First Impressions – Devil Survivor 2

Your weekly dose of dying people

We had initial mixed reviews about this, being a game adaptation and all. But since Persona 4, things have changed around a bit and when some of the staff members are same, it’s clear to have at least some hope for this. I was more attracted by the seiyuu cast but let’s look at how it fared overall in its premiere episode.
Yay! Devil Survivor 2! I’m kind of sad that they skipped over DS1 since I quite liked the story behind that one, but DS2 had more stuff to it I guess. Maybe they’ll go back and animate it like they did Persona 4 before P3. …But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s see what Miyu and Kyo have to say about all of this~
Ah, DeSu2, I love how they always seem to animate the sequels before the original, like how does that even sound like a good idea? Oh wells, more Shin Megami Tensei is always a good thing, and this time it’s with teenagers and twice the amount of blood and death! *creepy smile*

the end of the world

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*kyokai // Well, well, well. What do we have here? A bunch of teenagers thrown into a tight situation. Rather its more of a life and death situation. I’m not the only one having deja vu of the famous movie but at least it didn’t have awesome avatars to play around. This is a simple audience grabbing trick, a finer version you can observe in Shingeki no Kyojin, which successfully shocked the viewers with a catastrophe and drove them to sympathize with the race from whose point of view they would be following the story. A milder version was done here, throwing the almost innocent teenagers under a train and had them choose to fight for their life. Unlike Persona, the baddies are actually affecting the reality so they leave their mark rather than destruction on another dimension. This reality poses questions about the origin of Septentriones and if they have been summoned by the people who chose death rather than fighting for their lives? Nicaea definitely has a hand to play but with reinforcement it seems this is not the first time and such events have been tracked through history. We have to see if this series of unfortunate events continues in the same spurts of one disaster or a chain event.

nicaea

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Yeah, go ahead and register your I.D. on “a dead face delivery site”

*karakuri // So. Nicaea. I guess some people were confused about it? Well, from the game, it was just a site where you signed up and it showed you clips of I think either your own deaths or deaths of people you had listed in contacts (god, it’s been more than a year since I played this. Forgive my memory). Here it seems to be the exact same thing, so no major differences there. As for the Devil (Demon?) summoning, that’s just kind of like a byproduct I guess of using Nicaea. Also, it’s pretty much the only way to avoid the deaths that Nicaea shows you clips of. Obviously there’s a whole connection as to why it shows your death and gives you the ability to summon things, but that’s not really explained until later. In the game, you got to choose which Devils you had in you ‘party’, but obviously they can’t do that in the anime, so it looks like it’s just random for now (minus Hibiki, who’s obviously breaking the system since you can’t summon Byakko until waaay later). If you can’t read the Japanese, I’m fairly sure it’s just giving the Devil’s background in folklore. …I wouldn’t quote me on that though since I didn’t bother taking the time to translate/read it. That’s just what it was in the game. The app they talk about is, well, a phone app. It was like your menu screen in the game, but I’m pretty sure you can just ignore it now since I’m pretty sure that Hibiki won’t need to “save his game” ever. Or if he does, it will involve some serious 4th wall breaking. As for the bunny girl in the app, Tico… she’s just there for fanservice really. I hope they show Tycho, the butler version, too (especially considering that they hired a seiyuu for him). Though he’s fanservice as well I guess.

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Hardest. Choice. Ever.

