Record of Ragnarok Season 2 blew away my expectations earlier this year, and now in Part 2, the series takes five episodes to showcase fight number six. After a cliffhanger in Part 1 of the season, Record of Ragnarok Season 2 Part 2 starts where the last left off, with Buddha fighting on the side of humanity. Announced as the god’s next fighter Buddha decides to fight on the side of those he came from and save them since no other god will. At a virtual tie, Buddha winning can mean something big for humanity, but if he loses, they lose big.
Record of Ragnarok is an exciting blend of hyper-stylized animation, fantastic action, and intriguing explorations of mythological gods and heroes based on the manga series from mangaka Ajichika, Shinya Umemura, and Takumi Fukui (published in English by VIZ Media via their VIZ Signature imprint). While Season 2 Part 2 brings more of the same, it does have one element that it changes up. Instead of showing the audience multiple fights, this section of the season focuses on really just one—granted it ends up being more than meets the eye.
For the first time, Record of Ragnarok Season 2 Part 2 gives the audience a battle for humanity with two connected individuals. On one side, the Seven Gods of Good Fortune represent Zerofuku, the God of Misfortune. And on the other, Buddha. While their fight itself is the best that studio Graphinica has created yet, the interpersonal relationship and growth of the two characters over the course of the five episodes is really what makes this back half of Season 2 a great finale.
In the series’ signature style of weaving in lore into a fight audiences are introduced to the two most charismatic and empathetic characters of the series so far—and arguably of the entire series if you’ve read the manga. On the charismatic side, Buddha has your attention. Wearing a sleeveless shirt, slides, and a man-bun, this iteration of the great prince turned god is all about calmness, or rather a lack of emotion. He doesn’t remember Zerofuku and he’s really just going with the flow of things, which means fighting for those who need it.
Ascribed the middle path, much of the information we see about Buddha is how he achieved enlightenment and how his choices created a following of people who followed his stride. He doesn’t push away suffering but notices its utility as a necessary element of life. Happiness isn’t something found outside of pain, but rather something that comes from within. And those pieces of wisdom are what inform Zerofuku.
While Buddha is a scene-stealing character, Zerofuku’s depth and loneliness make them one of the standouts of the series. Born to ease the misfortune and suffering of humanity, Zerofuku learned quickly that taking the world’s suffering into himself may have eased one element of human pain, but it also begot a new one. Upon taking away their pain, Zerofuku opened the humans in his care up to gluttony and depravity.
Without suffering, they turned to excess while Zerofuku carried their physical pain, sorrows, and trauma with him. While he reels from this revelation, Buddha, stumbles into his village. Watching a human inspire happiness without excess and still while people are hungry and downtrodden shakes Zerofuku to his core, making him question his importance to the world before attempting to dish out divine retribution to humanity. As the two meet in the arena, this difference in their approaches to life and suffering takes center stage as much as the action.
Record of Ragnarok Season 2 Part 2 offers viewers some twists that keep the story moving forward and pushes the tension of the fight, but the reason that these five episodes of the season work is because of the relationship that Zerofuku and Buddha form in the ring, their past, and a fairly nuanced take on the important role that suffering plays in life and what resiliency builds in humanity.
The best fight of the series so far, Record of Ragnarok Season 2 being split into two parts wasn’t absolutely necessary. That said, Buddha and Zerofukko hold onto the spotlight so strongly that I can at least understand why it was split in two, even if I prefer to watch it all in one go. Despite the usual pacing issues that have become more a feature than a bug of the series, Record of Ragnarok Season 2 Part 2 is the best yet in terms of building characters, connections, and consequences for choices made in the past and the present.
Record of Ragnarok Season 2 is streaming now, exclusively on Netflix.
Record of Ragnarok Season 2 Part 2
Despite the usual pacing issues that have become more a feature than a bug of the series, Record of Ragnarok Season 2 Part 2 is the best yet in terms of building characters, connections, and consequences for choices made in the past and the present.