My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Series Review – Another Sequel Without The Charm of the Original

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Series Review

What is it about 2021 and sequels? Is there some kind of curse over the anime industry at the moment that means all sequels have to lose what made the original season so entertaining? Then again, I’ve always had a bit of an issue with sequels not measuring up for one reason or another so it is no surprise really that a story focused on comedy, such as the isekai My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X didn’t quite end up hitting the same sweet spot as the original.

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My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2

That isn’t to say that the charm is entirely gone from Catarina’s life as this isekai female lead meanders obliviously over her harem’s emotions, gets kidnapped, eats a lot of food, rescues her brother from being kidnapped and then eats more food. However, season one of My Next Life as a Villainess felt like there was a purpose in Catarina avoiding the death flags from the game she had played. No matter how loose the plot got, there was always the basic premise to fall back on to hold things together.

So what went wrong for My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2?

Season two lacks that and it isn’t until the final episode that we even really get directed back to the game in a sequel or movie bait moment that actually kind of made me interested in watching more even though I had more or less decided not to continue with this franchise after this season. Given the best part of this season was discussing each episode with both Crow and Irina despite having gone in excited for more of Catarina’s story, I came to the conclusion that more was not necessarily better.

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Episode 6

That isn’t to say that My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X is actually bad. It really isn’t. But nor is it infectiously charming and silly in the way season one was. Instead we’re left with an anime that has short arcs where the stakes might seem high but they aren’t, plots that could be dark but will be resolved too swiftly to be taken seriously, and a cast that is actually suffering from bloat because while each character is charming none of them get enough time to really sell their charm to the audience.

Its a bit of a shame when there are some delightful moments along the way.

Early on we were introduced to a ‘villain’ who had kidnapped Catarina. He was a fun character (you know despite being a kidnapper and all) as he verbally sparred with Catarina, sat and ate cakes and had tea with her, delivered a heart-wrenching back story that really went nowhere, but he had a bit of spice as a character and the glasses and butler outfit kind of worked for me.

Villainess S2 Ep3 3

While he wasn’t toppling Nicol as my favourite in the harem, Sora’s introduction had the potential to shake up a group that had fallen into fairly predictable patterns and routine repeats of jokes we’d seen before. There’s only so many confessions, acts of jealousy, and friendly verbal sparring you can watch before it all feels like you’ve seen and heard it all before.

But…

Instead My Next Life as a Villainess has Sora’s character ending up working at the department of magic with Raphael. Fine. However, the next few times we see him there’s no spice or entertainment to be had. He’s just another generic nice guy who kind of crushes on Catarina. Instead of mixing things up and giving us some new beats, Sora just eats up screen time from other cast members but contributed nothing particularly new.

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2

It didn’t help that he ditched the glasses and went for a more casual and forgettable wardrobe in the final arc. Ultimately, Sora just blends in to the background of My Next Life as a Villainess and I couldn’t help but feel it was a waste of a character introduction. He had the potential to be so much more.



And while we’re on the topic of wasted potential, we had not one but two kidnapping plots this season. How often do nobles in this kingdom get kidnapped that both Catarina and Keith from the same family can be kidnapped in two separate incidents?

Catarina’s abduction was definitely never intended to be taken seriously as she uses it as an excuse to enjoy not having to get up on time, to eat as much as she wants, and generally be quite lazy. It also did bring Sora into the story and seemed like a decent enough arc. Furthermore, this arc did some solid heavy lifting in world-building as it introduced anime viewers to the complex political relationship between the four princes when really they just want to get along.

Catarina kidnapped? My Next Life as a Villainess

As always though, the conflict is resolved pretty easily and Catarina is rescued without ever really being in danger.

Keith isn’t so lucky as he doesn’t have protagonist plot armour in My Next Life as a Villainess and his kidnapping is actually quite a painful ordeal, not that the follow-up episode would in anyway support that. Despite being tortured for days, Keith seems entirely mentally fine and not at all traumatised by the experience, because you wouldn’t want reality to be a downer on a rom-com (which makes you wonder why bother putting the sub-plot in at all if you aren’t doing anything with it).

Keith kidnapped - My Next life as a Villainess

There are some solid moments of entertainment sprinkled around the messy plot. The play the characters put on early in the season is a delightful return to the world of My Next Life as a Villainess. Also, Gerald finally just telling Catarina straight out how he feels and kissing her was a pretty show-stopping way to end an episode, but then Catarina just plays it super dense so this also goes nowhere fast.

Perhaps my favourite stand-alone plot point was Nicol’s episode where he decided to actually have some marriage interviews. In terms of characters actually being entertaining and charming, this was the episode highlight of the whole season. It felt like it was moving Nicol’s character forward, deepening our understanding of him, and just giving him and his potential matched partner space to really shine. That there were so few other moments like this for the rest of the cast is a little bit sad as Mary and Sophia more or less become background chorus for the majority of the season.

