Arifureta is one of the very few anime where I had read the source prior to the anime coming out (there’s been a few more recently but usually I read the source after the anime is done and usually only if I want to know if there’s more to the story). With the other issues season one faced, knowing the story had been told better in a different format certainly didn’t help my enjoyment of it. But season 2 isn’t burdened by that issue as the plot has now moved beyond the novels that I’ve read.
Which explains why I was nearly jumping for joy midway through this episode when Kaori decided to stay in the village to continue healing the sick civilians rather than accompanying Hajime to the mountain. Anymore Yue and Kaori bickering after the first episode of season 2 of Arifureta might very well have killed any lingering curiosity I had for finding out where this story goes.
Arifureta Season 2 Continues Its Theme Of Indifferent Monster Slaying
Anyway, this episode begins with Hajime and his harem arriving in the town that had the issue with the poisoned water. In the space of a few little spells they create a major water reservoir so the town people can drink while they determine what the problem with the oasis is before going in search of the magic mineral that will help cure everyone rather than just stabilise them. Yue does most of the leg-work with the spells and for a brief instant looks weakened but then makes out with Hajime and instantly bounces back.
One of the things that continues to make it difficult to really buy into Arifureta is the indifference the characters themselves have to their circumstances. Sometimes they at least recklessly enjoy the danger but normally, as it is when they confront the blob monster thing in the oasis, they are so coldly disinterested in really just makes it hard as a viewer to care about what they are doing.
However, with the water reserves sorted and the creature in the oasis defeated, its time to go to the mountain and enter yet another labyrinth. I’m not sure if this one was meant to be as elaborate or interesting as the previous ones but after a brief walk, a rest stop in which all the girls open their shirts to cool off revealing sweat trickling into their bosoms, the group board a boat and ride the lava to the finish line.
Way to take the excitement out of a quest.
Meanwhile how long is Hajime going to react with blushes and yelps when the girls that are constantly around him do something vaguely provocative? He’s so chill about death and monsters after his ordeal in the first labyrinth it makes you wonder why his constant exposure to Yue, Shia and Tio hasn’t desensitised him at least a little bit. Then again, I guess he wouldn’t be an anime protagonist if he didn’t.
The final parts of this episode of Arifureta focus on some lava snakes attacking the group prior to reaching what they think will be the end of the labyrinth. As usual they take care of it all pretty easily though as least just as they think they are victorious something a little surprising happens leaving us with at least a decent enough cliff-hanger to carry us into episode 3.
Part of me just wishes that the creative team behind Arifureta had spent as long on their monster designs an animations as they had on cute anime girls and heaving bosoms. While the lava snakes are a step up in quality from some of the visual monstrosities of season one, they aren’t particularly interesting and their movements are almost identical to the sand snakes encountered in episode 1.
Images from: Arifureta 2nd Season. Dir. A Iwanaga. asread & studio MOTHER. 2022.
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