Kazuya Kagami's friends at school form a Troubleshooter's Club to deal with evil amasogis formed from the fusion of Kazuya's spiritual power with the anger and/or desires of ordinary humans. But their problems rapidly multiply when a number of tsukumogami suddenly appear with their own secret plans. (Like Kiriha in the series, these are objects that have acquired life and the power to appear human; unlike Kiriha, these examples have been abandoned by, or rebelled against, their masters, and are on their own.)
Boy, did THIS turn dark.
I mean, this show has always been a bit schizoid; Season One was mostly over-the-top (sometimes to the point of being offensive) harem fanservice, but it DID throw in some supernatural battles, and a few more somber plotlines, from time to time. But the last half of THIS season marks a pretty radical change in the show's overall feel- though we still DO have some harem fanservice, including some more morally questionable characters: I'm thinking mainly of Miyou Mimane, a mirror-tsukumogami whose human form is a loli with an obsession with male genitalia. So the show is not willing to burn ALL its bridges; but the difference in the mood between the two seasons is maybe best summed up by the reappearance of Taguri Kanayama not so much in her previous Little Girl Molester Mode, but rather in full Combat Mode.
This season of the show has also doubly reinforced my belief that Kazuya needs to be forced to live in an isolated cave somewhere, possibly on top of a mountain like cartoon hermits all do. He's a decent guy, so we'll make it a comfortable cave, but this power of his of creating amasogis- powerful evil spirits- out of peoples' stray desires is just too dangerous. It's bad enough when this happens to ordinary people- there's a rule that people must destroy their amasogis themselves, or suffer a penalty- but it's even worse when Kazuya's own desire helps fuel an amasogi's existence; in that case, it's not KAZUYA that suffers the penalty if he fails to stop the problem but, instead, apparently, everybody else.
I wasn't too thrilled about the return of Sunao Sumeragi. Last season we were first introduced to her and her silly feud with Kazuya's late mom Kanaka, which she decided that Kazuya somehow needed to suffer for. In this season, she's featured in an episode that steals its plot from an episode of Love Hina (it just twists the motivations a little bit.) I always thought of Sunao as neither an interesting character in her own right, nor a particularly important one to the show's story.
But I was very much interested in the arrival of the new tsukumogami characters. They've forsaken (or been forsaken by) their owners, and now live in a magical village called Mayoiga; but the tsukumogami rely on the spiritual power of their owners for their existence, and since they no longer HAVE owners, they've had to do some pretty dark stuff to acquire a different energy source. And now they need to do this AGAIN; they're following the lead of a tsukumogami named Azami, who has a plan to pull it off. But Azami might also have a private agenda of her own.
The show introduces us to an at least somewhat endearing pair of tsukumogami named Arumi (a crystal ball) and Akito (a pair of shears.) They are somehow supposed to be sister and brother- or at least regard each other that way- and, indeed, their human forms do resemble each other. Arumi is marked by a gentle nature, while Akito is thoughtful but hapless. (Kiriha tells him, "You have the worst luck.") I don't know where the show will ultimately go, but I was hoping that at least THIS pair would survive. It's during an episode featuring Kazuya, Kiriha, and THIS pair that Kiriha makes an interesting comment providing some illumination on an issue I wondered about in my First Season review: how does Kiriha see her OWN relationship with Kazuya? There's a clue here. And I was frankly surprised to find that Kazuya's sister, who mainly seemed preoccupied with seducing her brother last season, really DOES have some useful capabilities after all.
SOMETHING surely is required to wrap all this up, though I'm not sure if a full season would be required- maybe just an OVA would actually do the trick. I can't see Kazuya ever being faced with a more formidable foe than the one that appears near the end of this season, though I suppose the show could always go back to full-time harem fanservice again. It looked like the show might be setting itself up to abandon its interesting newcomers- which would tick me off, after piquing my interest with them- and in the end it was weirdly reminding me of both Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and (of all things) Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt.
I'm not sure it's really correct to say I LIKED this season better than Season One- it's probably more accurate to say I found its new, much darker, tone more INTERESTING. I do fear that the new direction things are heading in late in the show may shortchange a lot of the interesting characters it's bothered to create this season, but I'm willing to keep an open mind until I see where they go with this. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: There may be LESS fanservice this time, but "less" is STILL plenty, including nudity (optically censored by Crunchyroll), and rampant sexual innuendo, especially from our young Mirror, Miyu, who is, let's face it, a very dirty little girl. (She clearly needs to be more reflective.) There's some shocking violence (and actual loss) near the end. Crunchyroll rates TV-14, though personally I would recommend for a slightly older audience.
Version(s) Viewed: Streaming on crunchyroll
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Tsugumomo 2 © 2020 Zero-G
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