Within the new opening sequence to Heavy Object, we see a small block of text positioned just below the English title that reads, ‘After all, war did not cease. But there was a change’. After watching the second half of the mecha show, adapted from the novels by author Kazuma Kamachi, I can’t help but find that a little bit funny as, despite being enjoyable, Heavy Object Part 2 offers precisely nothing in terms of tangible change from the first half, for better or worse.
If you have seen the first twelve episodes of Heavy Object, you’ll know that the series is structured in an episodic manner, with no real overarching narrative to speak of, with there being a few call backs between arcs and not much more, and that status quo stretches across to the final twelve episodes too, as well you might expect. As much as it pains me as someone writing a review for the second half in particular, this means that there isn’t really anything new to say that I didn’t say in my review of the first part. If you liked Part One, you’ll like Part Two, if not, then there is nothing here that will change your mind.
If there is one thing I have to comment on, however, it’s that I’m not entirely sure that this show needed to be two cours in length. Sure, we get more of the varied, entertaining and well-paced scenarios, but with no kind of bigger story in play and stagnant characters who have shown very little growth or depth since the word go, not to mention the equally static, underdeveloped and ultimately pointless romance between Qwenthur and Milinda, I think this kind of show starts to feel overlong. The element that is most representative of this is definitely in the setting. Something I adored about the initial batch of episodes was the fact that the protagonists Qwenthur and Havia engaged in a lot of globetrotting, not only leading to visual variety but also a real sense of scale and adventure. In this latter portion, we start to see some of the locations we’ve already seen before, or ones that look similar enough to old ones to be mistaken for them, which really takes away from some of the appeal. I understand there are aren’t that many types of environment that exist, but this really just tells me that maybe they should have stopped after twelve. It’s fun enough, however that isn’t enough to sustain a show alone, and the concept in general feels like it’s wearing out its welcome towards the end.
If there is a single noticeable difference to be seen here, it’s the fan service. In my review of Part One, I lamented the cringeworthy ecchi comedy and somewhat uncomfortable sexualisation of Frolaytia, and whilst that is still present to some extent, these scenes seem to happen less frequently than I remember before.
From a technical standpoint, Part Two is just as effective as Part One, making for a good-looking series that capitalises on the strengths of both J.C. Staff, who contribute 2D animation, and SANZIGEN, who animate all of the CGI elements, creating a great blend of the two different animation types, which normally clash. The dub from Funimation also continues in its relatively high quality, with some good performances from the two leads Justin Briner and Micah Solusod, and the music is also still up to a high standard. The second opening, “Never Gave Up” by ALL OFF, the same band who contributed the first opening song, provides yet another fantastic track, that combines both light and heavy styles of music and somehow pulls it off. The ED, ‘Kawaranai Tsuyosa’ by Yuka Iguchi is a more traditional J-Pop affair, but enjoyable all the same.
Less enjoyable, purely by virtue of concept stagnation, Heavy Object Part Two gives you more of the same but does little to justify the two cour length by being virtually identical to Part One.