I'm Standing On A Million Lives (Season One, part 2)
Yuusuke Yotsuya's dark adventures in the alternate world continue- whether he wants them to or not. We've two new quests this time- and two new players.
"I have no intention of forgiving, though... not her sins...nor my own" - Yuusuke
I said in my review of Part One that I felt the show gave only the most perfunctory treatment of the backstories of its little cast (including Yuusuke's- how DID he become such a misanthrope?), and that continues with the curious exceptions of the two people Yuusuke rescues HIMSELF in "our" world- Yuka Tokitake (the otaku girl he saved from a posse of "mean" girls"), and, at the end of Part One, Keita Torii, who Yuusuke saved from committing a major crime. The complaint still pretty much applies, though I do get the general idea of where the cynicism of our other new character, Glenda "Glen" Carter, comes from. My favorite female character in the show has been Lu Shindou- she's been consistently cheerful AND competent- but Glen turns out to be quite impressive as well; she's got a talent for drawing inferences from subtle clues that rivals Kindaichi's. She's American, a photographer, and the show's first openly LGBT character.
Our other "new" character, Keita, is quite different- brash, impulsive, often simply reckless, he might have been the lead in some other show (and Shindou seems to be interested in him too), instead of the brooding Yuusuke. Yuusuke still feels tainted by the act he unknowingly committed in the first part; in spite of his supposed indifference to people, he's apparently unable to forgive himself. He's beginning to develop some concern for others- or at least his own acts toward them. Being forced to get involved in the affairs of the people of another world has changed his blanket dismissive attitude toward humanity; but the bad part here is that he obviously does not yet appreciate the difference between being a penitent person, and being a martyr.
One development in this Second Half that is an UNQUALIFIED positive one is that the connection between the world the Gamemaster sends our little band to, and our OWN world, is finally established. We finally learn what is at stake, and the WHY behind it.
A few more observations, before I get to some more in-depth critique:
- Despite supposedly having keen analytical minds, Yuusuke and Glen DO fall into an obvious trap at one point. (Another "screaming advice at the screen" moment for me.)
-Part Two tones down Yuka's snark, and, while Kusue still doesn't really have a warrior's heart, this pair at least does prove acceptable in a support role.
-The show continues its tradition of dark twists of fate for its cast, and creates a memorably melancholy one for what might have been a genuine romance.
-I wonder if our "heroes" are really doing the denizens of this world that many favors. What seems to happen is that their interventions effectively turn quiet horrors involving small numbers of people into apocalyptic scernarios with mass death and devastation. I guess it DOES clear the air, though.
-My understanding was that a "Hero" can't resurrect if their body is completely destroyed, or if they'd immediately die AGAIN under the circumstances. I believe this "rule" got disregarded a time or two here.
The show's attempts at humor are still a major problem. In the show itself, a character notes that Lady Fahtina, a "good" sorceress, is rather flippant. The same thing can be said of the initial presentation of the Jiffon Island priestesses (Yana and Aoiu), which made it a little harder to take them seriously when things got VERY dark. Nor was I particularly amused with the vulgarity that provided the TITLE for one of the episodes. (The joke- a very WEAK one- is that it's supposed to sound like something the Orcs say, but the meaning in Orcish is of course very different.)
On the other hand, I'm still amused by the running gag that Yuusuke always gets assigned roles that not only seem useless in combat, but which are also improbable to get in the first place- the sectors they occupy on the wheel the Gamemaster spins to "randomly" assign them their roles are very tiny. We very much DO suspect the wheel is rigged, at least where Yuusuke is involved. And yet the Gamemaster (in the more pleasant form) continues having private interviews with Yuusuke. Not sure what that's about...
It remains a very mixed-bag show, though as I said I'll give the Second Part credit for clearing up some basic questions, and for giving us a terrific new character in Glen. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: Some unpleasant violence, especially involving some nasty parasites, as well as some mature themes (one of our cast has suffered at the hands of an abusive relative.) Crunchy does not venture a rating, and the show doesn't seem to have an American video release yet. The manga has a suggested rating by Right Stuf of 16+; I concur.
Version(s) Viewed: Crunchyroll video stream
Review Status: Full (12/12)
I'm Standing On A Million Lives (Season One, part 2) © 2021 Maho Film
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