#1: "Ai no Yokan (アイノヨカン) by Kami no Mizo Shiri-tai (eps 1-3, 5-7, 9-11) #2: "Ai no Yokan (アイノヨカン) by Kakedama-tai (eps 4, 8) #3: "God only knows Daisanmaku (God only knows 第三幕)" by Oratorio The World God Only Knows (ep 12)
This review is meant to be relatively unbiased and contains no spoilers. This is also my first review and I hope it helps.
So here it is, the highly anticipated and rather unsurprising second season of The World God Only Knows. If you've watched the first season and enjoyed it then your opinion of the series shouldn't change very much if at all since the underlying aspects haven't been altered in any way. Readers of the manga will be pleased at how well the second season adheres to original story while offering only some small differences in context and doing well to maintain the design and expression of each character.
Brief Summary (no spoilers): 9/10
On a brief overlook of the story, we see that Keima and Elsie are still searching for and capturing loose souls that are manifesting themselves within the negative emotions of beautiful, distraught young women all around them. Keima still has to put on the charm and swoon these ladies to his favor in order to release these ghastly geists from their hosts so that Elsie can seal them away in a special jar and return them back to New Hell. The plot of the second season continues where the first one left off with only a few minor differences as each episode progresses.
This series is particularly interesting for a multitude of reasons. In some sense, it can be put into the category of being, at a glance, your typical harem-romance-comedy series with some supernatural twist... But it's not. If anything, this series drifts away from much of the standardized content floating around by keeping the characters relatively static throughout the story and emphasizing its thematic tones as the overall message rather than the plot itself. By this I mean that even though the romance factor is still an intrinsic part of the show itself, it's the understanding behind the ideology of each relationship which keeps the story unique and interesting to watch.This is prominently demonstrated by the girls who Keima conquers losing their memories immediately after some moral revelation has been achieved.
Keima's philosophy regarding relationships and life itself is undoubtedly what makes this series so appealing to its fans. The way his beliefs revolve around the principles of dating sims is symbolic of how he ultimately desires a world without change and social convention where life follows a linear, logical path at all times. His rejection of reality and surroundings is not necessarily due to hatred for the world by personal animosity, but rather by distaste for the human condition as a whole and manages to remain impartial to it throughout his daily life. None of this affects him negatively aside from the social aspect, however. His application of sheer rationality to relationships with other people is something that is demonstrated in a very creative manner by the author and is very enjoyable to watch.
The animation quality is best described as being sharp and well-polished with few details being overlooked.The use of colors in each scene notably matches the mood of the characters or the situation which adds for a nice overall effect. Character design is one of the most crucial aspects for this series, particularly facial expression, and the producers did an impressive job on getting it as close to the manga as they could. There's a couple of situations where the fluidity of a character's motions are slightly "off" from one another, but it's often easily overlooked by either comedic relief or simply being too brief to even notice or care about. You can tell that a lot of money and hard work went into making the show look the way it does, and it's quite effective.
The sound is above average in quality and serves the general purpose of adding to a comedic sequence or aiding in establishing the proper atmosphere and tone of a scene. The OP is sung by Oratorio this time around, and it's much to the same style as the first season although has more of a pop element to it. The voice acting is good for the most part
The second season of The World God Only Knows is a step-up in quality from the first season with all of the same characters and great dialogue techniques as before. The game references are still in abundance, as are Keima's priceless methods of getting the ladies to fall in love with him. If you enjoyed the first season, there's no reason why you wouldn't enjoy this sequel. If you're new to the series, it's obviously suggested to watch the prequel for further understanding of the overall plot. For now we'll just have to wait and see where the anime is going next. If it follows the storyline of the manga, things are going to get interesting. Can you see the ending?
And here we continue on with the second season of the anime that is really, more than just a mindless, harem, dating sim based, romantic comedy - it is also poignant in ways, surprising, delightful at times, and perhaps rewarding towards the end. The World God Only Knows - is the world that Keima is living in reality, or simply virtual, or perhaps a bit of both? Or is virtual reality just as real as the reality Keima is living in?
