Wednesday, 25 July 2012 11:55
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Ayumu and his rather strange harem are back for another (slightly truncated) season of magical fun. With the first season having impressed me with just how enjoyable it was, despite having the ingredients necessary to be an unholy mess, I was quite looking forward to this - but beware, because anticipation often leads to disappointment...
A little too long in the sun (he really needs a desk change in class) sees Ayumu sent off to the school infirmary to recover, and while there he spots a girl snooping through the medicine cabinets, and over the next few days he runs into her several times, eventually striking up a friendship of sorts with her - although Ayumu's not quite sure that she isn't just an imaginary friend. Meanwhile, rumours are beginning to spread of a cross-dressing, chainsaw-wielding maniac being seen in the area near the school, whose description is suspiciously close to Ayumu's...
Of course, the chainsaw-wielding maniac is Ayumu, a fact that his classmates - and the rest of the school - learn when he has to transform and defeat (another) Megalo on the school grounds. Now usually, he'd be able to use Mysteltainn to erase everyone's memories of such an embarassing incident, but when the chainsaw is unfortunately damaged in the battle, he's left to deal with his secret being well and truly out.
While this initially seems to be the end of the world for our undead friend - how could he live with the resulting embarassment? (geddit?) - it doesn't actually turn out that bad. Sera's boss Sarasvati, having seen him naked, becomes rather obsessed with his shapely arse. Classmate Hiramitsu finds herself increasingly drawn to him, too. And a strange new teacher gives him someone to spill his guts to and make it all seem all right. Until that teacher turns out to be perhaps the greatest danger to Ayumu's continued unlife yet.
The first season of KoreZom impressed with the little things - touches here and there that broke with the usual anime traditions and made the series stand out, even while the 'bigger picture' with it was for more traditional and predictable. On the surface, this season carries on where the last left off, but it quickly becomes clear that the attention to the little things has gone - and without that, it's not half as much fun. Some of the harshness is ever taken off some of the characters, with Seraphim and Sarasvati both being softened to the point where you wonder what their point is now - much as I thought I'd never miss Sera being potty-mouthed to Ayumu, it doesn't happen half as often here, and I did miss it.
The addition of further characters to an already large cast also means that there's less chance to each to shine, with the amount of screen-time possible (it's only 10 episodes) being too little to really do anyone justice after the newcomers are given their chance.
The only real good sides, really, are mysterious teacher Chris, who turns out to be thoroughly mischevious; a short return for Kyouko; and the return of the Delusion Yuus, who now all appear at once to do little comedy skits together. You know something's not quite right when the highlight of a series is an insert that has nothing at all to do with the main plot.
Add it all up, and disappointment outweighs the good stuff by quite some margin, and it saddens me to say it. From being something that felt fresh despite being highly derivative, KoreZom has jumped the rails and become almost dull. And that is a damned shame.