Posted by psgels on 27 June 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews

The second season of The World God Only Knows has some good points. At the very least the girls that Keima has to conquest (read: get a kiss from) aren’t as terrible as the idol or the rich girl of the first season. Unfortunately, there just still is too much wrong with it for me to really rate it any higher than its predecessor.

Really, I only barely managed to finish this series. If I had to give a tip for anyone checking this out: don’t expect anything from it. The world God Only Knows doesn’t aim to be anything big or spectacular. It’s just there for really light entertainment and to provide some interesting observations about dating sim games. It’s not deep, it’s not funny, it doesn’t have any good characters, nor does it have particularly impressive animation (this is without a doubt Manglobe’s least visually impressive series; just about everything looks generic here). In every area, it does just enough to be watchable.

There are a number of good arcs in this series, in particular the middle one that actually makes use of the build-up that the first season provided (something that unfortunately the rest of the arcs don’t do). It’s here where this show jumps away fro its formula, delivers its best characterization and the most interesting and least stereotypical character of the series. The problem is that all of the other arcs left something to be desired with.

This series follows the same format as the first: we first get a long arc detailing a “conquest”, followed by a short arc detailing something random about either the world of this series or dating sims in general. The long arcs suffer from stereotypical and one-sided characters along with nonsensical conclusions. The short arcs suffer from being completely stupid and moronic. Really, those episodes are completely terrible.

The thing with this series is that it does take care to give its characters interesting back-stories. That’s why I’m not giving this one a terrible rating, and all of the main arcs have their points that make them worth watching. But there’s just way too much fundamentally flawed with this series. This series doesn’t feature a series where a guy needs to save random girls who are infected by evil spirits, it feels more like a guy who needs to collect various characters who magically escaped from his games.

The characterization in this series leaves much to be desired: everyone in this series just has one side, sometimes that side has a twist, but there is nothing other to these characters beyond that twist. Even the main characters suffer from this! I could forgive the first season for that due to the lack of time, but come on: it’s already been 24 episodes and they’re still the same stereotypes.

This series advertises itself as a light-hearted parody, but the problem is that it’s just not funny. This show just doesn’t know how to write comedy: Elcea still is the most obnoxious character, and any joke this show attempts to make falls flat on its face due to poor timing: everything in this show is slow and mellow, even the delivery of the jokes. This show includes a lot of references to other stories, but that’s just what they are: random references that try to be clever, yet aren’t.

At the very least Elcea doesn’t try bathing with Keima anymore, and that second arc finally took this show somewhere other than just a cliche fest, but the main reason why I’m rating this series lower than the first is because it’s a much bigger chore to sit through. The terrible, terrible side-arcs are part of this, but the big factor is that this show has had 24 episodes now and I’m getting really tired of it. I don’t enjoy watching the majority of this series. It’s a miracle that I even kept with it, but that is mostly because people keep telling that the future arcs get better. I’ve been hopelessly caught in this series, hoping for it to finally turn good, fueled by a few good parts here and there that affirm this and yet this bloody show keeps testing my patience over and over with its cliches and complete stupidity.

Storytelling: 7/10 – It’s sufficient, but refuses to try and stand out. There’s a lot of meh in the way it delivers its story, most notably on how slow and monotone it can get.
Characters: 7/10 – It’s a character study, so the characters at least are well explored. They’re all (with the exception of perhaps one) still game stereotypes, though. If they were enjoyable to watch then okay, but more often than not they’re not!
Production-Values: 8/10 – Adequate. But for Manglobe’s standards it doesn’t stand out in any way.
Setting: 7/10 – Offers nice trivia at times, but most of this series isn’t about games, it’s about games in the eyes of an obsessed fanatic. This show did the opposite of what it was supposed to do and made my (someone who never plays visual novels) image of dating sims even more jaded than it already was.

Hanamaru Youchien
Skip Beat

10 Responses

  1. matt says:

    It does get better, but I think you still have to enjoy what came before. So yeah by this point, you might as well give up.

  2. AidanAK47 says:

    You really hate this show, don’t you Psgels? I know that when a show you don’t like has many fans that constantly praise it tends to causes you to hate it far more. Same thing happened to me with Star driver. In opinion of this TWGOK review…I agree.

    The anime fell far below my expectations. So much so that even if I heard that there would be a third season I would respond with a meh. And this is coming from a guy who put TWGOK on his top 5 favourite manga list.Like you said, all the jokes feel flat and were poorly timed. The animation wasn’t anything spectacular.(Though I am fond of the OPs) I have said this before but the problem was not unfaithfulness to the manga. It was execution.

    The characters are stereotypical in the manga too but it made up for that by making them likeable. Similar to clannad which had stereotypical characters as well but made you care about them non the less. The anime failed at this sadly. Maybe it is because of the length. In the manga you could read a capture arc in ten minutes. So it remains short and sweet. Anime however would take about an hour. (Or and hour and a half) It could just be a problem of translation to another media.

    Either way I say this show just isn’t as good as it was supposed to be.

  3. kaza says:

    even with the flaws, I like it in a guilty way xD [guilty to say I LoL'd at the gundam parody... good to remember the epic scene in the asteroid]

    I liked to see the next characters for the 3rd season… hope for it to get better, as the manga fans are saying…

  4. Wandering Bunny says:

    “You really hate this show, don’t you Psgels? I know that when a show you don’t like has many fans that constantly praise it tends to causes you to hate it far more. Same thing happened to me with Star driver. In opinion of this TWGOK review…I agree.”
    Boy can I relate…
    I still get pissed just by hearing “Ano Hana” (though I try to avoid ranting about it).

