Devil Survivor 2 The Animation

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Damn Atlus, you really like to adapt your games with random order, don’t you? Anyways, this is yet another one of those videogames where teenagers summon monsters to defend the world. It has the same director of the Persona 4 (P4) adaptation, which is also a spin-off franchise of this one. I really liked P4 despite its cheesiness and expected Devil Survivor (DS2) to be around the same level but turned out it is a waste of time.

So, the premise is sort of typical for the franchise. Some demons invade the word and some teenagers fight them with their own demons. The problem is that despite the apocalyptic set up, nothing seems to make sense or feels important enough for you to care. You are just thrown into this mess and no real hooks exist for you to give a damn. I mean the main three characters look so dull and typical. As retarded as that other show with cell-phones and future predictions was, Future Diary had a very wimpy boy and a very psychotic girl; extreme enough for you to notice them. Plus you had a freaking god giving them a clear picture of what they have to do right away. This doesn’t happen in DS2 since it has bland main characters and the premise is not anything special or even clear.

Another problem is the action part. It is so simple and boring to the point you again don’t give a damn. They just summon random monsters to fight each other and after a couple of energy attacks it is all over. P4 had similar battles but even there the choreography was more colorful, the bosses were relevant to the main characters, and the characters themselves were funny enough for you to care. Over here you feel nothing, even if the demons kill people by the hundreds in each battle. Who are these people for you to care? Who are these mass-produced identical demons with no relation to the main characters? So what if hell takes over Earth?

Another thing which annoyed me are the cell phones. In this setting they are gateways to hell and all demons invade with portals created by them, or in other cases computers with access to the net. The heroes just press buttons on them and POP appears a monster to fight for them. They can do that as many times as they can and then they expect you to think it is hard or taxing. I mean, ok, in the game you have magic point consumption but the show doesn’t show that and all you get is a bunch of cardboards saving the world by playing videogame applications on their cell phones. GAH WHAT’S UP WITH ALL THE VIDEOGAME SHOWS? When I was a kid you needed to know martial arts or be affected by gamma rays to become strong enough to defend the world. Nowadays it is always about skinny dorks button-mashing consoles. WHERE IS THE FARTING CHALLENGE IN THAT?

The facepalms continue with the obligatory secret organization which is fighting the demons. They have all this super technology and they still are unable to do squat next to three bland gamers. It doesn’t even seem that hard enough to stop them anyways; if the internet is a gateway to hell, then why don’t they simply cut the internet? Or if necessary, the electricity too. Yes, it would throw the world back a few centuries but it is still better to mankind be chopped to little pieces by demons, right? And you know what? It would make a bloody good conflict if that option was available but the corporations or addicted gamers were vertically against cutting the internet or the electricity. WE DON’T GET THAT!

Yet another BS is the artwork itself. Not only the budget is rather low but the character designs are generic and the only thing that stands out is the fan service. Yes, you have demons from hell killing screaming people being less eye-catchy than some random cleavage shots. The main heroine has a huge rack, the videogame has a cosplay mascot girl and the secret organization is run by a half naked slut. JUST BECAUSE! Well if that is the case, then the anime should instead be called Drooling Saliver 2DEEP4U!!!

And even if you somehow endure all the sleep-inducing plot, and the completely uninteresting revelations, you reach to a final showdown where the whole world is basically destroyed and made anew… exactly as it was before. Yup, they took the retarded time reset route where everything is back to normal and the apocalypse is like it never happened. Boy, that sure made the world to realize technology is not to be toyed with. Oh wait, it didn’t since NOBODY REMEMBERS IT!

Meh, what a waste of funds. Atlus, go adapt Persona 2 and make sure to include Hitler.

