After two years of studying within the Reiken clan, Ouriku and other inexperienced disciples are ordered to descend to the temporal world for further studies, and Ouriku embarks the journey back to his birthplace.
This is much weaker than the first season and has a different feel. I debated giving it less than 3 stars, but my enjoyment of the characters from the first season carried over and persuaded me to keep it at 3 stars. However, there were several enjoyable characters from the first season that don't appear or have very minimal roles. There are character relationship changes that are unexplained and a departure from Oriku's typical behavior. Maybe the creators tried to rush things, but too much is unxplained. The whole season feels more like a side story, rather than a continuation
of the first season.
If you enjoyed the first season then this is worth a watch, but if you thought the first season was blah, then you'll hate this.
In short, the second season of Reikenzan seems to be vastly different than the first one. The first season was more like the protagonist's journey to become a powerful disciple, and on his journey we get to know more about the friends he make, see his training arc etc. It was more happy-go-lucky in tone. The second season however feels a lot more darker. We get to see the protagonist coming back to his village and facing some issues there, and while trying to solve them we see how our hero has to play a lot of mind games, and even some big real battles!
Heck, at one point we see a damn bloody battle that turns it into a horror show! Of course, the comedic tone is still present there, but it's much darker this time.
If we consider the story, it might fail to charm a big part of the viewers who enjoyed the first season, and that's understandable. The tone of the story shifted heavily, and that will cost dearly for some of the audience. I however enjoyed it. It is not anything spectacular, or might not be on par with the first season, still it felt enjoyable.
This might be another deal breaker for some, since the character designs changed a lot, sometimes to the point when some of the previously established characters felt unknown. The first season had the character designs in a, let's just say, pointy style. A lot of sharp angles were present as a facial feature, and it felt kind of unique. The second season's character designs are smooth, and instead of those pointy angles we see round edged broader faces. The same studio is behind both seasons, and the difference between the airing date of these two seasons is not even that much, just a year. Yet they feel so different. Still, they didn't look anything near being bad. The background environmental arts are beautiful!
The BGMs are good, nothing special but doable. The opening and ending tracks are okay. The sound effects are, again, nothing special.
A very small part of the characters from the previous season returns this time, and the saddest thing is that the most fan favorite character Oubu has more like a cameo in this season. Ouriku, Rei and Bunhou were the main focus, along with two new and (almost) main characters (and I beg your pardon since I totally forgot their names, but you'll know the ones I'm talking about, nothing spoilery here). Ouriku-Rei-Bunhou's characters were already developed the previous season, so all we get to see is how they act this time. The only growth we see is that of Ouriku's. The two new characters that I mentioned were more to the comedic aspects of the story, and I enjoyed their onscreen presence. As for the others, they were merely there for the plot.
I will say it, I enjoyed it. The mind games that Ouriku play were interesting, and some of the actions he takes were pretty amazing if if they were brutal.
Overall, even if I won't say it is as good as the first season, it still gets close to it. Different, but enjoyable. I would give it a 7.5 out of 10, but ranking like that isn't possible on MAL. So I'll go for the upper-scale and rate it an 8 out of 10.
Looking forward to a third season if it ever comes out.
TL;DR = I recommend watching the show five episodes in. Almost everything seemed to be improved however after finishing the show I no longer recommend watching it.
Compared to the first season the animation is A LOT cleaner in this one, though personally I don't really like the character design change to Ouriku. The main changes compared to the first series would be that there seems to be smoother animation and they are using a much darker colour palette.
So far the story really seems to be fleshed out better than the first one season. Honestly they tell us not
to write a synopsis but I will at least say this much. This series is really only enjoyable if you paid attention in the first season, when I first watched it I gave it half my attention and didn't enjoy that one at all until I rewatched it.
Update: After finishing the show I can safely say that this anime is not worth watching. The story is very rushed and there is little to no background on character development.
While the main plot of the series is slowly becoming clearer, and Ouriku has a lot more moments where you can see his character development. The only flaw or maybe it's the best part in the series right now I would say is that we don't really have an idea of what any character in the series is thinking, in most anime there are more predictable events because the rules of that anime world are clearly set, or we can hear the character thinking. As an example a pure anime watcher such as my self would hardly be able to understand a lot of the terms they bring up because they don't really explain them. Though I guess one of the best parts about the show is seeing Ouriku use his wit to get through certain situations.
The main flaw in all the characters would be the comedic value of all of them, it is hard to explain but the character design is a lot stiffer, and the colour palette makes the tone of the show a lot more series. Finally the lack of a chibi-like mode for every character (ex. Aladdin/Alibaba from Magi when surprised or even the first season).
Very small selection of soundtracks but so far I haven't really felt annoyed by any and they still set a good tone for most scenes.
Honestly when I originally watched the first season I dropped it part way thinking the series was just horrible, however after seeing the first few episodes of the second season I went ahead and rewatched almost all of the first season and got a better understanding of the story.
The main character Ouriku is definitely fun to watch and you can definitely see how he has developed from his worries before his training and seeing his wit carry him through most situations is definitely fun.
Honestly had this series been animated by a Japanese company it would probably be more hyped up and people would actually give it a proper chance, but the most important thing in any series is how enjoyable it is to watch. I'll give this series an (8) because each episode "so far" has been fun to watch.