Isekai Quartet 2
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 2 of
Isekai Quartet 2 ?
14 episodes have now aired for this franchise, and of those, episode 2 of this season is one of the rare times where I have felt that the balance being maintained among the composite titles is a bit off. While technically representatives of all five series do appear to at least some degree, Overlord has only the barest of representations (Demiurge debating philosophical points about freedom with KONOSUBA's Vanir) and Re:Zero only gets slightly more representation in an appearance by Roswaal and Ram at the end. Naofumi and Raphtalia also appear only briefly to represent their series. As a result, this episode is almost entirely a KONOSUBA and Saga of Tanya the Evil affair.
That's hardly a big detriment, however, as Kazuma and three of Tanya's chief male underlings – Grantz, Neumann, and Koenig – have an amusing enough scheme cooked up: they're going to sneak into the principal's office while he's gone (where, exactly, he'd be gone to is a good question that doesn't get answered here) and filch some booze, since they haven't been able to get their hands on any so far. For those not familiar with Saga, Tanya's troopers tend to be heavy drinkers when off duty, so this is absolutely in character for them, and Kazuma also enjoy his opportunities to party it up with liquor. So does Aqua, so it's no surprise that she gets involved as well or that things go south because of her involvement. The deadly lasers felt like something that Tanya might have come up with herself, but the whole caper got good when the writing finds a way to insert in KONOSUBA's trademark giant frog. Since they show up, you know that someone's going to get eaten, and that joke is still funny despite being used a couple of times in the source series; the sound effects help a lot here. And of course Kazuma's going to be a scumbag by trying to profit on the misfortune of others. The mildly interesting question this raises is what, exactly, constitutes detention in this setting, but if we find that out at all, it won't be until next episode.
Amongst other tidbits, Vanir making a comment about “something a hard-headed demon would say” (in reference to Demiurge) was amusingly ironic given that Vanir was, himself, a Duke of Hell and a General in his setting's Demon King's Army. Aqua getting chased around by a giant toad is extra-funny because she had bad experiences with giant toads more than once. Naofumi's use of Shield Prison to protect himself and Raphtalia, rather than help Aqua, seems exactly in character, as do his comments about not trusting religion; while this is partly a reference to the problems he had with the Church in his series, religion-peddlers have been an occasional target of scorn in anime at least as far back as the '90s, so that may not have just been a series reference.
Oh, and I'd be remiss if I didn't bring up the debut of the opener and closer. New opener “Isekai Showtime,” sung by the leads for the four original series, has a Broadway production theme, while new closer “Ponkutsu! Isekai Theater” uses the same 8 bit graphics style as the original but this time features secondary female characters from each series. Hopefully someone will post a translation of this soon, as I have to think the conversation would be interesting. Overall, I found both to be good but slight downgrades from the originals.
If things balance out right, we should have more Overlord and Re:Zero tomfoolery next time. I'm still up for anything this series throws out, however.
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