A show with perhaps one of the most confusing names in anime, Devil Survivor 2. A series with a sequel-ish title without being a sequel. After being reassured that this was not a sequel, I embarked on a journey to start this anime in wich youngsters save the world with their smartphones. I should’ve probably just skipped this one.
I don’t consider myself an anime purist, a connoisseur who seeks perfection. The critic who only accepts the crème de la crème, the cherry on top of the cake. But at least I want an anime to give me an impression it tried to do something original. Fake it, fake that you have something in store for me. And here is Devil Survivor, placing itself in the ‘watch this for the sake of completion category.
Shounen anime try to make a mix out of a multitude of fixed story elements, give or take some exceptions. Devil Survivor features an all powerful main character, granted with a omnipotent-like power to conquer all odds. A girl with bodily features combining a supermodel with a porn star. Seemingly the best possible combination for a shounen series. Throw in some random enemy that has some kind of dispute with mankind, add some plot devices disguised as side characters and there you have it, an anime that mostly reaches a wide variety of target audiences.
I don’t want to give the impression I despise the shounen genre. On the contrary, some of the finest anime come from this genre. But out there are studios that attempt to only cash in on an existing franchise. Devil Survivor is an adaption based on a game and it will most likely please its existing fan-base. A fan-base that will understand all the developments, have some kind of emotional bond with the characters. But in no way did Devil Survivor attempt to create something revolutionary or at least befitting for an audience who isn’t familiar with the existing franchise.
Smartphones play a major part in Devil Survivor. They are able to save the world! The teenagers are equipped with smartphones that harbor fighting demons to hunt down the evil otherworldly intruders.
Now reread the previous paragraph. Using smartphones to save the world kind of makes the whole story even more implausible. Instead of pulling a gun to attack or threaten your opponent, you ‘pull’ your smartphone. Attack and conquer giant monsters with demons that pop out of a smartphone, instead of aiming a guided missile. I just couldn’t take this story seriously with the smartphones being the only weapon of the heavens to save all humanity.
The overall look and feel of Devil Survivor was pretty decent next to its flawed story. The opening and ending song were excellent and fit the atmosphere of the show. On the flipside, the monsters in the series felt deprived from any form of originality. They had a resemblance to the monsters in Evangalion, minimalistic in their execution.
It is in evitable you will face lesser shows while exploring the world of anime. Despite that fact I still believe there is a target market for Devil Survivor 2, namely the existing fan base of the game franchise. They will be pleased to see their game characters interact in other media. Perhaps its the same transition from somebody who reads a manga and see their favorite characters come to life in an anime adaption. But, this series is mainly suited for that type of audience.
For an outsider such as myself this series was irrelevant and a mixture of many stereotypical elements present in many anime to date. I rate this show a 5 out of 10, because I still believe there is an audience who will be entertained by this series.