The first season of Birdy the Mighty Decode was a pretty good series that unfortunately got held back by its own formula and never really hit any heights, and especially the male lead Senkawa caused quite some annoyances. Then the second season came, and surpassed it in just about every aspect. I’m not exaggerating here: the second season managed to take a good series and made it utterly incredible.
To begin with, those who were turned off by the annoying teenaged romance in the first season are going to be delighted, as Senkawa plays a much smaller part in the series and his romance is now something of the past. Instead, it’s time for the female lead (Birdy) to have her taste a bit of romance and it’s so much more memorable. What also surprised me was that the plot of the second season takes place on a much smaller scale: instead of trying to save the world from some sort of evil, the second season instead is about the past of the characters, and revenge for what happened in it. The amazing cast of characters turns this into an incredibly emotional story.
But through all the drama, what’s so special about this series is that it never forgets that this series is taking place inside a world that’s alive, instead of a bunch of places that serve just to tell the story. Even though this is a very dark series, it never forgets to insert some slice of life moments in order to bring this setting to life. Even though Senkawa’s classmates have absolutely nothing to do with the main story, they make countless reappearances as the creators show how they continue to lead their lives after chaos that was caused in the first season. Even in the final episodes, this doesn’t change (compare that to most other similar series, which at that point are too busy saving the world to care about such a thing), and yet the series closes off with an amazing ending.
And the production values! The action series in this series are absolutely stunning. The animation is very messy, but because of that there is lots and lots of movement and even more detail in them. The brutality of the hand to hand combat in this show continues to surprise, as the creators aren’t afraid to show the most graphics deaths and beatings on the screen without any cheap tricks to hide it whatsoever. Combine that with the single best soundtrack of the entire season, and you have a visual feast.
Series like this one really are the reason why I’m still a big fan of anime. This series is utterly incredible in just about everything it does, and it’s an incredible contrast with the first season, which simply looks mediocre in comparison and it’s been without a doubt my favourite show of the past Winter Season.