Overall: 6/10 (rounded down from 6.25)
+ Very funny and has good humour
+ Good ED Theme
+ One slight plot twist in the Chihiro arc
+ Very good character design with many variations
+ Strong male main lead
+ Good character growth
+ Some touching and emotional / romantic scenes
- Lack of overarching / engaging plot
- Lack of some coherence in the Nagase / Kusunoki arc
- Lousy OP Theme
- Lack of some important character development, especially in main characters
- Can be a bit boring towards the middle
- 2 filler episodes out of 12 of them
There are 4 main plot arcs to the story, 1 of them being an encounter with Haqua and a gigantic loose soul, and 3 of them being the regular "capturing" of loose souls by making girls fall in love with Keima - Kusunoki, Chihiro and Nagase. Once again, there is a lack of an overall plot line, though Haqua does shed a bit of light on the extent of this "loose soul" capturing contract - 60,000 more - but this adds nothing to the plot whatsoever, neither does it actually give us an indication about whether the end is coming.
The first arc, Keima encounters Kusunoki - a martial arts / karate tough girl who is basically struggling to reconcile her feminine liking for kawaii things (like cats and clothing), with her masculine fighter training and background. Nothing very ingenious here, sadly. Keima himself didn't do much except take her out for a fun date which was honestly more for comic laughter than to drive to plot. In the end, Kusunoki resolved it on her own by "fighting" with her feminine side, eventually leading to an awkward compromise that, to me, didn't really solve the main problem. Perhaps this anime was created too long ago and the writers were still stuck in their own gender stereotypes - but yeah, this plot arc didn't shine too much. Also, Kusunoki randomly being "forced" awkwardly to kiss Keima at the end was very unconvincing.
In the second arc, Haqua comes in, and this is where things start getting interesting. She happens to drop by after failing to catch a loose soul, then gets Elsie's help to capture the loose soul - after quite a lot of cooperation and hard work. Keima doesn't really do much in this particular arc, which is actually quite good in my opinion, since it shows that the actual "demons" do have some ability to capture loose souls on their own - as long as the soul has not possessed anyone. There is also talk about how loose souls can possess even demons, and there is greater clarity about the difference between the civilized demons and the more "wild / loose" ones who wreck havoc on the earth - so that's some much needed plot development right there. (+1 to interest, +1 to depth)
In the third arc, we get another interesting girl - this time by the name of Chihiro. Everything about her is uninteresting - she's basically a wallflower / background character with no exceptional skills and nothing (basically, this character is someone the audience can empathize with the most). The plot for this one, however, gets a slight twist, which I thought was good, though it was kind of expected. Keima starts off trying to fill up Chihiro's heart by helping her to make her crush fall in love with her - but it turns out that Chihiro turns back at the last moment, and Keima is forced to make her fall in love with him instead. I also think that out of all the girls so far, Chihiro is by far the most "realistic" capture of them all. As an ordinary girl with no particularly special powers bestowed on her, she reacts convincingly to everything that Keima throws at her. (+1 for depth, +1 for coherence)
In the fourth arc, the final one, we have student teacher Nagase, who used to be on the school's basketball team captain - but disbanded the team after the members left the squad because Nagase was "too passionate" about basketball. I really didn't like how this arc played out because it really didn't make much sense. Nagase, as a teacher, tries to help Keima to get off his gaming during class - but she is convinced that this is because Keima is "lonely". Clearly, Nagase has not seen the interaction between Keima and Elsie and how they are always inseparable.
After many awkward encounters with Nagase during lunch, in class playing games, Keima ends up going to watch a pro-wrestling match with Nagase - and he does so by stealing her seat, then making her share seats with him. First of all, you can't possibly fit two people there without disturbing the rest of the people watching, and second of all, how the heck did Keima even know that Nagase was going to some pro-wrestling match? I know Elsie has information on Nagase, but this is only limited to background info, interest, hobbies, and doesn't actually reflect what is going on in Nagase's calendar / notifications / planner right?
