Hajime continues his search for the power to return home, but trouble seems to follow him at every turn. He just wants to go home. Why is everyone determined to become his enemy?
Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest (Season Two)
What did you watch?
When I finished watching season one of Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest back in February 2020, I was pretty sure that I was done with the series. I figured I’d possibly watch it but wouldn’t review it… Famous last words! So, when the new season finally arrived I decided that I would do it. I was on a streak of fantasy-style isekai anime so I figured I might as well. There was always the chance that it would improve. And that is the big question. Keep reading and I’ll do my best to answer it, and if you’ve not seen it, there will be spoilers.
In order to claim the power to return to his homeworld, Hajime travelled from labyrinth to labyrinth, defeating them and acquiring the ancient magic within. He was on a bit of a roll too, but then he was attacked by a demon and an army of dragons. After an intense battle, the demons retreated believing Hajime to be finished. Of course, it takes more than molten lava to stop Hajime.
Hajime escaped and conquered several more labyrinths before bumping into Princess Liliana from the Capital, where the other students were based. Something terrible was happening there. People weren’t acting like themselves. Even the king appeared to be different and along with the church, he branded Hajime a heretic. However, it was when Hajime learned that Aiko had been captured by the church that he agreed to step in. His goal was to rescue Aiko and if anyone got in his way they would become his enemy!
What did you think?
The second season picked up pretty much as the first had left us. Pacing was poor, Hajime was overly edgy to a fault, the girls annoying and would bicker among themselves constantly, fighting over who loved Hajime more. The CGI was marginally better, but still not as good as some shows that rely on a more classic looking style. For a while, I was starting to think I had made a big mistake in covering the second season.
The story is still quite interesting and warrants a far more nuanced approach, allowing the characters to develop at a reasonable pace without just rushing through labyrinths with ease. Then, something happened around the twentieth episode. It was right after Hajime had some alone time with Kaori and actually talked with someone like a person for a change. The girls bickered less, the action intensified, and the story really took on a life of its own. The final third of this season was excellent. If only it hadn’t taken this long to get there.
What was your favourite moment?
I absolutely loved the second to last episode – Betrayal. This was the episode where Eri revealed that she was the one behind the strange behaviours of the knights. In fact, they were all dead and she was using her necromancy abilities to control them. She’d come up with a special new ability that bound the soul to the corpse, making them behave a little more naturally. It was such a crazy spell that she had to cast each one individually. It must have taken her ages to slowly kill each of the knights, attendants, and whoever else she targetted. And she did all this to turn Kouki into her own love slave. Crazy!
However, the episode was fantastic. The tension poured out of the screen and pulled you in, making you feel like you were with them, trapped by the army of undead knights as Eri showed you how it was done on one unlucky student. Soon after, as Eri was about to kill Shizuku, Kaori arrived and started to heal everyone. She never expected a second traitor and was stabbed in the back, twice. Everything was going crazy and then Hajime showed up. Boom! That episode was insane! I loved every second of it.
What was your least favourite moment?
In the first half of the season, Hajime visited several labyrinths and acquired ancient magic from within. That should have been amazing, however, it was often too easy. Answers literally popped up out of the ground at one point and then there was the return of the random fish monster we met for about five minutes in season one. The labyrinths are supposed to be horrible to ensure that only the strongest will be able to acquire the magic that could stand against the evil god. That certainly didn’t appear to be the case.
Who was your favourite character?
My favourite characters from season one, Shea and Shizuku didn’t really get a lot to do this season. I did enjoy Tio far more this time around, even though she had some rather lazily written moments. She had a lot of cool moments though so I’ll let it slide. I also liked Hajime a lot more at the end of the season, although he regressed a bit at the end of the last episode when he lost it with Tio.
Who was your least favourite character?
It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of Yue, however, I did enjoy her fight with the demon. She will lose that crown this season as I have to give it to the hero, Kouki. Despite being the hero, he was completely useless in the first season and that continued into this season. At one point, he was fighting Meld’s corpse when Meld managed to regain control long enough to beg him to help him. All he had to do was free Meld’s soul, but Kouki being so righteous couldn’t do that and everyone got hurt once more. I also found the way he irrationally hated Hajime to be infuriating, especially as Hajime has saved him on multiple occasions and continuously proved himself to be right. He was so annoying, I didn’t even get a single screenshot of him, so here’s undead Meld!
Would you like some more?
The second season was announced almost immediately after the first season aired and so far I’ve not seen any news of a third season. Ironically, I would like to see more, but mostly because I’m interested in the story and want to see it to its conclusion. This is still a pretty average series with some great moments. One of the annoying things is that it took twenty episodes before it started to get good. I don’t see how it’s going to find new viewers so a third season will likely be just for those that have stuck with it this far as some sort of reward for enduring.
What have you learnt?
I often talk about the importance of characters in a story. I believe that they are more important than the actual plot. If this series had taken a little more time to develop the characters and their relationships with Hajime it could have been a lot stronger. I think we can almost overlook pacing issues if we’re engaged in the characters. Arifureta has a fascinating story, but the characters don’t carry the episodes. Now, I appreciate that the books will likely be different, but that’s not what I’m looking at. From an anime standpoint, it’s been far from perfect.
Other Posts in the Series
- Season One
- Episode 1 – The Monster of the Abyss
- Episode 2 – Pandora’s Box
- Episode 3 – The Golden Vampire Princess
- Episode 4 – Guardian of the Depths
- Episode 5 – The Maverick’s Lair
- Episode 6 – Worthless Rabbit
- Episode 7 – The Great Reisen Labyrinth
- Episode 8 – Reunion with the Past
- Episode 9 – Dragon Slayer
- Episode 10 – The Goddess’ Sword
- Episode 11 – The Monsters’ Day Off
- Episode 12 – A Looming Shadow
- Episode 13 – The Best at Being the Worst
- Season Two
- Episode 14 – Irregular
- Episode 15 – Burning Light
- Episode 16 – Black and White
- Episode 17 – Reunion
- Episode 18 – Memories from the Bottom of the Sea
- Episode 19 – Someone Important
- Episode 20 – A New Vow
- Episode 21 – A Disturbing Darkness
- Episode 22 – Invasion of the Capital
- Episode 23 – God’s Apostle
- Episode 24 – Betrayal
- Episode 25 – A New Journey
- Bonus Posts
Arifureta From Commonplace to World’s Strongest Novel Volume 1 – $11.99
from: Right Stuf, Inc.
Arifureta From Commonplace to World’s Strongest Manga Volume 1 – $10.39
from: Right Stuf, Inc.
Arifureta From Commonplace to World’s Strongest Zero Novel Volume 1 – $11.99
from: Right Stuf, Inc.