1/10 story
7/10 animation
6/10 sound
1/10 characters
3/10 overall
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GIANT HE-HO's

LUCIFER AND SATAN HUG

everything else was shit tho

animation sucks, plot sucks and doesn't follow the games, and there's no autocorrect on this website so I look like a fucking tool

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
3/10 overall
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Spring 2013 Anime Review - Devil Survivor 2
- bureau chief could have been done better
- bit cliche but Japan hasn't done this for a while (Eva OVA is basically ongoing milking so does not count)
- good way to gauge strength is the supporting cast, and they feel weak
- Abrupt transition from eps 4 to 5 after defeating Meruk and Hibiki dips
- Japan is the only place not consumed by the void…
- No indication of foreigners that had spirit potential fighting or coming to Japan...
- Lol, computer systems use japanese, english and french
- Backstory of Makato and Ronaldo was never filled in
- Soundtrack is fitting and great
- Botis...
- Yamato summoned his demons that were consumed in the void… No, just no.
- Lawl they didn't censor the fusion monster's tits xD
- The last few eps had some serious lipdub issues assuming that my playback wasn't wonky

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UPDATE: Anime-Planet has removed the Blog feature where this post was originally published on March 23, 2014. I pulled the scores from my ratings, although this is NOT a formal review. Think of it more as “thoughts on…<anime title>”. I wrote my thoughts out as I progressed through the series, so contradictions may occur as my opinion shifts. To shorten the post I took excerpts from the original. Sorry for any inconvenience and please leave your thoughts below! :)

2013 Spring Anime Reviews:

  • Attack on Titan - http://www.anime-planet.com/users/triviper/reviews/14071
  • Gargantia - http://www.anime-planet.com/users/triviper/reviews/14072
  • The Flowers of Evil - http://www.anime-planet.com/users/triviper/reviews/14073
  • Arata the Legend - http://www.anime-planet.com/users/triviper/reviews/14074
  • Devil Survivor 2 - http://www.anime-planet.com/users/triviper/reviews/14075
  • HENNEKO - http://www.anime-planet.com/users/triviper/reviews/14076/
  • Karneval - http://www.anime-planet.com/users/triviper/reviews/14077/
  • Photo Kano - http://www.anime-planet.com/users/triviper/reviews/14078
  • RDG - http://www.anime-planet.com/users/triviper/reviews/14079
  • Crime Edge - http://www.anime-planet.com/users/triviper/reviews/14080
  • Valvrave S1 - http://www.anime-planet.com/users/triviper/reviews/14081
?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
7/10 overall
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*Haven't played the game

Persona 4 the animation made 2 years ago despite it's cheesy plot, it is a pretty solid title. And then came Devil Survivor 2 the animation, it is made by a different studio but directed by the same guy, and there i thought "hey, this guy made a pretty good spin-off, he can probably pull this one off as well", and man was i wrong.

Devil Survivor 2 the animation is a FKIN TRAINWECK, and hell of a big SELL OUT.

Presentation

It has alot of potential at first, an apocalyptic world with demons invading all of humanity, with an interesting concept of a mystery involving the demon summoning app. It looks alot better than Persona 4's initial plot which was pretty cheesy. But instead of giving you an interesting and compiling story regrading the reasons behind the demon's invasion, and possibly developing a likeable and memorable cast to that of Persona 4, and what we got was a BORING GENERIC AND STEREOTYPICAL SHONEN.

1st of all, 13 episodes is not indeal for a game with so much content, you can easily see that it is rushed out to meet the deadlines(or to sell), clusterfuck of explaination, both confusing and cheesy. And i don't know how they did it but they did, they made everything extremely predictable, you can easily predict early on what's going to happen next, and i was told that in the game it is not so predictable.

There are also alot of cheesy dialogues and overblowned moral speeches regarding life, it felt as if the script writer was forcing the dialogues into the show for whatever reason, and it felt extremely out of place in this apocalyptic world with a supposingly serious atmosphere.

For a show which is adapted from a video game about summoning demons and fighting other demons, Devil Survivor 2 the animation definitely lacks the action, action parts are so boring compared to Persona 4, it's 70% of cheesy dialogues and 30% of actual action, and it only consist of a few shitty looking moves, no you don't really get BIG EXPLOSIONS from BIG MOVES like a Megidoloan, you will only get a few puny strikes and occasionally a few special moves and that's really it. Most of the time the characters are literally standing on 1 spot and fapping there mouths, taking about bullshit.