After that match, Nagase does one last passionate thing in class before breaking down and heading to the basketball locker room, only to find Keima hiding inside her old locker - which is not only creepy, but almost impossible under any case. I'm not talking about whether Keima could actually fit inside, but if you check the time that Nagase had to reach the locker room and Keima, you would clearly see that Nagase had a headstart of around 30 seconds. Assuming both of them went directly to the basketball locker room - Nagase would have reached first, and there was no way that Keima could have squeezed himself into that locker in time, unnoticed, without leaving any traces such as an open door, a locker, or anything else whatsoever. Although to confirm this, we must have more information about how the "dummy swap" spell by Elsie actually works.
In any case, after Nagase was cheered up by her students, at the end, she probably had no reason whatsoever to go back and kiss Keima. This probably wasn't even part of the plan. Keima had no intention of kissing her or romantically proposing to her - and somehow he was just there at the right time so that the loose soul could be captured? It was very forced toward the end of this arc, I felt.
We're not even very sure if they went for the marathon in the end, because remember that Nagase signed all of them up without their permission? Firstly, is it really possible to sign an entire class up for a marathon without sufficient details like shirt sizes / NOK details / even making payment? Even if Nagase just used the school's database of students - she would have to fork out close to $1000 just to register the entire class. The anime also never explicitly said anything about Nagase cancelling the marathon or the class going for the marathon in the end - they really glossed over this plot point, didn't they?
As a whole, the story lacks quite a bit of depth, coherence, and only 1 of the plot arcs was actually very interesting. The rest were "ordinary" and were not very special compared to the previous captures.
Animation: 2/3 - The animations were spot-on, striking and very colourful
Aesthetics: 3/3 - I really loved the cute theme
OP Sequence: 2/2 - Very well choreographed intro scenes
ED Sequence: 1/2 - Nice, but could have been more interesting
OP Theme: 0/2 - Really bad. Stop it with those horrible English intros please.
ED Theme: 2/2 - Really good, upbeat and catchy. Why isn't this the opening theme??
Background Music: 2/2 - These were mostly classical, and were used in all the romantic portions of the anime. They suit the mood really well.
Additional Themes: 2/4 - The comic / upbeat theme that plays at every start of an episode, the light hearted one, is really comfortable to listen to.
Once again, we will look at the main characters, Keima and Elsie, first.
Since the first season, Keima has gotten slightly more used to all this catching real-life girls stuff that it's already second nature, and he's already accepted his fate that he pretty much has to embark on a new mission every time the detector goes off "Doro doro doro..." As a character though, he has grown slightly, as by the end of the anime, he starts to accept reality more - and says that there might be an "ideal" path along the very sad real world that he must find. Keima himself however, still doesn't have much of a backstory, and we don't find out much about any other sides / back stories to his character - as not much of his life other than gaming is shown, or perhaps his entire life is just games. Keima as character remains interesting though, especially in the way that he strategizes his captures, though most of it this time, may have just been due to dumb luck. (+1 to interest, +1 to growth)
Elsie, too, has not changed much. She's still her usual hyper-active useless self, and we honestly don't know much about her past either - save for the fact that she was a classmate of Haqua - but it doesn't tell us anything about Elsie.
