Welcome to Osaka! Our trio of fledgling Summoners make their way to the seaside city of Osaka. Does the change of scenery do anything for the series?
I’m glad the show didn’t shy away from death. Sure, the loss of a supporting character isn’t serious but it gives some grave context to the situation they are in. The show tells us that the demons mean business. They are here to eviscerate humankind without a second thought.The passing also serves an auxiliary reason. It teaches Hibiki that he can’t save everyone. Regardless of what naive notions he might have, he is fighting in a war, and conflict always has losses. They are sacrifices to the cause and they cannot be avoided, no matter how hard he tries. He will have some difficulty accepting this considering his selfless atitude, but I am sure the invasion has more nasty things in store for him.
Visually, I am really enjoying the design for the demons and characters. For the demons, each feels very unique, even if they have the same body structure or motif. It’s a testament to the variety of inspirations pooled for the artistic vision of the series. As for the characters, they have a smilar distinctness in their appearances. Their personalities really shine through their attire or facial expressions.
The animation on the action has taken a sure dip in quality when moving away from these positives. The use of cutaways is much more extensive and the direct shots don’t seem as fluid. It doesn’t help that many of the backgrounds are getting stale as well. I feel like its a missed opportunity. The shift to Osaka should have let the creators switch up the imagery and not rely on urban scenery. There has been a supernatural invasion of Japan which should give them some leeway with the art. It’s sad we only get to gaze upon broken buildings and shattered homes.
Sometimes the show has a problem with flooding the viewer with too many terms and concepts. Unless you’ve played the videogame, it might be a bit overwhelming to take it all in. While the target audience for the series might be fans of the game, the anime should be able to stand on it’s own two feet. Episode 3 felt especially heinous because of how much happened on screen. At points it felt like the show was just trying to steam roll through the plot. This was one of my fears considering that most roleplaying games have vast stories and that the core narrative experience wouldn’t properly fit a smaller media format. The producers get forced to rush in situations like this. The one consolation prize is that when the dust finally settles, there is a general idea on what happened in the past twenty three minutes.
I’m hoping the show can slow down just a tad bit as it continues onward. The material at hand is genuinely interesting and it’s a shame that it is blowing by so quickly. Hopefully next week we get some much needed backstory, not just on the situation at hand but the characters in this demonic drama. It would help create a strong foundation for such a dense show going forward.