“The Light of Dawn”
I have to say it, this ending just popped off. There were some pretty cool shots here and there, and that ending made me a little bit emotional, kinda reminded me of the ending to Digimon Tamers where everyone had to say goodbye, of course, they had to throw in that little bit at the end. Where Tris foretells the cast that more adventures are in store for the future. This is a good thing, although, with the poor reception this series received from fans, currently it holding a 5.9 score on MAL and 52% on Anilist. So I find it difficult, production-wise, to justify a second season. However, what we got in this maybe short-lived first season, was spectacular in some cases, and mid-tier in others. The animation for fights scenes was incredible, the choreography and camera work are also meant for praise. As we saw in this season finale, the fight lasted almost the whole episode, and when Oda pulled that final blow, the explosion was satisfactory and had that necessary punch. But character interactions and expressions could have used some work. Among some faults with its writing. It was way too loose, with its script. I’m all up for soft magic systems, they have their own benefits when writing a story. But this was something else.
I’ll get it out of the way, the fact Oda came back from the brink of death, just because his brother decided to give Oda his Astral Body so that they could fight the monster. Was weird, to say the least. And then when Tris went off to the game island, to retrieve what I’m presuming the rest of the cast from the game so that they could give Oda their Astral Body and defeat Chutulu. I mean seriously? It lost all meaning. And it felt like they were trying to pull on our heartstrings just so that they could pull a cliffhanger on the last episode. It felt cheap. Even though I didn’t want Oda to die, the writing is still sloppy. So to defeat the monster, Tris gathers everyone and through the power of friendship, they manage to help Oda defeat the chainsaw Chutulu. Oda didn’t even know any of these people. Viewers who did not play the game probably have no idea who any of those characters are. It doesn’t connect. Because there’s not a global version of the game people outside of Japan can play. A more impactful friendship power moment would have been if somehow the players powered up Oda, of course through plot devices. Although a live segment where people had to tap on their phones to power up Oda, and depending on if a certain level of taps is reached, it determines the fate of Oda, that would also have been really cool. I imagine the whole country tapping their phones as they watch this premiere, and screaming at their TVs for or with Oda. But I digress.
I suppose this ending was more impactful if you actually played the game and knew the names of all of these people who appeared almost last second, but for everyone else, I suppose it feels cheap and like an empty promise. Nevertheless, I see it as a little weird to export this anime when the game was so closely tied to it. And people who had an interest in checking out this game, probably will lose it and forget about this anime after a couple of months. Unlike D4DJ where the songs depend largely upon IP recognition. And a soft anime about cute girls doing cute things, D_Cide is largely dependant on the story tie-ins. Something that can’t be experienced months later after the anime has aired. Sure you can watch the anime as you play the game, but it depends solely on the player wanting to do that. But that is just one of the many things that are wrong with this series. The fact it’s full CGi will also deter other people from watching it. The thing is, D_Cide can’t be claimed as a stand-alone product, it has such close ties to the game, it’s impossible to ignore. Besides, I peeped some gameplay footage on youtube, and it’s turned-based with auto-fill attacks, I already played Xenoblade Chronicles, thanks. This trend of having games with fill attacks and auto-battle on mobile is a little frustrating, I will always be against taking partial control taken away from the player. Don’t get me wrong I like turn-based RPGs, but at least those have some non-linear exploration. For example, I’m recently playing FF7 on my Vita. Yes, I’m talking about the original one for PS1. That game at least lets you figure out the story through exploration, you get to discover the fantasy, and where to go next. I make this comparison because I’m seeing this trend of mobile games filling out their content, asking players to grind it out like the days of yore. (I’m looking at you, Nier)
And now I’m not even talking about the season finale of D_Cide. But I maunder.
Basically don’t pretend you want to give control to the player, if your game needs turn-based battle, craft a unique battle system that uses those mechanics. But hey, at this point I’m probably the old man who yells at cloud meme.
D_Cide was good in some parts, and other’s not so much, it tried to be progressive with its story, so much so that I even see some remnants of a Rena and Eri more than friendship relationship, and there’s the fact Oda got a love letter from another boy! But that was just thrown out the window, much like any actual buildup or emotional connection to the bad guys. The show spends so much time trying to make us like the main cast it largely forgets the evil dudes also have to be human in order for people to emphasize with them, for any other reason besides they’re just evil. Why did the church want to bring back Chutulu, what was the larger purpose? None of these questions were even explored in the anime and that’s what makes it dull. Sure Murase could be considered one of the bad guy’s but once again my argument stands, they up and largely forgot about him as well, until it was time to reveal he was one of the bad dudes.
What can I say, it is what it is. Some misses, some hits, but not a single home run.