11 Oct 2017
The second volume of God Eater picks up right where we left off, with our hero Lenka Utsugi nursing a broken God Arc. He is rescued from the wilderness, populated with the evil origami, along with friends Lindow Amamiya and - the now mentally broken - Alisa Ilynichna Omela. As they head back to the mysterious Fenrir base to rest and recuperate we are placed back into the post apocalyptic world of the New Asian Union. Sadly, that's not something which turns out to be worth the trip.
I enjoyed the first volume of God Eater. It was entertaining and had some fun action sequences, as well as an engaging - if unoriginal - plot. Unfortunately many of those factors are absent from these final six episodes. The first three cram in a lot of plot, resulting in the opening and ending credits being cut off. This also minimises the action, which is the main draw of a series such as this. The final three episodes follow the main cast trying to deploy a deus ex machina against their enemy. While this ups the action quotient, it also ends up feeling perfunctory. As it's revealed to be part of a set up for a second season, which we may never see. The flashbacks that were an interesting quirk of the first part of the series develop into an intrusive annoyance and, despite divulging important pieces of world building information, they became an eye rolling event as the screen time they take up grows over the episodes.
The show also seems determined to hurl as many plot twists at us as it can, upping the stakes for the characters as much as possible. This leads to a feeling that the writers were throwing everything at the walls to see what stuck. Although some do work, as the reveal of one secondary characters parentage was a big surprise to me. Despite all this the show seems reluctant to commit to any major shake up in the status quo, even losing nerve in killing off any named character. Which leaves the supposedly deadly world they live in feeling surprisingly safe.
The characters also suffer under the direction of this batch of episodes as Lenka suddenly shows an aptitude for leadership never hinted at before, or rather he's told he does after wondering into the command centre and having a vaguely good idea. Alisa finds herself crushed under the weight of her own guilt after encountering the origami that killed her parents, all this on the end of an intriguing manipulation which ultimately fizzles out. The rest of the cast get no real development to speak of, only some broad strokes. This especially hampers the main villain of the piece, who's motivation and back story are straight out of Anime Writing 101.
Its not all bad though, when the action gets going we are treated to some great sequences, including a excellent final fight that is almost worth the price of the blu ray on its own. Which leads us to the animation quality… Despite overall looking beautiful, and the action scenes having a lot of fluidity, the occasional shot will creep in that will pull you out of the show. This is because some scenes look like we have transitioned into a video game cut scene.
To conclude: God eater is an entertaining action show and worth your time if you are a fan of the genre. Its well animated and decently written but tries or does nothing new within the format.