Asterisk War – Season 2

Asterisk War – Season 2

img_4740.jpgInvertia was an unprecedented disaster that struck the world during the 20th century. As a result, numerous cities around the world were destroyed. However, within the meteor, an unknown element called mana was discovered, which allowed human technology to make rapid strides. This also gave rise to a new species of human born with unique skills – the Star Pulse Generation, or Genestella. The setting for the world’s greatest comprehensive battle spectacle, the Festas, is an academy city above the water surrounded by six academies called Rikka also commonly known as Asterisk.

Ayato Amagiri has transferred to Seidōkan Academy and soon finds himself in a duel with fellow student Julis-Alexia van Riessfeld. The Phoenix Festa is coming up, and she needs a tag-team partner – but no one matches her standards. Could Ayato and his bound powers of imprisonment be what she needs to succeed? Meanwhile, there is civil unrest beginning within the six academies.

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So, Asterisk War is back for a second season, which I’m pleased about. Though this one didn’t exactly break and moulds the first time around, it was certainly an entertaining watch with a group of characters and a world that promised more development. This time around, things are heating up for the champions of the Phoenix Festa. Their opponents are getting tougher and Ayato is struggling to control the immense powers of his Ser=Vesta. At the same time, a maid from Julis’ home country of Lieseltania comes for a visit; unfortunately those hidden in the shadows see her as a perfect pawn to help them influence the outcome of the Festa.

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I feel that Asterisk War really finds itself in the second season. There’s a bigger focus on character establishment and world building going on this time in comparison to the first season, which is far from a bad thing, but it does make the action suffer due to time constraints (which seems to be a very common anime production pitfall). There’s more time to open up the storyline this time around and also plenty of time to dedicate to some great battle scenes. Character-wise, Ayato and Julis have come a long way from a potentially plain harem lead and his archetypal tsundere. They genuinely make a great team within the Phoenix Festa and are well supported by Saya and Kirin throughout (Saya Sasamiya has quickly become one of my favourite characters in the whole of this season). Ayato and Julis’ wins are shown to be successful because of their skill and teamwork and not because of deus ex machina or because they are the ‘main team’ and they are supposed to win. The production and storyline doesn’t cheapen out on tehchnicalities but actually show some real battle strategy amongst all the impressive animation and attacks.

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I’ve sometimes noticed the artwork going a bit awry at times though, with awkward camera angles somewhat distorting a characters facial shape inconsistently enough that it’s noticeable. On top of that, even though there is a lot more focus on the development of the main characters, everyone else is left for dust. We have Ayato and his main core of anime babes, but everyone else featuring here is basically a half-fleshed-out trope and might as well not be there. For an anime that has a lot of characters in it (since, you know, there’s six schools altogether and they all have at least one team being put forward to win the tournament) most of them are shown clearly for what they are meant to be: fodder to show just how powerful Ayato Amigiri is nowadays.

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That being said, I’m glad that the story is also progressing. It’s not just about the fight and winning an inter-academy competition, but towards the end of this season it shows that Ayato is moving forward with the search for his sister, who disappeared a handful of years earlier. With the cast of characters already planning for next year’s Festa and Ayato using his clout as a Festa winner to get more information on the disappearance of Haruka, it seems that Asterisk War isn’t planning on slowing down anytime soon. And, who knows, we might be seeing a third season come December. Despite the amount of hate this show seems to attract, I can honestly say that it’s not that bad. And the proof is in the number of seasons, too. If an anime is popular, it gets more seasons. Fact.