My Next life as a Villainess S2

Visually, My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X is still the same bright and bubbly affair that season one was with some nice contrasting colours, great character costumes, and some beautiful anime food (oh, the food). It isn’t exceptional in terms of the animation, nor does it need to be when a lot of the time that characters are being pretty still, but it does enough in the few action sequences throughout.

The opening theme wasn’t quite as entertaining as season one’s, but the ending theme for episodes 1-11 “give me ♡ me” was one of my season highlights. I didn’t ever stop the episode without watching the ending which is kind of rare for me with anime as I usually get hooked on openings but find most endings fairly skippable.

Overall thoughts on My Next Life as a Villainess:

All Routes Lead to Doom! X

Honestly, I didn’t hate this follow up season to My Next Life as a Villainess, I just kind of found it a little lacking and there were so many moments where it felt like it didn’t make the most of particular opportunities. The end result is it becomes pleasant enough watching characters you like going through the motions of a ho-hum plot with a lot less humour but it also isn’t something you could recommend as a must watch.

Images from: My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X. Dir. K Inoue. Silver Link. 2021


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(Tensura 2) That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2 Episode 47 Impressions

Tensura 2 Episode 47

You know, I haven’t been the biggest fan of Tensura 2 part 2, but the episode this week definitely gave me my very favourite moment from this franchise and one of the best laughs I’ve had this season.

While I was expecting a climatic smack down this week, I wasn’t expecting some of the best comedy moments from the season to occur during the course of the episode. And yet, Tensura 2 delivered some decent fights and for some reason finally remembered it is supposed to be a comedy.

Best moment from this season.

Veldora has felt a little, okay a lot, underused since his release from his prison. Admittedly, the concept of an all powerful evil dragon becoming addicted to manga is very much in line with Tensura 2’s usual desire to give us opposite features and play it for laughs, but he’s really not done much at all.

Yet, in one hilarious fight sequence with Milim he’s managed to make me laugh and has made him my pick for best character of the season. Here’s a dragon fighting a demon-lord and having a blast doing it while calling out a range of attack names straight out of other manga and anime. It was perfect and if the rest of the season had even been half this entertaining That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2 would have been quite the enjoyable watch.

Tensura 2 - Rimuru gives instructions to Veldora

Was the penultimate episode of Tensura 2 Part 2 enough?

If we look at this episode of Tensura 2 simply as a way to get to the final episode of the season, it serves its purpose well. It is a fun and exciting episode, allows some of our cast to show off some moves and resolves all but a handful of issues. It also leaves us with a villain transforming into a monstrous form right at the end giving us something to look forward to next week even though the outcome seems a foregone conclusion.

Still, this episode probably isn’t going to make you forget the slow grind to get here. Nor will it overcome the fact that the reason this episode was so fun is because we really did narrow the focus down to a handful of cast members from the giant cast. So many characters are nowhere to be seen having been sent off on other missions (some we’ve seen the outcome of).

Tensura 2 Episode 47

More importantly, this episode of Tensura 2 finally addresses the whole Milim getting brainwashed issue and Milim, when she’s Milim, is always a bit of a fun character. She instantly lifts the mood in the final third of this episode and helps to remind us how much fun this anime can be.



If I was to raise one complaint about this episode, and it really isn’t a complaint, it is that Rimuru doesn’t do much. He directs his forces and he did undo one of Clayman’s spells, but it is quite clear they’ve held off on Rimuru really getting involved in the fight and saved that for the final showdown. It’s a pretty predictable move and the end result is you have to wonder whether or not this all could have been over if Rimuru had decided to deal with things more directly.

Instead he is kind of reduced to over the top reactions that aren’t quite as funny as some of the other moments in the episode.

Rimuru - Tensura 2

Naturally, because it seems Clayman’s time is coming to a close, we suddenly get some more backstory. Too little, too late to make me care about the smug jerk and his inevitable defeat. But I guess it is a standard trope of the genre I just hope they don’t fill the next episode with it and rather just get on with ending this particular arc. It would be nice also to see the core cast reunite one final time before the season’s end.

Anyway, what did you enjoy about the episode and what do you want to see in the final?

Images from: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2. Dir. Y Kikuchi. 8bit. 2021.


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(Tensura 2) That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2 Episode 46 Impressions

Tensura 2 Episode 46 Review

It’s probably a good thing Clayman isn’t a lawyer. Or anyone who has to present a logical argument. While Tensura 2 has tried to market Clayman as the great manipulator, he really is kind of a let-down in that he hasn’t got contingency plans and he really hasn’t even checked that his actual plans are coming to fruition before he lays out a paper-thin case against Rimuru before the other demon-lords.