    I think part of the problem is that this season contained way too few captures and gave all of them too much time~

  5. Puran says:

    The mellow execution is the fault of the anime. When I read the manga, the payoff of each arc seemed much faster than this, which made the cheesy way the arcs resolved to feel more like a parody. The comedy also worked better.

    While the anime is treating everything with much more seriousness than it should, desperately trying to make everything feel poignant, which results to it feeling very cheesy and uninspired. While at least the manga gave you the impression that the story was good enough for the amount of time it took you to read it.

    If they had the pacing to double the speed they have it now (I mean, all those slow montages where nothing happened with piano music playing in the background, don’t really fit the series), it should at least be an entertaining series.

    But in the end, this adaptation isn’t a complete disaster. It’s just that the source material just isn’t very good as well. So, psgels, even if they fix the pacing and even if they animate the (somewhat more interesting) next chapters, all the problems you have with the series are still there. So while it could be much better than this, this series will never be awesome.

    Disclaimer: I found the manga entertaining, but I don’t really find it to be good.

  6. Puran says:

    Ah, I found a good comparison. Imagine the anime creators would take one of those semi-serious and cheesy one episode stories of Gintama (which are fine for one episode) and dragged them to 2-3 episodes. This is what TWOGK feels like.

  7. tomphile says:

    72.5 Out of 100 seems a little bit small for a show of this calibre. I thought it was much better than that and deserving of a higher score, but that’s just me.

    By far though, the Nagase arc was the weakest link in this season.

  8. Puran says:

    In comparison, Bakuman also had an adaptation just as bad as TWOGK. It was slower than it should, focused on the wrong things and had much more romance than it should. But that was a much stronger series thank TWOGK because it had better source material.

  9. Wandering Bunny says:

    @Puran: That last part is really debatable.
    I for one can’t see how Bakuman is even remotely enjoyable. I read quite a number of it’s chapters ‘cuz you know, checking manga takes no time and stuff, and really I only feel like I enjoyed it because I’ve told myself it’ll get better with time, but in the end it just seem like one giant bore-fest that only gets worse with time for me.

    Kami-nomi’s manga on the other hand I found to be somewhat good, it was funny enough to keep me reading, but the thing is… It actually got A LOT better in time. So much so that it’s the manga I anticipate the most each week after One Piece since months ago. (Goddamn the new Shiori & Yui arcs were really great!!)

    That said the wait is realllly long so Psgels should probably give up on that until like the fourth season if there will ever be one~

  10. Puran says:

    @Wandering Bunny, of course it’s debateable. And I agree that Bakuman is getting worse with time, but for me it’s a much stronger manga than TWOGK.

    The problem with me is I didn’t find the TWOGK manga to be funny. The comedy worked much better than in the anime, but it was smirk worthy at best and for me it had nothing else going for it.

    The recent goddess arc was a bit more interesting, but it never got to a point where I was looking forward to reading the next chapter of TWOGK. While Bakuman had that effect on me (although it’s been a while it has done that).

    The point I hope that we can agree on, is that bakuman and TWOGK had similarly bad adaptations: Much, much slower pacing on what they should and wrong focus (They should have focused more on the manga making in bakuman, and they should have focused more on the comedy in TWOGK).

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  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:36 AM)
    @Masky: lots of game designers aspire for realism. Now this can be done for cosmetic purposes like face textures and lighting, practical with physic engines and movement, or contextual like believable character reactions and dialogue. Now some games thrive in being ridiculous and fantastic, but some want to create a realistic setting to further the emotional impact. Nothing wrong with that.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:32 AM)
    @ratsgnoF: and happy Thanksgiving to you as well.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:43 PM)
    Anyway seriously though, I’d say it does actually make sense in context xD Since none of monsters are actually that threatening.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:42 PM)
    .-. I have no words, mainly because whenever anyone uses word “Realism” in context of video game, I want to say rude words xD
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:40 PM)
    I think he gave it a passing glance and felt it wasn’t his thing, I remember he also felt that he thought the idea of sparing the monsters wasn’t believable or realistic given that he felt if you were realistically placed in that situation yourself, the real thing to do would be to fight back out of fear.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:37 PM)
    Did he actually play the game though? I mean, did he actually discover it himself or did he just heard the spoilers?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:35 PM)
    I had a talk with a friend about undertale and he wasn’t a fan, he prefers other types of rpgs, the choice element also made him uncomfortable and that he felt the game was too punishing.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:34 PM)
    @Kaiser: Puzzle elements, outside of sparing everyone, seem to be mainly just parodying video game puzzles. Like, only place where you actually have to solve actual puzzles is in Hotland, before that pretty much every puzzle is automatically solved, really easy or has some silly twist to it. Like the puzzle you can skip by pressing a switch in tree trunk. Can’t say I’m too fond of puzzles either, but I liked how game was making fun of them
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:32 PM)
    Speaking of awful sense of humor and things that dorks like, just wanted to say that turns out I was right about Jitsu wa watashi wa in that main couple does get together before chapter 100(forgot what exactly, some where in 80-90 range I think). But they are such huge dorks that they do everything ridiculously slowly because they are that embarrassed, so they have had like just one date(in chapter 100). Not that I expect anyone to remember what the heck I’m talking about xD
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:32 PM)
    The battle system grew on me a bit, but I didn’t like the puzzle elements it offered, the actual gameplay looked kind of dull also. Some of the characters were likeable enough, Papyrus, Asogore, the flower guy being my favourite though the plot didn’t really get interesting until the end.

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