Two’s: Daimaou, Giant Killing

Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou 2 adds some new characters and ups the intrigue level with upperclassman Fujiko.

But let’s start with Kurone, the green-haired android, your typical soft-spoken, nay, monotone girl. These type of characters can be hit or miss. It all depends on how much life they seem to have working beneath the quiet persona. Yuki Nagato is a perfect example of one that works. Kurone works as well. While fulfilling her duties in a robotic manner, she allows herself some fun. The answer to Sai’s question in the picture above was “A little.” Mix that in with her persona and we have a character that might be fun, though I thought the scene in the bathroom, with her taking a dispassionate interest in the other boys’ body parts went on too long.

Last season it was scythes, this season it's heads in jars.

There’s also Soga, who runs around naked and invisible and right now makes no sense at all—but she has a ring Sai gave her many years ago, so there’s a connection between them that must be explored. Right now that’s the only interesting thing about her. No, the other important character we meet is Fujiko, the only girl in the school who’s actually nice to Sai. Naturally he turns to her for help, and naturally she is actually evil and intends to make him her slave. Sai might become the demon lord, but Fujiko’s the only one dedicated to the cause. I’m not crazy about the character, a two-faced vixen who so far seems one-dimensional, but it’s her first episode, so I’ll give her time.

The same with the show. It’s heavy on the fanservice and hasn’t yet found the balance between its light storylines and dark undertones, but it’s been good enough.

Giant Killing 2 starts with the battle between the starters and the scrubs, with the scrubs newly appointed as the starters, causing confusion and dismay for everyone but them, including the disgruntled fans. It should come as no surprise who wins: the scrubs are the ones with more stamina, and they’re told to make the opponent chase them a lot.

But the scene is more than that. It works nicely as a duel between Murakoshi and Tatsumi. With the former we read his mind as he struggles to keep his squad together, remembering the past and the pride he has given to ETU. It works well, especially when his own legs start to fail from the strain. He’s a character we all want to see succeed, even if the main character’s strategies undermine his efforts. As for Tatsumi, he watches the match with an evil gleam in his eye, slowly unfolding his strategy to Yuri. You have to admire his cunning, but on the other hand you have to dislike him, at least a little.

That all comes to a head in the second half. Tatsumi removes Murakoshi from the team captaincy, and we get the confrontation we expected. Murakoshi says everything that most of the cast has wanted to say ever since Tatsumi returned: he has no loyalty to the team, he’s doing it for his own ego. Tatsumi’s replies are more vague. He wants Murakoshi to find ways to win without being a captain. What this entails is anyone’s guess. Murakoshi doesn’t know. But the scene does show that both men desperately want to win, and that Tatsumi, in spite of his antics, needs Murakoshi.

One thing that worries me is that the soccer scenes are confusing to watch. We don’t get the flow of the game, just one-on-one situations which, when repeated like they are, drag down the action. I hope this is something they can improve as the show goes on.

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