While Part 2 of Record of Ragnarok Season 2 does not conclude the plot, it does put an end to any genuine hope I had for the rest of the series. We’re stuck with the current model for the foreseeable future, so even while watching it makes me feel a strange kind of nostalgic, the show isn’t worth pursuing with all of your concentration.
There is only one battle in the second half of season two, involving Buddha and Zerofuku. Although five combat episodes might seem interesting on paper, each episode actually doesn’t contain much action. The episodes here, like everything up to this point, consist mostly of long flashback scenes and plenty of surprised audience reactions, with very little actual fighting in between. You already know what you’re getting at this point, so there’s no real attempt to hide the formula. Conceptually, the novelty of a human against a divine being has long since faded. The quality of the action scenes, the comedy, and the flashbacks now determine how enjoyable the experience is moment to moment almost exclusively. You already know where my worries lie.
Let’s begin with the humorous part at the conclusion. This time, there’s not much here. There have been a few funny or visually funny moments in the previous episodes, which I believe did a fair job of breaking things up, but there aren’t many awkward Heimdall-on-the-mic moments in this run. Not even a decent chuckle would come to me! I assure you, it’s a Greek tragedy.
The action scenes are few but functional. Moment by moment, the quality has increased, and it’s great that we’ve raised the bar for some of the season one moments that are most likely to become memes. Along with some great weapon design work, the Six Realms Staff and the Cataxestrophe are also included in this. They have some intriguing powers and effects in theory, and they appear like fun, extravagant fantasy weaponry. One of the best scenes in all five episodes is a fantastic scenario in which Cataxestrophe begins to grow veins and eyes along the grip. Unfortunately, there was very little actual use of it in combat; instead, most of the action was repetitive, “character does a bunch of rapid swings” type of shots that you’ve seen a thousand times in a thousand other programs.
The battle choreography lacked a great deal of originality. Buddha’s ability to see into the future is the most terrible component. Depending on how you count it, this is either the second or the third time we’ve had a vision-based agility power of this kind. Brunhilda is compelled to make a digression regarding how this power is entirely apart from the other force that Sasaki employed to vanquish Poseidon. The issue lies in the fact that the in-ring effect is uniform and that all of the anticipated big beats occur at the same speed as the other fights.
During this part of the season, the flashbacks—some of the better ones—do the most of the heavy lifting. The flashback for Zerofuku is especially well-written since it goes beyond merely narrating the development of his skill set. Rather, it fulfills the same purpose as a large deal of the most memorable legendary narrative, which is to illustrate the nature of suffering and the unforeseen repercussions of naivete in the face of self-improvement. It creates an intriguing conundrum, and even though Zerofuku tries to do the right thing and is portrayed favorably for it, there is a hint of pride as well; his incessant exclamations that “it should have been me!” provide that added layer of complexity to the character. Buddha’s flashback is good as well, but his persona and swagger are the actual standout elements. All in all, he has one of the best character designs in the series, in my opinion.
The oddest thing about Season 2 Part 2 of Record of Ragnarok is that, despite its mediocrity, I find myself feeling nostalgic for it. The general layout of the program is reminiscent of the vintage shonen combat tournament storylines from my childhood. About twenty minutes of TV including a lot of unrelated chitchat from onlookers and just one or two significant moments from the bout between the two overly muscular weirdos? Why, watching this kind of TV gave me teeth cuts! While that’s not a good thing in and of itself, it does let my mind relax and make for quite easygoing watching. The sensation I get when I bite into a hot dog that’s charred on the grill is similar to what happens to me when I remember my grandfather getting too engrossed in conversation and laughter during summer days as a child to remember to remove the dogs from the grill in time. It’s a shame since it makes me long for the good old days when this was sufficient.
However, I don’t blame someone for wanting more or learning that there is a lot more content available to watch.