Infinite Dendrogram Ep. 8: A sleep-inducing duel

A match between two of the top duelists in the game should be a fun watch… should

— Ray bumps into Xunyu, the jiangshi from another country, and he thinks the fellow Master has kidnapped someone. As a result, he draws his sword and nearly loses his life. But in this game, dying for Masters doesn’t really matter so who cares? Oh no, you get locked out for a day. Considering how Ray thinks that the game is so uber important, forcing him to pay some attention to the real world would probably do Ray a lot of good.

— In the end, Shu steps in and saves Ray’s life. Xunyu then realizes why Ray challenged her, so she now takes an interest in him. She even leans into him and says something in her normal voice.

— But hey, it’s the internet so don’t get too excited. It could still be a man behind that avatar. Xunyu could still be using a voice modulator. Or even worse, it could be an underaged child. You don’t wanna go straight to jail, would you?

— Afterwards, Shu joins Ray’s viewing party, and Marie Adler starts sweating bullets for some reason. Maybe she thinks he would recognize him, but he doesn’t.

— Finally, the marquee matchup between Figaro and Xunyu starts, and (of course) the opponents are moving too fast for the average viewer to follow. I don’t know of any MMO that works like this.

— Yeah, levels and gear can make you attack faster, but not like this. This is some shounen battle bullshit. But who knows? Maybe someone will create an MMO one day that imitates this type of combat system…

— In any case, the coliseum has a barrier that slows down time or something? This way, you can actually enjoy the match.

— Like in other anime, the lamest thing about this fight is the commentary from the peanut gallery. Ray and his buddies just drone on and on and on about the fight. None of it is remotely interesting to me.

— The fight pacing is also pretty bog standard. At first, Xunyu has the upper hand against Figaro. She even tries to rip out his heart, but only manages to grab one of his lungs instead. Gee, how does one even fight with that much internal bleeding? Well, it’s just a video game.

— Figaro, however, stages a furious comeback when he sheds his equipment. This also makes him look kinda deranged

— Blah blah blah, more explanation about how he gets stronger as the battle goes on. Look, this is a visual medium. Use your strengths to tell your story. I know in Japan, they love commentating on every single thing that happens.. but you shouldn’t cut away from the action in order to do so.

— Eventually, Xunyu lands what should be the killing blow, but Figaro’s Embryo is apparently some gem that doubles as his heart so it protects him from death. His counterattack then cleaves the jiangshi in half, which is a shame. I was rooting for Xunyu only because she has a much, much more interesting character design than Figaro. Yo, he’s bland as fuck.

— So Figaro wins, but he isn’t moving. Shu states that some idiot has stopped time within the barrier. What does that mean for the player, though? What if you just logged out? If you logged back in, would you still be trapped? What kind of game allows a player to get stuck in one place? Why would you design something like that?

— Obviously, the answer to all of these questions is that Infinite Dendrogram is more than just a game… but then why even introduce it as such? Over and over again, I keep asking the same key question every time I watch one of these shows: “Why can’t this just be an action/adventure anime?”

— Alright, the evil penguin of doom finally shows up, and he’s got a hostage.

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