Keima's back to deal with women who have Lost Souls within them for him to save, if he can pull away from the latest hot portable game he's playing.
What They Say:
One day at school, Keima becomes the target of a group of delinquents, which is when an imposing girl by the name of Kusunoki Kasuga appears. She dispatches of the delinquents and saves Keima, but she appears to be disgusted by the "weak" Keima and his inability to fight back... After a harsh lecture from Kusunoki, Keima wants nothing to do with her, but once the loose soul sensor goes off, he can no longer ignore her. He attempts to approach Kusunoki by joining the girls' karate club where she is captain...
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the first season of the series, I really felt like The World God Only Knows started off very strong, but it ende dup spending too much time with characters and extended storylines that didn't add much, particularly with an idol character that frustrated me with her personality more than anything else. Keima's life has undergone a change since the introduction of Elsie where he has to help various girls who have lost souls within them is a fun concept, especially since it deals with a young man who wants no real world social interactions and has to kiss them in order to draw out the soul, but it spent too much time with some stories. You don't want a girl of the week mentality, but you do want the girls to be interesting rather than grating and you don't want to spend a quarter of the season on one girl, unless there's some significant meaning to it.
As Elsie mentions at the start, they've managed to deal with four lost souls so far in the first season and now she's ready to handle some more because of the contract she has with him. Keima's frustration feels plenty natural since he wants nothing to do with this, but we're quickly reminded of just how he perceives the world when a couple of school ruffians try to give him grief. He sees them as just bit player NPCs and little else, though they quickly show him otherwise. All of this sets the stage for the introduction of Kasuga, a rather strong female student who steps in to save the day but gives Keima grief because of how he can't stand up for himself. Amusingly, he's more interested in saving his game than the pain she's causing him.
Kasuga's strength has her viewing the world in a particular way where she dislikes weakness, which isn't a surprise since she's also the captain of the karate club and has a very definite take on things. Keima's pushed into dealing with her because of the lost soul issue, which is fun when he prostrates himself in front of her in order to get on her good side a bit so he can get closer. Learning about her life leads to some very amusingly animated sequences. Kasuga's a fairly fun character since she is a strong personality and takes things out on Keima easily enough. Keima's played this game before though, and he knows she has a soft side, it's just a matter of discovering it and playing the right moves in order to sway her to what he needs in order to deal with the lost soul. The fun comes in watching how Kasuga interacts with Keima, though it is all fairly predictable on her part. Keima's reactions and the way he views it all as a game of sorts based on his knowledge base is what sells it.
While I had problems with the second half of The World God Only Knows, it's definitely a welcome thing to return to this series as I like the premise overall and the core main characters. The problem comes in that if you get a girl as the object to be dealt with that isn't interesting, or even grating, and it can make the show much harder to watch. The opening here with Kasuga is a fun one to bring in since she has a good personality for Keima to go up against because of her stubbornness and confidence. Beyond that issue, everything that made the first season enjoyable is here with Elsie, the games, the view of the world through that filter at times and the animation. If you liked the first season, you'll be pretty thrilled to return to this one, and this episode opens well, though not strong.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.