formula over and over again and in the end it just becomes tedious. It’s the same old same old, humans fight demons, they start losing, Hibiki jumps in, Hibiki saves the day… a part from the fact that in episode 6 HE DOESN’T! Shocking plot twist? I think not. It was going to happen eventually and I’m kind of glad it happened sooner than later, I mean, I’m not sure how much more of Hibiki’s ‘I must save everyone’ attitude I can take… he says the same thing every five seconds and quite frankly it’s repetitive and annoying. Get over yourself Hibiki! Yes, we know that you’re so strong and you can save everyone, but I’m done with that being all you ever say! What happened to your character? Where has he gone? Now he’s just some lifeless hero who says the same thing every two seconds (yes, the time has gone down)! Okay, maybe in episode 6 you did show us that you still have a heart but it’s not enough! We need character. I know that Hibiki is suffering from video game protagonist syndrome (an affliction that causes characters adapted from video games to lack any defined characteristics) and I know they can’t really do much about it, but they could have tried a littler harder. I find it difficult to connect with a guy who lacks any sort of personality, y’know?

 Speaking of the battle… just what kind of enemies are these? These ‘Septentriones’ look horrible (and not in a terrifying way)! Firstly we got the ice cream cone, then we got the mechanical bird/angel and now we’ve got… a cock ring… with spikes to make it look emo/cool… yes. It’s not even terrifying! What were they trying to achieve with these designs? Are they meant to be demonic? Yes, I know that the designs are the games fault, but if I don’t judge them now then who will?! You know what I’m saying…

 On another, more annoying, note, why doesn’t the hero run when they’re told to? In every show I’ve ever watched where there is a ‘hero’ who if told to run so that they can be safe they never do and it annoys me to no end. It’s ridiculous! I mean, it’s not like Hibiki was paralyzed with fear, hell, he was even WARNED!… It’s just plain ridiculous and doesn’t do anything for me, no tense action, no begging for him to live… as far as I’m concerned if he had died it would have been his own fault… Luckily though, Yamato was there to save his ass and now with the revaltion that he wants to rule the world the whole of JP’s is possibly against him… nice one Yamato… But I’m guessing that he has some sort of reason that will convince them all to join him again? I mean, it would be weird if he didn’t right? Then again, it would be cool to see him to become more of an antagonist than he already is…

 Overall, this was the best episode so far. It was (for once) well paced and tension filled, with a great climax to top it all off. I’m thinking that they’ve ditched next episode previews altogether now because every episode is going to be important and spoiler filled, which only makes me want to see episode 7 even more! I can only hope it’s as good as this episode….

Chris

I'm just a normal guy, chillin' on the internet in search of a place that I can call my sacred hang. What more can I say?

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2 Responses

  1. TheVoid says:

    The reason the Septentriones look the way they do is cause they wanted to make them truly different from Demons. Unlike regular supernatural entities they haven’t lived on planes of existence/worlds that are connected to Earth or lived on earth in ancient times like most demons did. They still look goofy, but I think for some that’s part of the charm like Dubhe(Ice Cream).

    I’m surprised they went with this dynamic in the anime, cause in the games Jungo and Airi barely hung out. I like that he has Neko Shogun as his demon considering how much of a cat person he is.

  2. Kimidori says:

    the design are done by the same guy who designed angel for NGE FYI.

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