So yeah, a super interesting concept and a super morbid one~. I loved what they did with the first few death scenes (though to be honest, the first one with the train was already partially animated, so they didn’t have to plan that one much, though they did re-animate it) and I can’t wait to see others. Fun fact about that “Do you want to live?” part. I clicked “no” on my first play through to see if the choice looped and it actually gave me a “game over” after asking a bunch of times if I was sure that I really wanted to die. So if you were curious as to what would (obviously) happen if Hibiki chose “no”, there you go. You can actually die before you even start playing, if you wish.

the fateful three

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*miyu // So, I should say that our main trio’s pretty much your cliche group of main characters at this point. Childhood friends Hibiki and Daichi, and their shy new female friend Nitta. Dun dun dun, who foresees a love triangle in the face of dying people and demons? So far I’m pretty pleased with Hibiki’s personality. I like how he started the episode with deep thoughts on the meaning of life — that shows that there’s more to him beneath his typical nice-guy protagonist appearance. I understand that many games make the main character a blank slate so you can impose your own personality onto him/her, but it usually turns out shit in anime if you follow through that. But here, throughout the episode, it was Hibiki who was calmly leading everyone forward in all the chaos (you know, the world ending and all), so yay for him! Personality +1. Also, he has the coolest demon out of all of them (pretty white tiger!), so he wins points for being cool too. :D *shot*

Daichi is practically Yousuke from Persona 4 (same tone of voice, similar personality) – the friendly, outgoing, mostly annoying and obnoxious best friend who goes slightly bonkers when it comes to saving his friends. He’s, well, predictable and there for comic relief, so there’s nothing much to say about him for now. And as for Nitta, she was okay this episode, although she was scared at least she was useful in helping them survive, and didn’t need the boys to save her while she cried and whimpered in a corner or anything. This era has brought about many admirable female characters that possess both strength and courage (PP’s Akane, Shinsekai Yori’s Saki), so I hope Nitta doesn’t bring it backwards in that aspect. Pretty please?

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What’s interesting will be seeing how things go from here as they learn how to harness their new powers, and how their mental health copes with the sudden explosion of information with monsters and demons flying around. Did I mention the world ending? Yes, I’m actually looking forward to seeing one of them break down (and hopefully pick themselves back up), because that’d make for awesome drama. Hibiki did kind of ask for this though, and I’m thinking he actually does think of this as something to make his life more interesting and meaningful, since he’s started to find just living for the sake of living pointless. You get what you wish man, and I hope you’re prepared for a wild ride!

Not a bad first episode. And Kamiyan playing the main dude is a refreshing change for me; though, I like both his positive and negative roles. At least he did not turn into a deadpan MC without expression rather showed emotions, like going an extra length to save his friend. Have to say, we have a good sidekick here who kicked ass by driving a goddamn truck at a revolving blobby cone rather than whimpering in darkness. Either he’s stupid or mighty fine a sidekick (voice by Nobuhiko Okamoto to boot! I suddenly remember those Ao no Exorcist days when he recorded some special seiyuu interviews with Kamiyan for their Rin and Mephisto roles). Anyhow, I connected with the duo, not so much with the girl but she’s no blondie because she saved our wingman’s ass so she gets bonus points for that. From the killer ED (so awesome), I can see a melee of characters being introduced. I hope all of them have enough time to develop or leave a mark because this is a one-cour series. Though, I’ll still be fine if the pacing is right with enough info and progress. Definitely sticking in my watch-list.

Well, I was wondering how this was going to go, and it actually went great!! I liked the way they changed a few things around to make the game mechanics make more sense, the animation is good, the seiyuu are all good. …I don’t think I’m so fond of the OP for this show (don’t get me wrong, I like kz.livetune, but it just doesn’t seem… fitting here), but that ED song and animation are great. The exposition probably needed a bit more work though. Not for the characters, but the whole Devil summoning system seems like it came out of nowhere and if I hadn’t played the game (or any SMT game), I wouldn’t have known that the wolf things in the tunnel with the characters were Devils. I guess they didn’t really explain why other people died when they could summon Devils too. …That wasn’t in the game (or more like, the characters themselves needed to defeat the devils all by themselves before they could start summoning them), so I have no idea why other people with the Nicaea app died. ….Maybe they chose “no” to the “Do you want to live?” question.

