Every season we pick up new anime series hoping that they will give us hours of entertainment, excitement, and surprise. Admittedly, we were entertained by Deep Insanity: The Lost Child, Square Enix’s new project, but for all the wrong reasons. Deep Insanity: The Lost Child is a sci-fi anime with a promising story and a terrible execution. We were hoping for the next Made in Abyss and we got the next Scarlet Nexus, a flop of a series from Summer 2021.
Here’s a bit about the plot: Randolph Syndrome is a new illness that plagues the planet. It originates from the Asylum, an underground world in Antarctica. Brave fighters, the Sleepers, have enlisted to fight the monsters lurking in the Asylum, and Shigure Daniel Kai is the new guy in the group. He wants to be a hero and volunteers for humanity, to his comrades’ surprise, who have their own mysterious agendas.
All this doesn’t sound so bad, right? That’s what we thought too and picked up the series. However, we are going to explain now why we dropped Deep Insanity: The Lost Child after the three-episode mark, and have not looked back since.
Terrible Animation, and Not Just Because of CGI
The first thing one notices is the quality of animation. Now, we have watched countless anime series and our general approach is not solely focusing on the use of CGI or expecting perfection, especially from smaller, newer studios. But with Square Enix in the mix, and with a cluster of terrible animation overall, we cannot ignore the level of failure in this case.
We even have specific examples: In episode 2, genius guy Lawrence, who is physically unable to feel fear, is playing with dice while talking with Daniel. In the end, he loses his concentration and the dice fall. A scene that had been building up for a few solid minutes ends with a blank screen and the next scene just starts right away. The fall is not animated, and we wonder if that’s because of the budget, overworked animators, or just plain disinterest. This moment looks like a bad fan video edit.
In the series’ universe, humanity suffers from the Randolph Syndrome, but the animation itself suffers from the No Face Syndrome, as witnessed in several instances. Whenever there is a dramatic moment, the character in question turns away and his or her eyes magically disappear. Unsettling much? We even get the No Sense of Physics Syndrome, with the pile of boxes Leslie carries in episode 3 literally levitating, one above the other, and no one bats an eye. And that’s just the beginning of the series..!
Shigure Daniel Kai might be the most boring main character we have ever seen. His motivation for becoming a Sleeper is… becoming a hero. Sure, many shounen protagonists have similar aspirations, to be the very best, but their motivation is delivered through examples, a flashback to their past, and they usually have a unique set of characteristics that makes them stand out. Shigure is so generic it hurts: he contains all the MC stereotypes, such as a natural skill for fighting, despite not having fought in Asylum before, he needs zero training and can wield huge weapons without a moment of preparation. It’s difficult to relate to Daniel, we can only laugh at the poor writing!
Deep, Insane Boredom with Terrible Fights
We have a former idol traumatized by the industry, trying to be cute… Yawn. We have a quirky genius… Yawn. We have a white-haired higher-up guy, who knows too much and says too little, and already looks like he is truly the villain. Yawn. You get the picture. And, to top all that off, when all these characters get to fight together, the pace and energy are slower than a 1990s RPG video game. They take turns, use clunky guns, and shoot, in the most awkward ways. For a series that depends a lot on confronting formidable creatures in Silent Hill-like asylum, the fights are not scary at all.
We really wanted to believe in the potential of Deep Insanity: The Lost Child. Sci-fi anime often challenge our perceptions about society and the world, but Deep Insanity is just a project that should have stayed in the drawing board stage. There is no coherence in the plot, the transitions are awkward, the animation is sloppy, and we don’t care about the main cast at all.
Have you watched Deep Insanity: The Lost Child? Do you like it so far or have you dropped it as we did? Let us know in the comments below and thanks for reading!