Devil Survivor 2 the animation is also very lazy in explaining the world it revolves in. There's zero explaination on how the demon systems work, they didn't even bother to show the face of the "true" villain Polaris, instead went for a shitty final battle between the 2 good and evil stereotypes.

The story eventually turns from a promising plot into a generic fighting shonen full of your main character shouting "I WANT TO SAVE MY FRIENDS WITH MY HAX POWAH!" every 10 seconds. They clearly have no idea on what in the world they're doing, and how to handle a spin-off.

Quality

Pfffft.... It's so predictable, it's way cheesier than Persona 4 and has little redeeming quality.

The Animations otherwise is ok, looks pretty well synchonized, but is lackluster since majority of the time there's little to no movement, at most what you'll get is the characters fapping their mouths.

Sounds

The music section is fine, the opening and ending sounds pretty good, the ost is good as well, quite fitting, the only saving grace from this wreckage.

Cast

The cast is full of FKIN STEREOTYPES and they are FORGETTABLE. They are not characters but rather plot devices, they are introduced poorly, gets little to no screen time, and then tossed out merely for the SHOCK FACTOR. Unless you're an extremely sympathetic person, you won't give 2 shits about them when they die, simply because they didn't get enough screentime and/or has no interesting perks of any sort for us to like them before they die. They are really not of any importance to the plot whatsoever, the plot is still going to move on even if they didn't exist.

But you could remember some of the characters:

You'll remember Io for being the next Orihime(great...)

You'll remember the comical dude because he is the friend of Hibiki

You'll remember the Yu Narukami rip-off for being nothing more than a rip-off

You'll remember the stripper whore for being a stripper whore who walks around half naked all the time in her gravity defying mini slut jacket which sticks onto her boobs for some apparent reason... (or is that just a fucked up bra?)

Gravity defying mini jacket ladies & gentlemen....

But you'll forget about them anyways soon after...

And Alcor will be the only person that you'll ever care about in this ridiculously boring cast, he might not be an interesting individual(in the anime), but his mindset does develop and you would actually care about his interactions with the shallow characters and his intention. He also has this yaoi fetish with Yamato and Hibiki for some apparent reason.

Not to forget, your patheticly forced-in STEREOTYPICAL Protagonist and Antagonist. 

The Antagonist Yamato is supposed to be this very one-dimentional bad guy who believes that the weak should die and the strong should survive, and create a new world with his Antagonist only superpowers. Why? Because we need a shitty evil rival for Hibiki instead of a compiling villain in the likes of Polaris to teach the "meaning of life" and unveal the reasons behind the madness. He is an extremely forced character, he is the only villain in the entire cast, he has some backdrop, but his motive remains pretty vague. Plus whenever someone convinced him to turn face, the writers gave us that trollface of theirs and IMMEDIATELY turns him back to heel in the snap of a finger while also giving us that fucking middle finger right in the face. He is forced back to being that one-dimentional evil douchebag every single time...

Why can't we have an epic showdown between the godly demon(Polaris in this case) instead like all the good Persona series does....

The Protagonist Hibiki couldn't get more generic, he has zero perks that you'll remember him for, he is the kind of shonen lead that we've been seing for years now, you know the one who shouts "I'M GOING TO SAVE MY FRIENDS WITH MY PROTAGONIST ONLY HAX POWAHS" every 10 seconds... And the guiding light for Yamato...

That's really it, i shit you not, I'm out of words to describe them, they are that boring...

Overall: All in all, Devil Survivor 2 the animation is a rushed, poorly executed spin-off made to sell. It's not even loyal to it's source, clearly the staff members have no idea what they're doing yet tried to push it out for the mass consumption. And there we have it! The birth of the 2nd Trinity Soul! Thanks a ton....

What's good: +Interesting theme(I had to smoke this out....), +Decent soundtracks

What's bad: -Unfaithful to the source, -Boring and forgettable cast, -Predictable story telling, -Poor execution of what could've been a great spin-off

Final Verdict: 3.5/10 A worthless spin-off made to sell, watch Persona 4 instead...

