The Next Level in Gaming
- Episodes : 11
- Genre : Mystery, Action, Shounen
- Airing Date : January 4, 2020 – March 21, 2010
- Producers : Nexus
Darwin’s Game Introduction
Kaname Sudou was just your average high schoolboy. Then suddenly, his world turns upside down when an app known as Darwin’s Game mysteriously shows up on his cell phone. He chooses to open it and before he knows it, a snake comes out from his phone and bites him on the neck branding him as a participant. Next thing he knows, he’s being chased by a knife-wielding maniac wearing the costume of the local baseball team’s mascot! So how can it get any worse? It turns out that the costumed maniac can make himself invisible. In case we didn’t mention, Kaname’s friend, who is also a participant in Darwin’s Game, loses his life fighting that lunatic.
A little while later, Kaname encounters Shuka, one of Darwin’s Game’s top players. While in the middle of battle, he discovers that he has his own sigil, or superpower, the ability to make simple objects with a single thought such as a stun gun. Thanks to this newfound power, not only does he get the victory over Shuka, but gains her as a valuable ally as they set out to conquer the game.
1. Solid Cast of Characters
Despite its short length, Darwin’s Game does an excellent job of introducing and utilizing its ensemble cast whether they be friend or foe. The series effectively provides a large majority of their backstories and motivations, and most of them get some form of development both individually and with their relationships. They equally get to do their thing and contribute to the story. Most of the supporting cast isn’t simply there just to be a cheering squad for Kaname. They’re all unique individuals who have their own goals and that’s what makes them captivating.
2. Amazing Action Sequences
While we feel that the action sequences aren’t as exciting as JoJo’s, Darwin’s Game provides its own brand of intensity. In a sense, the sigils each character possesses is like a stand in JoJo. Every character has a distinct power whether it’s physical or mental in nature. Due to this novelty, the fights become a battle of wits but with the right amount of danger to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. Thanks to the use of sigils, what ultimately makes the action fun is how unpredictably it’s presented.
3. Great Character Designs
With the exception of Wang, what Darwin’s Game does best is take a rather generic approach with its character design, making its world believable to the point that you feel like you’re there. With the exception of Sui/Souta, most characters relatively have natural hairstyles and hair colors, and there’s nothing too outrageous such as Narisago’s pink spiky hairdo in ID:INVADED. In addition, Darwin’s Game also does a great job of capturing Shibuya’s urban landscape, and how it could be tactically used in something akin to a gang war.
1. It Ends When It’s Getting Better
For most of Darwin’s Game, it largely establishes the world and its characters. By the time the series ends, all the players are finally set and everyone (and including the audience) is ready for what’s about to come next. It does have a definitive ending in regards to finishing Wang and the Eights, but there are some things that need further development, most notably with Liu Xuelan. Other than having to read the manga, we’d like to see where her relationship with Kaname goes.
2. Still A Lot of Unanswered Questions
Darwin’s Game ends with more questions than answers. While the 11 episodes provided do establish what the series well, little to nothing is provided in regards to the how and why. For example, why do certain characters mysteriously get the Darwin’s Game app on their phones? While we get an idea of who created the game, little is provided as to their motivations or what their end game is. While the anime does a good job of providing what’s in store for our heroes, it’s still vague.
3. It Leaves You Wanting For More
Like a good number of anime that are 13 episodes or less, Darwin’s Game ends making the audience want more. There is so much to explore and develop. Kaname and the Sunset Ravens are finally solidified as a team, and you want to see how far they can go. Will they come out on top and stop the game master? Or will they kill everyone in their path?
For what it presently offers, Darwin’s Game is something definitive and ends on a high note. It’s just that note ends way too high. Within its short span, it does things that a lot of anime that share the same episode length fail to do, make excellent use of an ensemble cast. It gives the audience chances to connect with them but, as it ends, you want to see where they go both individually and with their relationships.
In addition to a great cast, it offers intense action sequences where you can feel the intensity and danger, and the quality of the designs knows how to balance that mix of fantasy and reality. If those are qualities you desire in an anime, then you should definitely watch Darwin’s Game. So for those that have already seen it, what did you think? and, would you like to see a sequel? Because we certainly want to see one now! If not, we guess we could always pick up the manga.