Darwin’s Game : Gemstone Mine

Episode 2

Jemusutōn Main” (渋谷ジェムストーンマイン)

Our newest killing game got off to a scary start but with two victories things will only get scarier for a guy who has now basically marked himself as a target.

I feel this episode did a lot to make the series feel a little less intimidating.

Most killing games I’ve watched end up feeling rushed. There has to be a investigation into who is doing it and why and most of them have ended up being pretty dull when you get to the end of it. This is because the only real reason you stick around is because of the hunt and usually the why is not as interesting to know.

Darwin’s Game kind of showed that this isn’t the way this series is going to be in the first episode but hammered it home in this one.

That is because it doesn’t need to be a killing game.

Well it does and it doesn’t.

As I said we saw it in the last episode with Shuka surrendering to Kaname meaning that death isn’t the only option to you, we also know that the matches are timed so the timer running out could easily mean that again if no one wins in the time limit neither die. This means that whilst knowing who is behind it and how they are doing it is interesting but it can also make more sense and even not be that important to the story itself.

In fact so far it isn’t really that important and I like that change. The only anime I can think of that I enjoyed watching that found out the “why” was Danganronpa, most others have built it up and never really delivered. Kaname doesn’t walk around the place feeling sorry for himself or wondering who has done this to him he gets proactive and because he is proactive we get some interesting fighting scenes between him and other people as well as getting to learn the basics of the game itself.

It also means that characters like Shuka are much more interesting because they are veterans of the game therefore have a  storied history playing it.

This episode made the game feel more like a game as well.

It has timed events, this episode ended with one where it teleport’s 300 people to a treasure hunt the goal being to find three rings and if you don’t then it is “Game Over”, it has the ability to buy your safety for a certain amount of time in some situations and it also has clans.

So we have a main character who doesn’t feel sorry for himself or walk around wondering who did this to him, not every fight is a fight to the death so we can see moral choices, dramatic fights and even friendships blossom but most importantly a mechanic that opens up the possibility of all sorts of shenanigans.

The clans seem to be pretty much at war, the events are skewered to not only make people fight to the death for their prizes but to thin out the crowd anyway and Shuka is a weirdo.

This show really has so much going for it and the possibilities of where it could go feel endless right now.

As you might have guessed though this episode just excited me because it made the series feel different. I might like to know why this game was invented and how it is implemented but I also like the fact that the characters are going to actually take part and we’ll actually get to know and care for some characters. Plus not always feeling in a state of dread helps as well as having some pretty chill moments like Shuka going shopping.

It proves that it can be a good killing game without going over kill with the killing part.

Plus Darwin is about the survival of the fittest and whilst that means the weak die out it does hint towards more of a survival thing then a Fortnite-esque game where your only goal is to blow the brains out of the next person. Survival means adapting and humans survived by joining together and protecting each other. It makes sense that it is as much about bringing people together to keep themselves safe as it is about defeating those around you who would do you harm.

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