Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of the MMORPG of the same name. Well, kinda.

Characters

Usually videogame adaptations are set in the game’s universe, and follow its plot. Not so here : this is set in a futuristic highschool where PSO2 is the latest big fad.

Itsuki, our protagonist, has never played the game before. He’s been too busy with his studies, helping out various clubs, and being generically nice to pay attention to the game everyone else is playing. That’s until he’s summoned by…

Rina, the student council president. She “offers” him the place of vice-president after it’s gone unexpectedly vacant during the holidays. He’s all the more bemused when she tells him the whole job is to play PSO2 and report on it. WTF ? Oh, well, sounds easy enough…

Cue every little detail of Itsuki learning to play the game. This includes a huge dude in armour heavy-handedly offering the nOOb some help for his first quest. (It’s obviously Rina “in disguise”.)

There’s another PC/girl watching over the whole thing who’s obviously going to be introduced properly next episode.

Production Values

Nice enough, I guess ? I certainly would have liked to study in this futuristic school, given the facilities. (Well, minus the weird paranoid rent-a-cop at the entrance. THAT was just weird as a thing to spend so much time on.)

It does manage to make PSO2 look somewhat cool (if hopelessly generic), so there’s that.

Overall Impression

Well, that’s certainly a weird adaptation choice. Have the writers given up on imposing structure to a sprawling MMORPG universe, and instead falling back onto well-worn highschool tropes ? This has the unfortunate effect of most of the screentime being devoted to characters telling us that PSO2 is a cool game, instead of actually showing it. Especially as it looks like any other MMORPG, and the narrative destroys any attempt at showcasing its worldbuilding.

As an advert, it feels like a failure. As an actual show… Well, the characters have little depth, the weirdness of the PSO2 craze being the student council’s main focus isn’t particularly compelling, and it’s kinda dull overall. I’ll pass.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Winter 2016 – Page 3

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Jhiday

I've been kinda blogging about anime for years... but mostly on forums (such as RPG.net's Tangency) and other sites. This site is an archive for all that stuff, just in case.

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