Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2

Title:Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2
Devil Survivor 2
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: KAMIYA Hiroshi
OKAMOTO Nobuhiko
SAKURAI Takahiro
SUWABE Junichi
There's a strange website called 'Images of Death' which purports to offer predictions of certain people meeting grisly fates at some point in the not-too-distant future. The two friends Hibiki and Daichi don't take it seriously--until they see themselves appear there.

12 episodes, based on a part of the "Shin Megami Tensei" games series for Nintendo TS. See also the TV series "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children", 50 episodes, 2000-2001.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 8 7 8 6 5 5 Ggultra2764 [series:2714#1552]
I guess the best way I can think of Devil Survivor 2 would be a darker version of Persona 4, only more flawed. Like Persona 4, the series dabbles fairly heavily in elements of its video game origins with characters capable of summoning monsters to fight on their behalf, a good amount of "power of friendship" plot devices and comical moments to lighten the mood. The show's darker edge comes from the apocalyptic plot that Hibiki and his pals have to deal with, the seemingly corrupt military faction fighting the enemy threat that is led by series main antagonist Yamato and a pretty high death count with major characters being killed off throughout Devil Survivor 2's run. However, Devil Survivor 2 shares many of the same issues as Persona 4's animated adaptation with some elements to its storytelling feeling more like a video game than a TV series (the purchasing of more demons and the "dead cam" gimmick), rather convenient resolutions to dire events and the characters being mostly too archetypal to make them relatable. However, the characterization of Devil Survivor 2 is weaker than Persona 4 in the fact that it has a bigger cast of characters that it focuses on and only 13 episodes to cover for its plot. This results in hardly any fleshing out of many secondary characters and the deaths of these characters not meaning much since they aren't fleshed out enough for the audience to give a hoot about them. While I'm not a seasoned fan of the Shin Megami Tensei video game franchise that this and Persona 4 originate from, I'm more inclined to recommend Persona 4 over this series since there is more time and depth devoted to its cast, even with the flaws it has.

Last updated Saturday, December 05 2015. Created Monday, October 05 2015.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:2714#628]
(Three episodes watched):

Since I hadn't seen any of 'Devil Survivor 1' (assuming such a thing exists), I wasn't certain if I would fully understand this series. Were there things which I was already supposed to know? I think I got a decent 'grip' on what's going on here: on the plus side, Hibiki and Daichi seem like likeable guys, being high schoolers wondering about what to do with their lives once they graduate. Also, the mysterious website, which you can't help wanting an explanation of. The juxtaposition of high technology and just plain old demons was something that this show will surely have a hard time making sense of--if they can, it should be intriguing. What was unclear was whether people in general considered the website to be a joke or felt the predictions it made would likely come true. On the minus side, the usual secret organization created to deal with supernatural problems--that has gotten a little tired. The fight between bizarre opponents near the end was a little difficult to take seriously. I haven't decided yet whether the premise is believable or not. If the two boys and a girl they meet go to work trying to make sense of all this, the series might be neat; if fighting just goes on to 'wow' us, not so good. I was a little frustrated by the fact that everything is pretty much still a mystery at the end of the episode--like just what the boys have done to revive themselves, and what the consequences will be. It is too soon to pass judgment on Survivor 2.

Judgment is looming after episode three, and the signs are that it won't be a good one. I can't help comparing this show to Persona 4, which I have been rewatching recently, since both shows have similar premises: teenagers discover bizarre otherworldly monsters, but also find that they have previously unknown skills with which to fight them. But here, doesn't anybody think that learning that demons really do exist is a little weird and unsettling? In Persona the kids were fairly freaked by the things they learned, here they tend to shrug them off. I hate that; it's a sign of shallow characters (in spite of my first impressions) because real people wouldn't behave that way. And Persona did a much better job of explaining what was going on, unless Survivor is going to concede that it has a much less sophisticated premise. What the hell is going on here? The strange, computerized magic that is in use doesn't make much sense, and fancy-ass terminology like 'Septentriones' only makes me groan. If a show is so confusing that you can't even remember what happened last week, you'll probably never make sense of it.

Last updated Monday, May 13 2013. Created Saturday, April 20 2013.

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