An unpredictable battle of superpowers. Kaname Sudo, an ordinary high school student, receives an invitation email to try a mysterious app called "Darwin's Game." Kaname, upon launching the app, is drawn into a game where players fight one another using superpowers called Sigils. Without knowing the reason for all this, can Kaname survive furious battles against the powerful players who attack him?
I expected this anime to be quite similar to King's Game from a few seasons ago. It is SO MUCH better. Plot follows a highschooler Kaname Sudo, who accidentally gets dragged into a deadly game with amazing rewards. As he gets to know the rules he meets other players - most important of whom is Shuka. This anime offers nothing original, it's your typical high stakes game anime with some battle royale sprinkled in. Characters are nothing special either, some common tropes are present (Shuka being a little yandere, newbie being a natural talent, mysterious information broker, etc.). The first episode is especially mediocre, with some laughable bad guys. However, if you get past that it's a really fun watch with some amazing fight scenes and interesting superpowers. Character development is present as well, some of them have pretty interesting backstories and getting to know more about them offers an interesting insight. Battle royale arc (which covers a big part of the season) was especially good. It lasted a few episodes but the fights weren't drawn out, strategies characters used were fun and the whole thing ends pretty nicely. If you're a fan of Mirai Nikki and Battle Royale genre in general, I would definitely recommend this. It's a perfect anime to binge - just relax and don't overthink it, as it's meant to be mindless fun. Oh and bonus points for great OP/ED themes!
Darwin's Game is your run-of-the-mill survival-game seinen show which is adapted from the manga carrying the same name. Is this anime a worthwhile suspenseful ride with a lot of cool action, great characters and awesome plot with surprising twists and turns? Or is it a total waste of time? You might have already gotten pretty good idea what I think about it by looking at the scores, but nevertheless let's dive in and see what this anime is made of! Review contains light spoilers. If you don't want to be spoiled please head down to "overall"-section to see spoiler free tl;dr-part. STORY: Meet our main character. Kaname Sudou. As you might've already guess he's your typical high-school student who likes to hang with his pals and all that fun stuff. One night he suddenly gets an email from his already dead friend, which contains the invitation to Darwin's Game. He of course accepts this invitation and partisipates in this high-stakes game, where his life is on the line, but where he can also gain a lot of money and all kinds of other fun and expensive knick-knacks like guns, cars, explosives etc. Not only does he get the priviledge to participate in this generic survival game he also becomes dollar-store Emiya Shirou with his new Sigil power. This is power bestowed to all the partisipants and they range from clairvoyance to mind-reading and controlling plants for example. At first our main character just wants to quit the game and survive, but soon his new objective is to put an end to the whole game and possibly kill the creator. This he can accomplish with his harem and few male characters that kinda just are, who join in his team one by one during the anime and it's events. Story is your basic survival-game stuff, but there's one huge flaw. This anime does not have any suspence at all. First few episodes are pretty standard stuff, but soon Kaname has two best players of the game fighting over him and with him, one of the biggest clans of the game on his side, information-broker basically on his side and to top it all off pretty overpowered Sigil. And apparently he's somewhat of a special case as is if we believe what everyone in the show are telling us viewers about him. All this + his overpowered team sucks the tiny bit of suspense that this show had away immediately. You know the MC ain't going to lose anything (except few disposable friend-characters, that just help him to take the edgy 180-turn to a brooding cynic and make him even more of an unstoppable killing machine than he already is.) and if he's about to the plot-armor saves him. This makes the show incredibly boring and tedious to watch, as if being generic didn't make it so already. As a whole the story is really generic survival-game stuff, except without any excitement or suspension. You can guess all the plot developments easily and it really doesn't do anything to spice up the plot or story in any way. ANIMATION: Art and animation is kind of rough at places. Sometimes art looks really bad and animation is really minimalistic. Some shows can take advantage of their minimal animation (Like Toilet-Bound Hanako-Kun in this same season did), but it really is a huge downfall in this sort of intense battle anime, However there were some shots, transitions and bits where both artstyle and animation looked kinda good. These were kinda few in numbers sadly so I can't really give a lot of points from those. SOUND: Opening song was pretty nice. Not really anything special, but I didn't skip it. Ending was also good. Didn't stick to listen it, but it ended up in my playlist. BGM was pretty forgettable. I remember some kind of electronic track being in it and nothing else. I guess it left a little mark in my memory, but I honestly can't recall anything else that it sounded like really basic dubstep-y track. Overall nothing to brag about, but OP and ED were solid. CHARACTERS: Kaname Sudou was somewhat entertaining at first, before he became too OP. He isn't like most of the MCs in this sort of anime aka. total wuss, but actually is capable of thinking and doing stuff on his own. This was a tiny bit refreshing to see, but like I already have said multiple times he became too OP and he lost the little charm he had. Other characters are really generic Shuka Karino is your #[email protected] who is kind of badass, but melts like a butter when Kaname is around. Rein is information-broker kuudere. Nothing special about her. Ryuuji Maesaka is the bro character that is obviously better than MC only because he isn't the MC. And last but not least from all the "important" characters is Sui, who has split personality and he is also some kind of trap I guess. Villains don't fare much better either. Main villain of the season called Wang is just your typical power-hungry, violent guy with no other personality trait than being evil. Other villains are surprise surprise also generic cartboard cutouts. Take your pick between dad who does evil things so he can afford his daughters medical bills or some random dude who just kills weak beginners for a reason that is not explained at all. This wouldn't be an issue if the main villain wouldn't also be some dude who kills because he likes it, but since they all are just canon fodder for almighty Kaname I guess personalities aren't needed. OVERALL: Darwin's Game is another survival-game seinen that does nothing special. It lacks suspense, the characters are all pretty much generic stereotypes, animation and art are generic at best and soundtrack is forgettable outside of OP and ED songs, that may fancy to some readers taste. I highly advice on skipping this one. Not sure if the Darwin's Game manga is any good, but it may be worth giving a shot instead of this adaptation.
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