What (Else) I Watched Today: Deca-Dence

Wednesday’s second show doesn’t exactly blow me away.

— Right off the bat, we get to see our heroine lose her arm. Her father tries to comfort her, but this is the last time that she’ll ever seen him again. C’mon, what are you guys trying to? Send me into a deep depression spiral like The Last of Us?

— You guys dropped something. I wonder how important that something will end up being.

— Basically, humanity has been pushed to the brink by mysterious lifeforms known only as a the Gadolls. The remaining survivors are holed up within these giant, impractical-looking fortresses known as Deca-dences. To tell you the truth, I’m kinda weary of these premises. For once, I just want a story to be like, “This is where they came from and this is why they’re attacking us. Let’s go kick some ass.” Yeah, this spoils the mystery, so… make up another mystery. Give me something new.

— 90% of the world’s population has been wiped out, which still leaves us with hundreds of millions of people. 90% is a large number, but so is the other one. I dunno, I just wouldn’t call it an extinction, which is what one of the main characters keeps saying later in the episode.

— Funny how Gadoll meat looks a whole lot like well-marbled beef. I guess if you can afford it, you can still eat pretty well in the post-apocalyptic world. Maybe that’s where the name of the show came from. The people we see in the episode appear to live shitty lives, but I’m sure someone is living like decadent fat cats. That’s just how the world works.

— Our heroine Natsume is now ready to go out into the world and work for a living. Unfortunately, she isn’t allowed to become a soldier and thus kick some Gadoll ass. Thanks to her prosthetic arm, she is forced to become an armorer instead. Still, her dreams aren’t completely dead yet. They didn’t say yes to her being a soldier, but they didn’t say no either. So you’re saying there’s a chance?

— Our girl faces the usual youth obstacles like mean kids. Ho-hum.

— So… are these guys human? Did I miss something? Why are people purple and teal in this world?

— For now, Natsume finds herself working under Kaburagi, a man of few words. And whenever he does give you a word, it’s rarely a kind one. They say bad bosses can make you hate a job, but our heroine is brimming with energy, so she kinda pushes through it anyway. The only way to counter one headstrong jackass is with another headstrong jackass.

— But despite her optimism, Natsume’s job is far from glamorous. Apparently, armorers have to spend five years cleaning nasty shit off of the Deca-Dence. Why five? Why on earth would you need that much experience to start doing real work? I can only imagine that the story is exaggerating this for effect.

— Fennel, a fellow armorer, instantly makes a move on Natsume. Later in the episode, it is revealed that he has a year left of cleaning duty, so I have to assume that he’s at least four years older than the girl. Well, regardless of the age difference, just walking up to someone and invading their personal space automatically makes you a sleazy jackass in my book. I’m sure he doesn’t see a very many girls in his field of work, but that’s no excuse.

— The safe bet is that Kaburagi ends up becoming the father figure that Natsume needs in order to successfully bridge the gap between childhood and adulthood. Y’know, listen to her rants and give her life advice. My fear, however, is that anime can sometimes go too far. I dropped Arte for a very specific reason in the spring, and I hope I don’t have to do the same again here. In any case, he’s no good at giving life advice at the moment. Kaburagi essentially tells her to just accept her lot in life and give up on her dreams. What kind of father figure is that? Looks like someone needs to have a character arc.

— He’s also a bit shady himself. Nothing wrong with owning a miniature Gadoll as a pet as long as the animal is perfectly tame. But what’s up with him going up to a passed out (or maybe dead) drunkard and drawing something from their blood? What’s this “[t]he world must be rid of bugs” nonsense? Welp, add another mystery to the pile.

— Eventually, a massive horde of Gadolls attack, because we gotta close out the first episode on a bang. They don’t look very fearsome, though. They look like overgrown sea creatures.

— Oh look, Fennel’s a fuck-up on the job as well. Naturally, he ends up surviving while an innocent coworker had to die.

— Death is pretty real in this story, and there’s no shortage of bloodshed. I’m never quite sure how to feel about this sort of thing in anime, though. I mean, on the one hand, you have my fellow humans being slaughtered mercilessly, and yeah, that’s bad. But on the other hand, their enemy is, like, this giant, pink worm thing that almost looks kinda cute. The last thing I feel is fear and certainly not disgust! When it comes to threatening-looking monsters, anime almost never delivers.

— Forced into action, Kaburagi picks up a weapon from a dead soldier and starts dancing through the battlefield as if he never left. He even has a helpless Natsume flailing hopelessly in tow. Impressive, huh? And kinda unbelievable, too. Take a retired NBA player. I’m sure they can still make a 3pt shot. Some muscle memories never fade. But you also can’t drop that same retired NBA player into an actual game and watch him dunk over everybody. At least make him rusty or whatever. But no, Kaburagi is apparently still the Lebron James of kicking Gadoll ass.

— Even Lebron James, however, cannot defeat a Gadoll the size of a mountain. But hey, that’s why we have a Deca-Dence to take care of the big dogs! So what follows is a long and painful sequence of the mobile fortress transforming itself into a weapon capable of defeating the mountain-sized Gadoll. Oh my god, please tell me I don’t have to watch this same sequence in future episodes.

— That UI is tragic.

— After the battle is over, we suddenly cut to… this. Um, what am I looking at? Whatever, just add it to the mystery pile.

— I don’t really want to blog two shows in one day, so I see three possibilities ahead of me. Maybe I’ll get sick of Re:Zero again and drop the second season. I mean, I’ve done it before so I can always do it again! Of course, I can always drop Deca-Dence instead, because honestly, this wasn’t really a home run of a first episode. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t really hook me in either. The goofy-looking Gadolls don’t help. Last but not least, I can always suck it up and just blog both shows. Shrug, we’ll see.

Please refrain from posting spoilers or using derogatory language. Basically, don't be an asshole.

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