What exists between animation and Western literature is a rather consolidated link from which a good number of high-level productions have sprung. This is the case of the vein of World Masterpiece Teather or the famous “Nadia: The Mystery of the Blue Stone”, inspired by the novels of Jules Verne and recently available on Prime Video. Although the works cited are all of Japanese origin, they also exist Western productions that exploit this particular combination, often adapting literary classics but also more recent literary works as in the case of the saga “Idhun’s memories“which was recently made available on Netflix also the adaptation of the second volume.
During our review of the first part of Memories of Idhun, we highlighted the presence of some defects that afflict the anime produced by Zeppelin Tv, but also the presence of the potential to propose a more refined and compelling sequel. Hoping that the work would prove to be such, even without expecting major changes compared to the first part, we have viewed the new block of episodes of the Spanish production anime and we are ready to reveal to you if the imperfections found during our first trip to Idhun were adequately filled.
Where were we
The past of a seemingly common boy with the equally common name of Jack, re-emerged in a traumatic as well as sudden way due to the attack carried out against him by Kirtash ed Elrion, a young warrior and a magician made responsible for the death of parents of the boy at the behest of the perfidious negromante Alshran, which after taking possession of the magical kingdom of Idhun began to persecute the inhabitants of the kingdom exiles on earth. Jack therefore decided to join the resistance made up of the same age Victoria and yes Shain ed Alsan, without the intervention of which he would have met the same fate as his parents.
While the resistance tried in vain to save as many Idunesi as possible, a rash action by JackEager to contribute to the cause and avenge the death of his parents, he once again put his life in danger but allowed in return to anticipate the moves of Kirtash and the magician. Both were on the trail of the legendary book of the third era, among whose pages was hidden the solution to the enigma of the position of the Ayshel scepter. The object in question is not only a powerful magical weapon, but also the key to tracing the position of Lumnaris, the only unicorn that survived the extermination conducted by Alshran to avoid the completion of the prophecy according to which his reign of terror would come to an end thanks to the intervention of a drago and a unicorno.
The resistance was able to recover a copy of the ancient manuscript and decipher its contents, but fell victim to the ambush of Kirtash and Elrion, in the very place where the legendary weapon had been kept for millennia. During this occasion Victoria took possession of the scepter but despite this neither she nor her companions managed to prevent it Alsan was kidnapped.
With the intent to save his friend, the resistance infiltrated the fortress of their enemies, succeeding in the enterprise of freeing Alsan who in the meantime fell victim to the influence of a necromancy thanks to which Elrion was able to to graft the spirit of a wolf into his body, transforming him into an anthropomorphic beast prey to his own anger. Aware of his own danger, Elrion himself decided to leave Limbad to reach the earth, triggering the immediate reaction of Jack who immediately left to look for him, abandoning Viktoria to herself and to the aims of Kirtash.
New start, old flaws
The first episode of the anime opens by operating a time jump of two years with respect to the events shortly summarized, at the end of which Jack had embarked on a long journey in search of Alsain, who spontaneously isolated himself on earth to protect his friends from the fury of the feral spirit that had been grafted into his body.
The second block of episodes of Memoirs of Idhun proposes the same atmospheres and stylistic choices observed during the first part of the anime both in graphic and narrative terms. More than a real second season, the new episodes are configured to a not very careful look like the natural continuation than previously observed, proposing not only the distinctive features but also i inherent defects signals from us during our review. Therefore, i problems relating to the characterization of some characters and especially the figure of Jack, for whom two years and a thicker hair were not enough to acquire the charisma or at least the three-dimensionality which would have been adequate for his leading role.
We also encountered a problematic balancing of the rhythm of the narrative, which alternates now apparently filling or badly managed scenes, now sequences that would have deserved a longer playing time. The biggest flaw is once again in the little attention paid to the rendering of some dialogues, apparently unnatural, which in the overall picture give a feeling of superficiality general which does not allow the anime to center the more adult target towards which the work would seem to want to turn, as a even higher rate of violence of what characterizes the first part of the anime based on the novels by Laura Gallego Garcia.
What’s new in the kingdom of Idhun?
Despite what has been reported so far on the similarities between the two seasons, on a careful look it is possible to find the presence of some news among which the most obvious is undoubtedly represented by the choice to explore the love theme. Unfortunately the decision to dedicate ample space to sentimental reasons does not contribute to making the anime a more mature and multifaceted product, but vice versa it ends up by highlight the unconvincing rendering of the interactions between the characters. In fact, the work continues to show its best side when the narrative focuses on the action or on the more strictly fantasy part, also thanks to a worldbulding quite effective.
Looking at the anime from a more technical point of view there is a certain attention paid to the preparation of the OST, which reuses not only the good quality tracks and sounds we have previously enjoyed but also adds a piece from the band Paranoid Fish. The soundtrack manages to transpose effectively in music the thoughts and personality of a certain character, as well as returning a piece that will likely resonate in the minds of viewers even after the credits. Going back to the discourse on the characters, it must then be emphasized that opposite considerations compared to those expressed in relation to the rendering of the figure of Jack can be referred to the character of Kirtash. The latter, already initially much more interesting than the rival, suffers in fact a path of evolution who manages to return the portrait of a character capable of counterbalance Jack’s almost total static and lack of charisma.
By detaching ourselves from the observation of the single details in favor of an overall vision of the work, it is possible to notice how there is the will to propose a very specific theme for reflection, unfortunately only hinted at without exploiting its considerable potential for the enhancement of which an increase in the overall playing time of the anime would have been necessary, once again limited by the presence of sun five episodes.
The thin thread being referred to refers to hybrid figure and to a conception of the duality that is not configured as the presence of two incomplete halves that form a whole, but vice versa as the coexistence of two same natures, drawing a not too veiled parallelism with the evolution of the sentimental events experienced by the characters. Finally, to conclude our discussion we underline how the study Zeppelin TV has managed to maintain, net of some exceptions, a good level of animation while the variety and the level of the seabed appears slightly less high than what was observed during the first season of the anime.