This episode emphasizes just exactly what this series intends to do– tell a story about the staff behind the death games. Are the creators thinking of doing another season of this? If they are then all this focus on Onna’s background of how she got there, Quinn’s arbiter life, and more importantly Decim’s puppet hobby makes a ton of sense. Considering the big reveal is Decim is just an experiment created by Nona. An arbiter dummy with human emotions. Now Onna’s interactions with him are going to be ten-fold now that we’ve been given this information.
Running on only 1-cour is risky but it can work when you’ve got powerful characters with interestingly deep pasts. Episodes 1, 3, 4 and 6 are perfect examples of this. This episode really jumps around between the cast for good reason– perspective. Decim collects dummies and dresses them up. Creepy but this definitely makes good material when its these very dummies that are the humans arriving at QuinDecim to be judged. This is where the creators use Quinn’s backstory and a game of pool to good use. Oculus will be a good antagonist for this show: he’s already on to Nona and it looks as though he is trying to maintain order within QuinDecim. Hopefully we will see more of him in future episodes.
Ginti and Mayu show back up and its great how the dynamic completely changes from serious to comedic right when the scene changes to his bar. Mayu’s carefree personality represents the emotional aspect these Arbiters lack and seeing Ginti fighting that is fantastic here.
A big question remains is how will Onna draw out any sort of emotion from Decim? From what I’ve seen I figure this is Nona’s objective and this episode throws at us this idea wonderfully.
The book Nona reads, Chavvot is similar to the device used to enhance the death games at their peak. I find it purposefully planned that Onna’s dream sequences correlating to Chavvot might be some indication that we will be seeing her past and what her judgment will be later on. A good way to wrap up her story and bring out Nona’s objective through Decim: quickly closing up the series.
This episode got me really thinking about inventive horror considering how good it mixes this genre with comedy. I never talk about live-action films on here but I just recently watched the American film “The Voices” starring Ryan Reynolds– it’s an oddball film about a man persuaded by his talking cat to kill people not to mention his dog’s reluctance to the overall situation that’s been placed on him. Amazing performance by Reynolds and it plays off at times as this well-written romance using a lovable guy stuck with unfortunate circumstances. There’s a musical scene at one point. It’s nice to see two different cultures handle similar styles by crossing genres and has me wondering if this director could handle a live-action work even better than an animated one. How about a series where these two mediums cross similar to “Roger Rabbit with a bit of Paranoia Agent and Death Note in the mix? Studio Duame [Shiki] could pull this off wonderfully.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8/10