Netflix continues to inflate its anime catalog every two by three, and we already have plenty of series to ride endless marathons. Season 2 of ‘ Record of Ragnarok’ (‘Shumatsu no Valkyrie’) arrives this month on the platform, so if we still have to catch up with the first batch of chapters, it’s the perfect time.
The first season premiered in 2021 and has 12 chapters animated by Graphinica that begin to adapt the manga created by Shinya Umemura and Takumi Fukui and drawn by Ajichika.
Welcome to ragnarok
Humanity has been given a few million years to prove its worth, and the gods have decided that it is insurmountable and that it is better to extinguish the entire planet. Before the plan is put into action, the Valkyrie Brunhilde invokes Ragnarok: a tournament where humans will have one last chance to save themselves.
Thus, thirteen duels are held that pit the best of the gods against several outstanding humans who have been blessed with the powers of the Valkyries. If the humans manage to emerge victorious in seven of the duels, the entire human race would have been saved.
‘Record of Ragnarok‘ presents us with a very simple structure, with the season divided into several small arcs to develop each fight. The main attraction and focus is the action, and of course the surprise and excitement of seeing which contenders come next.
The lore of the series is very rich, showing us gods from different pantheons in a way that perhaps we are not used to, with which we end up with a very curious cast in which we find Thor, Shiva, and Adam as well, the first human.
It must be said that if you are not especially fans of the tournament structure, ‘ Record of Ragnarok’ can be longer than a day without bread. But at the end of the day, we have gotten ourselves into precisely this hole and what we can expect are duels that extend over several chapters, with each contender giving the best of himself and a string of unexpected twists to surpass the skills and strategies of the other.
Now, not only do we have combat itself, but in each duel we have very well interspersed different flashbacks that help to better present the background of each character. It is not necessary that we know the history of each hero inside out, because ‘Record of Ragnarok’ is in charge of giving it its own touch and reinventing its mythology, and shows us its “true history” through different glimpses of the past.
Despite the fact that the duels can be a bit long, the anime manages to maintain a good balance and rhythm in each combat, especially to maintain the surprise and the impact of the abilities of each participant. Now, the animation is perhaps the front on which the series limps the most, especially if we compare the finish with Ajichika’s original drawing.
Too many times the animation is very limited, leaving it with a very similar aspect to slides. Logically there are moments in the duels, especially during the most impressive final movements, that we have a very successful finish, but at least the first season of ‘Record of Ragnarok’ is not especially remembered for its excellent animation.
Yes, it can be said that it has a good addictive element, because once you start you only stay to see what drama and what twist is going to happen next. If you like series like ‘Baki’ or ‘JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’, sometimes ‘Record of Ragnarok’ falls into that kind of exaggerated action that almost borders on the ridiculous, but if you don’t take it too seriously it becomes tremendously entertaining.
In addition, the combats and the heroes that we come across are more and more in crescendo, and the first season leaves us with a sweet spot with a tremendous cliffhanger and the appearance of a very promising character. Next January 26, the second season will premiere on Netflix, which already promises a lot of action and a lot of knives in between.