REVIEW: ‘The Heike Story,’ Episode 2

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The Heike Story Episode 2 - But Why Tho

The Heike Story is an adventure/drama anime inspired by a 12th-century epic story produced by Science SARU. Having been taken in by Lord Shigemori in the last episode, Biwa is getting to know those around her. But it can be difficult to get a feel for things when the whims of court politics keep everything in flux around her in The Heike Story Episode 2.

There’s something special when seemingly disparate threads of the plot can come together to form a cohesive whole. When seemingly unrelated moments can be brought together in a way that makes the various elements of a story organically construct its setting and characters. Almost as if the plot is assembling these elements like a puzzle before the viewer’s eyes. This ability to bring distinct pieces of plot together in such a way as to culminate in a uniform whole by the end of its run time is The Heike Story Episode 2‘s greatest strength.

With the fallout of the events of the last episode putting the politics in this week’s story into motion, Biwa is quickly caught up in the affairs swirling around Shigemori and the Heike as a whole. Luckily for her, Shigemori’s sister Tokuko has taken a liking to the orphan girl and the two soon become fast friends.

It is this budding friendship that provides the anchor point for this week’s narrative. As the give and take of politics flows around them, Biwa and Tokuko’s friendship centers the viewer’s perspective on the two new friends. The other elements of the story, particularly Biwa’s ability to see the future, are smoothly worked into this primary narrative. This allows the show to continue to build out its world and future story points while still making it feel connected to the story at the moment. This makes it a bit easier to hold the viewer’s interest during some moments of exposition.

Even though The Heike Story Episode 2 manages to deliver a thoughtful story of friendship and politics, it won’t be for everyone. The measured pace the show took to its narrative in its inaugural episode continues here. While I appreciate the desire to let some moments breathe a bit, there are a couple of scenes in this episode that just feel a touch too dry. These moments never linger on long enough to ruin the episode, but they do drain a bit of its energy from it.

While the visual style in this show sometimes feels a bit simplistic, it is nonetheless impressive how much emotion shines through from the characters. This is especially true of Biwa. The young girl’s many moments of struggle make her smile shine extra bright when the story calls for it. When she is allowed to smile, the camera always focuses the entire frame on her. This pushes the specialness of the moment to the forefront.

When all is said and done, The Heike Story Episode 2 delivers a touching story of friendship amid the intrigues of the Imperial Court. While it stalls a little for a moment or two, the overall narrative succeeds in delivering an interesting, if paced, entry into its story.

The Heike Story Episode 2 is streaming on Funimation.

The Heike Story Episode 2
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

Tl;DR

The Heike Story Episode 2 delivers a touching story of friendship amid the intrigues of the Imperial Court. While it stalls a little for a moment or two, the overall narrative succeeds in delivering an interesting, if paced, entry into its story.