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Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception (2015, Whitefox)

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Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception (2015, Whitefox)

うたわれるもの 偽りの仮面
Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen

Worth A Watch

Taking place some time after Utawarerumono, a travelling young girl named "Kuon" encounters a lazy, laid back but intelligent young man who was wandering in the winter snow with amnesia. After escaping from a slimy Tatari she decides to become his guardian, giving him the name "Haku" after the Utawarerumono and help him look for work to settle in this unfamiliar world.

As he travels together with Kuon they meet Ukon who accompanies them to the capital where Haku's easygoing nature ends up making him many new friends. Soon they find themselves earning the trust of General Oshtor helping him maintain order in the city in areas that the law couldn't reach but, it turns out it wasn't just small simple tasks.

Art quality is much better than the first season (although I prefer the game, Mask of Deception's more detailed, higher quality art). A lot of it along with the music is the same as the game apart from the theme songs. It's also good to see characters from the prequel make an appearance even though they don't have much of a role or much screen time.

Just like the game the first half is very laid back with very little happening as Haku and Kuon travels around the country meeting new friends along the way; almost a slice-of-life kind of way before bigger scale events like the first season happen. Each episode carries less of an impact as the prequel did.

Unfortunately, I think they put too much of its own original direction in to turn the show into too much of a comedy, making it less interesting to watch instead of keeping the odd tint of mystery the original game kept here and there. It makes some major changes to the important turning points of the original story. They also took the liberty of over-emphasising some of the characters which make them a lot sillier than they should be.

They gave the show its own original ending whereas the original visual novel was much better and had more impact in my opinion. It was one of the major reasons for the way the third game "Mask of Truth" picks up. It was even the main reason why I immediately started playing the second game after finishing the first because, I wanted to see how the story went for the characters from there.

When Anju appeared in public for the first time in episode 7 without a veil, there was probably no plans to continue the Anime as it forms a major point of the third game's story. If they ever do produce a season three, they're going to have to make a lot of changes to the main story's flow which they've also did with this season's ending too.

Despite all that, it's probably still worth a watch as a comedy show filled with fan service (for both guys and gals). Just don't expect as great a direction as the first season. And if you're still waiting for a season three, I think you could read the list of changes below before watching the "Mask of Truth" playthroughs on YouTube in the meantime.

Note: A third season (or should I say second cour?) "Two Kings" AKA "Mask of Truth" in the West has been announced for 2022 July.

Like the ongoing competition between Copopo and Maroro.

While there are bath scenes, they're not as direct as the game.

I'd say this second season has more fan service than the first - a lot more such as longer bath scenes and nudity instead of just the odd brief stills. Probably overdid it.

Kuon is also more mischievous than in the game where she was more of a "big sis" character.

They also overdo it with Ruritie's boys love obssession.

Haku does a lot of odd jobs in the capital whereas in the game he doesn't.

They really go out of their way to make Atuy fall for Haku during their early meeting compared to in the game.

In the game Haku doesn't actually meet Karalua until he stumbles into the secret room whereas here, she meets Haku naked in the hotspring. Extra fan service in the Anime.

Anju just parades through the crowds with a veil on whereas here, she doesn't and just appears in public without concealing her face. This might be why there's no S3 because the third game has a large part to do with her hidden identity.

The bugs were freed by Haku and the others, they didn't free themselves. This wasn't too big a change.

Twins Uruuru and Saraana (UruSara) actually appeared randomly before Haku all the time whereas in the show, they don't appear until they've been escorted to the capital. Again, not too bad a change although it was fun with them clinging onto Haku while in their black cloaks.

Anju's love consultation, scene with Nosuri in the sewer is original to the Anime. Same with the threat letters which was probably overdone.

They had a much better build to Mikazuchi's reveal and why Nekone was scared of him whereas in this show he's just portrayed as your usual perverted old man.

There's a lot of fan service, mostly steamy bath scenes, awkward camera angles and nudity; both girls and your "pretty boy" characters.

Rest assured it's also filled with characters that are into "boys love" so it's not just fan service for the male audience. They make Rurutie a very big BL fan than in the game as she imagines every pairing possible... The BL is even a lot more graphic than the game too.

Rurutie and Atuy weren't sent into battle representing their fathers to fight the Uzurushans.

There was no hostage rescue plan with just only Rurutie, UruSara and Haku alone. They end up meeting Jachdwalt while helping out with the war and end up learning about Shinanon before going to rescue her instead. That said, this scene helps make the twins have more of a role than they did in the game.

Vurai was only reckless on the battle field killing hostages, he didn't end up attacking the town either although in the game, Jachdwalt didn't end up escorting everyone back to a village anyway. On the upside this does help highlight the coldblooded ruthlessness in him. It does again, help give UruSara more of a role. Haku isn't attacked by Vurai nor get traumatised from this. Pretty much the whole of episode 16 is original to the Anime.

Cocopo and Mukkuru weren't shown to fall for each other so Cocopo wasn't lead away when they were transporting the supplies. They faced Kuro instead.

Kuon wasn't held hostage to infiltrate the fortress although they do end up facing Kuro.

Kuon doesn't awaken and cause an explosion during the chase. Not sure if they added this in to give themselves a new way onto a S3.

Rurutie doesn't try to confront her friends and ask them to surrender. Yes, she's a princess but in the game she treasures her friends too much to this. Another odd moment for comedy during the last couple of episodes as Cocopo goes to the rescue.

Oshtor also didn't hurt his leg saving Nekone from the debris because Jachdwalt slashing the warehouses at the harbour is original to the Anime

Anju loses her voice from the poison where she doesn't here.

UruSara try to seal Vurai's power while the entire gang fight him before they flee from the palace grounds. Vurai gives chase and Oshtor decides to fight him to give everyone a chance to escape. Nekone, worried about her brother, runs back to the scene while Haku follows her hoping to bring her back. Oshtor seems like he was cornered by Vurai but he was actually just waiting for Vurai to let his guard down. Nekone blasts Vurai with her magic, thinking her brother was going to be killed but this actually ends up saving Vurai instead as it knocks him out of the way from Oshtor's last burst of energy to finish Vurai. As a last resort, he commands the mask to expel the last of his life force to defeat Vurai which leads to him turning into salt.

So in other words in the visual novel, Oshtor didn't have to die; you could say it was Nekone's fault. To help alleviate this pain, Haku takes on Oshtor's role so she didn't have to shoulder that burden of guilt alone. I think this would have been a much better reason for Haku to take on the "mask of deception" besides just to become the pillar of support for Princess Anju to take back her empire. He becomes the emotional support for Nekone too so that she wouldn't completely breakdown from the guilt of indirectly playing a role in her brother's death and, also in turn destroying the empire's chance of being restored which she knows matterly a lot to her dear brother. Whereas in the Anime, this isn't the case as Oshtor decides to expend his life force right from the start and Haku only takes it on the weight as a last wish from his good friend Oshtor.

Utawarerumono S2: Mask of Deception

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