It’s tough to create a sequel that follows up a top notch arc with a great story and relatable characters. Brace for disappointment as this season lacks the same connection to the main characters with a very forgettable cast of unworthy antagonists and nauseating logic.
Now that the season 2 is over and all wrapped up, what truly is the most accurate take regarding season 2? Does it continue everything we loved about season 1 or did it meet its worst The Promised Neverland season 2 nightmare? First, we have to separate the presentation of the anime from the actual plot and characters to get what’s bad from good. What’s bad about the season 2 might just leave too terrible of a taste to make you consider viewing season 3..
Just Because it’s Fresh, Doesn’t Mean it’s Good
The characters that we all know and love are still there. I mean.. they’re there. Cast in a few new characters and we should have a recipe for something fresh and exciting right? While Naofumi and his party are presented with new problems and interesting scenarios, this season lacks a lot of the same relatable and logical dilemma that made season 1 a widely popular anime. Season 1 gives us lovable and deeply hated characters. Season 2 tries to do the same, but with very little depth.
There is a ton of potential with premises that makes the viewer really think about these new situation that Naofumi, Raphtalia, Rishia and other characters have to navigate through. What the season focuses on is too much of these side characters that really just become an ends to a means. That may be my biggest gripe of the season. A lack of connection to the logic, motivation and a series of other “that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but okay,” situations occur for me as the viewer. There’s just too many instances where characters’ motivations just seemed forced and unnatural.
Too Much Convenience
It is noteworthy to mention that there are only 13 episodes in season 2. So, there are a lot of moments where things happen for convenience sake. If this arc was stretched out at least a few more episodes to fill in context, creating more moments, and flesh out all the leaps in logic, everything would have made a lot more sense. Too many times in this season, they brushed over plot holes by basically answering any questions with, “but this waifu though.”
From a main character perspective, you might find Naofumi to be a frustrating character to watch. For the first half of the season, he becomes a side show that solves everything in an instant. In the 2nd half of the season, let’s just say there are a lot of leaps and bounds to his character..
When stories sometimes don’t make sense, you might give it the benefit of the doubt and dismiss it as there are many other qualities that can make you overlook the bad ones. The problem is that there are way too many times that the logic gets thrown out by poor pacing, no given context and by the worst relatable motivations. It’s like when you go on your first date and all of the sudden get on one knee to pop open a Tiffany’s diamond ring. “Whoa there! You’re moving too fast and I barely know you.” You can sum up this whole season with that analogy.
Before the antagonist of the season gets revealed, I always love to note that mystery is the best kind of villain. So, when it comes to the reveal of the so called “bad guy,” it’s a double whammy of a downer.. It’s like they threw all the anime bad guy tropes in a drawing and just picked out whatever spewed out on top. This season is in no way shape or form about a good villain. The antagonist is just another poorly thought out plot device to get Naofumi and his party to essentially character develop. There isn’t anything interesting about the antagonist that doesn’t really come until the end of the season. Even then, it’s face-palming..
Are There Any Redeemable Qualities from Season 2?
There are some pretty well put together episodes. The story boarding and narration elements of some of the episodes are really well done. At very significant moments, the music and vibe seem to mesh well with the scenes. In particular, there are 2 moments that really stood out to me. I enjoyed some of the world building and mix-matching of characters we’ve haven’t seen work together before. Some of these new characters really do have good personalities and potential to become more than what season 2 portrayed. Does all of that overcome all the poor elements of the season? I don’t think so..
By all accounts, the logic and motivations of the characters are presented in such a fast pace that we lose the connection to the characters, making them plot holes. The viewer needs to bathe in the dilemma. This is the biggest downfall of the season. There’s too much convenience. With the logic and presentation of the story set aside, there are some cool scenes that I think would be universally positively received. Some of the narrated storyboards of some episodes are done pretty well. The music when climatic moments happen are still ‘goosebumpy’.
Overall, what comes up short is the weak plot followed by an even weaker antagonist. If you are already a fan of the show, you’ll probably give it a go anyways, but be warned, you’re probably going to be let down. Is this season still watchable? Sure. Does it come close to season 1? Heck no..
My rating for The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 is 5.5/10 for it’s just not “Hou-right.”