Edens Zero Season 2 Anime Series Review

Edens 0 Season 2 Anime Sequence Evaluation

Edens Zero seemed to be struggling with his identity at first. Following the hugely popular Fairy Tail series, Edens Zero had a lot of work to do before it could be considered Hiro Mashima’s next thrilling undertaking. It didn’t help that Mashima made the peculiar repurposing of certain characters from earlier series—like the relationship between Rave Master and Fairy Tail—even more evident. Reusing character models, names, and concepts in Edens Zero was almost so excessive as to first create the appearance that Mashima was capitalizing on the success of his past. By the end of the first season, though, the show had established itself as a stand-alone that took use of viewers’ familiarity to surprise both new viewers and ardent followers.

The second season takes that idea a step further, producing a program that makes a concerted effort to tell a story that does nearly everything Fairy Tail couldn’t. With consequences linking one arc to another, the tone is darker, the stakes are higher, and it feels real. Time travel and other entertaining ideas are developed in more original and compelling ways, and all in all, we’re handed a show that is finally finding its footing. Everything is substantially increased starting with the first episode, including action and scale.

The villains on the show, who I always believed to be its weakest component in season one, are the best example of this. The season one antagonists weren’t very prominent, even though they were wicked bastards that I wanted to see crushed. With two of the key antagonists of season two—Drakken Joe and the unexpected return of the Demon King—that is a total non-issue. The former approaches villainy with this unexpected, no-nonsense mafia boss demeanor. When you see what Drakken can do in the first few episodes, you can see why he is the perfect example of a villain who gets things done. It makes for some really powerful and unsettling images. Although this season pushes the boundaries of what the animation staff could get away with, the presentation doesn’t go as dark as the original manga, and I like that.

The Demon King is the complete opposite of what Fairy Tail showed us. This personal monster, despite his overall ridiculous look, evoked such a scary aura. The audience is kept interested by the justification for his conduct. The Demon King is a distinct mystery that has an impact on the present, although the series already has a grand mystery with hints of the future. What is the Demon King’s motivation for his actions? Is Shiki’s recollection faulty, or is he really just this way he’s always been, under the influence of some other force? It’s difficult to tell, but I really enjoy how Edens Zero’s tale manages to leave me wondering while providing the thrilling adventure it promised.

That fast-paced journey takes place in a far more sinister environment full of bigotry, poverty, and violence. The racism allegory, like many other science fiction pieces, attempts to be seen as a conflict between humans and robots. It’s not the most sophisticated, though. Although the series has a strong foundation for this delicate aspect of its worldbuilding, it shows no interest in expanding upon it. Raised by robots, Shiki is a human who views them as his companions. Simultaneously, robots make up half of the main cast, and they battle with having free will and obeying orders. Some robots, like Pino, aspire to be human. With our cast serving as a hopeful representation of these ongoing battles aboard their desegregated ship, you could easily weave a narrative of racism and classism utilizing humanity. But Edens Zero doesn’t feel like telling stories like that. It happens from time to time that a character treats a robot like a lower-class citizen, but it’s almost never more than a plot device to make the audience detest that bigoted character. Ironically, though, the Demon King feels compelled to justify his plans to kill humanity in favor of robots, as if he were making a justification for himself.

Is that perhaps the point? In contrast to Shiki and the main cast, who strive to bring a little bit of light to every place they visit, any allusions to racism or classism, at least in season two, feel more like they’re there to highlight how dark the universe is. It’s unfortunate that some elements, like these racism allegories, stay at the surface level. Though it’s evident that they sincerely make a difference in the lives of those they come into contact with, will all of these tiny acts of generosity sum up in the long run? That, in my opinion, is the main query that Edens Zero quietly poses. The antics of the characters are entertaining, and you can watch this group really come together after a season of getting to know one another. They have the feel of a well-established family, and I wish them well.

I mentioned the presentation earlier, but to elaborate a little bit, it’s good. Having read the original manga already, I would have liked a more somber tone all over. Purple is used to keep things lively at times, while thick shadows are emphasized at other times to make a scene feel darker. It’s not always effective. With Shiki’s gravitational skills, the program occasionally employs more stilted styles of animation, but only in small doses. This makes for some interesting camera angles. Whether it’s a cramped jungle or the boundless reaches of space, this well-animated action series manipulates its set pieces. When things become very intense, the animation quality looks incredible (see what I did there?). Regarding the music, I can’t say the same. Other than the main theme, I can’t really recall many songs, but overall, I’d say the accompaniment is good.

To be honest, the main problem with Edens Zero Season 2 is that it doesn’t address any of the pace problems from the first season. The episodic nature of Edens Zero isn’t designed for weekly watching. Rather, the binge model is the focal point. While there are instances in which distinct events in an episode seamlessly flow into one another, the order in which those events occur in an episode seems arbitrary. Ten minutes or less into an episode, the climax of one arc may occur, and the remainder of the show is devoted to setting up the next arc. If you’re binge-watching the series on a platform that allows you to skip the introductions and recaps, then this might not affect you. It does, however, give the episode compositions a sense of unevenness overall. There will be episodes that feel less fulfilling than others unless you watch the entire show in one sitting because half of the episodes don’t conclude on any clear, satisfying note.

This continues right up to the season’s conclusion, which occurs just before our heroes face the last enemy in the midst of a war. It’s really anti-climactic, especially when the final seconds are devoted to giving us brief teases of season three, much like they did for season one. But since I’ve read ahead in the original manga and know that things will only become darker, I feel like it’s a little more aggravating this time.

In general, Eden Zero season 2 is a significant improvement over season 1 and does a better job of establishing the brand as a stand-alone program that isn’t dependent on the popularity of Fairy Tail to be entertaining. Hiro Mashima could certainly conjure up big, imaginative worlds; in fact, his most well-known series is probably the one in which he chose purposefully not to do so. While I doubt Edens Zero will become as well-known as Fairy Tail, it is a tale meant to have a more somber effect on its audience. I can’t stop reading because the background mystery is intriguing, the characters are endearing, the implications feel really serious, and the baddies feel like real people. If the first season didn’t quite satisfy you, season two, in my opinion, does a better job of teasing you with what’s to come. And if my predictions about what comes next are correct, the tension will only build until season three finally raises its unsettling head.

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