As much as the pacing slightly bothered me in this episode, I admit this was a great opener to what the plot is capable of. Since we all know that nothing will be solved if they destroyed the Gandoll nest. So I’ll forgive it especially when it actually got me emotional at times.
The fight with the Gadoll Alpha was very different compared to all the other Gadoll. It didn’t fight strictly on instinct, but it was very intentional with how it fought against the Tankers by destroying their gear, making them helpless. It even was able to take the needles out of its body. But man, the animation for that thing was top notch. The studio did so well in animating it while giving it a very distinct style with its fast movements and such.
I feel bad that I suspected the triplets for plotting foul play when Mindy sacrificed herself to protect Natsume. I was initially suspicious because of why Mindy snapped at Natsume, probably making her very sensitive towards her mechanical arm which eventually spiraled into losing her friendships with Fei and Kaburagi. So it was like the start of the emotional disaster in a sense. Mindy ended up being a bit more complex than I gave her credit for. We find out that she wasn’t particularly angry at Natsume for being incompetent with her mechanical arm, but more on the fact that she just didn’t want any more children to be killed, even risking her life to protect her. I legit got upset thinking she died, but thankfully it seems like she was just severely injured but still alive.
I think Mindy’s sacrifice was a wake up call for Natsume, especially when she tells her she’s tired of seeing kids charge in and die. And it’s true that if Mindy hadn’t intervened, Natsume would surely have died. She was angry and charged in without thinking and was immediately overwhelmed due to the Gandoll Alpha’s maneuverability and tactics. And while she still charged in again, she did it with a different resolve and actually was thinking about her moves this time. She wasn’t recklessly charging in and thought things through, landing a good hit on the Gandoll. While I was a bit disappointed that Natsume had to be saved a second time, this time by Kaburagi, it makes sense for her being unable to take down a Gadoll that wasn’t even supposed to be beatable. She did well to hold her own against it though given the circumstances.
But DANG. The fight between Kaburagi and the Gadoll Alpha was LIT. Studio Nut really surprised me with the amount of animation details in the action scenes and the complex camera movements just make the moments all the greater. Though considering the director is the one who directed both seasons of Mob Psycho 100, I’m not surprised by the amazing animation direction, cinematography and choreography. Not to mention that the animation director was a key animator in Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. This team really be great in the animation department. No wonder the action scenes are stunning.
Despite Kaburagi’s good interests, killing the Gadoll Alpha completely changed the programmed storyline, causing the world to go slightly out of control and ended up releasing an unfinished beta of the “final boss” Gadoll. And wow it was disgusting. This fight legit made me nervous since this thing could so easily destroy Deca-Dence with one blast. And while the fight wasn’t as interesting as the one with the Gadoll Alpha, there were still a lot of lives at stake if this thing wasn’t brought down. Thankfully it wasn’t a finished product so it had very big weaknesses that Kaburagi was able to exploit before they lost anymore lives and Deca-Dence was successfully able to one punch the thing.
The ending honestly hurt. At first, they portrayed it as if they had successfully saved the day and were headed into a new tomorrow, only for it to reveal that there were still a lot of Gadolls roaming around. It must have felt like such a stab in the back for all the Tankers since they believed that this would have been the final battle. They were all so sure this would have been the end. It felt unbelievably cruel that their lives were essentially being played with while the Gears were hyped over the fact there was a new stage. My heart had to go out to Natsume since she looked so defeated at that moment, especially when she realized that Kaburagi was right about the whole thing.
Not gonna lie, the last bit where Kaburagi tells Natsume to watch over Pipe before he turns himself in was heartbreaking. Kaburagi had come a very long way from how he was in episode 1… and it’s only episode 5. He’s come to care so much about Natsume that he even overrode the storyline just to save her. She became his inspiration, giving him something to believe in and a reason to push him to his limits, thus releasing his limiter. A rather symbolic notion if you ask me. So it hurt when Kaburagi was taken in by going against orders.
Ow… ow my heart… Not gonna lie, this episode made me emotional. This episode really demonstrates Kaburag’s character development since meeting Natsume. Previously, he was so cynical and quite the fatalist. But after watching and interacting with Natsume, it’s like he learned sympathy and how to care for others. The type of teach and learning from relationship I had hoped to see and I am not disappointed.
I’ve been wondering when we’d go back to the cyborg world. I actually missed this side of the story so I was happy to return with little Kaburagi. I noticed that some people don’t like the chibi cyborgs half of the series, but I really like it. Mostly because they’re cute lol. But I also really like their side of the story as well since their perspective of Deca-Dence conflicts so heavily with the normal humans. It’s really intriguing to me.
We continue where we left off last episode with Kaburagi being taken into custody. Though however, before he was scrapped, Minato was able to pull some strings and instead he was sent to a bug correction facility. We actually get to see what this correction facility entails since we’ve only heard about it and it’s pretty brutal and disgusting. Especially since they are ordered to shovel Gadoll feces so that one day their efforts will land them back in the system.
While this episode was slower than the last couple ones, it had rather strong world-building. While they claim that the cyborgs would be reintegrated back into society if they worked hard enough, it is evident that once they get sent there, they end up staying there until they break down no matter what they do. It’s also interesting to see that the System is breeding Gadoll, showing just where and how Gadolls are made. The System really does control everything in this world, which is terrifying.
And while I don’t really see the significance yet, the little Gadoll in the Gadoll breeding center seems to be a foil to Pipe as Pipe is loved and cared for while this one is treated like entertainment and abused. Guess I’ll have to wait and see if this thing will be important later on.
In any case, it also seems like after Kaburagi changed the storyline, things have been peaceful in Deca-Dence due to them going through an unplanned update. While it feels rather coincidental while Kaburagi was away, it makes sense since they needed time to make adjustments. Successfully giving Kaburagi time to figure out a way to get back to Deca-Dence. And incidentally, there is a group that is able to log into the game which happens to be run by the two former rankers we saw back in episode 2. I was getting curious about them since we heard they were sent to this compound and I do recall seeing Donatello in the game during the final raid on the Gadoll nest.
I was hoping they’d be nice to Kaburagi since they were former teammates, but looks like they hold a lot of resentment towards him for being obedient to the system after the Mikey incident. However, this also serves as a punctuation for Kaburagi’s character development as Donatello refers to him as “Mr. Never push back but as we’ve seen, he’s definitely pushing back now.
But man, that battle between Donatello and Kaburagi had no right to be that well animated. It was a little choppy, but dang, that animation was still really good, showing consistent well done animation as on Deca-Dence. Showcasing it’s typical well choreographed action. I find it amusing how this simple, cartoony style has such well animated fights, but it made the moment so much better.
I’m really enjoying Kaburagi as a character and seeing him continue to grow as a character. Not only did he start caring for Natsume, but for Tankers in general. Viewing them as something to protect rather than an commodity. And I’m not gonna lie, I got really emotional when he imagined Natsume holding out her hand towards him. Not to mention he actually recorded her audio conviction of how she’d push herself just to inspire himself to do the same. Their bond is just so good. T^T
I’m really looking forward to what he looks like now since he had to make a new account and what he’ll do when he encounters Natsume again. I got way too excited and just spazzed real hard when they ended on the new game screen of Deca-Dence. Man this show just keeps getting better and better.