This episode… this episode was a lot. I knew this episode was going to hurt but it didn’t make the experience hurt any less. I honestly do not blame Natsume for how she reacted after Kaburagi dropped the truth bomb on her. It is A LOT to take in, especially since the world she’s lived in was a lie.
With the success of shutting down the Gadoll factory, all of the Gadoll end up disintegrating. While the humans are struck speechless by this development, the Gears are disappointed that their game has come to an end for now. And while Minato seems disturbed by the events of Kaburagi’s choice, it doesn’t seem like he’ll make a move to go against him. With two episodes left, I’m not sure what exactly Minato’s role will be. I’m sure he’ll still watch to see what happens, but he may or may not understand what exactly Kaburagi is fighting for and why. Since Fei already fulfilled someone’s mind being changed for the better and Turkey fulfilled that of someone going down with their mind unchanged, Minato may be the middle ground of not fully understanding but will go along with it, maybe. Minato is such a neutral character since he has one foot in of going against the system to protect Kaburagi and another in believing that following the system is for the best. It’s almost a contradiction. So it’ll definitely be interesting to see where his character will go from here and if it will change.
The truth of her dad’s death left me speechless. On one hand I should have seen that coming, but I did not pay attention to what exactly they were looking at at the beginning of episode 1. When then showed it again I was like: OOOOOH NOOOOO. Because it makes sense. He strayed too close to the truth of the world and was terminated. And here I thought he just perished in battle but no, he was branded a bug and was terminated which makes his death just an extra layer of sad on this depressing sundae. I literally paused the episode and buried my face in my hands because the revelation hit me harder than it probably should have. Though part of it was probably because I just felt so much more bad for Natsume. It also gives her more reason to go against the system now if she didn’t have enough already.
I think I officially love Natsume and I just want her to be happy in herself and in life and I just really want to hug her. Her reaction towards the truth felt very natural and I really couldn’t blame her for getting angry at Kaburagi at first. When she said Kaburagi had been deceiving her this whole time, that hurt me. Even when she was calmly saying it, her words cut deep and you can tell how disappointed and hurt she was. The symbolism of the glass cracking when she punched it… UGH IT HURTS. And then it hurt me even more to hear that she might rather have had everything stay the way it was, even herself. And hearing her repeat what both Fei, Minato and Turkey have all been saying of how “nothing needed to change” and she never should have trusted him just made me want to burst out into angry tears. It must have hurt Kaburagi so much to hear that as well considering how small his voice was after she said that. Sure, this moment may have been cliche, but it made sense and it hit really well in my opinion. All of the emotions in this scene were understandable and made sense to the character.
Honestly this episode should basically be titled, Natsume is hurt and so am I. Seeing her unable to celebrate with everyone else because of the weight of what she knows was painful. She doesn’t know how to face anyone and you can tell that it’s eating her from the inside out. The curse of knowing too much if not an easy thing to handle. I’ve also started to really like her relationship with Kurenai. She’s like an older sister to her and it’s cute, especially since Natsume looked up to her so much. So I’m glad that she was able to be there for Natsume when she desperately needed someone. While she wasn’t able to tell her the specifics of what happened, Kurenai was still able to give her the right advice, allowing her to think about what she and Kaburagi have done together so far. I appreciate that she took some time to actually think about it and came to the right conclusion that she could actually trust Kaburagi. Even going as far as to agree to come with him to change how the world works.
Also, I must commend Deca-Dence for being able to balance it’s humor and it’s seriously hitting moments. One moment I’m crying over the fact that Kaburagi talked about wanting to end his life if not for Natsume in his letter and the next I’m laughing over Natsume getting angry and accidentally nailing Kaburagi in the face with the door. Not to mention I was laughing hysterically at Natsume’s impression of him. And Natsume just being her precious, sassy self is hilariously great. Man, I love her. Also holy crap, Kaburagi driving in his actual cyborg body is the most adorable and hilarious thing ever. How does he even see where he’s going when his eye level is at the steering wheel??? XD
Also, I did NOT expect that cute little Gadoll to turn into a monster of my nightmares. Like it’s face legit scares me. Not to mention that it basically ALIEN IMPREGNATED that one Gear’s avatar and started devouring the dead bodies of Gears. This thing basically developed into most likely the final boss of the series and I am terrified to see what it is capable of. It already freaked me out with what it did this episode so I can’t imagine what chaos it will bring now that it’s a giant monstrosity. So that’s why they focused on that thing being abused in a previous episode… well placed Deca-Dence. WELL PLAYED. I knew that thing had to have some sort of relevance since the series took the time to put it in the spotlight for a moment. But boy I wasn’t expecting this. Though considering what it experienced living amongst the Gears in the Gadoll Factory, I’m not surprised that it’s essentially trying to take revenge for how it was treated and it’s only natural it go after Deca-Dence. And here I thought that maybe Pipe would get a friend. BOY WAS I WRONG.
Not only that, but I am so worried for Natsume’s safety because Hugin is also a thing. A BIG THING. Hugin has consistently terrified me throughout the series and I do not know how Natsume is going to get out of this situation with him literally standing there in the doorway and Kaburagi’s avatar is dead. I hope she does pull one out from under him to surprise both him and me since Natsume action has been relegated to the back burner in the past couple episodes. Especially since she hardly did anything last week. Not gonna lie, when I saw Natsume walking around, I was super anxious because Hugin knows exactly what she looks like now. And I wasn’t surprised to see him lurking around trying to find her. Man this guy is scary…
So much happened in this episode that I’m really impressed that they were able to fit in so much content and the pacing still felt great. But man, seeing Pipe’s clothes left on the floor was the cherry on top. That HURT, especially with how attached both Natsume and Kaburagi were towards him and to the extension, the audience. And I’m glad that we didn’t see him disintegrate since I think it hit way harder to see him already gone. He was ugly cute and I miss him already. T^T With Kaburagi’s avatar officially killed, I wonder if he’ll have to show his true cyborg body to Natsume now. Especially since it does show him fighting on Deca-Dence in his real body.