Recommendation:

Persona 4 - From the same franchise, despite being cheesy it has a memorable cast and a pretty solid story.

Digimon Tamers(Yeah you've heard me) - Similar concept of summoning monsters, but has a better story and cast.(At least that's from what i've heard)

3/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
1/10 characters
3.5/10 overall
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I'll start by saying I've played the Devil Survivor 2 game, and I am a pretty huge fan of both it and its ''prequel''. Both have a grim, increasingly complicated plot, compelling characters you grow to care about, intense battles and plenty of relevant choices to make until you reach one of the final destinations.

And out of the two, in many ways I like the second better, and I was looking forward to this adaptation very much. It isn't really a game that is hard to translate into a TV series (very story-ridden, brimming with action...), and since most people had positive feedback for  Persona 4: The Animation (same director), my hopes were pretty high.

As an adaptation, however, this turned out to be a goddamn trainwreck and, as a standalone anime, it is just very mediocre. What I'm truly going to review here is the anime per se since that's what this site is for, but I don't want to miss the chance to throw in a few paragraphs about the game-to-series translation, so if you're not interested in this feel free to scroll down a few paragraphs.

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I'm not pulling any punches here: this adaptation sucks donkey balls.

 

The first episode was decent and I think both game players and new viewers alike appreciated it in general, but after that the whole essence of the game was lost.

 

First and foremost, the characters. This being just a 13-ep long anime there's no good way at all to develop all of them, but even in these conditions the show does a terrible job. Hibiki, the protagonist, has a 180º personality change compared to the game for the sake of supporting idealistic shonen-ish bullshit, faux heroicity, contrived morals that make no sense and all that crap the industry loves so much. Yamato is made into an uber arrogant douchebag with no balance to his character at all, and his clever social commentary in the game is turned into pretentious nonsense... honestly, I had my fears, but even so I didn't believe it was possible to ruin a character this awesome so damn much. The rest of the characters are even worse because the airtime they get is so scarce and their lines so silly that it's nearly impossible to relate to any of them (especially hurt about Fumi, who was arguably my favorite character in the game and her role here was anechdotal and a fucking bad joke at that). They die and you feel nothing, it's honestly painful to see what they've turned all these characters I liked/loved into. The only character who I sort of liked in this adaptation was Alcor: he was okay, although he's just a shadow of what his game counterpart proved to be, and his very early appearance takes away much of the mystery surrounding him.

 

The way the story was handled is not as incredibly offensive, but almost so. The way the exposition of the world building is made is meager and confusing, the twists are introduced in a way with no impact whatsoever, they basically do whatever the hell they want with the pacing, order of the revelations and what they choose or not to show (still baffled that they didn't include Fumi's explanation about the Akashic Records and how the whole Nicaea system was based on the past, present and future files stored in that humongous, astral database... they basically left the juiciest bit of plot for me out of the anime). For a game that progressed in such an understandable, yet very interesting, puzzling and increasingly complicated manner, this storytelling was utter bullshit. Not to mention that the show also does whatever it wants with the story itself and the last episodes have nothing to do with the game's ending routes. No multiple decisions, no social commentary, no different factions formed according to each person's beliefs... NOTHING. Just people dying randomly, Yamato being obnoxious as all hell and Hibiki rambling on and on about his ham-fisted morals like an utter retard.

The demon system is not explained at all and its favoring some users over others because ''FUCK IT, NATURAL ABILITY'' takes away most of the charm and POINT of humans having this app for the sake of making Hibiki into some sort of chosen one (whereas he was just a clever, sensible normal guy in the game), while making for example Daichi the fucking butt of the joke in every single episode (until they give him a completely ridiculous ''power-up'' because friendship and shit, that is). The action is not all that interesting, either: it's well animated, but since there's none of the tension and atmosphere from the game you can't help but feel underwhelmed.

I could keep this rant going forever and go into much more detail, but the main interest of this review is another. Overall, as an adaptation this is totally awful. Generous 2/10. Fuck you Seiji Kishi.

