Water and Ice
Darwin’s Game was took Shuka’s near drowning, which I was already uncomfortable with, and threw an unhealthy dose of portraying CPR as something romantic this week leading me to a serious eye-rolling fest. I really hate this trope. One character sinks in water, they are dragged out, and then, rather than administering necessary first aid, the character deliberates over whether or not to do CPR usually why we get ridiculous close ups of moist lips and blushed cheeks. You know, instead of lips going quickly blue and the person in question worrying about saving their life. This trope has to stop. CPR is a life-saver and portraying it as anything other than a life saving action is just wrong and romanticising something that is incredibly traumatic for the person on the receiving end (you know – drowning) is incredibly irksome.
Okay, that’s my own little bug but I’m sick of it and there’s not a huge amount to talk about with this episode so it kind of stuck with me throughout.
Anyway, Darwin’s Game continues to stumble along. Last week there was some vague hope that it would finally settle itself and find a direction, but this week jumps from Kaname rescuing Shuka, to the machine gun guy pursuing the water user, to the hotel where Rein and the Florist are waiting, over to the Eighth and there’s no real coherence to an episode that seems largely set-up for future events. I’ve already established that the Kaname and Shuka moment was plain stupid (as was their happily chatting as they swam through the freezing water and out of the tunnel), and to be honest none of the other sections really grabbed my interest this week because I just wanted to know what the deal with the rings was.
Naturally we don’t get an answer in this episode, though the diamond ring showing up has helped Rein figure out at least where they need to go. I’m kind of glad they didn’t all just go back to the hotel and take the siege head on. While the Florist seems to want to keep ring collecting for cash, Kaname and the others seem more determined to actually finish the event.
We briefly see Wang, the leader of Eighth and it looks like he’s also figured out something about the rings and their code so possibly Kaname and the others are going to run headlong into him anyway. I wonder how long they will stretch this whole sequence out. We’ve got the Florist tearing through the guys who assaulted the tower and the rest of the known characters descending on Shibuya station but will they get into the fight next week or is this going to be a couple more episodes coming?
All things considered, this anime continues to be just kind of watchable. The game itself could be interesting if they ever get to explaining the how and the why, but so far little movement has been made on that front. Unfortunately, the characters themselves are just not compelling enough to carry the story without the sense that we are getting somewhere so while there have been some interesting moments, at the mid-season point I’m feeling this one is probably just going to be a miss.
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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.