It's almost fitting that the series starts off by mocking how bland and pointless the first season was. But then they do little to change that.
Story - 6/10
Much like season one the episodes that focus on a single female with a loose soul attached to them are pretty bland. We get a bit of story this time, but essentially it runs pretty much the same as the first season.
Again the episodes that are entertaining are those that have nothing, or at least very little, to do with the overall plot of the show. The pair of episodes where Elsie's old classmate Haqua come to town are a nice change and turn out to be some of the funnier in the series. These two episodes tell us more about Elsie's past and give us a little more insight into the whole business of catching loose souls.
Another episode that was pretty fun was again removed from the overall plot of the show. Keima ttys to teach Elsie about the difference in dating sims so that she can properly purchase a rare game for him, while he's busy buying other games. In the second part they reenact the Haqua episode so that she (Haqua) can write her report for the bureau. The two sections added up to being one of the better episodes in the series, as it shied completely away from the catching of loose souls. It also contained a little funny scene that very ironic, after watching the Anime series of one of his games, Keima comments that the TV show version is always boring, sounds like that writer was venting about the series they worked on.
The final episode also focused on non-soul catching issues. Keima has the chance to help his favorite video game company develop a new game. He spends the episode going through different scenarios of what he wants, by picturing them having battles in different anime styles.
One thing I noticed in season one, but chose ignored in my review, was the shows cracks on Americans, ones that don't even make sense. In season one Elsie comments that Mio is "as poor as an American" and in season two she says that Americans walk around getting wet in the rain because it's too much of a hassle to carry an umbrella. Is these actual stereotypes in Japan? It reminds me of on the comedy How I Met Your Mother when Marshall talks about crazy stereotypes that come about, like Canadians being afraid of the dark and Brazilians using too much postage, except I think the writers, based on the weak and simplistic writing, are just that dumb.
Animation - 8/10
It's not surprising that pretty much nothing was changed from season one, as the animation was pretty much the crowning jewel of the series.
The one thing I do have a tiny gripe with is the the animators constant cribbing, or perhaps just putting in things they like, from other series. One notable one, not of Anime fame, is the blowup Elsie doll that has shown up a few times. The doll's shape and face is an exact replica of the famous "Emergency Co-Pilot" from the movie Airplane. Another thing that popped out to me was one of Elsie's fellow demon and loose souls section chief, Haqua. While her look doesn't really resemble her, the scythe she wields looks like a close replica to that of another demon, Risky (I think the demon is Risky) in the terribly awful series Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety. It seems this series is big on borrowing gags from other series, having many animation similarities to FLCL in the first season, so I'll chalk it up to the Key animator just dropping in little easter eggs as homages.
As a side note, I can't put my finger on who the character Sugimoto from the One Leaf video game reminds me of, but it's a small pop up character from another anime that looked completely out of place in it. (Again another ode to different shows?)
The Intro animation again was very nice and went far beyond what we usually see in anime series, but sadly the outré was just a lazy single shot of a PSP with images appearing on it.
Sound - 7/10
Once again the musical intros/outros in the show are surprisingly good. This time I also took notice of some of the in series music, and it was better than that of the first season.
One new voice for the season really stood out. The actress doing Ms. Nagase's voice was very different but still fit the character very well. There was something about it that made it seem much more real than most anime voices.
Characters - 5/10
This time around the writers did attempt to build a small bit of backstory behind the females Keima was trying to help.
While Kasuga and Chihiro get slight back stories, the most time is spent on Ms. Jun Nagase. The episodes involving Ms. Nagase are the best written of the series, up till this point, from a character development point of view. It's nice to not only see the typical "Why she's this way so a soul attached to her" backstory we see for every other female character, but this time around we get to know her likes and dislikes, her past in high school and what she's looking for out of life. From these few episodes alone I could actually see, and be interested in, a stand alone involving Ms. Nagase, something along the lines of a G.T.O. maybe.
Sadly we again learn little about Keima outside of his love for video games. Even in the last episode, where they can explain what he likes in games, why he became so attached to them and any other tids bits of information, they basically leave everything unanswered, as he never says what he wants in his perfect game.
Overall - 6/10
While leaps and bounds better than season one, the show still pretty much seems like multiple filler episodes (all those having to do with loose souls) and a few ones that actually move the story along. While the concept of collecting loose souls can be interesting and funny, those episodes just seem to be the same boiler plate format over and over.
Well now that i'm two thirds of the way through the series I can't stop now. So time to load up the O.V.A.s for more disappointment, errr I mean entertainment.
THE STORY IS: Continuing from the first season, Keima and Elsie are still on the prowl to hunt down loose souls trapped inside a girl's heart. The only way to get the loose soul out is for Keima, a video gamer who shuts out reality completely, to sway these girls into falling for him. Keima will soon realize, though, that not all girls have a set path that can be followed like in his games. This time around, Keima will have to think outside the box and off the linear path that his dating sim games usually follow.
