By golly they’ve done it!
I didn’t expect it, but the creators of Arifureta have managed to salvage the series in a surprising comeback with the second episode.
They had me in the first half, I’ll admit it.
But I stuck around, and I’m glad I did!
Unable to go up, Nagumo begins his descent through the abyss, fighting and eating monsters along the way. He’s lugging around a giant pack, so it’s safe to say he’s quite prepared for the journey.
Meanwhile, Nagumo’s friend who promised to protect him has woken up back in the kingdom. Her and sword girl (both of their names escape me) decide to become stronger and put their faith in Nagumo that he’s somehow still alive in the labyrinth. The sword girl also catches some guy acting suspicious, and it’s looking like he may be the one who betrayed Nagumo on the bridge.
Nagumo descends for 50 floors if I remember correctly, and comes across a door. When he tries to open it, two giant statues come to life and attack him. After using an excessive amount of ammunition, he defeats both of them and finds the keys to open the door within their bodies. Inside the door is a giant room with a girl imprisoned in the center. She asks him to free her and mentions she was betrayed and imprisoned down there because she can’t be killed, as she’s a high level vampire that regenerates her health too quickly.
Synpathizing with her, Nagumo frees her. She then asks him to give her a name, as she doesn’t want to use her old one, and he names her Yue. Out of nowhere a flurry of projectiles fly towards them, and a number of them hit Nagumo in the back as he protects Yue.
This episode was leagues ahead of the last one. I was worried there would be excessive flashbacks, but they only showed us a couple minutes of flashbacks that helped to explain the situation, both with Nagumo, and with the entire class. It seems they are going for a minimalist approach when it comes to explaining the isekai portion of this anime, which is fine with me.
And this means most of the episode was actually spent moving forward, which at this point, I believe is for the best. Now that we’ve seen Nagumo with his new edgy persona, there’s no use spending excessive amounts of time on the old Nagumo. It also means more time spent on Nagumo and his current situation, as well as action as he fights various creatures in the abyss.
I’d also like to mention that I thought the transitions from Nagumo to the rest of his class and back were very well done. I was wondering how they’d balance the two, and it looks like what the anime is trying to do is give us action with Nagumo, and then switch to his class to give us some story development in terms of the class, the kingdom, et cetera. So far that’s what it’s looking like at least.
And finally, the last issue of the first episode was the darkness. It was simply too dark to see what was even happening at times. I didn’t have that issue this episode. Not only this, but they’ve upped their lighting game, as the lighting just felt right this episode. Dark when it should be dark, light when it should be dark. One scene in particular, when Nagumo is walking away from Yue, we see the lights go out above him and the scene’s lighting decreases at the same time. Very nice, and the lighting gets a definite pass from me this time around.
Arifureta has managed a comeback victory from the clutches of defeat – at least for now. It’s very encouraging and great for the series. While I held a tentatively positive view of the series last episode, I now have real confidence that Arifureta is heading in the right direction. It’s not just potential anymore – the anime’s managed to prove itself beyond that.
And so Arifureta has managed to prove that one episode simply isn’t enough to properly judge a series, despite what many people may think. This is a great example of an anime that falls in it’s first episode but manages to really pick itself up in the second.
As long as they don’t try to get too artsy like they did last episode, I’d say Arifureta still has the potential to be one of the better anime from the Summer 2019 lineup.
I’m looking forward to what this anime has in store for us next week!
Until next time,
Thanks for reading!
Other Arifureta Posts
- Episode 1 – From Commonplace to World’s Strongest
- Episode 2 – Redemption Time
- Episode 3 – She’s 300 Years Old, So It’s Okay Guys
- Episode 4 – Big Gun
- Episode 5 – Dungeon Complete?
- Episode 5.5 – Recap + Bunnygirl
- Episode 6 – Worthless Rabbit
- Episode 7 – Bunny Hammertime!
- Episode 8 – Partial Reunion
- Episode 9 – Mountain Trails
- Episode 10 – Totally Epic Battle
- Episode 11 – Talking Fish
- Episode 12 – Remember Us?
- Episode 13 – Real Emotion
- Season One Review