Set two years after the climactic season one finale wherein Shinichi (Matsuda Shota) completed his goal of disrupting the game and meeting the owner of the liar game tournament before leaving Nao (Erika Toda) and disappearing. It seems that everyone is safe as the liar game hasn’t been heard from and the remaining players have pretty much gone on with their lives. Until the still completely honest Nao receives a mysterious letter resurrecting the game and all the remaining players are drawn back in. Even Shinichi returns from his self imposed exile when he learns the person he met in season one is not actually the real owner of the game and when he learns Nao wants to return and he wants to protect her. It is also revealed that the rounds the first season covered were being played parallel to multiple other rounds. This pretty much means the cast gets a whole lot bigger for season two as new people from the other games join the fray. It’s also alluded that everyone in season two represents only half the current players, and that others are being whittled down elsewhere.
This season had everything it needed to be good and for the most part it’s really entertaining. The set up is the same from season one, a “game” is introduced with its rules the players prepare themselves and formulate a strategy but when the game begins it’s a no holes barred cut throat face off to survive. If you lose you are automatically in debt of 100 million yen, win and the money is yours. I really liked a few of the games and I was excited to see how they would turn out from episode to episode. Nao and Shinichi have their work cut out for them as the games are much harder to control.
The characters are what make this show interesting and just like season one even when the story drags it is pretty fun to just watch these characters. The real place this series shines is how it brings out the ambitions of each character, and all of these characters would do anything to succeed in their goals and that in turn makes for a great ride. Shinichi wants to destroy the owners of the Liar game tournament and protect Nao. I really like Shinichi he is just too ruthless not to enjoy and he is arguably the best player we have seen play the game yet. Nao wants to free everyone and show that success through trust is possible. There was a subtle romance between these two in season one but that isn’t really touched upon now which some may find slightly disappointing. Nao is much more interesting this season with a bit more layered performance by the beautiful Erika Toda, and I rooted through her and Shinichi. Fukunga is back but this time instead of being a villain he works as an ally of Nao, he is just an entertaining bastard and it’s clear the actor is having a ball playing such a bizarre over the top character.
The biggest and best addition to this season is Ryo Katsuragi played by Kikuchi Rinko. I don’t want to reveal too much but I will say her character development was simply amazing. From the very beginning we are given almost no information on her but we do see her play her games and absolutely dominate the other side of the tournament. She is set up as not only someone who is an amazing manipulator but someone from Shinichi’s past who bested him in their younger years. I loved her and she owned pretty much every scene she was in and I eagerly awaited the Shinichi/Nao/Katsuragi confrontation.
The story of season two includes a three part elimination round and a two part semi final leaving off before the beginning of the final round. The story while entertaining wasn’t very consistent through the nine episodes. The first four were really good and set the story back in full swing. The first round was a really interesting game that united Nao, Shinichi, and Fukunga (Suzuki Kosuke) against three opponents in three separate games. Episodes five through seven don’t deliver like the rest of the season. To be more clear Nao realizes within the first few minutes of the new game that everyone can win and nobody has to lose so that’s what happened for 3 episodes. It really drags here because it’s obviously going to end this way everyone will win and continue to the next round and the story just dies. After that though the final three episodes were amazing and full of intense twists concluding with an ending I never saw coming.
Season two is good but it won’t win you over if you didn’t like season one as the set up and story are pretty much the same. But I did find it overall enjoyable. Season two while inconsistent is still worth watching for any fan of philological dramas. While this was the final main story season it wasn’t the end of the story which was continued in two theatrical films I can’t wait to get into.