The first season of The World God Only Knows left much to be desired for the story. It was a great idea to play with, but didn't do much to explore the concept. The second season plays with the idea the first season was going off of making it a little less linear and taking a different approach. The story is still the same as the first season, but the girls are different this time around. Definitely will say that it was much better this time. It took the series and brought forth what should have been done, but I guess that is kind of what they were going for though. Make the first half like they did and give you the general idea, then toss it up. Still wasn't anything mind blowing, but it definitely stepped up and put forth some more effort to keep your attention.
THE SOUND & ANIMATION: If you watched the first season, everything is pretty much the same this time around as well. Elsie's voice is still annoying as always.
THE CHARACTERS: They were a bit better in this season than the last. The first season had no sort of development between Keima or Elsie. More or less, there is some development to be had here. Keima is practically the same, but his character gets a little more explored into what he is thinking and starts second guessing himself about reality. That was interesting. Elsie.....well...didn't really change. You meet some new characters along the way and they have some sort of background to delve into. It may not be much, but it's still there and gives you a sense of what that girl went through in the past that may have caused a loose soul to appear. Still, not much in this department.
OVERALL: I still am having a hard time understanding why so many people love this series so much. I like it, but it's nothing that merits an anime of the year award. The World God Only Knows is definitely not for everyone, but it has it's good and bad points just like every other anime out there. Granted, not the worst I've seen, but not the best. This second season manages to stay within the ether realm of average. Maybe a point or two above average giving it a slightly above average rating that did good job at outdoing the first season, if only slightly.
Its been a very long time since i've seen an anime of this caliber and i'm here to get you convinced on why you should watch it
TWGOK is far better that the polt summary leads on,even when i first saw it, I thought to myself "how could this be any good!".In short the execution is pretty good.
TWGOK is about a guy(keima) trying to pursue girls.Basically he gets one girl than moves on to the next.It is arc- like for now.
Its not that Keima could just spam dating sims knowlge on its own and he could get girls automtically.He is very observant of his surroundings,plans stuff and it takes multiple events just to get one girl to like him.
There have been many smart anime protagonists.The thing that makes Keima different is that he is not smart cause of his knowledge or that he could do over-the -top stuff,is that in the way he uses what he knows that makes him smart,and even makes his feats believable.In short we are not just told he is smart,he feats back it up,and we are not just convinced cause of being over the top,or being cool to look at.
All the girls in TWGOk may originate from harem anime types.but the sheer depth in characterisation and development makes is justified to give a well deserved 10/10.The show baslically converts the archetyes to ideals,allowing a form of deconstruction of harem anime.
Each girl is idealistic.We see them genuinely struggle against reality.They show how strongly they beleve in them.Keima basicaly through love, show them that they could have the courage to face reality.The girls are characters that could stand on their own merits,as opposed to just making the main feel good.
The stength of TWGOK over most anime lies in the fact that its not just about love or genre tags, its about "Ideals Versus Reality" a theme that only TWGOK has.
The artstyle is very unique to TWGOK.More of a refined anime.
The one reason why I can't give TWGOK a 10/10 it that it is arc-like....
For now.(same as season 1)
Story | 8/10
Conquering the hearts of young women has never been so comedic and cute! I love this series because of how capable Keima Katsuragi is in filling the emptiness in the hearts of young women. The story seems a little dull for me, but I like the comic relief found in some of the episodes. Comparably-speaking, I enjoyed season 1 more. However this 2nd season is more realistic and heartwarming. The "God of Conquest" captures four more loose souls. However in this season Keima has more of a challenge with a few of his targets.
Animation | 9/10
The animation of The World God Only Knows II is simply as lovely as ever. I really like the designs of the characters and settings. The colours are vivid and the animation is clear-cut and expressive. Animation-wise this is one of the best anime series I've seen. Some changes of animation style are made in several episodes, but each change was done appropriately so.
Sound | 9/10
One of the many good things about The World God Only Knows II is its soundtrack. The music for special God of Conquest moments is divine and lovely to listen to. I also really like the opening and ending songs for this 2nd season. The music and voices are clear, and of high-quality. I recommend downloading the original soundtrack, because the music is pretty good.
Characters | 8/10
Our protagonist, Keima Katsuragi is slowly considering his acceptance of reality. Luckily we fans still have our beloved God of Conquest and Elsie. We also have a new cast of female characters whose hearts are overtaken by loose souls. Their personalities and issues posed more of a challenge for Keima, which made things interesting. The reasons for the emptiness in their hearts were more realistic than those of the previous season. However, we also have a few of Keima's past targets make brief appearances. Overall, the second season contained good character development and interaction. :)
Overall | 9/10
The World God Only Knows II has been an enjoyable anime for me. I like how the plot seems to be going. It seems eventually, perhaps in season 3, Keima Katsuragi will come to accept reality or further develop in some other way.
The previous season of The World God Only Knows was pretty entertaining. It had a nice plot that combined romantic comedy with some shounen elements, had a cast of very likeable characters, a pretty good soundtrack, and excellent animation. I had a lot of expectations for the second season, and I was not disappointed.
