No Need To Kill
Darwin’s Game is clearly working on the theory that a lot of people make the decision whether to drop or stay with an anime based on episode 3. As such, not only is the battle event starting bringing a range of pointless deaths and new abilities they also give a few glimpses as to how this game actually operates in the world without people wondering what is going on. Admittedly, there are no answers given, but just enough to intrigue the viewer and to lead them to believe that at some point answers will be forthcoming. While it doesn’t make Darwin’s Game appreciably better to watch, it at least indicates that the people behind it are putting some thought into their efforts.
At the beginning of the episode we see a crowd of people, some of which just witnessed the girl fall off the roof from last week. Cue a static effect and suddenly they simply disperse, seemingly forgetting about the entire situation. It’s been done before but it does at least take away the immersion breaking situation we had before where apparently murdering someone in the street wasn’t causing a fuss. Later we see a room of people apparently watching the match and betting on the outcome of the battle. Again, people betting on death games for amusement isn’t new in this genre but at least we’re starting to put some context around the situation.
The rest of the episode seems split between Shuka and Kaname who have started in different locations. Shuka’s got more than enough rings (for herself and Kaname it should be pointed out, assuming she ever finds him). Kaname on the other hand had one ring and gave it to another player in a desire to actually survive. Of course that seems counter productive given there aren’t enough rings in the game for all the players and not having them will lead to a ‘game over’.
That said, outside of getting at least three rings, there’s little incentive to kill other players in the set up for this match and yet what we’ve seen in the opening is a blood bath. Players killing seemingly without caring whether they are gaining a ring or not from doing so. When Kaname finally meets a character who doesn’t seemingly want to kill him on sight just for existing he actually laughs because it is just so different from what has been established as the norm in D-Game.
Which leaves me wondering how so many kill-happy people all ended up playing the game. Were they targeted when the app was distributed? Did all the non-kill-happy players already get taken out? It just seems weird how few of the players feel like real people who could exist in the world outside of the game. I had a similar problem with Mirai Nikki. Actually, I really liked Future Diary but none of the diary holders could be considered a well-balanced individual. Anyway, episode 3 isn’t a disaster by any means and it kind of indicates more thought to the story than the first two episodes demonstrated. Hopefully that means that at least the anime won’t get any worse and if they actually played their cards right we might even get to decent.
Darwin’s Game is making all the wrong moves, but if you want the episode reviews here they are.
Images from: Darwin’s Game. Dir. Yoshinobu Tokumoto. Nexus. 2020.