Monday, 11 April 2011

The World God Only Knows Season 2 - Episode 1

After a brief respite over the winter, The World God Only Knows is back already, and despite the first series hardly living up to my expectations of it given all the hype surrounding it, I'm nonetheless back on board for season two.

After a brief recap (which is inevitably eight-bit styled, something I never get tired of in anime for some reason) which basically summed itself up as "what do you mean you haven't watched the first season?" we jump straight into a resumption of normal service, with self-proclaimed god of dating sims Keima Katsuragi doing what he does best (playing his PFP and being an ass to everyone)... a situation which soon sees him the object of some bullies brutality.  Enter a girl named Kusunoki Kasuga to send them on their way and (as if you haven't guessed) we have ourselves an introduction to the latest loose soul which needs to be captured.

Kasuga is a girl who hates bullies and weakness, yet has a hidden weakness of her own - an absolute adoration of anything cute.  Well, we've surely never seen a character like that in anime before, have we?  Of course, the bigger question is just how Keima can win over this externally tough character; so, off he trots to sign himself up as her apprentice at the karate club she heads up in the hope of impressing her, before stumbling across that secret weakness which makes things oh-so much easier for him - a "route" helped along by Elsie's loud proclamations that the two of them really should go on a date so that Kasuga can defeat the cute-loving girl within her.

If you're already a fan of The World God Only Knows in its anime incarnation, then really you probably don't need to be reading this - you know the drill and how this show goes about its business, and this second season shows no signs of changing that admittedly successful formula.  In fairness, this episode is more than solid at delivering what it sets out to - it's nicely animated and does a great job with a lot of its humour on this occasion, and it progresses this opening story arc of season two pretty well into the bargain.  On a more personal note, I still can't get over my disappointment at the fact this series is incapable of breaking out of the mould of tired old female anime character tropes - season one dropped such clichés on us every time, and this new series has started by topping the lot with the "hard as nails tomboys who secretly loves fluffy things"; come on guys, be a little more imaginative?  The World God Only Knows' first season was a largely average series that occasionally pulled something excellent out of its proverbial hat, and to be honest I'm already expecting the same from season two.

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