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Now, let's talk about this as a standalone anime. Granted, it is difficult to put myself in the shoes of a new viewer and consider what my opinion of this would be without the bias of the game - but I've made an effort.

Plot-wise, it's easy to see that this is not a case where it is simply crap with no sense or redeeming values, but more like vastly wasted potential due to the sloppy narrative. You have a very fine premise of young men and women struggling to survive in a world that's quite literally going to hell, with the help of a mysterious program that can foresee their friend's deaths and an app that allows them to summon powerful demons from other worlds. Besides the enemy demons, there are more powerful, strangely shaped weapons of mass destruction of origin unknown bringing chaos and death wherever they go, and an organization dedicated to intercept and kill them off before they annihilate mankind.

No matter how I think of it, that's a cool as hell premise with endless possibilities, and as the episodes go by you can tell there's thought put into it when it is revealed why Japan alone is still standing, who gave mankind the ''death face'' program and demon summoning app and for what purposes, what kind of threat is it that humans are exactly facing and why is it all happening... All of these things and more are touched upon (heavily or slightly), giving the story a sense of direction.

So, then again, what is the big problem? The presentation of it all. As a newbie to the franchise I think I'd have grasped the gist of the story and many of the bits and pieces, but honestly, the introduction of new story elements and plot twists is a damn fine mess. The director and whoever the scriptwriter is clearly had a very vague idea of what they needed/wanted to do with the existing game material, and thus there is not a good sense when it comes to making the revelations impactful, the little bits of spare information assimilable, and the big info-dumps engaging.

This is a deeply flawed narrative due merely to the inability of the staff to give you the right pieces of the puzzle at the right time and in a manner that compels you to ponder about the overall plot, its mysteries and what might be ahead. Moreover, the demon summoning dynamics and such are hardly ever expanded upon and mostly make no actual sense.

It doesn't help, either, that the dialogues are mostly bollocks. Clichéd, unoriginal, they say a lot but almost nothing is particularly meaningful or memorable.

And speaking of the dialogues, shall we talk about the blank-wall cast reciting them? These characters are neither well introduced, nor well developed, nor do they have proper catharsis. The director just throws them in your face and expects you to figure out on your own that they must actually have personalities or something.

There is no valuable characterisation, no remarkably cool moments, no worthwhile interactions other than clichéd melodrama and extremely obvious setup for deaths that will happen before that same episode ends. The cast is in general extremely forgettable and one-dimensional, and some like the protagonist Hibiki or Yamato can get downright annoying with their pretentious nonsense and self-righteous nature for both of their extreme 'moral' positions. I honestly didn't give a heck when these characters lived or died (other than raging at the stupid deaths of some) because you really need to belong to a very shallow audience for this cast to mean anything important to you.

I did like Alcor, though: he managed to be reasonably compelling to follow, the better handled plot revelations were done by him, and he was in general just likeable and with an interesting role to play in the story. However, they constantly beat your head with his ''what am I, why do I feel?'' rethoric, which honestly got pretty tiresome at times. Regardless, he would be for me a bit of a saving grace regarding the cast.

The technical values are okay, both animation and sound departments. The color palette is appropriately dark, the fights are flashy, the demons look cool in general, the character designs are fine and mostly consistent, and I honestly didn't care about the CG usage for the Septentrions. The OST was solid and fit the scenes, but I'm going to deduct points here because the voice acting was incredibly cheesy in many occasions and further contributed to making the characters trite. Props to that ending theme, however: I freaking love it, and it was perfect for wrapping up the otherwise mediocre episodes in a  rather despairing, cool note.

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Overall this isn't a must for anyone: neither game players nor 'virgin' viewers, but the difference is that for the former group it is a MUST NOT, whereas it is merely a ''watch if you have nothing better to do'' for the latter. Interesting storyline wasted by terribly unfocused scriptwriting, generic underdeveloped characters, and simply good technical values are combined to create something that's very mediocre but at the same time sort of entertaining and not bereft of some worth.

5.5/10 story
7/10 animation
6.5/10 sound
4/10 characters
5/10 overall
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