Tensura 2 - Clayman presents his 'evidence'

Not that it seems like they particularly care about evidence. Clayman claims Rimuru killed his subordinate, Rimuru calls him a liar and says she’s alive, but nobody cares about evidence in this episode of Tensura 2. Instead this heads where it inevitably was going to, a fight between the two.

Doesn’t it make you feel kind of sad that these massively powerful beings who have so much influence over the world can’t think of a better way to settle a situation other than gather their forces and get into a smack down?

Then again, It did make this one of the more interesting episodes of the season.



Will Rimuru maintain his plot armour in the final episodes of Tensura 2 Part 2?

Rimuru - Tensura 2

We already know that Tensura 2 is a little too fond of its characters and seems fairy unwilling to let even minor cast members be permanently cut down (unless they oppose Rimuru in which case they can be taken out without hesitation).

That kind of sucks any tension that might exist in this match up between Milim, Clayman and others with Rimuru and his entourage. Which again, kind of sucks because Milim vs Rimuru could be such an epic match-up.

Even without any real fear of danger befalling our ‘hero’ it was a pretty fun fight to watch playout.

Tensura 2 - Milim vs Rimuru

Knowing it hasn’t yet come to an end certainly makes you want to watch next week to see how the fight concludes. I mean, one assumes that Rimuru is going to figure out how to snap Milim out of her brainwashing and then the both of them will throttle Clayman, but how that comes about is yet to be seen.

Then again, maybe Tensura 2 actually has a surprise in store for us and Milim is just gone. (I kind of doubt it.)

What about Clayman?

Clayman has so far proven a disappointing adversary at every turn and while it is clear there is someone else behind him, honestly I just want him to pose a more credible threat.

He talks to much.

He has a superiority complex.

He doesn’t verify the success of his plan before moving on to the next step.

When challenged on key points of his story, he has no back up and reacts really badly under pressure.

I actually don’t think Tensura 2 could have presented a less interesting threat and about the only noteworthy point is that Milim is in fact under his control, which is only noteworthy because of her relationship to Rimuru.

Tensura 2 - Clayman

I’m struggling to find a positive with Clayman. I kind of want him to get quickly and decisively cut down but I somehow suspect he’ll have one final desperate plan which will probably involve him transforming into something really big and stupid and still being more or less instantly erradicated.

That is of course just pure speculation.

Also, I kind of wanted more from the other demon lords. Most of them didn’t even speak let alone contribute anything after their introductions.

Tensura 2 Episode 46

And with two episodes left in this season of Tensura 2 it seems unlikely that these characters will actually get fleshed out in any meaningful way.

Still we have the conclusion of the Milim and Rimuru fight to look forward to and that’s enough to keep me happy for now.

Images from: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2. Dir. Y Kikuchi. 8bit. 2021.


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(Tensura 2) That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2 Episode 45 Impressions

Tensura 2 Episode 45 Review

With only a handful of episodes to go Tensura 2 seems to be moving things along with Shuna, Souei and Hakurou moving on Clayman’s castle while Rimuru goes to the meeting of the demon-lords and sees Milim’s current condition, though even that isn’t enough to really list the episode.

Tensura 2 - Veldora reading still

I will definitely give this episode points because Shuna’s face-off against the skeleton priest thing (one of Clayman’s fingers) was very impressive and Shuna’s a character who spends far too much time in the background making clothing or other things while everyone else gets to be awesome. However, outside of that, this episode left me feeling pretty flat.



Has the charm worn of Tensura 2?

I’m not that worried though given long running shows tend to do this to me in that their energy spikes and falls and if I were watching this whole season in a binge session it wouldn’t feel anywhere near as drawn out as it does watching it weekly. That said, if (when) there’s eventually a third season of Tensura 2 I probably won’t be diving in for episodic viewing and will probably just binge it at the end.

If I’m really honest, even season one had a few dips in it in terms of how interesting I found it. As much as Tensura is very popular I will admit I find it a charming watch but I’m not a manic fan of the franchise and if it were to disappear I probably wouldn’t remember it for very long.

But let’s take the episode in order.

Tensura 2 Episode 45 - Shuna

Shuna’s journey to Clayman’s base isn’t exactly fraught with danger given they overcome the challenge fairly readily and easily, but it was still so nice just seeing her out and about.

And honestly, anyone who claims not to have been impressed by her magical feats against the skeleton guy either didn’t watch the episode or is just too hard to impress. Shuna was awesome. If only she wasn’t sharing an anime with Benimaru and Rimuru she could have been an amazing protagonist all on her own.

