Am I excited about DTB2? Excitement will be an understatement. Sure enough, expectations are high for DTB: Gemini of the Meteor, the sequel title for DTB. Despite so, I need to constantly remind myself that Yoko Kanno is no longer involved for the music of DTB2. Asking if DTB2 is worth the expectation (and for some of us, a long wait), I will say this: worth every bit. More after the jump.
Synopsis: The opening scene goes back 2 years ago during the Tokyo Explosion when Hei infiltrated Hell’s Gate. Suou and Shion were with their father in the cold Siberian forest when they saw a shooting star in the night sky. Knowing well that a shooting star signifies a contractor’s death, their father knew something was up when there are more stars falling from the sky. Frankly, I nearly forgotten about that fact myself. Out of nowhere, a star is falling towards them and impacted on earth. Since then, Shion became a contractor.
Two years later, in a bar somewhere in Russia, April made contact with an agent from the Russian FSB, August 7, also known as The Magician. Elsewhere on a different day, Suou was doing some photography when she overheard her crush, Nika, asking her friend, Tanya, out. Call me a cheap but I’m taking an affinity for Suou simply because of our common interest in photography. ;P Anyway, Tanya agreed and Nika leaped with joy. And this is not an exaggeration. He really did. To me, it is an over-reaction. So Suou who tried to get a good shot of the new couple, fell from the tree and the two scuffled over the photos. Then life resumes normally as Suou sees it. Well, there was a monologue of her explaining the Heaven’s Gate and Hell’s Gate, and the whole contractor phenomenon, and how it changed the world since their existence. Suou got back home and was welcomed by Bella, a research assistant for her father. She then proceeded to see her twin brother, Shion. It appears that Shion sustained injuries from the meteor impact two years ago as he was seen on a wheelchair and his right eye bandaged. Suou began to reminiscent about their mother but Shion in his superior being arrogance said that their mother does not concern him. Suou left his room with a heavy sigh when her father pulled her away and warned her not to stay with Shion too long, despite being a family. In anger, she stormed away from her father.
One day at school Tanya arrived late to class with dead-looking eyes. You know, very distant and indifferent kind of look. The look as if she wants to eat your brain out. After school, Tanya left ahead of the gang and the rest followed her. Nika caught up and unwilling to let her go. Then Tanya used her power to summon a swarm of locust to attack Nika. She remunerated her power by pulling her hair off. In horror, the girls ran away except for Suou who chased after her. A flashback revealed that contractors receive their power without any apparent signs though their personalities and behaviours change greatly. Once they changed into contractor, they will be approached by the state agency and witnesses will be erased of their memories. That is exactly what happened to Tanya as Suou trailed her. Back in Suou’s place, Shion went to see his father in the lab and told him that the time has arrived as he had finished paying for his remuneration. Then he stood up. Suou rushed back home when the army is surrounding the house. Suou used a secret passage to get to Shion’s room as instructed to her telepathically by Shion. I wonder if this is Shion’s ability. As Suou changed to Shion’s clothes, she dropped a charm which Shion told not to lose so that they can be reunited later. For the looks of it, this charm looks like a meteor core. He then instructed her to evacuate from the lab and to join Bella who knows the way out.
Meanwhile Bella who is actually April tried to escape too but proceeded to complete her mission first. She then asked July for Shion’s location but he failed to find him. He then informed that an Asian male wearing a mask is in the professor’s room. Suou who was on her way to the same location, overheard the conversations between her father and the masked man. She immediately enters the room and found that her father is dead. April came in moments later and introduced herself as an agent from MI6. As the army is about to search the room, they both made a run for it. Outside however, another contractor from the Russian army awaits them. He demanded them to surrender but April resisted. Using his lightning speed ability, the guy grabbed Suou away from April but she too made a move. Having dodged a couple of bullets, ironically, raindrops summoned by April killed him. Apparently, the impact of hitting raindrops at high speed is like bullet shots. Just when April thought it was over, she was strangled with wire thrown to her by the masked contractor. We all know too well who this masked contractor is, unless the writers managed to fool us. April tried to drown him using her power but to no avail. The masked contractor made his killing move. Before letting out her last breath, April muttered “BK201”. Hei is back.
Thoughts: I think I overdid the synopsis part. I tend to get carried away when I’m excited. Speaking of which, is DTB2 worth the excitement? Like I said before, worth every bit of it. I was not wrong to put my hopes high for this show and in a way, I was rewarded. The pilot episode of DTB2 is just too amazing. It’s no secret that the animation quality delivered by BONES for DTB is near flawless. I was particularly psyched to see how crisp the animation details of the DSLR are while Suou was adjusting the lens. And not forgetting, the opening plot teased by the writers. I like how they put the story into a fresh perspective, first by killing off the cat which I presumed to be Mao (both looks quite similar, especially with the bell collar), then April who was Hei’s previous opponent. Moreover, we are introduced with the new main characters, Shion and Suou, though I suspect that these two will be around for only several more episodes. At least, that is how the plot trend was previously. If there is anyone from Hei’s past I want to see is definitely Detective Misaki. I guess pairing her up with Hei may not be such a bad idea to begin with. But thus far, nothing is known about Misaki and Tokyo by whole after the Hell’s Gate incident, dubbed Tokyo Explosion.
Now, my obviously biased positive remarks is not without criticism. As mentioned earlier, Yoko Kanno is out of the picture. Or should I say, the music department. Instead, we have Ishii Yasunori who is fairly new in anime OST work. Should we be concerned about this? Why shouldn’t we? Yoko Kanno was one of the main draws of DTB last time, with her jazz flavour for the BGM. But who am I to judge? I’m such a sucker for jazz. As if it couldn’t get any worse, Stereopony will be doing the OP while abingdon boys school remained loyal to the show by doing the ED. To the latter’s credit, the ED was quite good though. IMHO, FMA still have the best OP and ED for the moment. If only NICO touches the Wall do the next OP for DTB2. Coming back to the OP, it’s Stereopony. We’re all familiar with their music for Gundam OO’s second OP, which was not too great for me. I hope the same would not apply for DTB2. For now, the music department will not be a strong suit for DTB2 but who cares? The story is all that mattered and from what I’m seeing now, it’s going to be good and definitely better for episodes to come.