Devil Survivor 2: The Animation Anime Review: Good Game, Mediocre Adaptation

devil survivor 2 the animation posterJust like Persona 4: The Animation, Devil Survivor 2: The Animation is an adaptation of one of the Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei games. This is based on Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 – a video RPG/ survival game, which tells us of how a group of three students defeat the creators of the world in 7 days, winning a challenge and saving the world.

Watch out for the spoilers!

Devil Survivor 2: The Animation is an almost exact replica of the original game. The character designs and the events – everything is playable in the (3)DS version. Neither the gamers’ issues with the graphics have been fixed, nor something major has been changed. The only thing I can think of at the top of my head is that several of the names are used differently or characters have been renamed completely.

satan lucifer devil survivor 2
Lucifer (top) and Satan (bottom) are the result of demon merging.

The game centres on the battle that Daichi, Io and Hibiki have to fight during the 7-day trials. Humanity is being tested and only the best one will have the chance to ask for a new world; that is if there is a world after the seven days at all. The one testing is called Polaris and it is something, which you cannot see nor touch, something like a god, but at the same time much stronger than any god you can think of. It sends seven Septentriones within a week. Their aim is to destroy the world while humanity is fending them off, fighting for its own existence. How do people do it? Using a special system; a software is installed on their mobile phones which allows each character to call forth a daemon, a spirit or even a god to fight. The game also allows merging of different callable existences into a new entity, much stronger than the two alone. This last detail becomes known and is used in the show just once, at the very end of the series.

The program, which allows the creatures to be called, is Nicaea – a.k.a. The Dead Face Delivery Website. It is the main antagonist in the show, if I may refer to it like this. It is the one thing that tells people who will die and how they will die. It is also the one thing that stops the JPs from calling forth their strongest aces in the final battle, because Nicaea sort of malfunctioned and not only allowed tens of bests to be forcefully returned to the cell phones, but also started their healing times.

Io NItta
Nitta-chan in her usual form.

Let me tell you this, Devil Survivor 2: The Animation is not the worst show from the season. It is, however, a very bad one. Half of the time, we’re skipping…no, we are running like crazy through the story and nothing including the characters get close to the viewer. That is quite a flaw, especially if one of the main ides of the anime is to kill off ‘important’ secondary characters.

hibiki kuze devi survivor 2
Hibiki, using the dragon power to save Io Nitta while she’s being consumed by Lugh.
Io Nitta Lugh
Io Nitta while being by Lugh’s avatar.

Death… this is one of the biggest lacks in this show. Technically speaking, this anime was not meant to be shounen. This however, is probably one of the best genres for it. We have Hibiki Kuze, who is always right, always at the right place and in the right time. He is lucky, has extremely strong cards in the mobile software and on top of everything is chosen by one of the real-life dragons, making his own physical body very strong. Everybody else dies… several times. After half an episode, however, they reappear. No one actually is lost forever.

The two other main characters are Io Nitta and Daichi Shijima – they are so tertiary and useless, I don’t even want to explain.

Alcor (Ureumono – the Anguished One) is probably one of the characters that should be remembered with good. He is one of the Septentriones but is slowly developing a sense of emotion and feelings, although nothing romantic. He looks like a fragile young man, but in his true form is nothing short of godly. Looking for that special one (the Shining One), he meets with the two people who can control a dragon’s power – Yamato Houtsiun and Hibiki Kuze, twelve years apart. He gets so attached to the two that even Nicaea accepts them as friends at a certain point.

alcor yamato houtsuin devil survivor 2
Ureumono (left) and Yamato (right) are both friends and enemies at the end.

Yamato Houtsiun is also a so-called ‘secondary’ character, while I would gladly put him in the list of main characters. He and Alcor are the only ones except for the eternal winner Hibiki, that did a lot and are strong. Yamato is the heir of the Houtsuin clan. He is born with a destiny – to be great, to rule the world. He is the only one that can be Alcor’s ‘Shining one’… Or at least so it was in the past. Currently, Yamato is a power-hungry, arrogant and mischievous being… or that is what the show tries to make us believe. What do I think? This guy deserves a bow, a reverence and respect. He had given up on being someone, of obtaining love, friends and anything else, but servants and an army. Just because he has the absolutely adequate ambition to rebuild the world in a better way. What the anime tries to tell us is that the world is fine and that Hibiki is great for returning everything back to normal. But is it so? How do you change the status quo when you don’t have the means or time? The main character, lucky as he is, is just unwilling to make a change and risk on a big scale.

Indecisiveness is not Hibiki’s main problem, though. I find it hard to believe so since he’s always ready to jump into a fight, no matter the opponent and risk his life, the life of the only person who could stop the Septentriones invasion… smart.

So many spoilers, so few positives. As a final note, I would like to add something nice. The last 4 episodes of the show were really enjoyable. Sadly, they came after a messy, dull and chaotic ensemble of 9 others.

Devil Survivor 2: The Animation on The List

Official Website

Images: © Index Corp 2008 2011, Atlus

8 thoughts on “Devil Survivor 2: The Animation Anime Review: Good Game, Mediocre Adaptation

  1. I thoroughly enjoy your reviews – detailed and argumented. Even though you did not enjoy the anime, there are enough details, so someone might actually decide to see it.

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