This second season of Vandread expands upon the developments of the plot and characters we seen from the first season. We get an explanation about why the Harvesters are after humans and we get some secondary character development from folks like Bart and Gasco. Dita and Hibiki's relationship is also pushed along thanks to the presence of new gal Misty. Unfortunately, Misty's character was a double-edged sword as she also made things a bit more harem-esque than what I seen from the first season and her stuck-up, clingy personality got on my nerves enough. Even with plot twists galore and the problems with Harvesters, Vandread: Second Stage still has the time to show its comical touch and the comedy was still as funny as the first season regarding the curiosity that the men and women had for one another.
The CG-animated mechas look improved as they blend in better with the artwork. Heck, scenery and characters look more polished for this season as well.
Beyond the addition of Misty, I had a couple other problems with Vandread: Second Stage. The ending, as some pointed out, felt quite cliched with its resolution in dealing with the final enemy. In addition, some plot elements are left unexplored such as why men and women were divided into different planets and the beginnings of Hibiki.
Despite this, Vandread: Second Stage still has the same fun and twists of Vandread. If you liked the first season, you will definitely like Second Stage.
Last updated Friday, April 10 2009. Created Friday, April 10 2009.
Now, I read all the reviews of Vandread first and second seasons. I got the series and I just couldn't wait till I finshed it. Some of the episodes were pretty slow and dragged along. The first season was a bit more funnier than the second since the second was focusing on returning to their home planet (the women of the ship their in, not the men). It was so slowly paced that I almost forgot what the hero was doing there in the first place.
What really caught my dislike was the ditzy female character, Deta. Her over-optimistic attitude on life was sickening. If I was Hibiki, I'd bitch slap back to reality. The other characters weren't that bad. It was just when Dita was there, I felt that the story was gonna go six feet under.
Sure, there was fan service. But, not a lot to throw of the entire plot. If the plot was good, though, then the lack of fan service would be fine. Since I thought the plot wasn't that great, the fan service had to be better. To make a long story short, it wasn't.
Now, I'm being generous with the rent ranking. Vandread had some moments, but not enough for me to advise you to buy it.
Last updated Monday, June 26 2006. Created Monday, June 26 2006.
Drama : Med
Comedy : High
Action : High
SciFi : High
Ecchi : Med
Vandread 2nd stage picks up right where Vandread 1 stops. It adds a new character to the harem, and turns up the harem fest. (And gets rid of a main character :( ) It develops relationships between the 3 men and the women (Poor Hibiki!) and all the Dread team seems to be set on merging with Hibiki. Add the plot of the Earth and Paksys and a new twist to the VanDread.
This is even better than the original and while the ending is Cliched and a bit confusing (The showdown with the elders) I loved it.
Note : You know for a long time I wondered why Misty's Voice (The 4th Girl of the harem) was so familiar...It's May from Hand Maid May!
Last updated Wednesday, January 18 2006. Created Wednesday, February 09 2005.
Saber Marionette J. Battles in outer space seemed kind of laughable back then, since it was all too clear that nobody from the Nirvana was going to get killed. In contrast, I just watched an action which kind of reminded me of the attack on the Death Star from Star Wars. One thing I noticed about this series is that sometimes events happen which are so implausible that normally my ability to suspend disbelief would be stretched to the breaking point, except here they just make me feel good and I don't give a damn. On the other hand, I found the climactic battle in the final episode to be slightly disappointing. I wish the many different threads of the plot could have come together in a more pleasing way--some seemed to have been discarded altogether, (or explained in a byzantine style which average viewers like yours truly cannot completely understand). It was all very confusing to me--why was there a boy aboard one of the Earth ships? Suddenly the cry went up "We did it!", to which I responded "Did *what*?--what just happened?" (it's hard to both read subtitles and keep track of a fast-moving space battle). I can't help feeling that this climactic scene sort of reverted to the silly style of the first series, and doesn't do justice to the dramatic, thought provoking episodes that came along earlier in Second Stage. Fortunately, the very last, post-battle scene was nice--all along, enough comedy had been retained to keep the series from becoming disturbing. So, is the story over, or is yet another Vandread series in the works? Despite all my complaints about the way it ended, I think enough things were done right for me to continue to rate this show as a "Buy".
I had read that there was really no major difference between this series and the original one, rather this was simply the second season, which the show's makers must have known all along was going to be made. However I detect a trend towards more drama and less comedy--whether this was intended or not, I cannot say. I'm not complaining, because this drama is very well done. Just how messed up Earth has become is revealed early on. The threat of winding up "harvested" is growing and the situation the Nirvana's crew is in is becoming correspondingly more desperate. Even Bart is forced to show some courage! I also read that a major charachter was going to buy the farm, and sure enough, it happens. Be prepared for a shocking revelation about yet another charachter later on (talk about gender-bending!). The show has undergone quite a transformation from the first few silly episodes of the first season, when I thought it was going to be a lot like
Whereas I had watched the original series on dubbed VHS tapes, I got hold of a remarkably cheap set of DVDs for Second Stage. Why were they so cheap? Well, for one thing, there is no English Dub, but there are both English and Chinese Subtitles--and if you wait too long, it automatically starts in Chinese mode! Episode seven will apparently *only* play with Chinese subs. Sometimes the subtitles only show for a fraction of a second, and they are riddled with misspellings ("Someone who slts around behind the unes can never undertand!"). Color jumps back and forth between bright and muted. For some reason the first disc contains only four episodes, while the second one has no less than nine--no doubt stripping all but one episode of the OP/ED sequences helped make this possible. Consequently, it's hard to say where one episode ends and another begins. But these are all minor problems (except for that damned episode seven!), and I'm happy to make the sacrifices in order to be able to both afford Second Stage and get it ASAP. (according to AstroNerdBoy, this must have been a "bootleg" set of DVDs)
My favorite line (so far):
"What a perverse cockpit!" --Pyoro
Last updated Thursday, January 22 2004. Created Thursday, January 15 2004.
Vandread was a surprise series when I watched it. Vandread: Second Stage continues those surpise by picking up where the original left off. I continued to be surprised at how seemingly shallow characters like Bart were given depth and allowed to grow. That is one of the series main strengths. Plus there are constant twists in the plot that are unexpected when they happen. Yet when one watches the series a 2nd time (or thinks back to previous episodes), one sees that these things had been hinted at. This happens not only with the story, but with the characters as well.
The CGI is improved over the original series and that helps. I still would have liked to have seen battle damage on ships, but I'm not going to complain. The art and animation continue to be very good and compliment the story.
Despite all of the good, there are some weaknesses. First, the final battle is rather cliched. Some aspects were needed to show one of Hibiki's gifts, but the battle itself was rather uninteresting despite the impressive amount of action. And there was one aspect just prior to the battle that disappointed me even though it was done to give things a happier element. I can't explain further for fear of spoiling this.
The second weakness was that the series ran out of time to explain things right. We are given answers, but I suspect one won't fully get the answers until they've seen both Vandread series a couple of times. One more episode could have been used to fully flesh out what happened to Earth as well as a full explaination of what happened on the original Earth colony ship that split men and women.Bottom line: a lot of fun, more laughs, more drama, more action, and more of why I watch anime.
Last updated Sunday, October 17 2004. Created Saturday, January 03 2004.