This was originally a blog post found on my blog here.
The World God Only Knows has continued to impress me over its two seasons, mainly due to its consistency. With its short story arc formula, I don’t think this anime will ever hit god-like status, but for me, week in and week out I had more fun watching this, than any other show this season.
神のみぞ知るセカイ - Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai
神のみ - Kaminomi
The World God Only Knows II
First let me say I had a great time watching this last episode. Like the first season’s finale, season two’s ending deals with Keima and his actual playing of games. There were several nice touches in addition to the storyline, such as brief cameos from all the previously conquered girls, but the bulk the finale features Keima, his chance discovery of his ‘ideal” game and its very special heroine.
I will say it felt as it the show could have been almost a two-part finale, as certain parts, namely Keima’s thinking about his ideal bishoujo game, felt way too long. While fun to watch, surely they could have edited the scene a bit, or reworked the sequence so it matched the pace of the episode.
It’s a minor spoiler, but there’s a great montage at the end showing the next season’s group of girls. Although this type of foreshadowing always feels a bit forced, if you’re a fan of show like me, it was a nice treat. I won’t make fun of the super deformed Yokkyun, but how funny was it when Elsie sketches her likeness perfectly, only to have Haqua tell her, “You suck at drawing.” That pretty much summarizes why I enjoyed all the gaming scenes as much as I did.
So, my thoughts on the season as a whole are as follows. Like I said, the show was consistently good. I would also add that the show, sort of surprisingly from its description, was pretty well-rounded, more so even in its sophomore season. There are romantic and supernatural elements of the show, but most importantly it seems to balance the comedic and dramatic parts pretty well.
However, don’t add dramatic + romantic and assume the show will = deep. Besides some overtones of escapist behavior from the show’s lead, Keima Katsuragi, the show’s plot never becomes too heavy. While making it easy to watch the non-deepness is another reason the show will probably never crack my favorites list.
So, here are some more things I thought season two did well. For one it was paced really well. The last episode felt a little crammed, but the entire season prior had a nice flow to it. The second season, while having a similar pace as the first, seemed way less formulaic, to which I would attribute the introduction of Haqua.
No only was her story arc possibly the best, it really, really helped break up the season. If they would have never introduced her and instead, substituted a different generic-lonely girl, the show would, in my opinion, have gotten stale. Along with Haqua were flashbacks of her and Elsie’s past in hell (underworld?), which were one of the highlights of the season for me. Besides all the hot romantic kissing of course.
The production of the show is also very consistent. The show always looks great, from the character designs to the switch between normal and super-deformed, I always enjoyed looking at it. While not as beautiful as some of the new shows seen this season, the animation always seems to fit the story. Even Yokkyun, lol. The other production elements also seemed fine to me.
I’m not a huge fan of opening/ending songs, but just the like the first season, the entire opening sequence is incredible (2D purists may disagree). One of my favorite openings of all time was from .hack//Sign where the characters sort of get digitalized into the game world and the opening this season had a similar feel.
So, I felt the pacing and production were very good. The characters themselves however, were just ok. We get much of the same from Keima and Elsie as in the first season, where to be honest, some growth could have really benefited the series. We also get much of the same from season two’s group of possessed girls, unless you count Haqua, who was more developed (story wise, not cup size). Based on completely shallow merits, I enjoyed the Jun Nagase arc more than the others, as she was an older woman (making it slightly dangerous) and ridiculously cute with her fist pumps.
I will say in closing, adding to my thought on Keima and Elsie, I really wish they would have done more with them. A reader once asked if I was reading the manga, to which I replied I wasn’t. So my indictment about the lack of character development may have to be directed towards the source material. Several times throughout the season it seemed like Keima would have to face reality only to have plot take him somewhere else.
Elsie is one of my favorites, but she really got the shaft this season. Any plot or development regarding Elsie was pretty much brought on by Haqua and her own story. While she continues to be incredibly adorable, it would have been nice If Elsie had gotten her own episode or maybe a new magical/demon power to show off. Here’s an Elsie figure if you need more Elsie and for the last time, Kami-sama fighto!
So, I enjoyed the season and after a short break, I’ll be ready for a season three. For a couple of its faults there’s nothing entirely similar to The World God Only Knows. I can easily recommend this to someone who enjoys some light romance with their comedy, to the occasional bishoujo fan (like myself), or to anyone who likes well-rounded, but not overly deep series.