DVD Review: Devil Survivor 2: The Animation – The Complete Series

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Let’s be clear Devil Survivor 2: The Animation is not a sequel to an unreleased series, it’s an anime based upon a Nintendo DS game of the same name and today we are going to see what this DVD release by MVM Entertainment of the series has to offer in our latest DVD Review.

Synopsis:

When the world is under attack by a monstrous and seemingly unstoppable enemy, the only way to fight back is with warriors who have already died! Sidestepping a gruesome fate in a subway crash during an earthquake, two young men and a girl find themselves recruited into the ranks of the Devil Summoners and given the ability to literally call up demons to battle against the mysterious Septenriones!

Can Hibiki, Daichi and Io survive in a war where demons face demons under human command? Where a person’s death can be seen in advance? Where every living being is just a game piece to be saved or expended? And where each clash comes with a clock counting down to Armageddon? Get ready to be immersed in the in the ultimate conflict between good and evil as the living, the dead and the demonic combine forces to send the invaders straight back to Hell!

Our View:

Devil Survivor 2: The Animation is an anime series based upon the events within the Nintendo DS game Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2, a game developed by Atlus and published into the UK through Ghostlight Games. Let’s be clear you don’t need to have played the videogame in order to understand the series, but playing the game may heighten your excitement for the events that are portrayed on screen – for me I enjoyed it for what it was; an end-of-the-world type series that sees humans summon demons in order to defeat demons that threaten to destory the world.

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Let’s begin at the start; Hibiki, Dachi and Io were once regular high-school students, but after mysteriously surviving a train crash they are granted the ability to summon demons through their mobile (cell) phones. It’s later revealed that individuals who had previously downloaded the ‘Dead Face’ app, an app which accurately predicts how their friends are going to die, are eligible to summon demons and as such Hibiki, Dachi and Lo use this ability to survive; that is until they are recruited by a secret government organization known as JP’s.

The JP’s are a group of specifically chosen individuals, most of which can also summon demons using their phones, who are used in order to protect the city from the onslaught of demonic attacks; it’s also explained that humanity is being tested by god and that they must survive the next seven days in order to be granted a wish from god. From here we see our main protagonists, as well as a selection of new recruits, join forces in order to stop the onslaught of demon attacks – whereby each attack could be their last. It’s a pretty interesting ‘end-of-the-world’ type of series that sees each of the characters make life-changing decisions in order to survive but after awhile it does become a bit tiresome and repetitive as each episode is pretty much the same, just a different demon to defeat.

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This is probably Devil Survivor’s biggest drawback; it’s all been done before – the secret organization, the unique abilities, the prediction of the world being destroyed – it’s all abit Déjà vu and quickly becomes old. Fortunately there are a few plot-twists in-store, especially when it comes to the leader of the JP’s, and some ‘Final Destination’ styled deaths but even these are relatively unsurprising – though it does spice up the show a little bit.

Extras:

With the anime series based upon a videogame you’d expect a wealth of interesting bonus materials but alas the only extras we have featured on the disc are on the usual selection of content; credit less songs and trailers for other Hanabee authored products.

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Mind you there is some good news to be had; for starters all of the different opening songs are included. In reality they are virtually the same, i.e. the same song, the same type of opening animation, it’s just at around the half-way point of the opening it shows scenes from the previous episode and current episode – it’s similar to Angel Beats whereby it gave a snippet of what to expect.

It’s a similar story with the ending song as well, about five different ending variations are used and all of them are included in the extras section. The inclusion of the textless ending is more important than the opening as several episodes place the credits during the episode, so in the ‘textless version’ you are able to see what’s actually happening on screen whereas before it was just a nuisance.

The final selection of bonus content is of course trailers for other Hanabee licensed shows, which amusingly all of them (except Watamote) have yet to be announced for a UK release.

Specs:

Media: DVD 9 x2
Region: 2
Running Time: 2:59:33 (Disc 1), 2:32:59 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps

Overall:

Devil Survivor 2: The Animation follows the events of Hibiki, Dachi and Io as they attempt to adjust to their new lifestyle of being a member of the JP’s; a secret government organization that protects Japan from mysterious demon attacks by wielding magic and summoning demons. Throughout the series we see the group meet new members, uncover the truth surrounding the demons and uncover unbelievable power in the form of demons being summoned.

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Like I mentioned before it’s a pretty interesting series, and in some sense crosses the boundary between Evangelions ‘end-of-the-world’ story with Digimon’s digital-summoning prospects. Being similar isn’t a bad thing; it just has that whole ‘it’s been done before’ approach, but ultimately what hasn’t been done before is the series unique plot-twisting storyline whereby, other than the main group of characters, you don’t know who is telling the truth or if what they are fighting for is truly good for humanity. For me this ‘indecisiveness’, as well as the constant demon battles, was what kept me entertained and watching till the end.

In regards to this DVD release by MVM Entertainment then there is nothing really to talk about as both the picture, audio and subtitle quality are just as you’d expect from a DVD release produced by Hanabee/Sentai Filmworks. The DVD automatically defaults to Japanese with English Subtitles, which is easily the preferable way of viewing the series, but if you wish to view the English Dub (which isn’t half-bad) then you may do so through the setup menu or during the episode itself.

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Devil Survivor 2: The Animation is a series aimed at fans of the game; although if you’ve yet to experience the game then it offers an ‘end-of-the-world’ style story that sees humans summon demons through mobile phones. No this isn’t Digimon, it’s a violent and entertaining series that gradually gets better the further you progress into it.

Score: review-stars-3

Devil Survivor 2: The Animation – The Complete Series will be available on DVD from the 20th October 2014.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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