The RPG That Begins with “Nice to Meet You”
And thus begins my watch of the PSO2 anime.
Light spoilers ahead.
While the episode begins with a Cool Action Sequence, what you’d probably expect from an anime adaptation of an action RPG, it quickly transitions into a high school slice of life show.
Tachibana Itsuki is a student at Seiga Academy (I see what you did there). Itsuki is an inoffensive high schooler, average at everything. He’s known as “the handyman” because he can support others in a pinch (as shown in this episode by being called in as a sub for an injured soccer player on the school team). A jack of all trades, master of none.
Izumi Rina on the other hand, is the master of all trades. She is the universally admired Seiga Academy student council president- a top athlete and scholar.
When she asks Itsuki to become the vice president (seemingly due to his unassuming mediocrity), the other members of the council are unsurprisingly skeptical.
Strap in, we’re about to go Full Anime.
One of Itsuki’s tasks as VP is to play PSO2 and report on it.
Itsuki obliges and jumps into the game (with the support of a lapsed player friend). As Itsuki begins his journey, the anime suddenly becomes very familiar to PSO2 players.
It’s really fascinating to see in-game visuals interpreted into traditional animation.
This becomes even cooler as we get to the ship: a familiar location, suddenly viewed through a more cinematic approach.
On the ship, Itsuki meets a player character, an overly friendly and helpful CAST. Itsuki refuses the CAST’s support, jumps into an Emergency Mission, and is immediately overwhelmed by Darkers (Falspawn in the English localization).
Itsuki is rescued by <you guessed it> who we find out is controlled by <you guessed it>. The episode ends with shots of new characters (both “real” and in-game) that will surely be playing a role in future episodes.
I’m an easy mark for this sort of thing, so I’m definitely on board for PSO2 The Animation and will continue to submit reports.
Oh and the closing animation is wonderful.
You can watch Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation on Crunchyroll or buy the Blu-ray set from Sentai, Right Stuf, or Amazon.