Haqua, a new character in this series, is also another "tsundere" type, but maybe less so. She does come with some backstory - a demon who aces all the theory tests back in school, through sheer hard work and determination, but when it comes to the real world, she falls flat and can't seem to replicate all the successes she had in the past - so that's good, and it really helps to explain her frustrations / dissatisfaction with her current situation. She isn't that interesting of a character though, and she also doesn't exhibit much growth. (+1 to depth)
Moving on to the 3 main heroines, Kusunoki is another "tsundere", but this time, it's one that can really kick ass. Definitely one of my favourite character archetypes - the fighter girl - made famous by FFVII's Tifa, that shows that pretty girls can pack a punch that will send you flying across the room. Kusunoki show's some growth after doing girly stuff on a date with Keima, and also after "embracing" and "accepting" her feminine side. Kusunoki, in this manner has two sides to her, and makes her more multi-faceted than most other girls. (+1 for growth, +1 for uniqueness)
Chihiro, is the other less likeable character, that nobody likes and nobody dislikes either. She's just the stereotypically normal girl with stereotypically normal interests and dreams - but since she is this way, you can really empathize with this girl - how she always feels inferior to everyone else who can do things better than she can, how she loses to someone in every department, singing, sports, studying, looks, you name it. But she eventually grows out of this depressing state and moves on to decide to start a band, despite knowing that she sucks at singing, just because she wants to follow her heart. (+1 for growth)
Finally, we have Nagase, the character that I'm not convinced would do so many crazy stuff just because she's passionate about trying to get others to agree with her / follow along with her or trying to "help others" in ways that are usually over-the-top and hence uncomfortable for many people. Her personality is actually very linear - sure she has an interesting back story, but it only goes to prove one point - that Nagase suffers from "overdose of passion" syndrome and can't understand that you can't impose ideals on other people.(+1 for depth)
Nagase isn't that interesting of a character either - and I thought that what Keima did with her was not anywhere near romantic enough to warrant that kiss at the end. All he really did was talk to her in a basketball court and told her to stop imposing her ideals on people, yet continue living out her own ideals for herself, and then it was straight cut to a scene where all her students came over to apologize and encourage her.
I definitely enjoyed this comedy, once again, with so many laughs here and there and all the funny cutscenes with Keima explaining things to Elsie who always has that clueless cute look on her face :3 The humour is really very good and is one of the few things that this anime executes perfectly. (3 points for good humour)
In terms of romance, I would say that there were some touching scenes - especially the scene on the boat with Keima and Chihiro. That was probably the one that I felt the most emotions for. The other two kisses by Kusunoki and Nagase were too forced, so I can't give the romance bit too high this time around. Kusunoki going on a date with Keima was -slightly- romantic though, and it definitely was enjoyable to watch Kusunoki's reactions to cute stuff (2 points for romance)
However, I have to say that there were honestly some parts of the show where I felt bored - mainly in the Chihiro arc where it seemed very circular in nature - like they were going nowhere, and the background music was so slow that it was making me fall asleep. Luckily, this was only for one of the arcs. (2 points for pacing)
Unfortunately there were some filler episodes - namely episode 8 and 12, so I can't give it any bonus points.
Kami Nomi 2 seemed interesting, but as a whole, it was inferior to the first season. But I guess it's still necessary to watch because of the characters who will be become main characters again in Kami Nomi 3 - so it's worth watching if you intend to continue the series to season 3, which I believe will be the best out of the three.read more
I can already see the ending... It's going to be AMAZING!
The second season has the same look and feel of the first season as our "Capture God" Keima continue hunting for lost souls with Elsea. The duo goes after 3 girls this season: A tsundere sporty, a cooldere classmate, and finally a student teacher! This season certainly poses bigger challenge for our heroes.
Then, there is the second girl demon. With exposition not needed this season, two whole episodes and a filler dedicated to introduce her.
Once again, Keima's game logic is put to test in real life. The absurdity of his value is still funny as ever, and the animation and sound do not disappoint in delivering the comedy.
Visually, it has not changed much from last season. The art in this series is generic style drawn to perfection, and characters are as visually pleasing as they could possibly be. The level of detail, especially the eyes and lighting, may even have improved. Camera movements are dynamic in action scenes, and there is not a moment of boredom.
OP song this season has lost the epic sense of the first season, but still accompanied by jaw-dropping overproduced opening animation that's nothing short of amazing. Voicing once again is right on, and perfect sound mixing with appropriate BGM playing on every scene.
