King’s Game Episode 8: Individual Desires vs Collective Survival

Review:

Slightly longer post this week.

One thing King’s Game has never been is subtle at nowhere is that clearer than in the theme that has persisted throughout the length of the season. When the game first started, Nobuaki stated point blank that they had to work together and not turn on their friends. This instantly created a divide between Nobuaki and Natsuko as each have opposing viewpoints. Nobuaki, despite being mostly spineless and clueless, wants as many people as possible to survive as long as possible. This is deeply rooted in his own selfish desire not to feel the pain of having failed to save them, but is at least a useful in maintaining some kind of group cohesion.

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Natsuko on the other hand has at every turn expressed a desire to be the one standing on top, the survivor. She’ll do whatever it takes, knock down anyone standing in her way, and ultimately has to qualms at all about walking over the corpses of her former classmates. What is driving her rigid desire to survive at any cost isn’t known yet as we’ve gotten almost nothing from her perspective so basically she’s just a pure survivalist who isn’t concerned about anything other than sustaining her own existence.

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Neither character is likeable and as they are both former King’s Game survivors they both have a lot of skeletons in the closet. Where Nobuaki tries to draw a line between them is in asking if Natsuko actually killed anyone in the previous game to which she claimed with great glee she did. It is unknown yet whether this was actually just a front she put up or whether she did gleefully cut through the former class, but either way it is more or less irrelevant. Nobuaki’s actions killed people as well when he manipulated votes, allowed Ria to try to expose the King, failed to stop his friend rolling the die, and even in the most recent incident he didn’t stop Kenta from giving himself an unfulfillable order. So when it comes to body count and motive, to be perfectly frank you could claim these two are a match made in heaven.

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Yet Nobuaki continues to strive to help others and protect the collective, as long as it doesn’t cost him too much. This episode he puts his trust in those classmates at their request and for the first time ever in this show, it seems Nobuaki isn’t going to be punished for basic human decency (though you have to admit, knocking his friend out to have his girlfriend rape him in the former game really doesn’t earn him many points as far as being a decent human – even if it did save his friend’s life). That said, the current game isn’t over yet and I’m wondering what further twists the game have in store because so far every glimmer of hope Nobuaki has found has been brutally crushed.

What makes this one different, is Nobuaki didn’t initiate this or try to convert the others. He made no grand speeches and didn’t try to control the game to ‘help’ others. He simply trusted in the others and allowed himself to be led by their collective voice. Whether that  ultimately means anything I guess depends on what sort of show this is actually going to try to be by the finish. Are we going for a grand statement about how society needs to remove those who’s desires put them at odds with the collective? Is it a story about finding hope against impossible odds? Is it just a tragedy in the making where everyone will end up dead or broken with very little to say except that bad things happen?

I don’t know the answer to this yet, but I do know that the outcome of this game may very well tip the show’s hand in a more definite direction so I’ll be waiting for next episode with anticipation. That isn’t to say that anything about this show has improved. The story and characters are still a complete mess with poor animation not helping the viewing experience. And yet, there’s definitely something about this show that appeals to the B Grade Horror fan that lurks inside me.


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Karandi James.

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Girls’ Last Tour Episode 4: Is This A God?

Review:

The low key entertainment continues this episode with the girls continuing their journey to the bright building. As a diversion they have the camera they received last episode to play with and so they begin to look a little bit more like tourists.

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However, survival is never far from their minds as the consider the situation knowing that they can take pictures that will last forever but their food will only last another thirty days (7 if they leave Yuuri in charge of it). There’s a constant balancing act in this show as it really looks at survival in this very harsh world, but also humanizes the girls and makes them fairly cute at times as they act just like kids when it comes to the camera.

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Eventually they get to the temple and not so subtly discuss the notion of religion and the after life. While it works, it actually seems kind of like a let down after the build up to arriving at the bright building. The best moment in this sequence comes when Yuuri asks Chito if maybe she’s a god.

This continues to be a very fun watch. The slow pace kind of perfectly fits the emptiness of the world we are exploring with the girls and even when nothing is really happening the banter between the girls remains charming.


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Karandi James.

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Girls’ Last Tour Episodes 2 + 3: Can We Eat That?

Review Episode 2:

I’m just going to start by saying Yuuri should be glad Chito doesn’t carry a gun because given Yuuri tossed her book on the fire… immediately after Chito had explained how important books were… Well, our character count could have dropped from two to one if this were a different kind of story.

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Outside of that, the sweetness of the characters continues to carry through very well even as we get a larger look at this world they are in. The levels intrigued me and I’m very curious as to what has happened and why there are no animals and even why these two are travelling alone. There’s no pressing need for these details given the story really is just these two girls getting by each day (escaping the cold, washing clothes, finding drinking water, etc) but this episode kind of makes me hopeful that we will learn little bits about the world as we go and that would be really lovely.

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All and all, another nice episode. This one is a little slow paced for me, but I’m still being fairly charmed by the characters so as long as Yuuri doesn’t set any more books on fire I should be right to keep this one on the watch list and enjoy.

Review Episode 3:

They found another person (and it looks like Chito isn’t over Yuuri burning her book yet, good for her). I wondered at first where they were going with this but it actually ended up being a really sweet encounter.

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The addition of someone new momentarily gave us a little more information about the world but wasn’t very character revealing as clearly Chito and Yuuri aren’t exactly going to open up to a stranger and share their life stories. Still, it gave us a new voice and ensured that the journey to the next level didn’t take as long as it might have.

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Despite being fairly confident they weren’t about to send the entire cast of this show to their deaths after a critical elevator failure, they still managed to add some nice tension in the later parts of this episode. Also, Yuuri actually send something fairly profound at the end lifting the man from depression.

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So while we are still don’t know why there are levels and who built them and what happened to the world, the trickle of information continues and the characters continue to make this barren land feel pretty warm. Really enjoying so far despite the fairly slow pace.


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Karandi James.

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