Darwin's Game
Episode 10

by Lynzee Loveridge,

How would you rate episode 10 of
Darwin's Game ?

In this week's episode, Darwin's Game shifts into an anime version of Se7en as Kaname fulfills his role as Mills.

Kaname and the Sunset Ravens are planning their rescue mission to retrieve Kaname's school friend Shinozuka from Wang and the Eighth. The gang has made quick work of dwindling marauders' hideout based on the footage from the threatening YouTube video and now they just have to wait for the right time to strike. They're joined by Dango Boxing Club member Inukai with the rest of the group promising to serve as back-up. The mission is clear: Shuka is to covertly deliver a cell phone to Shinozuka inside the warehouse so Kaname can instruct him to sign up for Darwin's Game. They'll then be able to use a teleport function to retrieve him.

But then just about everything goes wrong.

The cops show up, and it's not entirely clear who called them. Wang sends out Keiichi to take care of them with his superpowered martial arts Sigil and boy does he. Punches a dude's head clean off. Darwin's Game had been pretty lackluster for the last 3-4 episodes, but this episode brings back the bombastic action. Keiichi gets busy punching dudes to death while Shuka successfully delivers the cellphone. The call is cut off before Kaname can explain the teleport feature but Shinozuka finds himself not so helpless anymore when he gains the Sigil to levitate people and objects. He starts throwing random henchmen around and seems like he might be able to get the hell out of there until Wang comes back.

Meanwhile, Kaname and Ryūji (skelly sniper) use the cop slaughter as a diversion to get into the warehouse, Inukai takes Keiichi on fist-to-fist, and Rein and Sui covertly clean-up the stragglers. Keiichi and Inukai's fisticuffs isn't amazing, choreography wise, and there's certainly a fair amount of cut corners here but I wasn't bored which is the most I ask for from this show at this point. Both guys are putting their honor as martial artists on the line while also waxing about Keiichi's tragic backstory where he accidentally killed a dude and realized the only thing that would make him feel less pain is if he just killed more dudes. Then, you know, it just wouldn't be such a big deal.

Kaname and Ryūji reach Wang and his remaining thugs but Shinozuka is nowhere in sight. Wang directs Kaname's attention to a nondescript box. WHAT'S IN THE BOX!? I yell, having zero control over my need to reenact iconic cinema alone in my office. The answer is obvious but it's enough to finally send Kaname tumbling over the moral edge into indiscriminate murder town. Wang leers at him that Shinozuka's death is Kaname's fault and he can't help but feel that weight just as he did when his friend was killed in the first episode. He succumbs to wrath and quickly executes Wang's wishy-washy thug, the guy who has actually failed to kill anyone at this point.

There's no logical way for Kaname to come out of this situation unchanged. The guy has run his clan with motto to minimize death among its members and it'll be interesting to see if he starts treating them as more expendable now that he has no remaining sense of normalcy outside the game. Shinozuka was Kaname's one remaining friend that wasn't attached to Darwin's Game and while that relationship was hardly realized on screen, we can extrapolate what that's supposed to mean for him going forward. He'll either pull in closer to his clanmates or go full revenge mode, like Keiichi. The more enemies he kills the less pain he feels over his friends' deaths.

Rating:

Darwin's Game is currently streaming on FUNimation.


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