Tensura 2 Episode 45

Of course, much like last episode where Benimaru mopped up the battle in the canyon, I kind of felt sorry for the supporting characters this week. instead of the beastketeers, this time it is Souei and Hakurou who are forced very much into supporting roles in this battle and neither really get to do anything truly amazing (though Souei’s ease of slicing and dicing a death dragon could have been impressive if it didn’t get straight back up).

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Considering both of those characters are very impressive fighters and Souei is a character I genuinely like in Tensura 2 but don’t think he gets anywhere near enough screen time, they both felt criminally underused in this episode.

The skeleton guy’s radical personality change also kind of felt a little bit on the cheap side this week though did give me a bit of a laugh (and laughs have been a little few and far between recently for Tensura so I won’t turn my nose up at it).

Tensura 2 Episode 45

With that battle wrapped and the characters heading toward the fortress, we cut back to Rimuru heading into the meeting with the demon lords and he faces up to the guy who was responsible for Shizue.

Honestly, this feels like an underwhelming confrontation and while I get now probably isn’t the time or place for Rimuru to really pursue this issue, it all just felt a little anti-climatic. Tensura 2 part 2 hasn’t had any solid emotional notes really to hold it together and it felt like Rimuru should have had a stronger reaction (though I do get time and place).

Tensura 2 Episode 45

Then we have Clayman arrive and they are still trying to make this guy look like walking scum as he slaps Milim in the head. As I’ve said in an earlier review, we already hate Clayman but they really aren’t doing subtle. But if we want to know how people react to the obviously bewitched Milim and the cocky Clayman I guess we’ll have to wait for the next episode.

I kind of wish I was more excited but honestly I’m just kind of waiting this one out and hoping Tensura 2 manages to end on a hight note.

Images from: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2. Dir. Y Kikuchi. 8bit. 2021.


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(Tensura 2) That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2 Episode 44 Impressions

Tensura 2 Episode 44 Review

I get that Tensura 2 has a large cast and is actually more a comedic slice of life than an action epic, but at some point you have to wonder if there really has ceased being any point in following along.

As the three bestketeers face off against their opponents this week, supported by various other characters, we more or less get three forgettable encounters.

Tensura 2 Episode 44

Firstly we have the white tiger girl and Gabiru facing off against Milim’s dragon priests. Only the priests don’t really care about the outcome of the fight given they are fairly certain that Milim doesn’t want to fight Rimuru and all the extras are more or less dropped before we even come into the situation. Then the main bald priest guy is more just wanting to play rather than taking the fight in anyway seriously.

While it is great that not ever opponent is just straight up evil or killed, this felt like such an empty encounter. When the potential big-bad rose toward the end of the episode and the priests all got up and just healed all of Rimuru’s crew that were hurt and they all banded together it just felt like everything in this situation had been mostly meaningless.

Was this encounter in Tensura 2 at least entertainingly meaningless?

I guess that depends.

It was nice to see that Gabiru has continued to grow as a character from where we first met him back in season one. I don’t really have an opinion on the white tiger girl so really didn’t get a lot out of her scenes. The dragon priests of Milim might become interesting depending on where the story goes with them, but right now they are just another extra moving part in a story packed full of characters and factions.

Tensura 2 Episode 44

Tensura 2 also continued the fight with the snake girl and the ice sword guy. Though, after being completely outclassed, ice sword guy more or less tried to surrender before Clayman, true to his nature, turned on his own subordinate. As I said last week, we really don’t need any more reasons to hate Clayman but Tensura 2 feels the need to make him seem despicable at every single turn.

Likewise, the encounter with the masked pair in the forest was kind of a one-sided fight before they more or less decided they were done and disappeared.

Tensura 2 Episode 44

So to summarise, the Beastketeers pretty much lost all three encounters in Tensura 2 as one opponent didn’t fight, the second one turned into a giant monster that another character took care of (and lets discuss that in a moment) and the final fight saw the opponents beat them down and then calmly leave.

About the only actual moment of cool we get this week is that Benimaru, cocky as he was about the outcome of this fight, more or less demonstrates that he needs to be the protagonist in his own anime right now and not playing second fiddle to a slime given he’s pretty much an unstoppable force of nature in his own right.

And I’d be more critical of that except it was very cool.

Tensura 2 Episode 44

However, from a narrative point of view we’re still left with another situation where the guy with the ice-sword was built up as a threat and then disposed of so easily. This is much like the three characters who were all reincarnated that attacked Rimuru’s city. They were introduced as potentially the next real threat and then ended up being summarily disposed of within a handful of episodes. It almost makes you wonder why they bothered to introduce them at all.

Was Benimaru’s moment of cool in Tensura 2 Episode 44 enough to make this episode exciting?

Possibly yes, but overall I’m still very luke-warm about this second season of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime .

Images from: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2. Dir. Y Kikuchi. 8bit. 2021.


