3x3 Eyes 2
Several years have passed since the conclusion of the first series. Fujii Yakumo has been searching for Pai ... and it seems he has finally found her, living as a normal schoolgirl in Japan. But her past comes back to haunt her - not just the events of the recent past, with Yakumo, but the events of centuries ago. Finally, she must face her destiny and her true identity, and to do so, she must return to where she first met Yakumo's father and confront the demons who would use her to create a new reign of terror upon the world.
As if things weren't confusing enough in the first volume, 3x3 Eyes 2 takes everything you know and spins it a few cycles more, until characters you thought you knew turn out to be completely something else. Pai in the original series was already a split personality, but now at the beginning of the sequel she's back to square one with an obviously uncomprehending Yakumo (and an equally confused audience). Then the series introduce some more characters, heads off to Xanadu (or some other Central Asian fantasyland), and really messes up your head by retelling the story of who and what the Sanjiyan *really* are.
Which would've been great if any of it made a whit of sense, but it doesn't. It's almost as if the events of the first series (which are integral to the plot) managed not to ever happen in the first place. Meanwhile, the bad guys are still demons, Yakumo is still terribly confused, and Pai is even more of a schoolgirl than before, except she's suddenly claiming to be really Japanese and human. Is she? Or is she still the Pai we know and love, just confused or stripped of her memories? Or is she not even Pai at all? (Whaaaat?)
Due to a shorter timeframe and a smaller scale of plot, this series manages to be more coherent than the first series, but simultaneously more confusing due to the added twists and turns to the continuity and the characters themselves. Identity crises can be interesting, but they've never been as messy as the ones in this series. After a while, I was so frustrated I was ready to give up, but thankfully, the series ended before the animators could screw everything up.
Granted, the animation was fine, though the backgrounds were pretty sparse and the colors on the harsh side. Voice acting is as before, with Yakumo and Pai done well, and the rest competently. I did watch the dub for this as well, and unfortunately, Pai doesn't come off nearly so well in English than in the original Japanese. But Hayashibara Megumi is pretty hard to match, much less top.
So the final verdict? Not as good as the first series, not nearly as good as the manga, but still not a bad anime. The confusion of the plot and characters, however, might make this a limited watch for any but the most dedicated 3x3 Eyes fans.
Mostly for fans of the first series or the manga. — Carlos/Giancarla Ross
Recommended Audience: Same as the first series: gory, bloody, and violent. Not for young children or the squeamish.
Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD
Review Status: Full (3/3)
3x3 Eyes 2 © 1995 Takada Yuzo / Kodansha / Bandai Visual / King Records
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