Anime Review: Steel Angel Kurumi 2

steel angel kurumi 2 anime


Year: 2001
Length: 12 (15-min) Episodes
Genre: Comedy, Mecha, Romance, Sci-Fi, Yuri
Studio: OLM

Synopsis: Taking place 75 years after the first series, Steel Angel Kurumi 2 brings the Steel Angels in a new mis-adventure. High school student and aspiring cellist Nako Kagura accidentally discovers and kisses Kurumi Mk. II at her home, thus making her Kurumi’s master. But things go awry as Nako’s best friend Uruka gets jealous and tries anything – including her father’s army of top-secret mecha – to destroy Kurumi and win back Nako. Things get more out of control when Saki Mk. II is awakened by Uruka, and Karinka Mk. II joins in to steal Nako away from Kurumi.


STORY

As you can probably tell from that synopsis, Steel Angel Kurumi 2 is a little bit different than its predecessor. In the first season, there was a lot more emphasis placed on drama, and while this second season has a tiny bit of that, season two’s approach is far more whimsical, and I have to admit, I think I enjoyed the story a little more this time around.

Gone is a truly evil presence with hopes of ruling the world, and in its place is the tug of war between various girls who are all vying for the attention of a normal, everyday high school girl, who just so happens to be a mystic. As trivial as the story may seem, it’s often these other works that try to include serious drama that end up being woefully bad, so I liked how Steel Angel Kurumi 2 doesn’t take the same route that the first season took. In addition to drama, season one had its fair share of whimsy and lightheartedness, but the second season just expands upon that whimsical nature, so this season still feels like the Steel Angel Kurumi that you’re familiar with.

Taking place 75 years after the first season, the only returning characters are the Steel Angels, and the new protagonist (Nako) is either Nakahito’s great-granddaughter or his great-grandniece. Either way, she’s at the heart of the story in Steel Angel Kurumi 2. For the first half of the season, things revolve around Nako’s best friend, Uruka, trying to remove Kurumi from the fold, and as you might expect, Uruka’s plans don’t quite work out. Having a yuri-focused plot like this is pretty nice, since Uruka wants to be more than friends with Nako, yet Kurumi is just as into Nako as she was with Nakahito in season one, leading to another love triangle.

These first six episodes were pretty fun, and I wouldn’t have minded at all if the entire season was like this, but once another of season one’s Steel Angels (Karinka), enters the fray, things slowly turn a little more serious when Karinka immediately opposes Kurumi and Saki’s actions. This leads to some action, but just like the first season, this conflict doesn’t last long, and the love triangle surrounding Nako gains another member. I’m glad that the fighting didn’t last very long, because the comedic nature of the story was quite enjoyable to me, and definitely more enjoyable than the more dramatic moments.

Down the stretch, more fighting ensues, but it’s not about world domination or anything like that. It’s about some of the girls going to extreme lengths to avoid losing Nako, with Kurumi once again being “the good guy”. I know some people won’t/didn’t like the story, and I can totally understand why, yet I liked this less serious storyline, and the yuri didn’t hurt either, but more on that in a minute. First and foremost, Steel Angel Kurumi 2 feels like a comedy, and I think it fares a lot better in that regard than it does as a drama. All in all, this second season kind of feels like a glorified OVA, but an OVA that’s pretty fun and amusing.


CHARACTERS & YURI

Moving on to the characters, Nako is more or less just like Nakahito from season one. For the most part, she lacks personality, and it’s less about her and more about the other characters. Since she’s a cute girl with glasses, I’ll admit that I liked Nako more than Nakahito, though I can’t say that I liked Kurumi any more in this season than season one…

Pretty much from when we first encounter her in the first season, I’ve found Kurumi to be pretty annoying. Her extreme clinginess, manner of speech, and voice just get on my nerves, and it got so bad that I started muting her when she’d speak, from the halfway mark of the season onward. Afterwards, I enjoyed everything a little more, but she’s still the same old Kurumi from season one, for better or worse.