I also like the way they gave Hibiki an actual personality. Absolutely every line was decided in the game by the player, so the MC was a silent type person. But obviously having a silent guy as a leader doesn’t always work. I guess it did for Persona 4, but it’s nice to see that the director isn’t sticking to a one character type format. Plus it makes sense that you’d want a charismatic guy as a leader when everything is in constant chaos. So I like Hibiki’s character a lot so far, even though he seems a bit like generic MC material, and even better, he’s voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya. …Which may or may not be a huge factor in me liking his character.Anyways, some good stuff so far. I hope they get better at explaining things since not everyone watching this has played the game, but I guess I’ll be okay if they don’t. …Good luck to the rest of you though.
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Now that we’re at the end thoughts, I can finally say what I’ve been dying to say. God I LOVE Hibiki’s mop of messy hair it’s so cute!! It makes me want to ruffle it and cuddle him dawwwwwwwww. #secretfetish *coughs* Right. First impressions. Again, there were a lot of things going on in this episode, and many that went unexplained (I’m still not clear on the demon-summoning and where all those random wolf things were coming from), but I guess that’s alright as long as they get better at that next episode. In particular I liked the diverse range of demons (and how Nitta got the most manry and the most barbaric demon lol) and the action in that aspect although that was pretty much all the fighting that happened this episode. I’m assuming here that they don’t get to choose their demons, but rather their demons choose them? Idk, because Hibiki’s Byakko seems severely overpowered as compared to the other two’s, but then again he is the ~glorious~ main character, and we all know that main characters have all the luck!

On general production stuff, I really liked the OP actually! The animation for the OP was lovely, and the song itself is really catchy, although perhaps a bit too upbeat for a deadly anime like this. Animation-wise, everything looks smooth and the characters are visually-appealing (HIBIKI’S HAIR = LOVE) other than their.. weirdly narrow irises, but that can be overlooked. Seiyuu cast is fantastic, so everything seems to be going well for DeSu2 at this point in time. I’m certainly looking forward to the next episode.

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35 Responses to “First Impressions – Devil Survivor 2”

  1. skylion says:

    I was pretty much with this, until DATH/Accelerator came in at the end. LOL. I kid.

    Nothing in the first episode appealed to me, other than that dudes willingness to drive a truck into a killer mushroom thing. I’ll hang around to see what he does next….

    • Highway says:

      All I could think with that guy standing up on the tower was “So you *enjoy* microwave cooking your nads (and the rest of you), dude?” Don’t climb microwave repeater towers, kids!

  2. Jrow says:

    Makes me wanna buy the game on Amazon, even after just ep. 1. (I still have a DS Lite)

    Cool first ep. and +1 on the great ending theme/character display. I agree with Kara’s point about Hibiki having an actual personality. Have a nice wheeee!

    • Karakuri says:

      Wait for the 3DS remake! I hear there’s a new epilogue that’s going to be in it.

      • akagami says:

        That would require Jrow to get a 3DS. I still have a NDS Lite and still playing through my backlog of games (that and 3D is gimmicky to me). While DS 1 and DS 2 have no relation to each other besides the premise of demons and summoning, I would highly recommend both if you enjoy RPGS. They’re both a blast to play!

        • Karakuri says:

          I can’t speak for Jrow in entirety, but I’m pretty sure that he did own one…

          But yeah, Desu1 was fun, as was Desu2.

          • Jrow says:

            I used to have a 3DS, but traded it in a few months after release. I did see that the 3DS version would release this summer.

            • D-LaN says:

              Why would you do that….. SMT IV is coming out… Not to mention the 3DS port of DeSu2 and Soul Hackers.

    • Muir says:

      I’m going to be an ungrateful fan and play it on emulator…as usual.

      “Freeloaders will freeload anywhere. … People who won’t pay won’t pay.” -Sakai “nbkz” Nobukazu

      ._. I’m sorry.