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(Tensura 2) That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2 Episode 43 Impressions

Tensura 2 Episode 43 Review

I’m wondering when Benimaru got so incredibly cocky, though given how Tensura 2 has been going I guess having supremely overconfident supporting characters is just par for the course at this point. Though, in any other show, someone acting that confident that they were about to win a war would most definitely be smacked down my instant karma.

Tensura 2 Episode 43 - Benimaru

Tensura 2 – Where the ‘heroes’ have a lot of traits in common with standard villains.

In addition to superb overconfidence we also have underhanded tactics and Benimaru doesn’t actually join the fighting himself this week, though I suspect he’s probably going to have to involve himself eventually.

Anyway, after all of the chatter of the past few weeks, Tensura 2 has at least finally kicked off its war though we do still have Rimuru doing some magic to ensure the dryad can accompany the fairy and we also have a brief glimpse of Milim as Rimuru is told about her subordinates. The pose he visualises her in is probably completely irrelevant to the thought process at hand but there’s really no other reason for Milim to wear that outfit other than to be put in such poses (no this is not a combat friendly outfit) so lets just move on.

Milim - Tensura 2 Episode 43

The beast guys get all excited and pretty much tell Benimaru they are going to take care of a few things on the battle field. Everything goes more or less as planned with a trap taking out most of the footsoldiers and the flying lizard guys cleaning up any of the flying soldiers. Its a good thing the whole army was marching together and nobody was taking a different route. That would have made the whole thing a little less spectacular.


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Then, because like the only plan the villain had was march through this canyon, he’s freaking out because Clayman isn’t going to be happy he failed and apparently failing once is enough of a reason to be killed or turned into a mindless puppet (wow, Clayman’s employment plan sucks). So without any kind of actual plan Ice-Sword guy tries to flee but finds his magic is blocked.

In case my tone isn’t clear, I’m really not caught up in the ‘excitement’ of this. There was no tension, no drama, and the action wasn’t entertaining enough on its own to hold it together. While there’s a definite relief that we’re finally seeing the characters do something, rather than talk about doing something, the army here that was talked up as a potential problem has turned more into a pest eradication mission and I’m really not into watching people swat flies.

Tensura 2 Episode 43

The one battle that potentially could have given us a bit of a thrill as when snake girl from the beastketeers tracks down the ice-sword guy and the two actually start a duel. Even then, it felt a bit one-sided though I am going to throw in here that Gobta gets points for being the single coolest character this episode.

That’s a little tragic for Tensura 2 that Gobta is now actually the coolest character on screen…

Naturally the fight isn’t finished and there’s several other fights and getting set-up for the various characters we are supposed to remember the names of but I doubt much of it will amount to anything. Honestly, Rimuru’s people are so overpowered at this point they can pretty much steamroll entire armies without Rimuru at all. Good thing we’re supposed to like these guys otherwise we’d be calling out ofr a hero to take out this unstoppable monster army.

Tensura 2 - Episode 43

Still, Tensura 2 does remain fun enough for casual viewing. The real issue is that much like many long running series, after a slump of episodes it takes me awhile to get back into it. That’s more or less why I’ve paused My Hero Academia at this stage. I need to really be in the mood to jump back into that or I will genuinely just pick at it.

Images from: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2. Dir. Y Kikuchi. 8bit. 2021.


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(Tensura 2) That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2 Episode 42 Impressions

Tensura 2 Episode 42 Review

Is it time for the villains to talk in Tensura 2?

Or maybe not all villains but at least those not standing with Rimuru. Given Rimuru is pretty okay with overthrowing kingdoms and mass-slaughter there’s little that distinguishes our favourite little ball blue of slime from those who force teleport kids from other worlds and stir up war for gain.

Anyway…

Tensura 2 Episode 42

After many episodes where Rimuru and his gang of worshipers (should I call them allies?) sat around discussing prior events and potential plans moving forward, we now have an episode that starts with Rimuru’s forces dividing and heading off to carry out the plans made previously in Tensura. That should be exciting right?

Except that it seems like instead of following on from there we instead are going to cut to all the other characters because we haven’t heard their exposition about their motives and goals and we haven’t quite managed to make Clayman out to be the cackling evil-doer he is so that viewers can feel suitably satisfied when he inevitably gets his comeuppance.

Tensura, we already hated Clayman, move on.

Episode 42 of course corrects that by showing us how Milim ended up under Clayman’s thumb and his treatment of her upon realising she couldn’t fight back. If you ever wanted an audience to hate a character and want a blue slime to more or less dismantle him, have the cute demon girl get first turned into a puppet and then literally kicked while already down. I will say, Tensura isn’t getting any better at subtlety.

