Is it wrong to make a show that pretends to be a fantasy, dungeon crawling series, but instead put out pseudo-porn aimed at kids? Yes, the answer is yes a million times.
Story - 2/10
So obviously the show needs to take a turn from the original series, because how much monster battling can you really do in a TV show where it isn’t the same thing over and over? They started this season off by leading you to believe the major story is going to be that of a guild war between Hestia’s family and that of lord Apollo. The problem is that this huge battle, fought for the fate of Bell, takes up all of a third of an episode. It’s one of the most anticlimactic, and short lived, plots I can remember in anime. Heck the story to rescue the better off dead Lilli, from her family of literal drug addicts, took up more time and had more thought put in to it.
Despite it’s brief story, that first plot sure beats the heck out of the second one, which revolves around a guild that partakes in sex trafficking, as well as scenes of Bell being repeatedly sexually assaulted. They built a decent amount of reasoning around this story, and it was a pretty long side quest just to acquire a new party member, though based on some of the other material put out by this show, the main reason for this story was more so the writers and animators can perv out.
Finally when the soft core hentai segment of the show is over there is a new story, which should produce some more epic battles, great plot lines and well written drama, as the god Ares is attempting to attack Orario. Wait, sorry, like the first plot this one again resolved itself in about ten minutes, and was as interesting as watching the DVD credits. Sure you could say that these last two episodes were all so they can put a story about how Bell needs to care for his goddess, but they could have made that point in a thousand more interesting ways, or they could have actually made these battles in to something worth watching.
Despite the bad lack of writing, and the untapped storylines, there was one thing in the show that really made things awful. At the end of last season Bell acquired a special power that helped him when things were going bad, well this year that power is just something he can apparently summon up whenever we need a quick reason for him to be stronger than everyone. It’s pretty sad that they had a story where the lead character wasn’t the biggest and best, just someone trying to do better, and turned it into your typical tween boy series where the hero screams and acquires powers that instantly win him the battle, causing the show to lose all drama and value.
Animation - 3/10
Some how the animation for this season just got really bad for the first few episodes. The characters were animated so much cruder and their lines were jagged and uneven. The first season was on par with so much anime of the time, but this year it was terrible. Eventually these problems worked their way out, but they never stopped doing that thing where they give a character a creepily contorted face to signify they’re a bad guy or weirdo.
The show also had the choice of taking two paths it seems. Either they would follow season one, where they introduced us to cool characters and amazing scenery, or that of the side story where everything was about how much jiggling flesh they could put on the screen while still trying to pretend this was a show for teens. Well they took the cheap route, and just literally made three quarters of the show about mostly naked prostitutes.
Sound - 4/10
The opening theme for this season fit really well with the series, and musically was very well done. The same can’t be said for the closing, which was an odd mix of Jazz music and really awful singing that sounded as if it was coming from a five year old. The in show music was pretty much the same as season one, which is to say it was well done, just nothing outstanding.
All the voice over artist from season one appear to be back, though the roster is weighed down by some new characters that are close to as annoying as Lilli, or boring as Ais.
Characters - 2/10
The are many new characters added to this season, some were positive additions, most were pointless, and pretty much each and every one was poorly written with little back story.
Our two main characters, Bell and Hestia, obviously return, but with not much added to them. Bell is still the young adventurer who gets one idea in his head and then proceeds to put his friends in danger so that he accomplish it. Likewise Hestia plays the same ditz who just gets angry when girls talk to Bell.
I enjoyed how some of the show did focus on Mikoto, her old familia, and her childhood, as it bought something different to the series. Obviously this was all important, because it was the entire basis for trying to find Haruhime in the first place, but as with the first few iterations of this series, the side characters were often the most interesting.
Haruhime herself is a pretty cliche character. A girl who is sold into a hard life and who now wishes for a prince….I mean hero, to save her. In the end most of her story doesn’t really mean much, because for all the talk about how you shouldn’t really judge someone for their situation, they make sure to make things all nice and clean so that sweet Bell doesn’t have to live with a prostitute.
Pretty much all the “bad guys” are either badly written or just more cliches. Apollo and his group are just made out to be bullies and nothing more. Ishtar’s mainly female family spends their whole time searching for Bell so they can basically rape a teenager. The group is filled with what you’d expect, the busty more mature females, the young perky girls and the “mama” type figure who’s a monstrous ogre. Lastly there was Ares, who’s just apparently an imbecile.
Characters like Ais, Welf and Lilli are there, but don’t play too much into the story. They add Ais at the end almost as an after thought, so her and Bell can have a nice moment. Welf is….just there, and Lilli once again stabs Bell in the back, and then is forgiven.
The only somewhat interesting character was Hermes, as you never know what he’s up to, and if his deeds are to cause trouble or to finally bring out Bell’s true powers.
Overall - 2/10
This series has continuously been a gigantic disappointment. The whole premise, and the few bright points, make you believe this could be a series that deserves to be at the top of everyone’s anime list. But then in practice the show just becomes like every other trash series, where they remove all plot and depth, in exchange for boobs, bad jokes and a hero who always powers up to win.
There’s no reason, other than being a greedy money grab, for this to be an entire season of a show. It was at best a four episode O.V.A. or movie to introduce a character or two, and set you up for Bell’s next journey. If they wanted to make this a season they could have expanded the first and third sections of the show, and actually made things interesting for everyone, instead of just focusing on making a show for those who can’t crack the age verification pop up on adult sites.
Positive Reasons for Score:
* Putting some focus on others than Bell.
* There are three good stories, but they all tend to go absolutely no where fast.
* They set you up for what hopefully will be a third season that returns to the story, and plot lines, from the first.
Negative Reasons for Score:
* For the most part this was barely a show about Fantasy or RPG elements, and just a plain softcore porn.
* Once again characters make the dumbest decisions possible, and many plot holes abound.
* There isn’t one strong character in the group worthy of being the lead in a show.
Ways to make the show better:
* They could have had the same plot lines, but with better and less cheap reasoning behind them.
* Focus on story instead of panty shots.
* Give us even a few decent battles, or reminders that the story is about adventurers, instead of just having Bell use his cheat code again and again.
* Answer at least one of the many questions we were left with from season one.