Going into this episode, I didn’t expect much since anime that only have twelve episodes often mess up their endings due to the limited runtime. However, while things did come out of nowhere a couple times in this episode, it didn’t ruin the ending for me. So at least there’s that.
Anyways, despite Kaburagi hooking up to Deca-dence as his avatar, he is still blocked and unable to use it due to the system that happens to be that weird ball thing that’s been hanging around Hugo since day one. I’m not sure how I feel about that since it kind of came out of nowhere to be honest. Not to mention that it just talked with Kaburagi for a little bit saying that everything that happens is all according to keikaku before just handing over the reigns of Deca-dence over to him. I was honestly hoping for an actual fight against the system, but sadly there was none of that. So that plot point felt like it wasn’t truly resolved. Like, what was the point of letting Kaburagi have the controls and not stopping the Spacial Compression from caving in? Though I guess it just let him go to watch a “futile attempt” and more or less wanted to see if he could change things outside the system.
Also, was it just me, or did the System feel like AUTO from Wall-E??? Both were programmed to make sure that “history would not be repeated” with the world becoming overly polluted where no one can live. Not to mention that they were the ones who were in control of their respective ships and whatnot. So a bit of interesting parallels there.
Natsume took a back seat from the action for most of the episode and I really can’t blame the series that much because honestly, what can she do against that giant Gadoll. She did come up with the idea to make a weapon for Kaburagi, inspiring Jill to find out how to do it. So in a sense, she was the instigator to giving Kaburagi a weapon, just like he did her. IT CAME FULL CIRCLE. And I think it is fine that Natsume isn’t a physically strong character, especially since her main role is to inspire. I do like that they got both the Gears and Tankers to take part in helping Kaburagi so it wasn’t just his strength alone. This also had to be the first time that the two races acted on a true common goal where there wasn’t a mood disparity between them. Though I admit it felt a little weird to have Natsume and the others risk their lives and try so hard for a spare part that wasn’t needed. Unless it just wanted to show that all parts were needed, no matter how small.
But man, that Gadoll really has the face of nightmares. Every time I see its face I get freaked out. But what made it even more of a nightmare was how resilient it was. Not only did it take that first punch in the previous episode, but it was still able to take the second attack and almost ripped off the newly formed weapon if not for Kaburagi’s clutch all out attack.
Also speaking of Kaburagi’s final attack, that made me pretty emotional. Just putting all of his strength and energy using Limiter Release into that final blow after being inspired by all of his memories with Natsume… AHHHHHHH MY HEART. Their bond feels so pure and they just trust each other so much now. So it hurt me SO MUCH to see Kaburagi just accept his death while saying “Take care, Natsume.” Natsume has touched Kaburagi so much and seeing just how much he looks back on their moments together for inspiration was just so heartwarming and it hurts.
And then I got even more emotional when Natsume said a tearful thank you to Kaburagi and the light indicating his consciousness slowly went out after. HE WAS STILL THERE TO HEAR NATSUME SAY THANK YOU AHHHHHH. That legit made me tear up because it reminded me of a scene in Avengers that made me all sorts of emotional. And this scene had very similar vibes so I couldn’t help shedding a tear. I had a very strong feeling that Kaburagi would end up dying (or at least temporarily) but it didn’t make the moment hurt any less. It felt very fitting for him using the full extent of the limit release since he often talked about going past his limits and basically tearing down the restraints on the world for Natsume. Also, the way that was choreographed and animated was amazing. It was so well done, I had to rewatch it several times because it was so good.
We then get the pleasure of seeing how things are three years later and I couldn’t help but smile the entire time. Sure, things may have been too happy, but I didn’t care, all I wanted was a good ending and it’s what I got so I’m satisfied. These people deserved a happier life and I’m glad that they aren’t living in fear anymore. Especially when it showed how the cyborgs and the humans were now living together and helping make the world like it used to be. They even brought back the Gadolls to be like monster pets. And then seeing my girl Natsume being a freaking adventure tour guide? YES. I was so happy for her because she looked so proud of herself and was happy. THAT’S ALL I WANTED. And while I did find it a bit cliche to have Kaburagi come back by the end, at least there was a reason that was set up beforehand so it didn’t come out no where. And hey, after all he’s done, Kaburagi deserves a happy end as well, even if the impact of his earlier death was lessened a bit. Honestly, I just wanted a happy ending for these characters and that’s what I got, so who am I to complain.
I don’t care what anyone else says, this series is severely underrated and I loved it. For what it was, this series did pretty well pertaining to only twelve episodes. It could of done amazingly if it had like 24 episodes, but beggars can’t be choosers and for what it set out and accomplished plot-wise, it did well with what it had. I definitely didn’t expect to love this series as much as I do and I’m so glad I decided to pick it up despite the rather slow episode 1. I admit, episode 2 blindsided me a little, but it honestly just opened up the possibilities to what this series could accomplish and I enjoyed the ride all the way through.
