What is living?
RECAP: The final battle between Hibiki and Yamato begins as the prize is the wish to Polaris to change the world to their liking. In his time of need, Hibiki receives the help of his friends’ demons, enabling him to fuse them to combat Yamato’s demon, Satan. With Hibiki’s victory, he wishes for the world he desires and loves so much.
This battle escalated very quickly. Cut in half by the lecturing of who’s right or not, Yamato brought out his trump card in Demon Fusion (which is a staple system for the Shin Megami Tensei video games), enabling himself to fuse his leftover demons into Satan. Hibiki, in trouble, got backed by impeccable timing of plot armor to receive support from his friends’ demons. If you pay closer attention to Hibiki’s fusion tree builds up closely resembling the Tree of Life. Okay, so it doesn’t exactly look like it, but it was definitely the first thing I thought of. Considering SMT always runs with religion and mythology for themes, I found this very interesting to see.
Hibiki realized that Yamato’s current self was just like he was when this whole adventure began. Early on in the series, Hibiki felt he needed to use his power to protect everyone, even if it meant going into danger alone. However, he had Daichi and Io by his side; he had everyone else they met too. It was because he had people to genuinely support him that he was able to break free of that feeling. On the other hand, Yamato was never given the same support. Alcor once offered it to him, but his way of thinking had already changed by that point. In the end, Yamato came to realize that himself as he died knowing he had a friend in Hibiki.
So what is living?
“Living is anxiety. And pain. It’s continuing to think, continuing to choose.”
Even after Hibiki changes the world, everyone seems to have turned out alright, if not better people than they were when we originally met them.
And to his surprise, Hibiki found Yamato to be the same Yamato he faced in battle. He found him with the newfound sense in believing in humanity to make its own decisions. He disregards Hibiki in the effort to ensure they both continue living their own lives. It is because of Hibiki that Yamato came to believe that he doesn’t need to shoulder everything all by himself. That is the point of friendship, after all; to ask for help in shouldering one’s burdens when in need.
A fun, yet somewhat predictable ride, Devil Survivor 2 The Animation, does another good job in presenting a Shin Megami Tensei video game in animated format. It carries a large theme in keeping up hope in a time of disaster and need. I began to feel that hope just in the opening song. DS2 is animated fairly well, with a couple hiccups in the art. However, the story is played out in a very simple manner that enables viewers of all ages (pre-teen and up, really) to understand.
Most people that will likely really enjoy this show are those that are fans of the more recent Shin Megami Tensei games, like Persona (PSP/Vita) and Devil Survivor (DS/3DS). Even more so, fans of the kinds of themes presented in JRPGs would also be keen to like this story. It’s not one of the best anime I’ve seen in recent years, but it does a good job for a short, 1-season (13-episode) series.
Overall Rating: 4/5