The second season got off to a slow start with Kusunoki, the lone member and captain of girl's karate club. Her arc turned out to be very corny, but the 'Dragon Quest' recap in the first episode was absolutely magnificent. I would say it was a sign that the production staff has plenty of creativity left in store.
Next up is Haqua, Elsea's former classmate. Instead of going after a set target, Keima helps her track down a loose soul she failed to capture. Haqua's character was rather dull, generic clumsy type, but this arc goes on to explain the consequence of letting loose soul grow, and further emphasizes the importance of what the main characters have been doing.
Chihiro arc is similar to Shiori arc from the last season, with slow, bittersweet youth drama. The direction in this arc was by far the best this season, and once again, they went with a different pattern. Instead of straightforward "conquering" her, Keima helps her conquer another guy. The ending was obvious, but I liked how they changed things up so this series doesn't feel as repetitive as it could've been.
Finally, Jun's arc was the conquering of a teacher in training. The teacher is a stereotype teacher in popular TV dorama like '3-B Kinpachi-sensei' or 'Gokusen', with high ideals about tough-love and trust, but things doesn't go like dorama for her. This arc had the best character development and a positive message.
The second season is not quite as good as the first, but it shows Keima and Elsea tackling the problems using different approaches. After two seasons, this series still feels fresh. A sequel is not announced in the finale this time, but I'll definitely see it to the end if it ever happens.read more
The World God Only Knows tells of the wacky adventures of Keima Katsurai, a kid who literally does almost nothing with his free time but play dating sims. Because he's so good as dating sims, he refers to himself as the “Capture God,” claiming that he can beat any gal game imaginable. Elsea, a demon from hell, mistakenly thinks that the specialty of the Capture God is to seduce real women, and enlists his help to retrieve lost souls; demons that hide in the hearts of women, and can only be retrieved by filling the emptiness in the woman's heart. Keima never actually *wants* to help retrieve the lost souls, but is forced to due to a contract that he has signed; if does not oblige to the contract, he dies.
This all gives an interesting twist to the “Monster of the Week” dynamic, in that instead of having the main character fight monsters every week, the series has him seduce women.
There's a nice mix of drama and comedy; most of the drama and serious aspects come from the emotional issues that the love interests face–whereas most of the comedy comes from the wacky personalities of Keima and Elsee. The transitions from dramatic to comedic scenes can be abrupt, but most of the time it doesn't feel too forced.
During a comedic scene, the characters (particularly Keima and Elsee) often switch to a much more cartoony art style, which helps to add comedic affect. There's also a lot of shout outs to various media, which will probably warrant a chuckle or two if you manage to understand any of the references.
The two protoganists of Keima and Elsee, although actually quite likable, come off as a bit one-dimensional. Keima is a genius boy wonder who considers reality “a shitty game,” and Elsee is an adorable demon who screws-up at everything…and there's not really much else to these characters, as there is barely any character development throughout the series. This is justifiable in that the anime only covers the first 40 chapters of the manga, which as of this writing is an ongoing series with 174 chapters released. So when watching this 24 episode series, think of it as the beginning of a larger story than it's own standalone thing.
The level of enjoyment watching this sort of depends on how willing you are to suspend disbelief to the fact that Keima uses his knowledge to win the heart of a woman not once, but multiple times. The fact alone that Keima uses his knowledge of dating sims to win the heart of women will probably come as a little implausible. Nonetheless, it's interesting to see how Keima strategize, and to see *how* he uses his knowledge of gal games.
With each story-arc by itself, each of the heroine's love for Keima doesn't really feel forced or unnatural–especially when you consider that these are women who have their emotional weaknesses amplified by an infesting demon. Each love interest is quite likable, and goes through a fair amount of character development; its somewhat remarkable considering that none of these characters get more than three episodes of screen time.
Overall The World God Only Knows is a fun and enjoyable series, albeit one that might challenge your suspension of disbelief depending on how you look at it (although only a little.) It has a nice blend of drama and comedy, and manages to make good use of its premise. If you like romance-centered cartoons, you'll probably like this.read more