Sorcerous Stabber Orphen 2: Revenge Review

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It’s been a while, but it’s finally time to look at the sequel to the first Orphen show. Interestingly enough, this show took a dramatically different approach compared to the first one. While the first season was very dark, somber, and dramatic the entire time, this one shifts gears into a full on comedy. You can see what the writers were going for here though. In the first show, there wasn’t a whole lot of time to see the cast just hang out and have fun since there were always a lot of things at stake. With the world completely safe once more, it’s the perfect time to pit the cast in all kinds of wonky situations. For the most part, this works well, but some parts of the show really just make no sense. Plot points are brought up and then completely forgotten. It makes for an odd blend, but at the end of the day the show is fairly good. The first season definitely takes the win here as I did miss “hardcore” Orphen from the search for Azalie, but this title has a lot of great moments as well.

Orphen has been having a lot of strange dreams lately. He’s trapped in a cave and bad things always seem to happen. He’s chased by giants, laughed at by the unknown, or even attacked by monsters. The one constant is that whenever he wakes up, he finds the main heroine Cleao in his room to the dismay of both of them. The shenanigans continue for a while until a new character, Licorice shows up. She wants Orphen to come with her to the royal knighthood of honor chaps so that they can properly award him. Orphen refuses so she decides to follow him until he relents. The upside for Orphen is that she is backed financially by the group so now he can use her money and live a decent life instead of scraping for pennies.

Meanwhile, a Red Haired girl continues to follow them and plays the piano during the night. Her plot twist is really obvious and I guessed it as soon as she appeared, but for those who are not too familiar with the trope, it may take a little longer than that. There are also a lot of monsters which keep showing up and try to destroy Orphen from time to time. There seems to be a mastermind behind them, but who can it be? One thing’s for sure, Orphen and the others are not going to be getting a lot of rest this time!

As mentioned earlier, the show doesn’t really know where it’s going at times. Let’s take the first plot, where the two heroes keep waking up in the wrong room. This is never resolved. There is no actual reason for the characters to be sleep walking and if the show intended for this to be a pure comical subplot, then it was not handled well. During the entire show, you’re waiting for the revelation of what is causing this, but it wasn’t to be. We can’t forget Orphen’s dreams either. He gets them constantly and some of them are even used purely for comic relief and have no purpose. One of them does come true by the end, but what about the rest? Has Orphen’s imagination just started to run away with him in his old age? I dunno, it just felt pointless once again.

Finally, Orphen’s new magical symbols are also odd. As opposed to the first show where he could just send off a spell at will, we now get a visual of an odd looking circuit board. We can definitely assume that Orphen is drawing energy from this tech to use his magic. I had a theory going on for a while that this Orphen was a clone and that was going to be the big twist. That would have really been something and I think it could have been handled very epicly. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t to be I guess. It was purely an animation change that the show did for kicks. Gotta save the budget whenever possible right? There is certainly a decent amount of stock footage in this season.

That being said, the animation is reasonably good here. It hasn’t changed all that much from the first season, but it didn’t really need too. As it stands, everything looks to be on point. The fight scenes are always exciting and all of the character designs make sense. It’ll remind you of the classic 90’s days for sure. The soundtrack is pretty uninspiring, but we have 1 or 2 very catchy themes. The theme songs look pretty good animation-wise. I’d say that the first theme song of the original series is probably the best. As for the music of these intros, I’ll update this review with something on those once I listen to them again within the next day or two.

As mentioned earlier, most of the show is rather lighthearted and fairly aimless. While this may not sound good to the action readers in the room, it was rather nice to see the group just hang out and engage in witty banter. There are some shows where you never really get to see the heroes have fun like in DBZ so this is a welcome change. Let’s face it, Vegeta and Goku bickering could make for a lot of good episodes. This cast isn’t quite as dynamic, but they can do a good job so long as the two trolls and Orphen are the main focus. My favorite episode of this season actually wasn’t an action episode, but a comedy one instead.
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In this episode, Orphen gets cloned so that there are 4-5 other Orphens chasing him. Orphen even compliments this concept since the only one who can defeat him must be another him right? I can actually follow this train of logic. The fight scenes in this episode are a lot of fun and the dialogue is also rather strong. This episode simply could not be surpassed no matter how much plot they crammed into the final episodes. Some of those titles did put up a good fight, but none could match the brilliance of this event. If you thought that clone episodes couldn’t really be all that good, you’ll want to watch this one to reassess that statement.

The characters haven’t changed all that much since the first season as you’d expect. Orphen’s still the tough main character who is always ready to throw out some insults. He’s still a tough mage as well, but is portrayed as being a lot lower on the totem pole than usual. He is actually on the losing side of just about every serious fight in the series. He loses to all three of the main villains in one on one fights and ultimately only proves to be dependable against comic relief characters. I don’t think his fans will be too pleased at that part. I really thought that the writers didn’t give Orphen enough credit in this season. Maybe that will change if we ever get a season 3. He’s still a great lead though and I’d definitely say that he is the best character in the series.

I still have to give Volkan the runner up spot. He’s actually a really great comic relief character and puts most others to shame. He’s very consistent and never has a moment where you’re supposed to feel bad for him or respect his abilities. He plays the role of the comic relief guy right up until the end and that’s how it should be. He never loses his nerve and we’ll always see him try to make Orphen’s life more difficult. It would simply be odd if he ever switched from this tactic. I still don’t care for Dortin though. He doesn’t pull off the road nearly as well. His voice actor does a good job of giving him a very old/raspy voice, but that’s the only real positive for him. He really needs to get behind Volkan and help him out more against Orphen.