Because of this, I never really shipped Nako and Kurumi together. Despite Kurumi’s clinginess, Nako didn’t show any signs of having deeper feelings towards Kurumi beyond friendship, though she was pretty submissive and never pushed Kurumi away either. Obviously, this whole situation is much more enjoyable than Nakahito x Kurumi, I just wish I was able to tolerate Kurumi more, because my dislike towards her negatively affected how I viewed this ship. I’m guessing most people won’t feel the same way about Kurumi, so they’ll probably like the relationship with Nako.

Saki is just as docile as she was in the later parts of season one, and even though she was into both Kurumi and her master, Uruka, I thought that she was kind of on the boring side, at least compared to Kurumi’s antics. Uruka pretty much takes a lot of Saki’s screen time, yet I think it turned out to be a good move, since Uruka was my favorite character in the show. Like Kurumi, Uruka was also in love with Nako, but unlike Kurumi, I found Uruka’s attempts to garner Nako’s affection as cute, at least for almost the entire season.

Similar to those old cartoons, Uruka’s failed attempts were fun to watch, though I did feel a little bad for her, since Kurumi came out of nowhere and was essentially forced upon Nako. Unrequited love isn’t fun, but this season made it seem that way. At least it’s all in good fun, and Nako doesn’t fret too much, besides that whole turning into the main antagonist thing. Yeah, I hated how Uruka, alongside Karinka, became the closest thing this season had to a true villain, since Uruka just seems to be genuinely in love with Nako. Anyway, it all worked out in the end, and selfishness aside, Uruka was still my favorite character.

Karinka wasn’t as memorable to me as she was in the first season, and it didn’t help that she didn’t have as much time to make an impact, since she was only introduced in the second half of an already shortened season. As a whole, I think Uruka helped to make the case of characters more enjoyable to me, and any yuri fan will welcome the switch to a female main character, so I viewed the cast of characters as a moderate improvement over the first season.


ANIMATION & SOUND

When it comes to animation and sound, I don’t think there’s a whole lot to talk about. There isn’t a ton of action, so the animation didn’t leave any lasting impressions on me. For the most part, this season looks like more of the same from season one, but one thing that caught my eye were Uruka’s funny facial expressions. I should also mention that there’s a bit of fanservice here, but nothing too extreme. Also, Karinka’s design has changed a little bit, for the better I’d say. I have even less to say about the music, and it’s not just because I was muting Kurumi so much. Even during the most dramatic scenes of this season, the music was really forgettable, and that extended to the typical lighthearted music that would play during the remainder of the season. Long story short, the animation and sounds seemed a little generic to me.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Steel Angel Kurumi 2 feels like a more playful, yuri-centric version of Steel Angel Kurumi, and for the most part, I liked that shift. The lack of any sort of apocalyptic drama might turn some people off, yet I think cranking up the mindless fun just made the season more entertaining to watch. If I liked Kurumi more, I might’ve improved the score even more, but as it stands, I think the “less-is-more” approach that Steel Angel Kurumi 2 employed turned out to be an improvement from the first season.


POSITIVES

+ Definitely more yuri than the first season
+ Show has a few yuri kisses between the characters
+ Uruka just makes the love triangle a lot more fun


NEGATIVES

– Kurumi is like nails on a chalkboard to me
– Season feels too short
– Saki and Karinka aren’t as memorable as they were in season one


Story: 6
Characters: 5
Animation: 5
Sound: 5
Yuri: 7
Total Enjoyment: 6


2 thoughts on “Anime Review: Steel Angel Kurumi 2

    • Hmm. You’d miss out on some backstory about the steel angels, but this season was more like an alternative version anyway, so I don’t think you have to watch the first season to understand what’s going on in this one. 😛

      Kurumi herself doesn’t remember what happened in the first season, and since the other non-steel angel main characters are new, it doesn’t end up being that important. 😛

      Like

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