Re:Zero 2 - Story 8, Art 9, Characters 8, Enjoyment 8, Overall 8
A very good manga that manages to make the setting of the story and characters understandable. It achieves to integrate sidecontent without comprimising the qualitiy or the pace of the story. This leads it to feel better situated inside its setting. This was one of the main things that I critized about the first manga for not achieving which leads the sequel to be better and more polished than its predecessor.
+ Positive points: Characters, Art, Setting, Interesting sidecontent
- Weaknesses: Not enough world building, Some repetitive content
I will discuss some of the
interesting aspects of this manga in the following. I assume that any reader does have a basic understanding of the setting and characters involved in this series. I do not include any major spoilers concerning this entry or others aside from information contained inside the synopsis. I will not write too much about the things that are similar to previous entries and concentrate on the more unique and new aspects. (Sidenote: I also have written reviews for some of the other entries in this manga series.)
Story and flow:
Story and progression is very similar to the previous manga. MC learns the new characters in the beginning during peaceful events. In the second part there is a break which will involve the looping setting. It is more focused on story telling and some detective action shounen stuff in the second part. It still manages to tie in some relaxing sidecontent and advance other parts of the setting apart from the story. This is one reason why this manga is overall more evolved than the prequel, since it does not limit itself on only focusing on the story. Also some of the repitive scenes give insights into character traits that make them more understandable. this means that the overall progression and story are better presented than the previous one.
Also the narrative is less centered around prolonged fighting scenes. Most of them are quick and change their setting right after. This gives the manga a more progressive feeling even if the story is not advancing much faster than before. In this manga most fights resolve around a problem and will be useless if that problem is solved. This was less obvious with the first manga in which the prolonged fight scene was more central and long.
There is some uncesseary side content, which does not add much to the story and also does not fulfill the purpose of being filler chapters (mostly the first day of the story, also some arcs around MCs role as a part of the mansion or as a guest). This is different from the extra chapters that are intendet to present a different perspective on the characters and are mostly for fun and fluff (Emilia bathing scene is an intersting insight into her emotional setting and Rems mayonaise party is a funny and strange sidenote).
All in all better and more appealing than its predecessor with some slight mismatch in its flow and content.
One difference from is the amount of display that the MC and Emilia are given. There are many short scenes were both interact with each other. Most are silly little side stuff and do not advance the story. These are mostly for filler purposes and confey a cozy and calming feeling. Beyond this they manage to give insights into various aspects of the characters, their circumstances and their relation with each other. This is an improvement over the previous manga, since we constantly learn new things about the characters. It still follows the first manga in resembling a teenager love story while being incorperated in its setting.
Obvious this manga is all about Rem and Ram. They are the first persons that appear in the manga and a majority of it resolves around both. This might be in your favor or not depending on if you like both. One should be able to appreciate the effort that is given in making them more understandable in either case. This character progression without distracting from the main events is one of the main points of this manga. Both are advancing from nearly emotionless maids to characters that have a shared emotional story and are influenced by their motivation. This makes some of the story loops more meaningful since we are presented with character traits that we would otherwise not see. This also makes the resolve of the MC more understandable. If the first manga would have been done more similar to this, then some of its flaws would have been weakened. This will be advanced by the enormous improvements that will be given in sequel 3. So it will feel even more relevant.
Loli golitha Beako is also an surprising addition. We do not really know much about her, but similar to Rem she is going to make a great improvement towards the end of the manga. This is surprising since she was mostly given a setting that would imply much less interactions between her and the MC. It would have been easy for the manga to dismiss her into obstrucity since nobody would probably care. It still managed to give her an interesting and unique story of her own, that fits right with her characteristics.
Of course there are still some flaws. Emilia, which I did praise before is still one of the weaker characters apart from her basic characteristics. She is an absolutely lovely and cute heroine that increases your mood by 200 levels. She still fails too shine outside of this relative narrow role. We only know little about her background, her story, emotions, motives and standing towards most of the other characters. Since her basic situation is explained (and because she got alot of side scenes with the MC) it probably will be one of the main character progressions during later manga adaptions. Same goes of course for Puck and all the characters from manga 1.
Lastly some of the characters seem to lack consistency in that they do have some character traits that only are applied in certain situations, without really be remnisicent from other character traits. MC is mostly a stupid little teenager, but manages to calmy and logically come to complex conclusions during the right moments, without any indication why this would be. This leads to the difficulty that the MC sometimes feels like a child by goofing around with Beako or the maids; in other parts feels like a teenager in his approach towards Emilia; and lastly behaves like a seinen character in his calm observation and clear problemsolving abilities. This does restrict some of the involved characters from feeling like natural persons. It feels like their mental age is all over the place. Of course there are reasons for that design choice if you regard the readers perspective. I still do think that this approach is irritating, since the characters often just feel off. It never is extreme, so one might not see it as a difficulty, but it is noticeable enough that it might irritate readers that are aware of it. Also this difficulty will get even stronger in manga 3 and apply to other characters. (Emilia in the sequel 3) (Rem and Ram are obvious constructed to have different charactersitics so I leave them out at the moment).
All in all a good manga that opens up a large amount of possibilities to expand on. Since the sequel will advance some of this capacity and connects with the characters from this entry, it is clear, that this one is an essentiel part of the series and an interesting manga on its own.