ANOTHER EMOTIONAL EPISODE???? Deca-Dence, how many times are you going to break my heart this season??? Anyways, another great episode that portrays just how much meeting Natsume has changed Kaburagi and vise versa. Things ramp up as soon as Kaburagi goes back in the game with part of the wall of Deca-Dence is destroyed, allowing many Gadoll to come charging in. I was wondering when this would happens since it was portrayed in the opening. (Also I haven’t talked about it, but the opening is FANTASTIC in using its visuals) Also I love how the beginning of the episode starts out as if you were entering the game for the first time.
Just seeing so many people packed into one place while the Gadoll were attacking made me feel claustrophobic and if I were in that situation I would be TERRIFIED. Because you know not everyone is going to be able to reach safety. And we even get to see just how terrible the damage was, leaving Kaburagi absolutely horrified. It just shows how overpopulated the place is and once a Gadoll gets in, there’s really nowhere to run. And once they were able to fend off the attack, there was another example of the large disparity between the Gears and Tankers view of the Gadoll attack with the Gears exclaiming how much fun the challenges are while a lot of people inside got hurt and died. While the Gears are reveling in the “success” of the mission, Kaburagi is the only one to go and see first hand what is happening on the Tankers side of things. At this point, Kaburagi is just horrified at what the system is doing to put the residents of Deca-Dence in peril and just how messed up treating their fear and lives like a game.
Minato also demonstrates just how little he thinks of people, seeing them more as a commodity rather than a being with feelings. He even goes to say that this new mission was a way to “cull them tactfully” because the humans were overpopulated. Is this attack on titan or something??? Since at one point they did something similar in sacrificing a bunch of people to control the population in within the walls. They’re essentially livestock in here, at the mercy of whatever the system decides. It’s even more disheartening when we find out that the Tankers really believe that the Gears are there to save them when in reality, they’re just having fun playing a game with their lives. And while Minato does have a sense of “humanity” in how he constantly pulls strings to get Kaburagi out of really bad situations, he just doesn’t seem to understand the point of caring about humans. After becoming cyborgs, they seem to have lost a bit of empathy in the process.
Natsume really shone in this episode, showing just how much she’s grown in combat. I couldn’t help but shout “YEAH YOU SHOW THEM NATSUME” when she took down a Gadoll that was headed straight towards a large cluster of people. Where even Fei and the purple-haired bully saw. SEE, NATSUME ISN’T THE SAME CLUNKY GIRL ANYMORE YOU SCRUBS. I can’t help but really love Natsume’s positivity and how she inspires others to take action with her. She’s doing her best in everything she does and knows when something is too big for her to do alone while also unintentionally inspiring others. And in this world, I think spreading positivity is something everyone needs. And I love the detail of dirt on her feet as she walks back to where all the other warrior Tankers are, just shows just how many people she visited to try and get help from. And also from the way they animated her walking… UGH SO GOOD.
I think Natsume is such a great character. She’s not positive for no reason. It’s more so that she’s desperately clinging to hope because she’s weak. Hope is what keeps her positive and if she lost it, there would be nothing left for her. And the fact that she feels like she needs to push herself to become stronger because Kaburagi isn’t around just punched me right in the heart. And then I feel like I just got hit by and uppercut when Natsume’s emotions get to be too much while claiming she has to be more useful after years of enduring people looking down on her and telling her she’s incompetent. I legit teared up a little. UGH I WANT TO GIVE NATSUME A HUG.
And the “reunion” between Natsume and Kaburagi was hilarious at first. Kaburagi is super awkward with trying to win her trust and I couldn’t help but cackle when he just ended up sounding like a stalker and Natsume tried to fuse with the wall lol. But then I ended up getting emotional soon after when Natsume saw Kaburagi through his reactions towards Pipe. And while Natsume didn’t completely realize that this was indeed Kaburagi, she still must have felt a sense of familiarity with him, enough to confide in him. And man, did that conversation break my heart.
Kaburagi has also come quite far development-wise. Not only is he caring for Natsume, but for all humans now, even going as far as to declare he would rid the world of the Gadoll, something he dismissed from Natsume at first. He’s learning so much from her, even taking part in trivial things such as drinking milk for the first time and liking it. And when Natsume was tearfully confiding in him, you can clearly tell how much it was hurting Kaburagi to see her like this. Seeing someone who inspired hope in him must have drove him to want to reignite the hope that she was losing. Ugh, their bond is just so good T^T.
And then on the other end of the spectrum, Fei continues to frustrate me with how much she refuses Natsume’s plea for help saying that everyone is scared. But everyone will continue to be scared because there’s a freaking giant hole in the wall! She essentially tells Natsume that she hates her by telling her all she wanted to do was do simple girl stuff with her, but she can’t do that if Natsume keeps changing. It’s incredibly selfish of her and I just can’t stand her character. However, from this conversation, the purple-haired bully overheard and it seems like Natsume’s positivity and desire to change may have changed her perspective of her.I’m a bit iffy on how fast Fei turned around especially with how firm her stance was on the matter of change. But I can completely believe the purple-haired bully had a change of heart after hearing what Natsume told Fei. We’ll just have to see where their relationship goes from here.
So Kaburagi enact a plan to destroy the Gadoll factory but it’s impossible for anyone who is chipped. However, Kaburagi figures that Minato has his old avatar that is now chipless, which would be able to infiltrate the factory’s force field. So with that knowledge, the rebel group have to go fetch Kaburagi’s old avatar from the avatar storage. During this infiltration, I’m really curious as to who Jill actually is. She claims she’s “just a bug” but she certainly has a lot of hacking and intel gathering skills. Not to mention I really like her gear avatar design. She’s cool.
