To Love-Ru Darkness 2nd does just enough to achieve god-tier status as a fanservice series, even if a handful of flaws keep it from reaching the high heights of season one.
Production Company: Xebec
Vintage: Summer 2015
Nipple sightings from other Xebec produced anime:
Triage X, Kanokon, Ladies versus Butlers, Softenni, RIN – Daughters of Mnemosyne, Sorcerer Hunters, Upotte!! (OVA), Hen Zemi, Blue Seed Beyond, Argevollen
Other notable / recently relevant mainstream anime from Xebec:
Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, Love Hina, Negima, Lagrange – The Flower of Rin-ne, Martian Successor Nadesico, Shaman King, Space Battleship Yamato 2199, Zoids
Aki Toyosaki as Momo Belia Deviluke
Aki Toyosaki is also well known for her roles as:
Kanae Ito as Nana Astar Deviluke
Kanae Ito is also well known for her roles as:
Haruka Tomatsu as Lala Satalin Deviluke
Haruka Tomatsu is also well known for her roles as:
Yuka Iguchi as Mea Kurosaki
Yuka Iguchi is also well known for her roles as:
Kana Hanazawa as Mikan
Kana Hanazawa is also well known for her roles as:
Misato Fukuen as Golden Darkness, Tearju Lunatique
Misato Fukuen is also well known for her roles as:
Kaori Nazuka as Yui Kotegawa
Kaori Nazuka is also well known for her roles as:
Sayuri Yahagi as Haruna
Sayuri Yahagi is also well known for her roles as:
Harumi Sakurai as Ryouko Mikado
Harumi Sakurai is also well known for her roles as:
Mamiko Noto as Oshizu
Mamiko Noto is also well known for her roles as:
Ayako Kawasumi as Saki
Ayako Kawasumi is also known for her roles as:
Thoughts on the anime
Like season one, this series really only exists purely for lascivious viewers who can make serious plot compromises in exchange for PLOT. The overarching concept of building a harem on purpose as a way of achieving love objectives is interesting and novel, but it seems like season 2 focuses on this central theme less than season one and it feels like most of the non-fanservice scenes this season are empty calorie slice of life stuff, mostly just disposable, meaningless chatting.
Suffice to say, if this anime didn’t have fanservice, it would be pretty slow and boring. Though I’m guessing people would still watch it on account of the excellent character art.
Thankfully for us, it does have service and with each passing season, that service quotient seems to grow and grow. Further, in Darkness season two the service seems to be shared more evenly than it was in season one, with a much larger number of characters finding themselves getting plenty of naked screen time.
Unfortunately, this increased exposure has not applied to Mikan or for characters that are considered too loli. Even as the manga begins to give Rito’s sister as many nude scenes as the rest of the girls, the anime remains oddly prudish for seemingly no reason other than the director’s own preferences.
Further, there were some changes that left viewers scratching their heads. Nipple pinching and nipple sucking were changed to something tamer (this was true in season one as well). And then you had this on the UNCENSORED OVA:
There were also some interesting changes from the manga. Some shots were left out while others were anime original.
For example the following shot of Yami was added to the anime even though it wasn’t in the manga.
And this shot of Mikado-sensei from the manga didn’t make it into the anime (season 1):
There are a lot more examples, but I’m starting to ramble.
Ultimately what kept season two from reaching the same heights of season one came down to lower production values. Whereas the art was consistently amazing in season one, it seemed to be on a strict budget in season two which led to some poorly drawn faces, misshapen breasts and strange looking nipples.
In particular it seemed like the nipples were constantly erect and pointy in season 2. That sounds amazing in theory, but Xebec’s budget conscious art quality wasn’t quite up to the task.
In fairness to To Love-Ru Darkness 2nd , clunky art has been a problem industry wide the past year or so as studios cut back on production values to make ends meet. And in the case of this series it was all the more merited as sequels tend to see steep drops in sales so it made sense to have cautious production costs.
Of course, season one’s jaw dropping art quality is practically a relic of the past given how these days top series rarely break 10k BD/DVD averages.
In fact, sales did drop steeply season one to season two, plummeting by nearly 50%. Yet the final sales numbers are still upper tier relative to other 2015 series, meaning that we can safely assume a third Darkness at some distant date in the future.
The video for this project was pretty fun and ended up being the longest compilation video ever for the site, spanning over 2 hours. It includes all fourteen episodes from season two as well as OVAs five, six, and seven.
Momo was the clear favorite from season one. In season two, the focus shifts to Yami. Not my favorite character exactly (that would be Nana!), but there’s no question she was the starring attraction this time around and it was fun seeing her perverted side.