With so many conventions being wisely converted to digital experiences this year, it might seem easy to write off FunimationCon as just “another one” and the same could be said for NUT’s new anime Deca-Dence, which premiered at the virtual convention, but should these assumptions be questioned? Read on to get our first impressions of Deca-Dence and its inclusion in FunimationCon. Keep in mind that we’re just going off of the first episode, let’s get this mobile fortress rolling!
Style and Setting
Probably what stood out the most to us in Deca-Dence—at first, at least—is its interesting world which feels simultaneously familiar and unique. Although reminiscent of many other anime like Gurren Lagann, Attack on Titan, and Drifting Dragons, and some Western media like Mortal Engines, this new series still feels to be very much its own thing so far, particularly with the last teaser part of the episode that seems to hint at some other alien/creature culture running parallel to the main human cast.
The massive titular fortress of Deca-Dence as the last bastion of humanity is super cool, especially with its Macross-esque weapon transformation, while not neatly fitting into a stereotypical style like steampunk or dieselpunk which is a plus in our book! Likewise, the mysterious genetically-engineered soldiers and the Gadoll creatures humanity fights, eats, and keep as pets (well, Kaburagi at least) as well as the cool tech that lets fighters fly around in special fields in battle add further interest to Deca-Dence.
Characters and Story
Although only going off of the first episode, the core cast and character dynamics in Deca-Dence already show a lot of promise. Natsume might not be the most original character, with a genki attitude, tragic backstory, and desire to become a soldier like her father, but she is definitely an entertaining one and not just for her fun expressions. She definitely plays off of Kaburagi’s cold and serious personality well and we get the feeling that she’ll continue softening him up over time. Speaking of Kaburagi, he’s probably the most interesting character so far with a surprise show of amazing fighting skills against the Gadoll and some unknown connection to a secret organization that’s apparently having people killed! Is he also a cyborg? What’s the deal with his pet Gadoll?
In any case, Deca-Dence definitely has plenty of mysteries to reveal over time! Most of the supporting cast has also been solid so far, like Natsume’s friend Fei and silly flirt coworker Fennel and it seems like we’ll learn more about the commander Minato soon enough too so that’s something to look forward to as the story progresses.
Deca-Dence & the FunimationCon Experience
Speaking personally, FunimationCon honestly was able to approximate the convention experiences that I care about the most, screenings and Japanese industry panels, quite well and Deca-Dence is a good example of that since it was a video premiere, which obviously works just fine streaming online, supported by creator interviews and a live drawing segment which were equally nice with streaming, if not a bit more professional than they would have been at a normal convention. FunimationCon as a whole also balanced its attractions well with multiple things going on at once on different streams but not so much that it felt totally overwhelming like some other virtual conventions can be. The fact that not all of the convention was backed up and available to rewatch is a little disappointing but also an improvement over traditional conventions since some of it is still out there at least.
Altogether, although virtual conventions can probably never really deliver the same experience of an in-person one, FunimationCon was still a lot of fun, convenient, and free to boot plus the Deca-Dence extras made the first episode all the more exciting!
While it’s still a bit hard to say how Deca-Dence will end up just going off the first episode, it’s definitely a series with some solid potential that we’ll be keeping track of this season. What was your first impression of Deca-Dence? What about FunimationCon? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below and be sure to stick around Honey’s for more of all things awesome, anime and otherwise! Until next time, see ya~!