Arifureta leaves Myu behind as the gang board the submarine and go labyrinth hunting. Only it isn’t much of a hunt because after drifting kind of aimlessly, giving time to show each girl of the harem in the shower and Hajime contemplating the setting sun, the moon hits the magical necklace and gives them a direct beam of light to their location. Convenient.
Arifureta takes us on an underwater adventure – kind of.
It is kind of weird they made such a big deal about this being an underwater labyrinth and Hajime premade a submarine and the like. Largely because as soon as they arrive underwater the submarine becomes useless as they end up in first a cave and then some kind of island location. Also, can we take a moment to critique the underwater sequence Arifureta does give us.
I mentioned back in season one that one of the issues with the action in the dungeons was how dark the episodes were. To the point that it was difficult to even see what was happening because there was insufficient contrast. Well, underwater sequences are much the same and the submarine really just gets them down through the water, throws a few torpedo’s at a completely unidentified monster, and then is packed away.
Arifureta, this is not how you make best use of your props.
Though while we are on the submarine sequence, I found Hajime’s actions just kind of eye-roll worthy. He senses or sees a monster behind the submarine (or at least its aura) and without even identifying what it is simply launches a barrage at it, gloats about how the explosions are more powerful and continues on. Great, now even the anime itself is just skipping over conflict to the point where we don’t even know what they are fighting.
Likewise Tio notices something on the cave roof when they arrive and rather than take a closer look or anything else she just hits it with a barrage of magic power. Guessing they weren’t trying to get the element of surprise here. Not to mention, her attack essentially dropped part of the roof on top of Shea.
Arifureta then treats the audience to a slime fight though again its taking place in an underwater cavern so basically just accept you are going to see dark purple smears on the screen and the girls lifting their arms up while lights come out and meanwhile Hajime will go from shooting a gun to getting out the flame thrower. Its a pretty unspectacular visual mess of a sequence.
But before you think I’m just kind of dumping on Arifureta because I can, I actually did like the sequence that followed all the murky action where Hajime point blank talked to Kaori about his relationship with Yue and called her out on her jealousy. It was a far more direct approach to tidying up miscommunications and misunderstandings than most anime ever get to and hopefully it tidies up the ongoing squabbling in the harem because that was getting old.
It would be even better if Kaori could just be happy for Hajime and leave it at that.
Finally, as has become standard for Arifureta Season 2, the story jumps over to the castle where we see Aiko getting abducted. Someone ought to tell her kidnapper that being told ‘don’t worry I won’t kill you’ isn’t as comforting as she might think.
All things considered, I’d still say season 2 of Arifureta is going much better than most of season one, however there are still enough issues, particularly with the visuals and lack of things to care about as most of the battles still feel weightless. That said, season 2 is far more watchable than season one and honestly its doing better at holding my interest this season than the second season of Realist Hero or the first season of Tensai Ouji.
Images from: Arifureta 2nd Season. Dir. A Iwanaga. asread & studio MOTHER. 2022.
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