「時を止める男」 (Toki o Tomeru Otoko)
“The Man Who Stops Time”
This episode certainly tried its best, but it was clear that the time loop mechanic was meant to save time on animation. Every single clip that was meant to represent the titular loop narrative was used over and over, with little to no disregard for changing anything about it. It was a little bit jarring to see. This show started strong, and now it’s losing steam over its own narrative. At this point, the second season of D4DJ would be better.
Nevertheless, this episode was a stuck in a time loop episode, meaning the whole episode revolved around the character’s being stuck in a time loop, and slowly but surely they realize they’re in one and start taking action towards defeating the dreamer. But in this case, the dreamer is so powerful, that once they deviate from the structured narrative, they have a heavy attack of the dizzy spell and can’t help but fall asleep. The next day, or should I say, the loop resets and everyone is back to doing what they were doing the day before.
When it comes to this type’s of stories, time loop stories that is, my personal opinion on what makes them interesting is that since Day 2 the characters start feeling some sort of Deja Vu and start to question their surroundings, it took 3 days for our D_Cide cast to realize that things were the same. I mean – that story Oda was telling about his dream would be a tall tale sign that they’re in a time loop, someone should have commented or said. You had that dream yesterday. But instead, they just chuck it all up to having this weird feeling and soon realize they’re inside the Traumerei. And instantly start looking for the dreamer. On the other hand, Tris, Aruto, and Jessica are outside the time loop and have to cause shenanigans so that they can get past the security guard at the front gate, thankfully after the Traumerei disappears they all forget about everything, so the safety guard can just chuck it all up to them having a bad dream, besides who is going to believe he saw a talking teddy bear. No one, that’s who.
Then a recycled monster appears, and they fight, breakfast club snapshot, the end! Like I said, more and more I feel the quality is draining down. Animations are starting to feel wonky, and jagged, and the plotlines are just getting more and more ridiculous. And the monsters are just canned, they’re literally using the same model for each dreamer, not even having the audacity to change it up a little bit. If they wanted to go with the Persona formula, they should at least have made each dreamer’s Traumerei monster special to reflect their personality. In this episode, they could be fighting a giant clock monster that manipulates times and makes them unable to hit them because he reverses their time, and they would have to walk backward or something so that they can get a hit in. But no such luck, instead more and more D_Cide shows its true colors and stumbles to create an interesting premise that will keep those who are not committed wholeheartedly to the studio, or Bushiroad for that matter.
But I can’t complain as it sort of manages to keep my attention for more than 10 seconds, but it was so overtly clear that they were going to go for the time loop thing, that I didn’t even have time to speculate what was going to happen this episode. There was no mystery, and they never tried to hide it. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad, it just means that the writing is getting lazy. Some aspects of this show might be new and fresh, while others feel stale and dated. I was sort of expecting a daily life episode, but instead, we got to see the character relieve the same day over and over, thinking nothing of it until finally Eri pointed it out and everyone else noticed. But with Oda’s sharp senses, I find it hard to believe that he would stoop down and conform, does he come to school late every day? Does he tell the same story every day? I don’t think so. Sometimes some actions feel out of character, the writers mold and twist their personalities to fit whatever the week’s plot is.
But that’s my burnout talking, as I’ve feeling finding myself with more dissolution to watch anime. Or at least my patience is running out for bad shows, as there seems to be a lot this season. D_Cide is somewhere in the middle, it’s not really bad, but I wonder if other’s feel that the washed-down plot is not enough to tickle their intellect. For me, it’s a perfect show to just turn your brain off, even though I was still able to predict its plot a mile away. It started strong that’s for sure, but the more it continues the more I see the cut corner, and well, this show needs creativity, in fact, it’s the perfect show to bring the quirky, the weird, and the horror full front, instead it’s playing it safe. This is a different story for the game, why not take full advantage? Maybe I’m asking too much.
Nevertheless, thanks for reading, sorry for being super salty about this episode, and I hope you come back next week with another episode of D_Cide Traumerei: The Animation, or well basically any other show RC is covering this season!