2nd Day – “Monday of Upheaval III”
If you thought last week’s episode was pretty dark, today’s episode might surprise you. The episode picks up with the unfortunate demise of Keita and focuses on how Hibiki is feeling guilty over his failure to protect a comrade. Our heroes are not given much time to grieve as a new Septentrione has manifested nearby, due to the loss of JPs magical defenses. This new alien, named Merak, has some pretty broken abilities and demonstrates them as it plows through the JPs defenses. Headquarters soon realize that Merak is after the Osaka tower, which powers the magical barrier over the city. In order to stop the Septentrione, Hinako is assigned to the defense team, Daichi is recruited into the med-evac squad, Hibiki is placed as the last line of defense, and Io is ordered to standby. This is where the episode takes a darker turn, as many faceless grunts of JPs are just slaughtered by the powerful monster. Before heading out to join the main defense team, Hinako advises Io to stay with Hibiki. In the meantime, Hibiki has assumed his position as the last line of defense, but is still conflicted over Keita’s death.
After receiving some harsh words from Chief Hotsuin and seeing more JPs grunts die, Hibiki goes against orders and leaves his position to fight alongside Hinako. As he bravely rushes out onto the battlefield, Hibiki learns that Byakko’s powerful lightning is ineffective against Merak. Byakko then tries to use his physical attacks, but this only enrages Merak and leads to a huge spamming of lasers and explosive alien-bits. In order to protect their trump card, the rest of the defense team sends their angels to shield Byakko from the explosions. The smoke around the battlefield soon clears, only to reveal that Hinako has been gravely wounded in the explosion and everyone has died trying to protect JPs’s ace.
While Hibiki gazes at the bloody terrain and the raining angel feathers, the mysterious red man from previous episodes appears. The stranger introduces himself as Alcor and lectures Hibiki about the situation, before questioning his actions. Afterwards, Hibiki receives some sort of power-up from his glowing phone and rushes off to his original position, as Io has been forced to take up his role as last defense. Io summons the goddess, Kikuri-Hime, and holds off Merak for a good while before being completely overwhelmed. Before the Septentrione can finish off Io and the Osaka tower, Hibiki charges in and defeats the alien with a charged-up Byakko. Everyone praises Hibiki for his triumph, but the Septentrione tries to attack again while fading away. Luckily, a new character named Ronaldo appears to stop the being. The episode ends with Ronaldo expressing his disdain against JPs before snatching Hibiki away.
I liked this episode a lot, as it demonstrates that this series is supposed to be dark. Devil Survivor 2: The Animation has shown that it is not afraid to depict death and kill off main characters. Luckily, I believe Hinako is still alive as she still shows up in the ending. As a person who tried his best to keep all of the characters alive in the game, it’s hard for me to see party members die, including Keita. While I like how the darker themes help differentiate this series from Persona, it makes the show harder to watch for audiences uncomfortable with tons of deaths. In the DS game, grunt characters also died, but the impact wasn’t as heavy compared to the depictions of the anime. Other than that, I liked how the characters are being developed.
Hibiki is shown to be growing up fast and wanting to take on his responsibilities, while Io is trying to become stronger thanks to Hibiki’s influence. This episode also makes it more obvious that Io has an attachment to our main character, which can be good for many fans. Unfortunately, Daichi is still presented as a silly character with low-leveled demons, but I hope he gets an epic upgrade in the future. Next episode also seems to be interesting, as a ton of new characters are introduced and Hibiki is hinted to unlock another awesome demon. Well, until next week, “Let’s survive.”