Darwin's Game
Episode 11

by Lynzee Loveridge,

How would you rate episode 11 of
Darwin's Game ?

The finale is here and it's blood, blood, blood all the way down. Following the murder of his friend Shinozuka, Kaname has flushed his life-valuing morals down the drain and is ready to fully embrace is calling as an efficient, remorseless killer. He makes short work of the remaining Eighth Clan, using a gun a sword combo to shoot, slice, and decapitate the henchmen waiting in the wings. The primary target is Wang and most of this episode's runtime is dedicated to reducing him to a pathetic, helpless corpse.

Wang was a bad dude. He used underhanded tactics and involved innocent bystanders in his campaign to rule Shibuya by fear and power. He sliced off people's fingers and kept them in a jar, murdered Ryuji's little brother, and reduced Shinozuka to nicely packaged corpse. That said, I was never really sold on him as an effective villain because his reign of terror was cartoonish. He was not particularly smart and his motivations were shallow. Wang seem primarily interested in ruling Shibuya because he...wanted to rule Shibuya with little motivation behind his increasingly gruesome actions. Wang was bad because the show needed a villain but he was never full realized beyond his necessity in the story.

That might be why is particularly horrendous, drawn-out death felt like leering at a traffic accident than a bad dude getting his just desserts. After Kaname slaughters his clan, Wang regroups in the warehouse where he's confronted by Shuka. Wang's Sigil allows him to teleport short distances and in rare cases, physically swap places with an opponent. His increased maneuverability gives him an edge against Shuka--at least initially, but then his limbs start falling off. Wang struggles to figure out how he's inadvertently dismembering himself when he realizes that Shuka had set up the area with thin wires and her Sigil's power extends beyond just chains to anything threadlike. Every time Wang teleports, he's rapidly moving through her wires and slicing himself apart.

By the end of it, Wang is down to single arm and has managed to create tourniquets for his remaining limbs to keep from bleeding out. Shuka is all but ready to finish him off; she's never been adverse to killing throughout the show and only seemed tempered at Kaname's request. Then something pretty inexplicable happens and Wang's prolonged torture gets even more...ridiculous, I think is the word. He manages to teleport (maybe? he seems confused by this) out of the warehouse and many feet above it, falling towards the hard concrete. Before he becomes a pancake, he uses the last of Sigil to teleport in and out and shorten his fall. He's then confronted by Kaname and Ryuji.

Instead of putting a bullet in him and ending the whole thing, Kaname explains his request to the Game Master back when he won the in-game event. He asked for a betting ability function that would let him go "all in" with his winnings for a clan match. If the opposing clan can't meet the bet and loses they're all killed. The remaining members of the Wang clan are slowly pixeled out, including Wang until he's nothing but a talking head that Kaname proceeds to fill full of lead.

It was completely over the top and I can't decide if I love its commitment to B-movie madness or am reviled by the cruel mess. The mission is done, regardless, and the Sunset Ravens lay claim to Shibuya while dressed in black. Kaname's clan adopts a "don't kill unless you can't help it" rule and begin guarding their turf against all other players. Kaname hopes to make a dent in the damage the game is doing by essentially banning playing in his area at all. The ending is, as you'd expect from an adaptation of an ongoing manga, somewhat open ended. We have closure to the arc but there's enough included in the last five or so minutes to set the stage for a sequel, if it ever happens.

And yeah, I guess I'd watch it. The series continued to have artistic issues through out. Character designs got fast and loose at times and the action sequences were serviceable but not particularly gripping.The characters themselves never rose above their archetypal personalities. A little more creativity in the face offs and a compelling villain could have carried the show but it never really got there. I wouldn't say I wasted my time watching Darwin's Game but there were points where it felt it was wasting its own time (episode nine, for instance, is absolutely pointless to the anime's story arc) that could have been better spent rounding out the cast.

I wouldn't recommend this show without a lot of caveats and it would solely be in a "if you wanna watch ridiculous fights" scenario.

Rating: (Overall)

Darwin's Game is currently streaming on FUNimation.

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