Tensura 2 Episode 42

While I’d love to discuss the insight we gained into any of these additional characters I’m going to be blunt and point out that other than confirming Milim most definitely isn’t in control of her actions there really wasn’t a useful outcome from this episode. The discovery of another dragon was kind of cool but unless they do something with that it won’t really go anywhere.



So, rather than continuing to write about the episode, lets look at the six episodes Tensura 2 Part 2 has delivered so far in the Summer 2021 season and lets all agree that regardless of what this is building up to this has not been good storytelling or particularly entertaining. None of the characters have gotten to be shown in their best light, nothing exciting has happened and the pacing of the narrative has literally slowed to an absolute crawl.

Tensura 2 Episode 42

Sure, set-up is important.

Jumping straight into the conflict with Clayman without setting up some basics for their overall plan would have been foolhardy, but does any story need to plod along like this, holding the audience’s hand and repeating things over and over, and not leaving any details for later discovery? I’d say not and watching Tensura this season is more or less explaining why they really shouldn’t.

I thought last week the exposition dump was at last over and that this week Tensura was finally going to act on all this planning. Instead they pull a bait and switch and leave us with more planning and talking but from different characters. It is almost as if they are trolling viewers now and even if it is deliberate it isn’t fun to watch.

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If we were to compare this to a long running shounen, this is equivalent of the three episode flash back mid-battle sequence that derails the current plot and pacing (that audiences want to watch) in order to build some sense of understanding about a character who is probably literally about to die as soon as they stop flashing back.

Tensura 2 Episode 42

Anyway, enough complaining. I won’t say that I think next week things will start happening because I’ve now been proven wrong again and again. I just kind of hope Tensura manages to do something in this season that makes it worth having stuck it out.

Images from: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2. Dir. Y Kikuchi. 8bit. 2021.


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Moriarty The Patriot Season 2 Series Review – The Lord Of Crime Less Interesting Than Expected

Moriarty the Patriot Season 2 Anime Review

Sequels are tricky things to get right and The Promised Neverland demonstrated in spectacular fashion how wrong a second anime season can go. Moriarty the Patriot hasn’t fallen to such a low point in this second season follow up but it also hadn’t risen to such lofty heights in the first place.

Season one of Moriarty the Patriot was a bit of a mixed bag and after a solid opening act seemed to struggle to maintain momentum or really capitalise on its strengths. However in season two we see those issues, and the issues the writers were clearly faced with in trying to write for not one but two super genius characters, cause the story, particularly in the mid-season to really flounder.

Moriarty The Patriot Season 2 – Not What I Signed Up For

Image from Moriarty the Patriot.

When the spring 2021 season kicked off I wasn’t really sure what I would watch and review though I ended up agreeing to review a couple of anime with Irina and then there were the series that were sponsored by readers. Moriarty the Patriot I decided to cover because I’d been looking forward to seeing the story continue and I’d hoped that I would be satisfied with how it went.

The opening episode of Moriarty the Patriot Season 2, with the heavy focus on Sherlock rather than Moriarty, wasn’t great but had some intriguing ideas. However, those who followed my episode reviews will know that by the mid-season I was pretty much over this anime and ultimately I stopped doing episodic coverage entirely, choosing instead to wait out the final arc and then watching in a single binge session.

As cool as that image is, it belongs in Dracula and not Moriarty the Patriot.

However it did make me wonder just what it was about this second season that really didn’t sit right with me. It wasn’t like it took a huge deviation from the set-up in season one. Though a lot of that set-up ended up feeling superfluous with the final plan really feeling kind of thrown together and not well thought out.

Going back through my episode posts, I realised episode 15 was where I more or less admitted I wasn’t really enjoying watching it and a large part of the problem was that our title character, Moriarty, wasn’t really the main character anymore.

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In season one, William James Moriarty was almost always in the centre of things and his plans were nicely detailed. He also seemed to be actively involved in their execution even if he didn’t deliver the final blow. The introduction of Sherlock during season one shifted the dynamic and as more and more cast members stepped up Moriarty’s role diminished.

And Moriarty is going to need to take centre stage again - Image from Moriarty the Patriot.

Despite this being the story of Moriarty and supposedly telling the story of him actually being a patriot and not just a criminal foil for a master detective, Moriarty’s presence becomes increasingly irrelevant. Sure his brother’s defer to him and his gang all revere him, but his own actions becoming increasingly less important – you know until the anime just kind of throws its hands in the air and sends him on an outright murder spree.

Given a lot of the appeal for me in season one was his character and how much I enjoyed seeing the reframing of his villainous acts, season 2 of Moriarty the Patriot just felt like it wasn’t giving me what I wanted from the anime.

And a lot of what we were getting felt like bloat just to stretch out the conclusion of a story that really could have been told in a single twelve episode season without all the unnecessary additions and complications that ultimately added nothing.

