Word: Crunchyroll‘s categorization of the episodes makes no distinction between ‘Season 1’ and ‘Season 2’, and thus these are listed there as Episodes 13, 14, and 15.
Like the youngsters of the present being transported again into the fantasy world for an additional spherical of quests, right here all of us are thrown once more into a brand new season of I am Standing on 1,000,000 Lives Okay, my position right here is definitely extra akin to the brand new child this season, Keita Torii, being drafted into protection of the present beginning with this cour. A minimum of Torii is pointedly caught up on the main points by Iu in solely a pair moments, I made myself shotgun the primary season of Million Lives in lower than per week to be prepared for this premiere evaluation. The excellent news: Seems I principally take pleasure in it! Extra irreverent takes on the isekai system are nothing new, in fact, however this present pointedly trades worshipping on the altar of its game-mechanic contrivances for questioning how interacting with methods like that might have an effect on totally different individuals’s perceptions of the worth of human life. And by the top of that first season, it grew to become clear that that is possible the precise, in-universe level of this entire enterprise. It is a robust hook to finish your first run on, the form of conceptual train that personally works at drawing me in.
So it is a good signal when the primary episode of Million Lives‘s second season kicks off by reinforcing and revisiting these themes. As talked about, Torii is introduced in and up to the mark in comically-quick trend (each for financial system of storytelling and, seemingly, to get the very best comedic timing out of the now-running gag about new social gathering members getting freaked out by the Recreation Grasp), equipping him in his new outfit that makes him appear like Ky Kiske from Responsible Gear, and teasing some rigidity between him and Yuusuke earlier than our heroes begin gathering info on the route of their newest mission. What works about that is the way it finally ends up being much less about us as viewers getting caught up on the story and extra in regards to the characters actually greedy what the long-term passage of time means for this world. I hoped we might see Greatest Lady Kahvel at the very least another time, and right here she is, now as Greatest Mother!
Kahvel’s maternal mellowing out might have ended up being one other occasion of Million Lives‘s occasionally-odd gender commentary, but it surely truly works as an alternative as an indication of the central theme on the worth of life. Yuusuke codifies this gorgeous shortly along with his remark about how “Destroying one thing is 100 occasions simpler than creating it”, after which Torii is available in and confirms its common software by relating it to his personal elevating of his little brother. It marks the present as downright tidy this early into its second season as regards to its themes, which makes for a great impression. And the reflection of the stretch Kahvel spent lacking Yuusuke does a great job demonstrating the disparity in engagement with the world between its denizens and the summoned heroes, even when ending on Kahvel, who should be at the very least in her thirties by now, placing the strikes on the fifteen-year-old Yuusuke, comes off solely barely bizarre.
So the sequence beginning up once more by displaying its coronary heart remains to be in the appropriate place is an efficient starting, however everyone knows what we’re actually right here for: Seeing what esoteric quests the Recreation Grasp goes to foist on the gang this time! Sending the social gathering off to the island nation of
JapanJiffon and grouping them up with a bunch of mercenaries works as a neatly differentiated scenario from the stuff within the earlier season. Even with the idea considerably greater than earlier than, there’s nonetheless time for irreverent poking on the entire setup that is exercising. My favourite element has obtained to be the ‘Vaikedaam’, a pair of formality dancers named Aoiu and Yana, very clearly primarily based on Aoi Yūki and Ayana Taketatsu from their days collectively as petit milady, with the anime bringing within the precise voice actresses to play them! It makes for an amazing gag, and lends some lighter commentary on the march of time, traditions, and sources that Yuusuke and the others will probably be preventing for in opposition to the enemy orcs on the island.
The denser components of that setup could also be the place I feel Million Lives is straining in the intervening time. Making its intent clear on the finish of final season, and with issues just like the introduction of Torii’s character, the sequence has proven it desires to get into analyses of extra ambiguous material, and extra energy to it for that. Stuff like Yuusuke’s pragmatic causes for helping with the island’s agriculture or weapons crafting suits that tone, at the same time as his mindset for doing so, purely for safeguarding these he thinks are most helpful to their long-term objectives, comes off a bit eugenics-y. In fact, he is rightly referred to as out for this by Cantil, one of many mercenaries, and the occasions main as much as the dying of one other character, Ryce, within the third episode, clarify that Yuusuke’s emotions listed below are mutable.
Alternatively, that very same episode has the late try to codify the battle between the people and orcs as some form of morally-ambiguous act on the aspect our foremost characters have taken. Definitely, components of it aren’t as black and white as it might have appeared, however Yuusuke makes an attempt to sofa the people’ breaking of the cope with the orcs as some form of clear, villainous betrayal, even supposing it was finished in response to the orcs being those who moved in and, , began consuming individuals. I am hoping this will probably be open to reinterpretation as different components of Yuusuke’s worldview have been all through the present, as in any other case it comes off like Million Lives attempting to spin one thing as extra of a quandary than it’s simply because it thinks it has to do this at each flip now.
It most likely would not have to go all-in on that, because the character degree of issues is de facto doing a wonderful job at demonstrating the complexity of this world and the plot it is weaving. We have got Torii, who I’ve talked about a pair occasions already, whom I like as a result of how he contrasts with somebody like Yuusuke. From the beginning, Torii is proven as somebody who was solely reluctantly keen to kill somebody as his final possibility, counter to Yuusuke battling the information that he premeditatedly murdered somebody as a part of a plan he thought was inconsequential. Distinct from Yuusuke’s efforts to stay a practical misanthropy, which we have seen may very well be a shedding battle for his disposition, Torii comes off like your basic “Punk with a coronary heart of gold” kind, who helps as a result of his personal struggles for his life have taught him the worth of others’. Equally, the aforementioned Ryce is spotlighted in that third episode as somebody who carries the lives of others with him (as an alternative of simply ‘standing’ on them), whose worth therein nonetheless ended up snuffed out arguably as a result of an impulsive motion by Yuusuke, considering he’d be the one one inconsequentially effected. We solely spend that little little bit of time with Ryce, however per this present’s mission assertion, he has simply sufficient three-dimensional affect on the story that his everlasting dying hurts when it hits, contrasted properly with all of the momentary occasions we see the gamers get taken out. Good night time, candy prince.
In order that’s the place we’re as much as with Million Lives‘s second season to date. If the ending of the primary season obtained you absolutely on-board because it did for me, this could hold working for you. The one different level of competition I might probably deliver up is that the animation remains to be fairly dang flat. There are some flashes of nicer presentation and route within the season’s premiere episode, principally concerning the reflective scene round Kahvel, however every part else appears quite chunky. That is principally an issue with how a lot of the episodes have handled what are presupposed to be setpiece battles in opposition to the orcs, so at the same time as we’re seeing nominally-cool deployments of issues like Yuusuke’s newly-developed big crossbow or the amazingly-named ‘Storc’, it is all extra coasting on the idea of the methods and implementations than the precise depiction of it. In the event you have been wonderful watching the primary season, it should not trouble you at this level, but it surely nonetheless speaks to how this can be a sequence that took its time to get to the conceptual hooks I feel are the actual draw, and the way in which it appears did it no favors in getting there. Nonetheless, it is successfully continued on with being the present I’ve gotten into with fifteen episodes in lower than per week, so I am nonetheless joyful to be right here and settle into letting the Recreation Grasp spin us alongside for an additional season.
I am Standing on 1,000,000 Lives Season 2 is presently streaming on
Chris is a contract author who appreciates anime, motion figures, and extra ancillary artistry. He may be discovered staying up method too late posting screencaps on his Twitter.