Previously, I had Devil Survivor 2 pegged as a grey vs. grey morality show, the type that seems to show up a lot these days. This episode pretty much turned that assumption on its head; it’s much less of a moral conundrum and much more of a clear case of the large organization being a different kind of evil from the demons, while the rebel faction is, in the absolute worst case, lacking knowledge about the situation. This story choice leads to a show that holds more of a “protect the civilians” ethic, something I’m perfectly happy with. Too, It’s more fun to watch a protagonist proactively picking a side.
It might feel weird that we’re already looking at the possibility of Hibiki’s death in a show that looked like it was going to milk his despair a bit more, but it’s a good pacing decision for a series with only 12 episodes. What’s more jarring is that Hibiki in this episode spoke like he’s aged a year, when the episode title itself says it’s Tuesday, less than 24 hours since the events of last week’s episode. I guess that was meant to show how thorough the events impacted him, and it kind of worked, but they didn’t exactly nail the landing. If his personality changes again the next time he gets a directional beast (he still needs Genbu and Seiryu to complete the set), I hope it’s more believable.
For example, a bunny hood doesn’t scream “grizzled vet”
Ronaldo’s insurgent faction is by all appearances doing good, and is at worst somewhat misinformed (if the comments from JP’s members about them not knowing the full situation are true). They’re distributing food to civilians, focusing on strategies involving teamwork, and minimizing casualties. Even if Ronaldo’s lying about Yamato trying to kill him (possible), the fact that his faction is focused on using its resources to help civilians handily nabs him the more high ground In contrast, Yamato seems almost too much like cookie-cutter final boss at this point to actually be one; he had no familial attachment as a kid, he’s a bratty chess buddy with one of the more ominous characters, and his summon killed some lab techs before he got it under control (an act at which he barely batted an eyelid). My hope is that Yamato receiving Hibiki’s death face clip will develop him into less of an obvious final boss, but if he’s going to be one, he doesn’t lack credentials.
Something I’m sure they would corroborate
The upcoming boss fight has been built up in all the right ways, and it brings at least 4 groups of characters with differing individual objectives to the fray, so that should result in a workable battle episode barring any exceptional mistakes. My biggest worry is the pacing the story will have to go at to finish smoothly. They’ve mentioned that there are 5 more bosses to go, 4 counting the one coming up in Nagoya. That leaves 6 episodes to finish both the bosses and the multiple factional plots, and I don’t see that happening without either a) a montage that cheapens a few of the middle bosses, b) rushing to unsatisfactorily wrap up one or more storylines, or c) a multi-tiered climax integrating the various elements into one long, yet fluid, scene. I’m obviously hoping for (c), but my instincts are telling me it’ll be (a) at this point.