REVIEW: ‘Scarlet Nexus,’ Episode 2

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Scarlet Nexus Episode 2

Scarlet Nexus is a sci-fi anime from Sunrise, based on the video game by Bandai Namco Entertainment. Following last episode’s closing Others attack, the new cadets get ready for some inter platoon training with their new squads. Amidst the routine of OSF life, however, we see the first signs that something is not as it should be in Scarlet Nexus Episode 2.

This week’s episode opens with Kasane once more dreaming of the ominous red strings that have haunted her nights for years. Luckily for her, Naomi provides a quick distraction as she collects Kasane to attend a public event featuring her favorite mascot Baki. Once they arrive at the event, they quickly run into Yuito and Nagi who has also turned out to partake in the frivolity.. The foursome quickly finds themselves having a good time as they receive fortunes and simply enjoy some laid-back time before their obligations to the OSF take their attentions.

The biggest takeaway from Scarlet Nexus Episode 2 casual moment is its reveal of a major character aspect of Kasane. Namely, that she is super protective of her sister. And while this protectiveness is shown to some extent in the pilot episode, we learn just how far it goes here. Once this brief interlude is over, the episode dives into a training sequence that pits Yuito’s and Kasane’s squads against each other. This scene serves the dual purposes of showcasing how varied the abilities of the OSF can be, as well as providing an opportunity to further introduce some of the personalities that fill the squads.

It is some of these personalities that deliver the weaker moments of Scarlet Nexus Episode 2. While none of them are outright bad per se, several of the supporting cast members come off extremely one-note, such as the ultra lazy squad member who curls up to go to sleep in the middle of the training exercise. While these sort of comic relief personalities are far from unheard of in anime, they fail to deliver on their purpose here, as they feel too out of place in the setting the show has established.

The back portion of the episode sees the squads having to deploy due to the appearance of Others in a nearby subway system. The battle comes in less than ideal circumstances and provides some threats the OSF members are not prepared for.

While the storytelling in Scarlet Nexus Episode 2 is a bit of a mixed bag, the visuals provided by Sunrise’s animators bring the cool, sleek aesthetic of the OSF in all its glory. From the cool informs, to impressive visual representations of the group’s various mental powers Sunrise makes the cast look impressive, even when some of their personalities come across as less than.

The animation department also continues to have resounding success with bringing the world’s horrific monsters to life. Capturing both the design, as well as the style of movement of the game’s villains perfectly, these monsters deliver exactly what they are intended to in Scarlet Nexus Episode 2.

So, when taken all together, this episode does a lot in terms of world-building, fleshing out its cast, and delivering a steady flow of action. Unfortunately, some of these things are not implemented as well as others.

Scarlet Nexus Episode 2 is now streaming on FUNimation’s YouTube channel.


Scarlet Nexus Episode 2
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

So, when taken all together, this episode does a lot in terms of world-building, fleshing out its cast, and delivering a steady flow of action. Unfortunately, some of these things are not implemented as well as others.