Majic is not nearly as terrible as he was in the first show, but there’s still little reason to root for him in this one. He’s still letting Orphen cheat his father out of a small fortune via the tuition when Majic isn’t actually learning anything. We had a whole episode about this and the moral was basically that Orphen is a terrible teacher, but Majic may as well continue to pay him out anyway. Not the greatest ending for Majic fans. He’ll have to really improve for me to like him more as a character.

As for Cleao, she’s still a good main heroine. It’s definitely fortunate for her that she has a super powerful dog in the form of Lucky. Even Orphen’s afraid of that little guy. She may not be able to fight all that much on her own and it can get old to see her quit the group so often, but at least she can be reasonable and her arguments with Orphen are always entertaining. Unlike Majic, she’s actually a very good supporting character who helps to push the show along. There are other characters from the first season who show up like Orphen’s child hood friend and the new leader of the spell castors, Azalie. Unfortunately, they don’t do a whole lot here and their roles aren’t great. You’d think that Azalie would get a lot of hype since she is one of the strongest mages in the world, but her quick cameos are just there to remind the fans that she exists. She doesn’t really get to do anything in the grand scheme of things. As for the child hood friend, his hobby of transforming into a superhero identity is still around, but beyond that he mostly spends his appearances getting beaten up or beating up on weaker monsters. There’s no real middle here and he can’t hold a candle to the stronger fighters. Neither can Orphen though so I suppose we couldn’t expect much more out of him.

Licorice is one of the newer characters and she gets a large role. Unfortunately, she is a pretty bad character. She wasn’t too bad at first as I didn’t mind her gimmick of always mentioning the Royal Knighthood. It could be catchy and she wasn’t bad. However, she started to get a lot worse once she started uncovering the truth behind her past. Suddenly, she would start getting very snippy with everyone and had a tendency of running off into the rain. She tried destroying herself 3 times or more and tended to get in the way of the heroes at all times. She lost any dignity she had by this point and ultimately the show would have been better off without her.

Erukarena is the final boss of the show and is an example of how you make a good final boss. She is a high above being who just so happens to look like a little girl. Don’t let her appearance fool you though, her powers are immense. She has super speed and a wide variety of spells to the point where she is able to take on McGregor and Orphen teaming up. They really don’t fare very well against her at all. She may look innocent, but takes great joy in making life tougher for everyone else. She may not have many goals or aspirations, but at least she makes sure that the heroes feel her sting. The design really worked well this time.

McGregor was the big villain for most of the series. (When he appeared anyway) He got to show off his skills quite a lot as he took Orphen down rather easily. He moves pretty fast for an old man. The show tries to make him a sympathetic character by the end as we find out a few plot twists about his past. It’s all pretty intriguing and while most of his decisions were good, it doesn’t really excuse the fact that he went off the deep end. Whatever the intentions may be, it doesn’t change the fact that McGregor was a complete villain by the end of all this. He was someone who needed to be taken down for the count. At least he made for a good villain though.

As far as the villains go, the final one is Flamesoul. Surprisingly, the show presented him as a greater magician than Orphen. The court room scene with Flamesoul interrogating Orphen was handled pretty well. He’s not the greatest of villains as he can be rather dramatic at times. He doesn’t know that Orphen was actually framed for murdering his mother so he seeks revenge throughout the series. He is definitely lucky to have an array of monsters to back him up, but he actually does a very good job. He came so close to completely getting his revenge here. I definitely liked him a little more than I thought I would by the end, but he does lose to the first two.

Finally, we have Esperanza. I would have liked her character more if she had stuck to playing the piano in the background. Instead, she gets a lot of development and is unsure of what she should do. Protecting Licorice is her main goal, but she also wants to take Orphen down which would be bad for Licorice emotionally. It’s definitely a tricky call either way as it will be tough for the two of them to get along. I also have to say that the kiss between her and Orphen felt very random and out of nowhere. That scene definitely had no real purpose if you think about it. Esperanza may have been mysterious, but unfortunately she was not a good character. I also happened to be playing Sword Art Online Lost Song at the same time as I watched this and that game had the very same twist as this title involving a mysterious red haired girl. It made the resolution to this plot that much more obvious.

Holding back this show from getting a complete 7 is that it did have a little more fanservice than it should have by the end. It’s nothing too drastic, but the little scenes here and there do add up. Most of the comedy episodes weren’t bad, but they were also pretty devoid of action, which widened the gap between this season and the first one. It was very close to matching the score, but in the end it just couldn’t pull it off. I’m sure that a season 3 would likely get the job done though.
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Overall, Revenge is a fitting title for this season as several characters have this motive over the course of the show. It’s not as fitting though when you find out that this season is mostly a comedy. The action scenes do look really good when they show up of course, but it does take quite a while for them to really get going. Once you’re in the climax, you get a glimpse of how epic the show could have been had it stuck to this genre. We do have the first season for that though. If you like the characters then you will still enjoy the show regardless as the comedy is handled rather well. Had some plot points actually ended or been removed entirely, the show would have been even better. As it stands, I’d certainly recommend this show. The franchise may appear to be about 95% dead, but there’s always a chance that we will get a movie or another show someday. Never stop hoping for that sequel!

Overall 6/10

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