Darwin’s Game: Anime Review

When high school student Kaname Suda received an invitation to play Darwin’s Game from one of his best friends, he thought nothing of it. But pretty soon, he finds himself being attacked by a killer mascot. He later finds out that he is involved in a systematic game of death that can only be over when a player completes the game or kills the game master.

Darwin’s Game was a slow starter for me. I checked out two episodes but found myself not interested enough to find out what happens to Kaname. After a friend mentioned it again, I went back to the series and found that it had a great potential for a binge.

Darwin’s Game is pretty similar to the concept of Alice in Borderland wherein players are forced to play and complete missions that pit them against each other in brutal battle.

I liked the character evolution of the MC Kaname and how he finally understood the lengths he had to go to destroy the game. The deaths become quite brutal towards the end as the first arc of the story is mainly centered on the Eighth Gang.

Each character had a backstory and the loyalty that developed among the characters was also quite laudable. The sense of danger was always palpalable as their objectives grew tougher and more complex with each episode.

Darwin’s Game had a very human element because the game crossed over to real life where Kaname’s friends had to get involved in the dangerous game. It was heartbreaking and brutal. It was totally understandable how Kaname had to evolve quickly as a result.

I love how Shuka, a Class A player who never bats an eyelash about eliminating anyone from the game just wears her heart on her sleeve when it comes to Kaname. And while Kaname does not seem to have romance on his mind at the moment, he receives her affection without leading her on. They look so cute as the unofficial couple of the Sunset Ravens. Shuka has the role of first lady down pat. I love how she was willing to go toe to toe with the Number 1 player to save her man. Forgive me for focusing on the shoujo element of the anime when it is most definitely a shonen series.

In the same vein, the way the Sunset Ravens became somewhat Kaname’s family developed well. Every member of his team believed in him absolutely because they aligned with his goals. They also admired his strength, intelligence and courage to stand up to entities unknown.

It was also pretty ballsy of Kaname to challenge the game master in such an open way. The plan was risky but it paid off in spades, earning the Sunset Ravens a formidable new ally (?) and a firm foothold on one the most sought after territories in the game. Its interesting to see how it will go after the last episode.

All in all, the first season of Darwin’s Game left the door wide open for a follow up season. Anime gods, don’t let us down.