So far, Keima Katsuragi and Elsie have captured four loose souls, but, sadly for Keima, his job is far from over, with thousands of souls still waiting to be captured. Luckily a second player by the name of Haqua has entered the game: a fellow demon Spirit Hunter and former classmate of Elsie’s. However her confident front cannot hide her lack of field experience, and when the loose soul she captured manages to escape, it suddenly becomes Keima and Elsie’s problem!
With the set formula that The World God Only Knows has implemented, it would have been easy to slip back into the rhythm of find loose soul, seduce girl, kiss and release soul like in the first season. But in all fairness, Season 2 does try to shake things up; although the end results tend to mostly be the same and the season ending is still non-conclusive, the world building around the formula is nicely handled, warranting the time spent going through the motions of the captures. We get a brief look into the potential supernatural side effects of a demon soul in a girl’s body via Kusunoki’s arc, something that was merely hinted at in the previous season. Then we have Haqua who throws a few interesting lines about the demon world she and Elsie come from, providing some nice visuals in her flashbacks. Plus Haqua’s downturn in the battle for the loose soul allows Elsie to come into her own for a brief period, stepping out of Keima’s shadow and proving her worth, something that we don’t get to see very often. Admittedly the world building is minimal, due to Keima’s true-to-character lack of interest outside of his games console, but what we are given is interesting and adequately implemented, it would be nice to get more in future seasons however.
The expansion of the mythology intertwines nicely with the shaking up of the ‘capturing’ rhythm; it’s not always a simple case of Keima’s effectively seducing the girls anymore. The three captures he partakes in have a lot more obstacles to overcome and the solution isn’t always in plain sight. For example Kusunoki needs help in accepting her ‘cute’ side whilst maintaining her notion of constantly being strong, and Keima even helps one girl, Chihiro, confess her love for another guy entirely. There’s also a risqué flirtation with a student teacher. These situations put Keima into very different situations from the previous season, many that are completely out of his comfort zone, and it’s nice to see him squirm a little bit at the challenges he faces, compared to the smugness he wore nearly all in the time in the previous episodes.
Even though a lot of the humour is still centred on video games; there’s still a lot of it to enjoy for those who don’t have a lot of knowledge on dating sims. There’s some nice anime references to enjoy but the bigger laughs come from Keima’s imagination when he paints a big dramatic picture either to make a point or when he’s completely lost in his own little gaming world (the last episode of the season being particularly guilty of this.) These scenes also allow the animation to go a bit crazy and outside its boundaries, rather being restricted to Keima’s game stills or school building shots.
DVD extras on this disc set are clean opening/closings plus Japanese TV and release spots.
Season 2 of The World God Only Knows is just as entertaining and watchable as the first season; it adequately expands on the mythology and pushes the boundaries of the captures whilst still maintaining some of the familiarity of the first season, with, of course, some good comedy here and there. Sadly, with the third season currently airing in Japan, it means it’ll be a little wait until you get to own the next chapter on DVD. Unlike Keima, I cannot see the ending right now, but I look forward to seeing it in the future.