Let's get to the point indeed Sherlock - Image from Moriarty the Patriot.

Whether we are talking about Irene’s character arc and conversion into one of the gang or the entire Jack the Ripper near rebellion incident, neither of these ultimately contributed anything to the end story and really we could have got to the same place faster and felt a better connection with the central players without it.

Likewise, an attempt to bring in a third player who could rival Holmes and Moriarty, Milverton, proved just another distraction and ultimately he and his plots amounted to nothing. Admittedly, at least his interaction with the main pair forced the main plot into action but again, it just felt like he existed to give Moriarty the Patriot another handful of episodes before we limped over the finish line.

However, if I wasn’t going to get more of a character I loved, I was hoping at least that the plot would hold itself together. Yet season 2 of Moriarty the Patriot more or less doubles down on the same issues that plagued season one with the mob characters, both nobility and commoners, being particularly stupid and the schemes of those manipulating the masses being pretty transparent and poorly executed.

I really wish it had been fun, Albert - Image from Moriarty the Patriot.

There’s little joy in seeing a plan succeed when it seems so incredibly weak.

Moriarty the Patriot wants to delve into serious issues of class warfare and seems to want to explore the character of individuals when placed under duress. Yet at no point does it have the ability to really write these scenarios in a way that makes them feel anything more than a superficial nod to themes that are kind of essential for the story to hold together.



From start to finish my main complaint about Moriarty the Patriot season 2 would be that I wanted more. More from the characters I liked, more from the writing, and more intrigue from the plot. It all just fell that little bit short leaving the viewing experience feeling lacking.

It was always watchable. At no point does this anime derail and become a terrible incomprehensible mess. At no point are the characters so stupid that watching them another minute would be painful. But there’s little joy in watching it either. It just kind of is and the most disappointing thing is the potential that is in this premise and plot that feels like it was just missed.

Moriarty the Patriot

What I will say is that at the very least we were given a conclusion. It is as satisfying as could be expected from the series given how the second season plays out and while there’s room for a follow-up any such attempt would undermine what little good this season did bring to the characters (so let’s hope this is the end).

It is kind of tricky because this anime isn’t all that bad and I’m sure that there will be some people who quite enjoyed it for what it was. I can’t personally recommend it because ultimately I feel that Moriarty the Patriot just squandered too much of its own potential leaving me feeling more frustrated while watching than anything else. Still, there’s certainly worse anime out there and at least this one finishes.

Images used for review from: Moriarty the Patriot. Dir. K. Nomura. Production I. G. 2020.


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Karandi James


(Tensura 2) That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41 Impressions

Tensura 2 Episode 41 Review

After three episodes in a row of the characters in Tensura sitting around and talking to one another it was kind of a relief that episode 41 at least finally had them moving to prepare for the upcoming events. Sure it isn’t exactly enough action to really redeem this second part of the second season, but it at least indicates we’re finally getting somewhere which is enough to keep me from dropping this in a fit of boredom.

Actually, the real saving grace of episode 41 is that unlike the previous episodes, we’re finally seeing some of the personality of the core cast come back. Instead of stuffy, formal meetings, we see Benimaru responding to Rimuru’s order to destroy an army with a ‘hell yeah’ before he corrects himself to more formal language but it was a small spark of energy that was fairly infectious as all of the characters seemed to find themselves again.

Tensura 2 - Hell yeah from Benimaru

Tensura 2 – finding the fun in war.

Perhaps the characters are a little too upbeat at the prospect of a potential war with the animal kingdom at stake and another conflict to begin in the human city and Clayman still to take out, but Tensura’s characters are happy little warriors and the prospect of taking action isn’t just lightening the audience’s mood but visibly makes Shion, Diablo, and even Veldora seem far more at ease and more like themselves.


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Sure there’s still some plans to be made such as deciding which of the vast characters in Tensura will accompany Rimuru to face Clayman and figuring out how to transport a whole army (easily really and we’ll have an instant magical fix to that), but by the end of episode 41 there’s a definite sense that we’re finally getting somewhere.

Tensura 2 - Shion and Veldora get angry

This week also we get a scene where they work to establish the ice-sword guy leading the enemy army as a complete jerk who deserves to be unceremoniously crushed underneath Benimaru and his army’s heel. It isn’t in any way subtle as we have him bullying two priests and even slicing the arm off of one really just because he could.

His actions served one purpose in Tensura and that was to make us happy he was on the opposing side to Rimuru so that when he inevitably is defeated we feel pretty happy about. Because let’s be honest, Rimuru has so far devoured every enemy that has crossed his path with the possible exception of Hinata. Even if this guy manages to overcome Benimaru’s forces (which seems unlikely) he certainly isn’t going to get to celebrate that victory for long.