  3. Metalsnakezero says:

    Hibiki did pointed out that the Nicaea is kinda aiding them more than other people, specially when they are the only people alive in the subway. This shows that 1. Hibiki is pretty sharp and 2. Someone really are testing them. It been a while since I played DS2 so my memory of the plot is a bit hazy. Still the anime adoption is helping me remember what I liked about the plot, the characters, and the interesting aspects of the series. It also helps that the adoption is pretty good too.
    Also the voice of Nitta is Uchida Aya? That girl want from School idol and docking computer nerd to big boob devil summoner.

    • Muir says:

      I saw some screenshots from the game awhile ago, my friend made a pun of “Oppai Survivor” XD

      • D-LaN says:

        Now you guys know why they call the artstyle of Suzuhito Yasuda as anti gravity tits.

  4. Highway says:

    Sawashiro Miyuki is too good at being herself. Most seiyuu I have to learn who they are separately, especially female ones, but she sounds the same in every role. Soooo, Hakaze showed up in Tokyo now, and she’s with a different shady agency…

    The show wasn’t what I expected at all, but that’s good, because I wouldn’t have liked what I was expecting. I like the idea so far, and hopefully it stays good. I definitely wasn’t as enamored with the ED as everyone else seems to have been, tho.

  5. fragb85 says:

    I can’t believe they gave Joe the shaft. He’s supposed to be the fourth guy who hangs around the trio and serves as the lighthearted joker and adult foil. By now he should be with the trio and help them against Dubhe but here he doesn’t even get any screentime.

    As for Hibiki’s he’s alright I guess. Still nowhere as awesome as autistic MC.

    • akagami says:

      Tbh I really disliked Joe in the game. And Daichi. Besides the MC (since he’s silent you can assign whatever name and personality you want) the only other male characters I liked were Daichi and the JP guys.

      But loved all the girls Otome > Fumi > Makoto > Airi > Io

      Otomoe-love! Because all (mad) scientists need a white lab coat ^^

    • fragb85 says:

      I think you have the characters mixed up….

      Otome is not a scientist, she’s a medical doctor (and a MILF). The real mad scientist would be Fumi.

      And no love for Hinako? She’s funny, hot, and her high AGI makes her a game-breaker when you give her Multi-Strike.

      • akagami says:

        Oh right, I knew I forgot someone. Probably toss her in there after Fumi.

        Otomoe = medical doctor = doctoral degree = scientist = mad scientist = Okabe. The white lab coat does not lie!

        Playing DS2 (again) at the moment, actually working on getting Jungo’s agi up, his strength is intense, right now he has drain hit + the strength passive spell, combined with berserk/deathbound he’s pretty unstoppable. Combined with matchless demon ability (attack twice) and the +4 increase to attack range on top of the 2 range attack, kills anything not resistant against physical from a safe distance.

        Have the same setup with my MC, who’s heavy magic. The dance spells (low fire/ice/elec/force) do minimum 900+ to 1500+ if they’re weak to the element. I’ve been one-shotting bosses.

      • fragb85 says:

        …that’s not what mad science is. The white coat doesn’t make you a mad scientist. In fact, Otome doesn’t have any qualities of a mad scientist since she’s mostly friendly and motherly.

        Fumi on the other hand straps other people into machines for hilarious experiments. Why? FOR SCIENCE of course! That’s textbook mad scientist right there. Don’t you dare belittle Fumi, she’s THE mad scientist of DeSu2.

        • akagami says:

          You haven’t watched Steins;Gate, have you? Was just playing on the white lab coat, nothing more, nothing less.

    • D-LaN says:

      He’s still on the characters list in the anime website last I check so maybe his introduction is pushed back? I dunno.

      Haha I love how random is the MC in the game lol. I hope tht the anime included some of those line.

  6. Liza says:

    So excited for this! :D I haven’t played the game yet(waiting for the updated re-release before buying it) but I loved all of the references to the actual game in terms of fonts and the main menu.

    And Hibiki has a personality. Yes. I loved it. I thought they would do what they did for Yu in P4 but nope. He has a legit personality! :D Makes me so happy. And apparently he has amazing summoning powers straight out of the gate!

