2nd Day – “Monday of Upheaval I”
As an SMT fan that has beaten the Devil Survivor 2 game multiple times, the anime series was something I’ve been anticipating for a while now. While I thought the first episode was a bit rushed in terms of pacing, episode 2 did not disappoint. In this episode, we continue off from the end of a far from melancholic Sunday to a turmoil-filled Monday. Our protagonist, Hibiki, and his two friends from school have been taken by Makoto and her agents to some astonishing hidden headquarters underground. Here, the characters learn about the government organization, known as JPs. Soon after their arrival, Io and Daichi are imprisoned, while Hibiki is singled-out for his badassery in the previous episode. Makoto and a newly introduced character, Chief Yamato Hotsuin (voiced by Junichi Suwabe), tell our hero about the goals of JPs and the reason behind the recent chaos. We learn that the ice cream cone in which Byakko snacked was named Dubhe and was merely the first of seven bosses. For each day of the week, a “Septentrione” descends from space to lay waste to Japan. <Fun Fact: Each Septentrione is named after one of the stars making up the Big Dipper constellation.> Anywho, if those aliens are not stopped, the entire world would just disappear. At this point, Hotsuin pressures Hibiki into using his great powers for the sake of JPs and the world. For the rest of the night, our troubled protagonist reflects on what lies ahead of him.
On the second day, Makoto agrees to take Io and Daichi back to their homes, while Hibiki agrees to fight. Unfortunately for them, they find the bridge and roads completely destroyed on the way. Makoto suddenly decides to leave the three at a nearby shelter and bids them farewell, after telling them that their phones have direct access to JPs in case of danger. At the shelter, we get another glimpse at the dire situation in which the characters have been thrown in. Despite the happy OP, this story is pretty dark with death and suffering everywhere. After a bit of time, a flock of demons decide to wreak havoc on the shelter. Before some poor child was about to become bird food, Hibiki finds the resolve to summon Byakko and bring the fight outside. Surprisingly, it seems that the demon birds are coming in an endless wave, so Daichi tries to summon his little poltergeist to help Hibiki, but fails. In this failure, Daichi begins to become frustrated and reveals his anxiety about the future and his desire to go back to the day before the apocalypse. Luckily, Makoto returns to save the day and out three students find the courage to join JPs’s cause. The episode then ends with a scene where Hotsuin is talking with some mysterious red guy (Not going to spoil anything), and some other stranger who plans to stop Hotsuin.
Overall, I really enjoyed this episode as it continued introducing story elements and gave the characters more development. In the game, Hibiki is the MC and has whatever personality we choose to project onto him through different choices. In the anime, it seems that he really is a typical high school student who doesn’t want great power due to the responsibilities. We see that he has some inner conflict with the situation and eventually resolves to use his power to protect his friends. Io is much like her game counterpart, as she starts of depressed and fearful of the situation, while simply wanting to find her mother. Daichi also matches his in-game self, as he too just wants to escape reality and return to the past. Along with interesting character development and presentations, the episode continues to feature fitting music and good animation (although they could improve in terms of movements and facial expressions). Well that’s pretty much it for the second episode. Until the next episode, “Let’s Survive.”