The Summoner’s continue to fall as the strength of the enemy looms.
What They Say:
In Osaka, Hibiki struggles with his inability to save Keita from perishing in battle. Meanwhile, with Osaka’s spiritual defenses down, an ultra-powerful enemy named Merak has manifested and is making short work of all who would oppose it. Hibiki is placed on standby but races off, intent on protecting the others from harm. But his actions will have unforeseen consequences as Io is ordered into the fray, and Hibiki comes face-to-face with Ronaldo, an en enigmatic figure from JP’s past.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Devil Survivor 2 had at least one strong element for me in the previous episode that’s carried over here in that there is a real cost to events going on. With Hibiki feeling completely responsible for Keita’s death and not being able to prevent it, it’s something that shows there’s a true element of danger here that can make most anyone potentially killed as it goes along. He does get some comforting words, but events like this can definitely make a serious impact for the characters with how they feel about it and that can drive the course in a better way than a show where there is no human cost to the actions everyone takes as they try to deal with various threats.
What I also like is that the show is not hiding in the shadows with the fight against the enemy, as we see one of the massive craft they have floating through Osaka and the JPs struggling to figure out a way to take it down while also trying to figure out its actual power level. But the average citizen on the street sees everything as well, though they can’t grasp what’s actually going on. But it turns the show very atmospheric with the color of the sky, the sense of ruin about the place and the tension in the streets. There’s a good range of people involved in what’s going on and seeing the various aspects of the JP side of things helps to show just how expansive their program is and what they know they’re truly facing. Yet also finding that it may not be enough as the enemy is significantly powerful.
Not surprisingly, it becomes something that only Hibiki seems capable of dealing with by using Byakko in order to do it. But the cost starts to ramp up even more as we see the scale of the enemy’s powers and impact and the human toll rises as well, while stressing the relationship between the core trio. The episode doesn’t, in a way, really do anything revolutionary. But as it pushes Hibiki further down the path of doing what he must, and coming into contact with those who will manipulate things even more as it progresses, it’s definitely engaging to watch as it unfolds. But what works for me, more than plot points at the moment since it’s early on, is the way the show is building a sense of real danger about it by keeping all of this in the open. The destruction that we see here really turns the city into its own character for the moment and that display that the characters inhabit definitely impacts their decisions and feelings.
While the core storyline hasn’t grabbed me in a huge way, partially because of the weekly nature, I’m enjoying the atmosphere of the series a lot and the basics of the characters that we get here. There are some key movements in the storyline here, but it’s the trappings that garnered most of my attention, from the set design to the way recently introduced characters were killed off and those instances have some real impact and meaning already. There’s plenty of shades of Evangeloin to be had here of course, and that’s not a bad thing as it’s being done well but with enough differences to make it enjoyable to watch without feeling like a retread. That series doesn’t have a lock on doing a particular visual or design, so I’m glad to see it done here in such a polished and slick manner.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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