    • akagami says:

      I was going along and kept thinking who’s Hibiki ?!? o.O
      Then I realized it was because I renamed my MC to Kai.

      • Liza says:

        That will probably be my issue if they ever animate DS1. I named my MC Minato(cause he looks like Minato of P3…) and if they change it I’ll probably be very confused. Lol.

  7. berrish17 says:

    Kamiya Hiroshi <3 and Okamoto!!!

    Personally love the characters~
    Daichi's little laughing demon's cute.lol

    I'll take a look at the game too~ =D

  8. JPNIgor says:

    I’m just glad that Hibiki is Hibiki. Comparing to Persona 4, that is an animation from the SMT game series, he is way more talkative than Yu and thus, more fun to watch. Generally, it went great, more or less like what I was expecting. The only thing I’m not happy about is that I was expecting some progression with the Demons, much like Persona 4, but damn, he is already so badass with BYAKKO… e.e’

    Anyways, I’m glad that there is an anime from Devil Survivor 2, because I started to play since it had a nice storyline, but it is damn hard and a confuse combat system… So I dropped it.

    • Muir says:

      I liked how it was similar to Yu from P4 getting IZANAGIIIIIIIIIIIIII ^v^ huhu all these Shinto References… although actually Byakko might be one of the Four Deities for direction or something..yeah I think it is

      • JPNIgor says:

        But on P4, Izanagi really is the MC’s first persona. Even though they just made Izanagi overpowered, I would like it better this way than giving Hibiki a high-level demon (on the game) like Byakko.

  9. JapanInspired says:

    Wow, the first episode was good. It wasn’t perfect, but really really great. The character design is so nice. And the voice actors are lovely. I just love Okamoto and Kamiya, they always give their all, and you can’t mistake their voices.
    didn’t really get the part why the other people with the App died and why the demons appeared. But my guess is that when you die, your demon goes berserk or something.
    The Game really got me interested, too bad I don’t have a DS, oh well.
    Actually that phone App with “your friend dying” really reminds me Gasai Yuno’s Mirai Nikki.

    • Muir says:

      Cell Phones + Death & Survival. Ohoho, not a bad comparison, in terms of basic plot elements that is.

  10. Namika says:

    I really liked this episode *~* There are a couple of things I’m not very happy about, like how easily our main characters accepted the whole revival/demon summoning thing without asking a very simple question -“WTF is happening?”. Seriously, come on! And that website. I can’t imagine how someone could see the appeal in that concept. It’s creepy and unpleasant no matter how you think about it.
    But in the end, I still liked this episode a lot. Hearing Okamoto Nobuhiko made me really happy =w= I like that annoying tone he uses on characters like that. And Hiroshi Kamiya too. And Nakagawa Koutarou……….. this is like heaven to my ears <3 Cant wait to hear some more :3
    And lastly – Daichi's devil was so cute~ *O*

  11. PrimeHector says:

    My favorite character is Otome too. Least favorite was keita. I never played the first devil survivor because my friend told me about the escort missions.

  12. BlackBriar says:

    First episode in and it’s not bad. Rather than Persona 4, I mostly got Digimon vibes the way the characters brought out their creatures to fight and the seeing yourself or a friend dying moments before it actually happens brought on thoughts of Final Destination except that here, you have a choice to stay alive or stay dead. As if anyone would choose the latter.

    What really got to me was that Hibiki willingly signed himself up on something as suspicious as Nicaea. It’s just proving that modern day teenagers either have no sense of danger or that it’s just numbed. Having Hiroshi Kamiya as his seiyuu is an interesting choice. Before it aired, I was mostly thinking it would be someone like Nobuhiko Okamoto.

  13. skylion says:

    One other thing that I find great about this series; in the character of Makoto, I get one more season of of Miyuki Sawashiro and that delicious voice….

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