The first little divergence from the game occurs but even then we reach the same ending. More importantly, we get to see the opening and ending for the series. The opening unfortunately has that syndrome of reusing a bunch of scenes from the first episode so I hope we get some proper stuff in the coming weeks. The song itself is rather catchy and the ending is of the same quality, just without the whole animation recycling, although the it’s mostly just a walk-cycle with the Phantom Thieves.
Joker and Arsene dispatch Kamoshida’s guards and Ryuji takes the initiative to tackle Kamoshida and lock him in the cell as the duo make their escape. They return to the real world, as shown by the school being where it’s supposed to be instead of a castle, and the two are reprimanded for showing up to school so late. Kamoshida is one of the teachers out in the front to reprimand the two but he doesn’t seem to be aware of the bizarre encounter they just had. Joker is introduced to the class and finds out the girl from before, Takamaki, sits one seat above his. More importantly though, Joker realizes that people are already aware of his criminal record and rumors about him are already taking root. Joker goes to grab some lunch and bumps into Ryuji and they both come to agree that the event this morning deserves a thorough examination. Joker returns home, gets a word from Sojiro as to not cause him more trouble. Before falling asleep, Joker returns to the strange prison he found himself the night before and is told that he has finally unlocked his power and his “rehabilitation” will take place.
Joker and a bunch of the other school kids get humiliated during volleyball exhibitions during school and Joker overhears Ryuji and a bunch of kids talking about Ryuji not getting on Kamoshida’s bad side again. Around lunch, Joker is told by Kawakami to not hang around Ryuji but the latter shows up to tell Joker to meet him by the rooftops again. Back on the roof, the two decide that the only way to deal with Kamoshida has to involve that castle and Joker shows off the Metaverse Navigator and the two foray the castle once again. At the same time, Kamoshida forces himself on one of the volleyball team’s female member, Shiho.
Inside the castle, Joker and Ryuji find all sorts of volleyball related torture being done on the students. A strange voice explains that this sort of abuse isn’t actually taking place in reality but inside Kamoshida’s heart and this palace is the manifestation of his warped perception of himself. The duo investigate the voice and they find some strange cat like being who introduces himself as Morgana and they agree to cooperate to learn more about palaces but they are soon caught by the guards and brought to the main room. Incapacitated by the guards, Joker and Morgana are unable to fight back and Shadow Kamosida not only taunts Ryuji but reveals how Ryuji had once defied him during the time he coached for the track team and broke his leg after Ryuji tried to fight him. Because of this, Ryuji was “responsible” for the track team’s disbanding and gained the ire of his former teammates. Joker however tells Ryuji to stand up for himself and just like how Joker awakened his persona, Ryuji gains a similar episode of screaming in pain before he pulls off his mask to summon Captain Kidd. The trio are able to fight back against the shadows and make a quick escape and Morgana says that he’ll see them some other time. Back in the real world, Ryuji and Joker go eat together where Ryuji cries after hearing Joker’s own story.
In the game, we meet Morgana during the first escape sequence that teaches the player how to properly fight. This time, we had no need for that and met Morgana during the first willing investigation attempt in Kamoshida’s palace, which doesn’t really detract from the experience since you don’t meet Morgana in the real world until after Ryuji awakens Captain Kidd. More cameos in the form of Makoto talking with some of the other students and Haru looking after the flowers and in the latter’s case, I don’t think she’s EVER teased at any point earlier than the Hawaii Trip event in the game, which is after four palaces through the main story. As far as adaptation goes, it’s still trucking along with the early events of the game.
As far as animation goes, it wasn’t as smooth as last time and the fighting wasn’t all that worth mentioning. It’s basically a given at this point that a game adaptation is never really going to wow anyone with its fight choreography and animation. The awakening scene for Ryuji in the anime felt a bit weaker compared to the game’s and even Joker pulled off a sick grin when he had his awakening but not so much here. A lot less shots I wanted to post for the hell of it so while episode two wasn’t as pretty as the first, we’re still trucking along pretty fine.