The cinematography was absolutely amazing in this series where all shots felt interesting and had a purpose. And boy were the backgrounds gorgeous. They did a wonderful crafting this world together, blending the cyborg and post-apocalyptic settings together in a way that made sense. I’m honestly so impressed they pulled something like this off. The animation, while not amazing, it added to the overall flow of the cinematography and choreography, making the scenes so engaging. However, there were definitely times where the animation was bumped up to 11 and you can definitely tell the director of Mob Psycho 100 directed this series. There were also times where the CG didn’t blend very well to the environment, but that’s being nitpicky.
If I had to critique anything in this show, it would be the fact they underutilized the normal human characters. The opening made it seem like Fei, Fennel and Linmei were going to be really important characters. However, in the end they only felt like underdeveloped side characters that didn’t really do much in the whole scheme of things. All of them had potential, but just didn’t really get much chance to shine or allow the audience to really get to know them. Especially since all three of them had very large presences in the first episode but afterwards were relegated to background, which was a shame since I feel like they all had the potential to be interesting characters. But seeing that there were only 12 episodes, there just wasn’t enough time to incorporate them more. Which is probably why I felt Fei’s sudden turnaround to help Natsume was so jarring.
Speaking of Natsume, I absolutely adored her. While I did feel she was slightly underutilized at times, especially in the last few episodes, she was still such a great character. She started out as this typical shounen protagonist who wants to save the world because she believes in a hopeful future. However, the more we learn about her, the more we realize that’s not her true goal. Rather, she wants to grow as a person rather than a fighter. She wants to become stronger so she can become someone she’s proud of. And that honestly touched me. I started rooting for her to succeed because we’ve seen how many people put her down or think she’s just a burden. Despite all that, she’s just full of positivity and hope, something that the world she lives in desperately needs. She inspires others to act and my heart absolutely broke for her when she said that she has to push herself or else she’d be crushed by the hopelessness around her. Natsume is such a strong character and I loved seeing her development.
Also it was funny seeing Natsume just not compute with anything Jill was explaining from her side. Like she was trying to understand but just couldn’t lol.
But of course, my absolutely favorite thing about this series as her bond with Kaburagi. Their bond had to be the backbone to this series, because without it, I feel like it wouldn’t have been half as emotional as it was. Natsume became Kaburagi’s inspiration to continue living and strive for a better world, going as far as to oppose the system to create a better world for her. She was his hope and source of encouragement when he felt like there was nothing more he could do. And to her, Kaburagi was the replacement paternal figure and mentor that helped her find a place where she could feel like she belonged. Within the Force, she was able to find people who accepted Natsume for who she was and even encouraged her, unlike in the orphanage where she grew up in. He also gave her a means to fight better with that upgraded mechanical arm of hers. And while she ended up breaking it at the end, she was finally given the means to stand up on her own and rebuild her hand on her own. Both of them gave each other so much and built a mutual level of trust and it was so touching to see how much they meant to each other.
I also couldn’t help but notice that it looked like Natsume and Fei were never able to go back to how they were at the beginning and seemed to form their own social circles outside of one another. And honestly, that’s fine since it’s natural to grow apart from old friends when you click better with new ones. And it seems both of them are doing fine. Especially since Fei never really showed acceptance for who Natsume truly was.
Remember earlier when I said that I was feeling some major Disney Movie vibes from the last episode? After some looking around, apparently the director of Deca-Dence revealed that freaking Wreck-it-Ralph actually posed as the inspiration for the series and looking back at it, I CAN SEE IT SO MUCH NOW. With the main male character acting as the “bad guy” but isn’t happy with it, finds inspiration from a small “bug” in the “system.” Not to mention both end up just wanting to make the “bug” happy and push past their limits to make it happen. No wonder I felt major Disney vibes from this last episode lol.
I loved Deca-Dence. Outside of all the sequel anime this year, I think Deca-Dence has to be my top anime so far. While it’s not perfect as it was rushed in a few places and some things that kind of came out of nowhere a little in the end, I enjoyed the ride this series put me on. I honestly have to hand it to the creators of this anime to put this amount of detail and pay off for only a twelve episode series. I had my doubts that they’d be able to tie this series up in that time, but I’m just blown away that they were able to do it in a more or less satisfying way. A lot of series I’ve seen haven’t been able to do that and I think it’s very difficult. So I’m very glad with how Deca-Dence turned out, faults and all. I’m sad this series is officially over, but I’m happy to leave the story on a high note, even if Pipe died… I’m still not over that. Overall, I’ll give Deca-Dence an 8/10 for an enjoyable and engaging watching experience. There were so many things I didn’t expect through out this series and I definitely want to rewatch the series to see if I can find other hidden nuggets that may have went over my head on a first viewing.