The story of The World God Only Knows is about a guy named Keima who has been employed by the devil to track down loose souls, which apparently only manifest themselves in teenage (though sometimes older) girls who have identity problems or something along those lines. Which makes sense, because teenage girls certainly are the perfect vessels for a demon to live out of. Angsty and emotional, I can understand why we don’t see any male characters being taken over by loose souls. But I digress. Keima is a gamer, specifically, a dating simulation connoisseur. He runs his own website about them as he beats a couple a day and is even asked for advice by dating simulation developers. Using this knowledge, he attempts to help the girls who have loose souls inside of them by filling the space the soul occupies with himself. He does this through pushing them through tough times and basically getting them to fall in love with him. When the loose soul leaves, Keima’s sister and demon buddy, Elsie, captures them.
The plot, as I stated in my first season review, isn’t totally exciting but it’s melting together both shounen and romantic elements makes it have a wider appeal to a wider crowd of people. As a fan of romantic comedies, I found it to be fun and I found the shounen elements to liven it up a bit and give it more flair.
That’s not to say that the shounen elements are really good. In a particular arc one of the loose souls winds up becoming ultra-powerful and this leads to a big fight. The fight wasn’t exciting, nor was this arc that great, but I admired the fact it was taking something that most people would think girly and made it appeal to guys looking for some action.
The plot is marked with two filler episodes like the previous season. This time, the roles reverse. The first filler episode is pretty good and funny, while the last one (the last episode) isn’t that exciting.
The animation is just as good as the previous season. While there were no metaphorical sections that really wowed me like last time, it still managed to have good character designs and smooth animation throughout.
The sound is the only place in the entire second season where I’m going to have to downgrade the points. This season suffers from a lackluster opening and closing, as well as no stand-out music during the show. Kanon does make an appearance with an uninspired song that lasts a few seconds, but otherwise she’s lost. I was hoping she would be in the background more so this season and her songs would play on radios or in stores for some added fan service, but she isn’t utilized and it just leaves the show with a big hole in the sound department. Voice actors still play their roles well though, so sound isn’t bad, it just doesn’t shine quite as much as it did last season.
In the character department though, I found that this season had better heroines for Keima to conquer than last season. I felt that they were a bit more complex and a bit more different from what you typically see. The four of the first season were somewhat generic, but as I said, they had a reason to be. This season gives Keima a lot more of a challenge though as the heroines aren’t conforming to his games as much. This really adds to the drama and makes the show so much more fun.
The two main characters are of course Keima and Elsie. As I said in my previous review, Keima comes off as a complete ass to Elsie, but is a genuinely nice guy to everyone else it seems. Elsie is just plain cute and adorable and you just want to hug her and have her as your little sister. She isn’t too deep, but she serves her purpose of being the complete opposite of a demon and the complete opposite of Keima well, as well as playing the role of little sister nicely too. She’s fun and funny.
The conquests start with Kusunoki Kasuga, a martial artist who is trying to suppress her inner female and act as if she were a male. Her character isn’t all that complex but she is very likeable in her ideals. She doesn’t want to show weakness so tries to stay away from cute things and showing affection. She’s the weakest of the conquests of this season, but she is still much deeper and much more enticing than the four girls of the previous season.
The second conquest is Chihiro Kosaka, which is probably my favorite of all the conquests in the entire series. She’s just normal. She’s average at everything, she looks average, and she tries to quell that averageness by asking out and being rejected by every hot guy she sees. The metaphorical take on her feelings is not awe-inspiring or anything new, but it is good. Everything leading up to the end of her story arc is well constructed, and I thought that the end of the arc was really well done and came across as truly heartfelt.
The third and final conquest is Jun Nagase, a student teacher. This is the second best conquest of the entire series. Her plot and feelings won’t come across as truly understandable unless you have been a student teacher or know someone who has. She, like student teachers, goes in idealistic and wanting to help people. The problem is, nobody wants her help and she’s kind of in a place where she isn’t respected, no matter how hard she tries to be. It’s a fantastic arc specifically for those emotions that are rooted very much so in reality. She feels like a failure because she isn’t able to get the kids to respect her as a friend; they treat her more as an enemy and an adult than someone they can hang out with. She’s a very good character and her arc is quite touching as I know someone who has gone through student teaching and became a teacher recently. The emotions he conveyed to me when telling me about his time as a student teacher are pretty much those of Nagase.
So all three conquests are great characters, Another character I need to mention is Haqua, another demon like Elsie who was at the top of her class but has become akin to a failure. She’s a decent character and fun for the little time she’s around, but her past is a little cliché and her character isn’t as well made as the conquest characters.
The World God Only Knows II is actually better than its predecessor in almost every way. It’s wholly entertaining and surprisingly heart-felt at times. While it’s not deep, nor is it really that smart, it still maintains a good balance of different elements that combine into a very fun ride. It may not be the best thing out there, but it is a very good thing. It’s not bogged down by a lot of cliché and elements that have come up a hundred billion times. It’s sometimes smart, sometimes funny, sometimes dramatic, and sometimes romantic. It’s everything in a nice little package.