Darwin's Game

Title:Darwin's Game
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Nexus
UEDA Reina
Despite the warnings of a friend, high schooler Kaname Sudou tries out the free cell phone app 'Darwin's Game'. Much to his horror, he finds himself trapped in a real-world fight-to-the-death competition between otherwise ordinary people who have somehow been given fantastic abilities known as 'Sigils'.

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OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Unevaluated Stretch [series:3794#628]
(Three episodes watched):

This was a show which I took few notes about while watching, but that was because it was exciting and engaging and I wanted to see what was going to happen next, not write things down (No, this show has nothing to do with Charles Darwin or evolution). Kaname is drawn into a deadly game and for most of this first episode is running for his life. He has no time to wonder WTF is going on or how it got started, which makes the show seem more sincere and realistic than ones in which people clearly do have time to do that, but don't. It's sort of like Gantz; the competitors here are perfectly human, but they've attained such fantastic skills (like invisibility) that they might as well be aliens. Episode one is basically twice as long as usual; in the first half Kaname gets his first taste of the game and narrowly defeats a psychopath who likes to wear a bizarre costume. The manner in which he won was believable and intriguing, which matters a lot in shows of this sort. In the second half he goes searching for information with a girl who seems willing to help him but winds up in another duel. It's clear that you can get help from others during your matches, and I suspect Kaname and this girl, Shuka, will reach a 'you-help-me-in-my-fights-and-I'll-help-you-in-yours' agreement (of course it's always possible that the game will pit them against each other at some point). The way they wound up at the very end was kind of cheap (but titillating nevertheless) and gave me my only pause from being completely pleased with this show. It turns out that there is a way for both combatants to survive a duel. We get a hint of who's behind the system and what opponents Kaname will meet in the future. All things considered, pretty neat.

I thought the showdown at an elevator with a heavily armed competitor in episode three was unconvincing. It could have been much better; something like 'I've got a machinegun which gives me a great advantage but I know you have a pistol and might conceivably win, so throw the ring to me and I'll back off'. Also, Shuka seemed a little too good to believe as she almost casually took down gun armed opponents with her array of blades on chains. At any rate, we get a hint that the D-Game is basically a source of amusement for the wealthy and powerful. How they manipulate time and space and do wild stuff like that remains unknown; I hope we'll get a credible answer at some point. Also, why did the city seem to be in ruins when viewed through a special cell phone app? In episode four we get a hint that something may soon be revealed about the origins of the game; that seemed encouraging to me, since the daily battle to survive is OK but not brilliant. The player whose Sigil was an ability to control plants was kind of hard to take seriously. It looks like Kaname will assemble a team of tough fighters, largely by having mercy on opponents he has defeated. Maybe they will eventually try to overturn the game system as a whole and free the surviving contestants.

Last updated Thursday, February 13 2020. Created Thursday, January 16 2020.

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