Tensura 2 - I'm a jerk, ask me how.

Not to mention, what is with that outfit he’s wearing. There’s so many different attachments, textures and colours there it just kind of looks like he fell into a prop closet of someone who has a lot of cosplay options and just came out wearing whatever attached to him in the process. I’ll give him points because his sword is cool (not just because of the whole ice thing) but really this is not a great look and it doesn’t really seem to fit with the rest of the costumes in Tensura.

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But, if I was after magic and wonder and just the general pleasant feeling that the protagonist could succeed, Tensura Season 2 Episode 41 certainly delivered. And Rimuru’s magical transportation act toward the end of the episode was suitably shiny and spectacular for a display of power.

Tensura 2 - magical transportation

Basically this episode got back to more or less what Tensura has always done best. It set up a villain who seems insurmountable and yet they establish that Rimuru is pretty nonchalant about the whole thing and as he gears up to fight its pretty clear that Clayman has definitely ended up in over his head.

For the viewer we once again have a clear enemy for the characters to be pointed at and enough promise of a suitably spectacular smack-down so things are pretty much on track. I just wish it hadn’t taken three episodes of ‘meeting’ to get here.

Images from: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2. Dir. Y Kikuchi. 8bit. 2021.


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Karandi James


(Tensura 2) That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2 Episode 40 Impressions

Tensura Season 2 Part 2 Episode 40 Review

Welcome to Tensura Season 2 Part 2 episode 40 which is also known as ‘characters talk a lot in the garden, then move to a bath where they talk a lot, and finally sit down for a meal where they talk a lot’.

I’m not opposed to dialogue heavy anime but nothing that has come from episode 38, episode 39 or even this most recent episode seems to have been interesting enough to warrant a whole episode devoted to chatter about it. It certainly wasn’t worth three episodes.

Tensura 2 Episode 40 - characters in yukatas

But rather than complain about things I cannot change, I think this episode of Tensura has given me an opportunity to discuss something I’ve been really enjoying about this season, and that is the opening theme.

“Like Flames” by MindaRyn is one of those openings that reminds me of Bleach’s better seasons where just listening to the song you get hyped for the characters and the action to unfold. Although, at least in Bleach they mostly delivered on that promise. Still, there’s a lot to love about the energy of this opening.

Tensura OP - Rimuru

Outside of that, I am really loving Rimuru’s look in this second season, second part OP of Tensura. The black and grey uniform as he strides forward and away from the audience… Rimuru seldom looks all that intense as mostly Tensura is pretty laid back as an anime but the OP makes these characters look so earnest and really like they are really warming up for something amazing.



All of which is awesome only the last three episodes have then left me hyped up for something that is utterly undelivered on. Episode 40 doesn’t even make an attempt to cut away from the talking and the only glimpse of a threat is the subject of yet more discussion.

Tensura 2’s OP rocks.

Though, I did have a few random thoughts while watching Tensura this week. For instance I realise that Rimuru is the one who is at the centre of Tempest and so it makes sense that Japanese culture has kind of wormed its way into village life. Though it is amazing how many isekai have characters behave in a very Japanese manner without that kind of excuse. Still, the scene where they all sit on the floor in Yukata’s and eat with chopsticks just made me realise how very Japanese this setting is.

Veldora - Tensura 2 Episode 40

Of course, I do have to give a shout out to Veldora’s yukata because that thing is gorgeous and the dragon motif is so very perfect for him. If you were after cute, Ramiris’ watermelon themed yukata will probably have you covered.

On the bright side, episode 40 of Tensura 2 does at least finally let Ramiris give her warning in full that Tempest is in danger because Clayman has called a gathering of demon-lords. Then we get a rehash of the events of the last conflict and where things stand to explain what Clayman is doing but honestly, this doesn’t feel very threatening and given the firepower Rimuru has at his disposal, I’m not really inclined to be concerned.

Tensura 2 Episode 40 - Ramiris

Even the final attempt to add tension by outlining a threat to the animal kingdom that is ahead of Rimuru’s plans doesn’t feel all that concerning and I rather suspect they will wrap things up in relatively quick order once they actually start doing anything other than talking.

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All things considered, I would like to believe the promise of the OP and that Tensura is really going to kick things up a notch once they get going. But the season so far has presented little evidence of that. Instead we have a fairly lacklustre effort with little charm and too many characters doing far too little.

Tensura 2 - Rimuru explains

Even if the story goes into overdrive from this point forward, I kind of hope viewers don’t forget that for four episodes (so a third of the season) That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2 had characters make jokes about just how long the meeting was going and yet still didn’t bring it to a close and move on. Being self-aware does not give you licence to troll.

Images from: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2. Dir. Y Kikuchi. 8bit. 2021.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James