Devil Survivor 2 The Animation [Overall Review]
Animation Company: Bridge
Airing Date: April 5th 2013 – June 27th 2013
Genre(s): Supernatural, Urban fantasy, Action, Adventure
Summary: High school senior Hibiki Kuze and his best friend Daichi Shijima discover a website that will send videos of their friends’ faces just before they die, only to receive videos of each other on the very spot where they’re standing. When sudden disaster strikes, the same site that foretold doom allows them to summon the “demons” they need to survive, and the two friends along with classmate Io Nitta are thrown into an uneasy alliance with a secret organization fighting to stop the end of the world.
It saddens me that I have to give a Shin Megami Tensei adaption such a low score. The story was weak. That’s all there is to it. People will probably shout at me and say ‘The game had a better story’ or ‘The game had much more depth’. Those people are missing the point. Devil Survivor 2 The Animation is just that, an animation and in this anime adaption, the plot sucked. What appeared at first to be a compelling and maybe even somewhat striking concept, turned out to be nothing more than a below average survival show that didn’t know whether it wanted to be an action comedy or a survival drama. With the 13 episode time span that it was given it should have picked one of the before and gone with it, especially seeing as they decided to go for the ‘anime only’ plot route anyway. Cliff hangers would leave me wanting more, leaving my expectations so high that when I viewed the next episode I’d always find myself disappointed. Watching this show became a bore. Blogging about it become a chore. The only reason DS2 hasn’t scored any lower is because there were some hidden gems thrown in there, for example, episodes 8 and 10 were pretty darn good. Both decided to take the survival drama route and both benefited from it. It’s a shame this trait wasn’t more endearing.
Again I’m torn. Whilst Hibiki received some character development early on (a.k.a, he turned into a whiny bitch with bunny hoody and then turned into an overemotional hero stereotype), this soon ebbed in favor of just making Hibiki cry every episode to add drama. It was lazy and I hated it. Keita died and we didn’t even know who he was. The same goes for that nurse who had a daughter. I can’t even name the nurse. Just goes to show how little her character left an imprint. Yamato left an imprint because he was unnecessarily ruthless and viewers who played the video game commented that every single character had been changed and the awesome character types that you usually expect to find in Shin Megami Tensei had been replaced with frauds, knock off copies that aren’t even worth a mention. Then again, this is an anime review and so that point is irrelevant… or is it? With any game to anime adaption you expect the anime to retain the games original feeling and style whilst adding a new flavor to a fan favorite. The same old blood rush with a new touch, If I may. DS2’s characters failed to capture the hearts those who played the game and in turn it failed to capture the hearts of those with fresh eyes. The only reason I’ve given it a five is because of Nitta and Daichi, the only two characters who truly grew and developed throughout the show. Their characters kept it fresh, kept it alive and that’s the reasoning behind the mediocre score. Oh! And I can’t forget Jungo and Airi. Great dynamic. Great scenes. Love ’em.
Animation Quality: 7/10
It was alright. It was the shows saving grace to be honest. Whilst some scenes were a bit too dark and that made it hard to ascertain what was going on, the artwork was excellent and the action scenes were well done. The character designs were nothing spectacular and character archetypes became easily forgettable… and besides, Hibiki’s face came across retarded quite a lot of the time and it scared me…
Original Soundtrack (OST): 6/10
Again, it was alright. The opening and ending were great and the music in battle sequences was enthralling, keeping the viewer pumped and on their toes. At other times the soundtrack was so so and therefore I can’t rate the music any higher, would I that I could. And on a ‘sound’ side note… did anyone else find Daichi’s voice anyone. His screams were horrific and the constant cracking of his voice made it almost unbearable to listen to him sometimes… just saying…
Overall Score: 5/10
Honestly, I could have and would have dropped this show at any point during it’s run. It was boring. It was bland. It was confusing. And, worst of all, it’s characters sucked. I find myself wondering how they thought that butchering the already awesome characters was acceptable, Yamato, for example, was a much better character in the games and what did they do in the anime? They overemphasized the point that he was the ‘antagonist’ and in the end his character came across as unnecessarily bitter. I hated him. I guess they did well in that aspect.
Recommendation: Maybe (read below where I just so happen to elaborate)
Watch the first three episodes. If you don’t like it and find it boring, run, just run. In my honest opinion, I don’t think you’re going to miss out on much by not watching this, there are much better shows airing this season and in the end I think Devil Survivor 2 was overshadowed by their success. In any other season it may actually have been more popular. That being said, the quality would still be the same and the characters would still suck.