Devil Survivor 2: The Animation: Episode 1

As this is a blog, I would think that one of the obvious things I needed to do at some point was to start blogging anime, or aniblogging if you’re savvy. Luckily for me a brand new season of shows has just started, so there would no time better than the present to just jump right into it.

We’ll be starting my aniblogging career with Devil Survivor 2: The Animation an anime that has been adapted from the Shin Megami Tensei 3DS also called Devil Survivor 2. The series takes place in Japan, or more specifically for the first episode  Tokyo. Heads up though, as I have played the games before they is a chance that some things I say may be either spoilers or even just cut from the anime in general. Therefore I’d like to throw out a quick spoiler warning.

His hood has bunny ears!
Our protagonist! Hibiki. CV: Kamiya, Hiroshi


Like most first episode we are quickly introduced to our main players. Hibiki Kuze are newly cannon named protagonist, his friend Daichi Shijima and the chick of the group Io Nitta (Of course the rest of the main cast (trope!) was also introduced though the opening) . It was interesting to see that the first act (where we see the daily life of our main character in order to understand what the conflict is doing to them and why they want to solve it) ends rather quickly. We are given about maybe five or seven minutes it feels of happy day life, that was riddled with Chekhov’s Guns (trope!) and other hints of foreshadowing, before our heroes are quickly wrapped into adventure (trope!).

With the creepyness that is Nicaea, a phone app that sends you pictures of your friends before you die, it’s no wonder that when the all comes crashing down a lot of people end up dying. Hibiki and Daichi are forewarned of their death, but are still unable to stop it. However by the intervention of Nicaea they mange to survive a train derailing and crushing them alive.

Yes his name is Ogre. Isn't he great?
That’s Ogre a level eight demon coming from the Jaki family.

Of course that’s not the only thing that they needed to be protect from. As the rubble clears and Hibiki let’s out a sigh of relief, demons begin to appear.It’s revealed, in the game at least, that these demons came from the cold dead grips of the well the other people that died from the train crash. Or more specifically anyone who had the Nicaea app installed which upon the users upcoming death prompts them with the rather morbid question of “Do you want to live?”. Now this isn’t a yes or no question. Demons can only be summoned by those who have a strong will. The question once answered is merely a measure of one’s will, and if the app finds that the user has a strong enough willpower, it will forcibly install another app. This one called the “Devil Summoning App”. It’s function? Summoning demons, duh.

After a rather short fight scene are trio (trope!) quickly flees the subway and heads upwards towards, a giant lock down. Much like in the first Devil Survivor the entirety of Tokyo  has been locked down in order to contain the demon menace. You may ask, “How did they lock down all of Tokyo so quickly?” or “Are they really going to be stuck in Tokyo the entire show?”. Which I’ll respond to like, “Just wait and watch. Sheesh”.

Although that’s not where we end just yet, as it seems that the director wanted to shove as much as he could into the first episode, so what did we get? The first boss battle. Dubhe.

Yes. A floating strawberry ice cream cone. Fear it.
Yes. Dubhe. Fear it.

Dubhe is named after one of the seven stars that make up the big dipper constellation. Yes, that is important. Yes, there are six more of them. Yes, they do have a ridiculous team name (Septentriones). Of course that’s not as important as during his first appearance Dubhe kills about fifty or so people that were rather idiotically staring at it with gaping mouths, until Dubhe self-destructed and then began to shoot out missiles. Dubhe during his boss battle is level twenty, something that are rather low-leveled heroes stand about no chance to face. Or do they?

First we are created once more by Ogre who quickly dies after protecting our hero from a few rounds of gunfire. Then well, that’s when Daichi comes in. Literally barreling into Dubhe while driving a stolen truck. Of course Dubhe is a demon and also about nineteen levels above Daichi, so the truck attack proves to be rather ineffective. At the exact moment before this however Hibiki receives another message from Nicaea which is a short video that shows Daichi dead and covered in blood whilst sitting in the truck he steals. I feel like I have to emphasis this, Daichi up and steals a van, and no one in the game or anime seems to care very much. Whatever. Legality aside Hibiki does the typical hero thing and promptly summons up his own demon.

Wait. Fifty-three. That's a bit overpower. I call cheats.
That’s Byakko (Baihu in the games) a level fifty-three demon from the Avatar family.

Which turns out to be a completely over powered monster that draws the attention of  what else then the sketchy organization that was monitoring the city for demon activity. Oh, yeah and he also summons a level FIFTY-THREE demon. I’m calling it right now that Hibiki’s on a new game plus right now, that’s the only logical explanation to how he could summon that monstrosity. Dubhe is made quick work of by Byakko, which by the way is based on a Chinese constellation (Do you see a theme?), and then promptly disappears. Daichi is revealed to be alive saved by one of Io’s demons. Of course they didn’t have much time to celebrate their slaughter of the weakest boss as they are quickly apprehended by the Japan Meteorological Society (JP’s) and then the ending kicks in and we’re left to wait for next week.

For a first episode Devil Survivor 2: The Animation showed off quite a bit of action. Albeit it manged to condense the first boss battle and the lead up to it, in a somewhat satisfying method, Devil Survivor seems to be off to a good start. I noticed some bumps and hitches when it came to the background character’s animation but the overall feel and flow of animation makes up for it. The battle scenes are both remarkable epic and awesome, but also when ever I see a phone or tablet screen I have a little moment of glee as they look exactly like the menu screens that I stared at for quite a few hours when I was playing the game. There was the brief moment of “Urgh” when I saw that Dubhe was CG but I felt that Dubhe didn’t stand out as much as CG normally does, so that’s perfectly fine as well. Really, I just can’t wait for next week’s episode as this is looking to be one of the better anime’s this season.


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