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Anime Infinite Dendrogram Series

Infinite Dendrogram Ep. 5: Murdering children outta nowhere

That’s right, you’re staring at a mecha. What? You didn’t expect to see a mecha in this game? Welp, I didn’t either! And yet here we are, gazing upon this ugly green robot as it beats up its foes. That’s the thing that bothers me most about this stupid mecha. If you want to introduce mecha technology to this generic fantasy universe with paladins and goblins, fine. But it doesn’t even look like it belongs! They couldn’t even give us a colorful mecha that might fit in with the game’s aesthetics. Instead, it looks like it walked off the set of some gritty, realistic war anime. Sadly, this isn’t even the most “out there” addition to Infinite Dendrogram. Oh, don’t you worry! We’ll get there in due time.

— Betcha anything Marie is a fujoshi in real life.

— Our hero eventually decides to roll with the punches. If you’re gonna be a furry, you may as well go all the way.

— The first third of the episode is just kinda random. For instance, Ray spots a gacha machine and decides to dump a ton of his money into it.

— But hey, he does get a mount out of it! A mount that he can’t ride… whoops. It turns out jumping straight to paladin isn’t 100% ideal. Because he bypassed the lowly knight, he also didn’t pick up basic skills that every lowly knight would know. I guess that includes horseback riding.

— In most MMOs these days, if you want to ride a mount, you just have to own one. There’s no special skill involved. You don’t have to buy a scroll to teach you how to ride a horse. But y’see, Infinite Dendrogram — with its mechas and battleships that can completely raze a forest to the ground — is super realistic. Hyper realistic, in fact! So yes, Ray will need to find a way to learn how to ride a horsie.

— Surprisingly enough, he has to log out of the game in order to look this information up. Don’t most MMOs have an in-game resource for this sort of thing? I guess Infinite Dendrogram doesn’t.

— The animation is starting to crap out on us. Oh well.

— So here’s where the story suddenly takes a very dark turn… but you wouldn’t even realize it until you’re knee-deep in severed heads — heads that belong to innocent children. Oops, I said too much!

— Ray and Nemesis are just casually strolling down a brightly-lit street when they spot a bunch of hooligans harassing a young girl. It turns out they’ve kidnapped her little brother and are holding the kid for ransom.

— Our hero’s about to jump into action when this French dandy suddenly shows up. So this is our mecha pilot. And in order to call forth his mecha, he needs quite a bit of setup time — setup time that he can’t afford when thugs are bearing down on him. Oops.

— Still, I actually like Hugo’s flamboyant personality, ’cause he kinda reminds me of the RP dorks in every MMO. Y’know, the ones who really, really take the game seriously: “Guise, we gotta walk through this dungeon and explore every nook and cranny! People don’t run non-stop in real life!”

— But of course, Ray is also role-playing. He just blends in so seamlessly with the universe that you forget he’s actually playing a game sometimes.

— Anyways, our hero has to jump in and help Hugo out. We meet Cocy, a monotone, ushanka-wearing loli who accuses Nemesis of being a loli. Isn’t this like a pot calling the kettle black? Also, this is what I meant earlier when I said that the anime is taking a dark turn without giving us any sort of advance notice. I still feel like I’m watching some goofy ass adventure story.

— Alright, alright, everyone decides to team up in order to tackle a quest to save the NPC’s little brother. This takes us to the enemy hideout where Ray is met by an army of zombie children. Yes, the bad guys have been kidnapping and turning children into zombies for nefarious but ultimately unknown reasons.

— Dark, right? It should be! But there’s no lead up to this! Nothing in previous episodes came even remotely close to foreshadowing this turn of events. Just last week, we saw Ray get tricked into giving himself dog ears. And now we’re fighting children zombies? Wha…? Did we skip a step?

— The best part is how the mood of the anime doesn’t even fit the gravity of the situation! Nemesis is telling her master that she’s seething with fury, but we get to watch Ray burn these zombie children down while a thumping action track plays in the background. It’s beyond ridiculous. Oh man, so sad…

— And to top it all off, torching all these zombie children meets one of Ray’s job requirements, so he gains a new skill. Just moments ago, Hugo told Ray that masters of maiden-type Embryos have one thing in common: deep down, they truly believe that Infinite Dendrogram is real. So y’know, this is why Ray is taking this quest so hard! Oh my god, poor children died! Ugh, I have to put them out of their misery. It’s so sad, it’s just so sa– SKILL GET!!!

Pfft, yeah, this definitely isn’t a game!

— Outside the hideout, Hugo has to fight this bull demon on his own, and his mecha is somehow too weak for it. Alright.

— So the bull demon taunts Hugo by pulling out a bag of children’s heads that have been severed from their bodies. C’mon, what is this? First, you shove mecha into this show, and now, you have the bad guys gobbling up the heads of children like M&Ms? It’s like the show just randomly decided to become super dark, but it did it so fast that the tonal shift couldn’t even hope to keep up. It still feels like we’re watching a generic light-hearted isekai.

— After a lot of hemming and hawing, Hugo finally decides to use his trump card: Cocy is actually his Embryo and her job is to enhance his mecha. Basically, he also has a maiden-type pet just like Ray! They’re both delusional!

— Hugo wins his fight (I assume), so we cut back to Ray who finally reaches the inner depths of the hideout. But when he goes to save the NPC’s little brother, the latter attacks him! The nerve of these children! But that’s the end of our episode. We’ll have to wait a week to see if Ray gets locked out for 24 hours or not.

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