(Five episodes watched):
I rewatched the final episode of S1 in order to refresh my memory, but even if I hadn't episode 13 (the first of season two) did a pretty good job of bringing us up to speed regarding where things stand for the characters and reinvigorating our curiosity and interest. Having successfully completed a quest, they get a new member, namely the blond guy who Yusuke had a run-in with at the end of last season. Fortunately, it turns out that he's not just a punk after all. They find that while from their perspective just a week or two has passed since their last quest, no less than 15 years have gone by in the alternate world. The meet a couple of somewhat aged characters from their previous mission, including the once sadistic Kahvel, who makes a surprising revelation to Yusuke. And they are assigned a new quest, which seems simple at first but on closer investigation it becomes clear just how difficult it will be. I had feared that this first episode of S2 might leave me so un-enthused that I might not feel inclined to watch the show at all, but that didn't happen. Things like the revelation that the half-faced 'Gamemaster' is actually a teenage girl left me wondering where this was all headed.
Yusuke was guilt stricken when he was told the person he had killed in season one had been not an NPC but a real person in an alternate universe--an alternate universe that operates just like a RPG in ours (including rapid revival if he gets killed), that is. But now he feels little reluctance to kill orcs--apparently that's OK, since they are not human, and are evil and ugly. Actually, he notices that it was the humans on the island his team has ventured to who decided to openly attack the orcs rather than the other way round. Surprisingly, their leader can speak and be understood by humans. Again, I'm not exactly seeing a powerful message here--more like an afterthought added on after conventional violence. This show tries to teach us lessons, but isn't very good at it. The island is gripped by a catastrophe, which apparently was supposed to carry some sort of message about what a good community does in such trying times, but again it felt lukewarm at best. Another beef: at one point we are reminded that a main character can't revive if a 'critical organ' is lost. But wouldn't being chopped in half at the waist, or burned alive by lava qualify? At one point in episode five Yusuke mentions how he hates almost everyone, but that seemed like news to me. I guess he did say something to this effect way back at the beginning of season one, but there had been little or no mention of it since and his actions had given me the impression that he had become a pretty normal person who holds no irrational grudges. If you want a character to have a serious negative trait, you have to remind the viewers every now and then that it still exists, not give every reason to believe it has gone away. Why a dragon appears was beyond me. I was reluctant to abandon this show, being around 3/4 of the way through it, but I wished this sorry arc would wrap up so that we can move on to a hopefully better one--or, better yet, learn something about the Gamemaster and WTF is really going on here. But I couldn't help conclude that that was unlikely to happen. We had been told so little in a season and a half about what really matters that my patience was running thin. Why the figure of one million lives was included in the title remains a mystery. I came to fear that perhaps it would be the first arc of S2 that might leave me so un-enthused that I might not feel inclined to watch any more, and sure enough I eventually ran out of interest in this show and quit watching.
Last updated Wednesday, December 08 2021. Created Monday, July 19 2021.