But man, I have to admit that race against the avatar arriving in front of Minato and Hugin was TENSE. The shot composition was very well done where it made me anxious and for a split second I wasn’t sure if they were going to pull of intercepting the avatar or not, even if I’m not sure how they were able to pull it off. Especially since Hugin was literally within view of them if they made a move. And man did they make it so Hugin was freaking terrifying in his stiff movements. Also I can’t help but feel like this scene was similar to the Monster’s Inc scene with all the doors lol.
Natsume and Kaburagi’s relationship reminds me a little of Michiru and Shirou from BNA, only done 2000% better than the latter. Their bond feels so genuine and the two have obviously made positive impacts on the other. They learned how to care and trust for the other where Natsume doesn’t even hesitate to offer her help to Kaburagi. And a couple episodes back, Kaburagi was so terrified of losing Natsume that he tried to force her to stay out of harm’s way. But now, he trusts her and her abilities to help him on his mission to destroy the Gadoll factory. THAT’S SOME GREAT DEVELOPMENT IF YOU ASK ME. They’ve even gotten comfortable enough around each other that Natsume teases him now. Also can we just take a moment to appreciate that Kaburagi and Natsume’s relationship is strictly platonic/familial? Unlike Kurenai, Natsume never blushes at Kaburagi even when he compliments her. Hopefully it will stay that way.
I don’t know about y’all, but this episode had some pretty heavy bromance vibes between Kaburagi and Minato. Looking back, Minato sure favored Kaburagi a lot to where he would often have to bail him out of trouble. In all seriousness, their conflict felt like it was only a matter of time. It had been hinted that Minato wasn’t able to relate or see things from Kaburagi’s view on Tankers so it really didn’t come to a surprise when he refused to help Kaburagi in his plan to overthrow the system. He had been so helpful to Kaburagi in the past and had always been treated like some sort of “cheat” for Kaburagi since Minato was a leading figure in Deca-Dence. So it’s to be expected that Kaburagi won’t be able to depend on him for help anymore. Though it seems like Minato will probably act like a neutral figure now as he probably won’t actively oppose or support Kaburagi. Their relationship reminded me a lot like Shigure and Hatori from Fruits Basket with Shigure plotting something and while Hatori disapproves of his methods, he won’t do anything to stop him.
I also can’t help but see some similarities between Kaburagi’s relationship with Minato and Natsume’s relationship with Fei. Even their conversations were like complete mirrors of each other with both of them even saying that it was enough for them to live simply with them. Both Fei and Minato both are long-time friends with the respective characters and have admitted that they just want to go back to how things were before the two started changing. Both Minato and Fei seem to hold strong beliefs that they shouldn’t step out of line and just continue to live the life in accordance to what is “natural.” And Minato closing the door on Kaburagi was very reminiscent of what Fei did to Natsume in the previous episode. So it may be foreshadowing that Minato will eventually come around to Kaburagi’s cause, but unlike Fei, it may take a bit longer for him since the thought of saving the Tankers from Deca-Dence is such a foreign concept to him. Especially since Kaburagi is the only cyborg shown to have a semblance of care towards humans. It makes me wonder if any of the other cyborgs are capable of seeing humans as more than just a commodity.
Ever since this series introduced Turkey, he always looked super suspicious. Especially since he was ultimately the one to get Mikey curious about turning off his limiter. Almost like he wanted him to get into trouble. Though when the episode ended with him and Donatello getting sent to be “de-bugged,” I thought that he was actually an okay dude. But then this episode happened and we find out that he is indeed NOT an okay dude as he is conspiring to make the plan to destroy the Gadoll factory fails. And it was most likely him that tipped Hugin off about Minato keeping Kaburagi’s avatar. I’m not a 100% sure what his goal is since from his conversation with Sarkozy made it seem like he’s still in belief that no one can go against the system. From what we’ve seen of him these past few episodes, it seems as if he just wants things to stay the same as he seemed to get really aggressive when Kaburagi threatened to change things in his little ragtag group in the compound. I was honestly hoping he wouldn’t be a bad guy since I really do like his cyborg design. And I do like the trope of “bad guy”-looking characters actually being “good guys.” Unfortunately it seems like he’s planning a mutiny within the revolt while also roping Sarkozy in as well by manipulating him into thinking they’ll save their “friends.”
Speaking of Sarkozy, my gosh he is extremely annoying. Not only is his personality annoying, but he literally did nothing useful on the recon mission. I didn’t mind him in his first appearance, but he felt absolutely useless in this episode. He nearly ruined the mission like two or three times, he wasn’t helpful and then he goes along with Turkey’s plan to stop the overall mission. It was super obvious how shady Turkey’s intentions were, especially when he wouldn’t let him talk to Donatello or Kaburagi about dropping the mission. This guy’s naivete is going to get them all killed. Unless he chooses to go against Turkey before anything happens, he MIGHT be redeemable. But as of right now, I see him as an unnecessary hindrance to the plan to overthrow the system.
Things are bound to get pretty interesting now that Kaburagi and Natsume have reunited and have plans to infiltrate the Gadoll Factory. Can’t wait to see how things play out now that Kaburagi is involving Natsume in things humans aren’t suppose to know about. Though thinking about it, I have a feeling Kaburagi might not make it through to the end of the anime since his butt has been saved so many times already. But we’ll see. I do hope that hunch is wrong because I don’t want Natsume to lose another father figure. And with that, I have finally caught up and will resume normal one episode posts next week! Huzzah!