by Lynzee Loveridge,
How would you rate episode 7 of
Darwin's Game ?
It's time to accept that like its brethren King's Game, 90% of the time Darwin's Game looks like potato. Character proportions, especially when it comes to background characters, resemble those of a wet noodles. Most egregious is Wang, who despite being the primary villain, has the appearance continuity of Wooly Willy. His face is constantly contorting into some kind of vaguely mean expression but is otherwise completely indistinct. It might be the allusion to serpent-like features combined with dreadlocks on top of a hulked out physique but none of it meshes.
The action in this episode is also flat. The Florist manages to take the whole hotel down along with every member of the Eighth Clan inside, an affair that is treated to little more than shaky cam pans over still shots of the building exploding. His short-lived fight again Wang's henchmen, Punchman and The Human Torch, barely leaves a mark on the emotional register. The Florist manages to keep his heart beating manually with vines to lure them to their mutual death. We get short flashback of his sick daughter, the daughter he has orphaned because earning cash through a murder game was somehow his only means of financial stability. Buddy, I hope you left her a nest egg for therapy because she's probably not going to forgive you for this one.
Kaname, Shuka, and Sui/Sōta are only marginally important during the primary face off against Wang this week. Most of the important developments are relegated to Rein who arrives at Shibuya Station first in search of the in-game event's real treasure. She was able to crack the ring QR codes to arrive there but the meaning behind the final number alludes her and the Eighth Clan. Her attempt to sneak around fails pretty spectacularly and she's quickly rounded up by Wang. She manages to stall until Kaname arrives but not before she breaks her arm. A fight breaks out and our ragtag team of players scatter. Rein takes up refuge in what looks like a dressing room for one of the shops in the station where she can quietly utilize another aspect of her Sigil. She deep dives into her own brain to methodically crack the meaning behind the Diamond code and discovers it correlates with the publishing date of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. This somehow reveals to Rein the location of the real treasure.
I cannot extrapolate whatever conclusion she came to because at 13-years-old, Rein is infinitely more intelligent than me. I'm sure she'll explain her logic next week.
In the chaos, Ryūji faces off against Wang and is about to be summarily executed until Kaname...yells really loud. This is enough to get Wang to delay cutting off all of the Skeleton Sniper's fingers to add to his distillation jar (really) as Kaname bluffs that he has a locker key that will open the location of the event's treasure.
Moving forward, it looks like we'll get an explanation of why Darwin's Game is called just that. This could introduce a myriad of plot contrivances, but I'm mostly hoping it doesn't go down the tired "survival of the fittest" route because things could get pretty hairy. Not that they aren't already. My enthusiasm for this show started sinking the more paste-like it looked and I've resigned myself that it'll skate its way through in the same bland fashion. I'm not sure what kind of curse "people try not to die while playing deadly game" has, but get ready to throw this one into the garbage because it's starting to reek.
Darwin's Game is currently streaming on FUNimation.
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