First Reactions: Devil Survivor 2 Episode 8

I don’t want to make too much sport of a show that’s already been dragged through the mud a number of times, but I’ve been calling it Dull Survivor 2 to myself throughout the episode. Make of it what you will, or read on for a more detailed analysis.

Daichi’s uselessness in battle is easy to poke fun at, but that’s really just a symptom of a larger problem with the show; the cast is incredibly bland. It’s one thing to have a combat-useless character who actually makes jokes or glues the party together in some way (chef Komatsu in Toriko, for example). It’s another to have a ton of characters who add nothing in terms of either battle capability or social dynamics.

DS2-8-1a

Still, he’d be making a run for “most useless” if this show were interesting enough to have that discussion

Most of the named cast has a backstory, but lack personality. I’d rather have it the other way around every time; knowing intellectually what drives characters doesn’t mean jack if they’re not interesting to watch. To make matters worse, most of these flat characters are nonessential. That means that when they die, their deaths barely reach redshirt-level significance. In fact, everyone who’s not Hibiki, Ronaldo, Yamato, and Alcor has been 100% dead weight for a while now. Not that any of those four characters are particularly compelling themselves, but their interplay is at least essential to the main plot. Said main plot isn’t any kind of thrill ride, but DS2 is making a mediocre story worse by diluting it with components that can only be called fluff.

The fight this episode was based around was multiple levels of boring. For starters, the enemies were literally just rolling balls with regenerative capabilities and one poorly-animated cgi attack. I mentioned this two episodes ago because the last fight literally had the exact same problem. “Hit it until it dies!” is not, in fact, a compelling battle scenario. That’s essentially all this fight was. The multiple-locations gimmick didn’t end up giving birth to anything unique, just made a simple fight take longer. File this under “how not to do a battle series”.

DS2-8-2a

It doesn’t speak well of your villains when the Skrugg were more complex than they are

I’ll watch Devil Survivor 2 to the end. It’s not painfully bad, just really boring. I don’t expect to  end up liking it, but the twist with Alcor’s identity was just interesting enough to make me curious as to how the plot plays out.

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