Volume 2 follows the same quest-based structure as the previous volume. It's a much more traditional set-up compared to other NIS - released anime, so it is incredibly accessible, even if you decide to jump straight into Volume 2 without taking a trip through the first part of the story. Details will obviously be lost, though Katanagatari isn't an incredibly deep anime to start.
Once again, we follow the adventures of Shichika Yasuri and Togame as they travel through Japan in search of twelve mystical weapons, the "Deviant Blades." It's a simple hook and plays through each episode, though Volume 2 does try to push out from the "good guy fights bad guy and wins in the end," plotline. If you remember some of Volume 1's more "experimental" episodes, expect Volume 2 to push its limits a little more. One episode focuses almost exclusively on the show's comedic side, while others raise the stakes in battles beyond control of a weapon. Fights almost always have some sort of "hitch" to them, whether it involves an incredibly powerful foe or a brawl with a familiar face.
One reason these episodes work as well as they do is the length. Each show is long, offering lots of opportunity to build up the story elements. There isn't the pounding push to rap everything up as quickly as possible. This can, however, get in some episodes' way. Sometimes you just want to get to the point rather than dancing around the issue.
As premium editions go, NIS has really stepped up their game with Katanagatari. As with Volume 1, you not only get the series on DVD, but also on Blu-ray. If any one aspect of the series stands out, it is the artwork. Although it shares a couple of traits usually associated with modern anime, it also calls back to a couple of classic shows. It's light, fun and incredibly sharp and bright. If you have the means, make sure you watch it on Blu-ray over DVD. The difference between the two isn't incredibly noticeable, but it's enough to opt for the HD version. Yes, including both versions ups the price - though if you like the series it's a good deal.
A full-color art book, "The Epic of Shichika" is also included. Each section is broken up by episode, offering a synopsis and breakdown of characters involved. It also includes lyrics from songs featured on the show and full page versions of the artwork displayed on the covers.
Fans of the original should run out and pick up Katanagatari Volume 2 Premium Edition. It's that much of a no-brainer. Others may want to give a purchase some extra forethought. As anime series go, Katanagatari is accessible, so anyone can jump into it. At the same time, some episodes are incredible predictable; they're solid, but only a handful will keep you in suspense.