Welcome to Anime Rants! Today, we have a short review of the second season of Shadows House, which aired in 2022. I truly enjoyed the first season so I was thrilled for more. (You can read my Shadows House Season 1 Review here). Though I was impressed with the second season, it somehow wasn’t quite as good as the first. Still, I’m glad the story is progressing. Please note that this review may contain spoilers. Let’s rant!
The art and animation for Shadows House 2nd Season is more than adequate, but nothing truly grand. For consistency’s sake, I gave the visuals the same score as in my review of the first season (8/10). However, I was a little disappointed that there was no real improvement on the visuals. I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting, but a little something more.
Anyway, the characters are very cute and the face expressions are entertaining. The soot powers look cool and the body language and profile shots of the shadows make them easy to understand. There are a lot of eerily beautiful shots of the gothic mansion of Shadows House, usually with muted grey light and pretty clouds. These shots add to the mysterious atmosphere of the series. Some of the simple details are neat, like the textures on the clothing of the shadows. All in all, the visuals looks great.
In this season, the main focus of the story is solving the mystery of the phantom attack to prevent the starbearers from pinning the blame on Kate. A mysterious cloaked figure (whom the children call “Robe-sama”) seems to be involved. Much like the first season, there are many slice-of-life elements, and the plot isn’t exactly thrilling. That’s alright, though. Shadows House is a mystery/drama and doesn’t need to be a thriller. The story progress is never so slow that it gets boring, in my opinion.
The occasional humor and emotional moments helped balance out the story category so it neither too dark nor too goofy. We also learned more lore/information about the shadows and their powers. Lastly, Shadows House season 2 is full of interesting themes I enjoy like indoctrination, freedom, grief, friendship, and love. I think the story was excellent.
While the music was still excellent in Shadows House Season 2, I personally didn’t love it as much asin the first season. For several years now, I’ve been a fan of the singer/songwriter ReoNa, and I loved the ending song she did for Shadows House season 1. She also performed the opening song for season 2: “Shall We Dance?” I think it’s a fine song, but not particularly inspiring or personally beautiful or haunting like some of her other songs. The ending song for season 2, “Masquerade” by Claris, was nice, but I’m probably going to forget it soon. Though pretty, it’s not super memorable.
Maybe the music didn’t impress me as much this season, but the Japanese voice-acting continued being excellent. I don’t want to spend a lot of time in brief review nerding out over all the seiyuus, but I think the two main stars did the best – Akari Kitou as Kate and Yuu Sasahara as Emilico. Many other members of the cast did great, too. A personal favorite of mine that I’ve followed for a while now is Mai Nakahara. In Shadows House, she does the voices for both Maryrose and Rosemary.
The characters were great in this season of Shadows House. As the central protagonists, Kate and Emilico are both likeable, cute, and easy to root for. I also like their strong bond of trust and love, and the way their personality types interact. The supporting cast was interesting and well-developed, too. We didn’t get as much development for Patrick or Lou compared to some of the others, but time was still given to check in on them.
This season focused in on several characters who were introduced before but not explored. Examples include Rosemary, Maryrose, Barbara, and Barbie. I thought they were all interesting characters. Christopher and Anthony were good characters as well. We also saw a lot more of Oliver, Ollie, and the team of shadows who work in research. They were all entertaining. I love the characters in this anime.
Personal Enjoyment: 8/10
My level of personal enjoyment was slightly lower than it was for season 1, but it was still very high overall. I think the difference was that there was a little less focus on the indoctrination versus free thought themes. In addition, the music wasn’t as good in my opinion.
Anyway, there was a lot to enjoy, such as the clumsy heroism of Emilico, the interesting shadow powers lore, and the obviously Sapphic relationship between Rosemary and Maryrose. The last few episodes had their share of dark and serious moments, such as the characters reacting to the suicide of Christopher, or the reported “broken dolls” who we know are dead human children. I do enjoy some darkness in an anime. But I’m equally glad for the positivity and hope shown in Shadows House. The ending was quite hopeful.
Overall Score: 8.0/10
The overall score is normally the average of the five categories, but since all of them were 8/10, no calculation is needed. My score for Shadows House season 2 is actually perfectly matched with its current score on MyAnimeList.net. The reception for this anime was obviously fairly good. To me, it was a small step down from the first season, but I’m still appreciative of the fact the story continued in anime form. I hope there are more seasons in the future.
Thanks for reading~