Chances are those of you who finished the first installment of this highly controversial anime came to the realization that there is more here than loli fanservice, and this second installment almost seems to be a reward for those of you who watched it for the surprisingly effective drama. Make no mistake, though, Rin and her friends are all still up to their old perverted tricks, but with tighter writing, a stronger balance of comedy and drama, and a wider character focus, Kodomo no Jikan's Second Term is even better than the first.
Starting as Rin and her class enters fourth grade, the characters themselves also
enter a poignant growth stage within the series, both adults and kids. Probably the most laudable of Second Term's achievements is thus delving beyond Rin into the psyches of her friends Kuro and Mimi, and even the strict Shirae-sensei in powerful and heartbreaking glimpses of their deepest fears and realizations. Perhaps the most notable of these is Kuro-chan's ambition to make Shirae-sensei her friend, an ambition that opens old wounds in Shirae-sensei and uncovers deep scars of how Kuro lives her life. Though the Second Term is a short one, the character development plunges to unfathomable depths, broadening the scope of the series theme of kids who want to be treated as grownups by making the kids themselves mirrors to the adults' emotional statuses.
The story has also become much tighter. The jokes are still there, and still as funny as they are disturbing, but they are balanced much better here than they were before. The weight behind the sexual overtones of the series has also become heavier. Now they are shown from specific perspectives that deepen characterization rather than just provide a screenshot where one can yell "Call Chris Hansen!" It’s unnerving, yes, but those who have the stomach to handle such provocative imagery will see past that into what is becoming a darker coming-of-age tale than previously thought to be.
The technical aspects are still nice. The artwork is clean though the character designs are still uncomfortable and probably always will be. Vocal performances are strong as ever though, the second episode especially is full of dynamic performances by Eri Kitamura, Kei Shindou, and Mai Kadowaki who have quite clearly come to understand their prepubescent roles. The BGM is rehashed and still decent, while the OP/EDs have taken a dramatic turn downward in quality unfortunately.
It's not an easy anime to watch but it is a thoughtful and provocative one. The drama is darker, the comedy is more balanced, and the characters have grown tremendously. The Second Term is a triumph over the first series, tightening its looser elements and keeping what made it enjoyable in the first place. With how good I thought this installment of episodes was, it's my hope that this is not the last we have seen of the Kodomo no Jikan anime.
Overall, I give Kodomo no Jikan Second Term a 9 out of 10.
While writing this, I assume you have already seen the first season. by the way, little spoilers.
I did enjoy kodomo no jikan a whole lot.
To explain the bad rating, I must tell you my thoughts about the prequel's ending.
The way Kodomo no Jikan ended, it didn't need a sequel. It ended in a way all of the characters have learned a huge thing about life, Aoki, Kokonoe and Seiji. It didn't end in a disappointing way at all, I didn't feel the need to know anything more, the ending of the first season ended in a way that let us dream about their future, but
implied it would be happy anyways. Not a whole lot of interesting stuff could happen after what has already happened.
Since they are like 1 or 2 years older and they all start to grow up, you would assume kokonoe, mimi and kuro would be even more mature but they're just not. Kokonoe lived so much intense stuff and doesn't act like she did. Mimi is even shier and kuro is even more uninteresting. The characters are counter-intuitive of what the pre-quel wanted to be.
But honestly all the content of the meager 4 episodes are just recycled patterns and reactions / problem solving of the mid-series of the first season and also sub-characters development. They just mimicked the old personalities and put them in some situations. What makes it horrid, is that everything and anything that made tbe original story good was the characters and the relations they had between each other. They butchered this principle in Ni gakki.
I'll give as an example the f**king weird scene where kokonoe sucks Mimi's nipple.
If you plan to watch this right after you just watched the sequel, don't. You'll find nothing satisfying. You'll lose your ferric opinion view about the sequel.