Anime Best in Show

Review: Darwin’s Game Episode 11 Best in Show

Quick Summary

In Darwin’s Game episode 11, “Sunset Ravens,” Kaname Sudou and Ryuuji Maesaka had been cornered by Wang’s clan. Even with Kaname’s unleashed inhibitions, how much of a chance do they really stand? They began to improve the odds a bit because Kaname tricked Wang into using an expected attack, which Shuka Karino parried. With Wang in pursuit, she outran him until he cornered her in the back of the warehouse. Wang’s minions were closing in on Kaname and Ryuuji. Wang had Shuka within his teleportation range. How will our heroes get out of this?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Best Moment in the Show

You know, I could almost hear Nelson from The Simpsons saying “Ha ha!” when Shuka pulled this look! Capture from the Funimation stream.

I know the series is really Kaname’s story, and I thought this episode really showcased his development as a character. To be honest, the series significantly exceeded my expectations as a character story. I thought Kaname showed strong development as a character and a leader.

But he wasn’t in my favorite moment in this episode. No, my favorite episode showcases my serious affection for strong female characters. And in this case, I don’t just mean emotionally or psychologically strong, though she’s all that. In this case, I mean physically strong — in fact, dominating. Of course, I’m talking about Shuka.

The series spent most of its run building up Wang as this almost unimaginably powerful character. Between his ability to teleport and his strength, he had built a gang of ruthless low-lifes who threatened to destroy not only their enemies, but law and order itself.

Shuka gave me several great moments, each topping the next as my favorite. At one point, Wang described in nauseating detail what he was going to do to Shuka and Kaname. It was the type of thing that had reduced his most powerful opponents to tears. But Shuka? She just walked around the corner in her elegant red dress, her manner completely composed, and said, “You’re one sick son of a bitch” (05:25). There not only wasn’t a trace of fear in her voice. There was a level of disdain that I thought was withering.

Shuka’s look of mystified disdain was not what Wang was expecting. Capture from the Funimation stream.

But that was only the warm up. It turns out that Shuka’s Sigil isn’t just about manipulating chains. It’s actually the ability to control anything that has a “string like” structure, and it has the amazingly cool name Queen of Thorns. She used it to string dozens of wires all around the area to which she’d lured Wang. First, she sliced off one of his legs at mid-calf. Then she strung him up in preparation to completely dismember him.

But he had a trump card to play. It was a tactic he was sure would give him victory despite his missing limb. He used his teleportation to exchange places with Shuka, leaving her tangled in her own wires. She even pretended to look shocked.

As he prepared to launch his attack, she giggled and said (10:30), “As if!”

She’d anticipated his move. Even though he’d changed places with her, she still held the controlling end of all of the wires. She she simply adjusted her hold and deprived him of the other leg.

Look, I’m usually not in favor of brutality. But if you have to bring violence, bring overwhelming violence. Don’t defeat a lethal enemy. Obliterate them. There’s no point in being half-hearted about it. Seeing Shuka, with all of her elegance and beauty and grace, so completely destroy the disgusting example of brutality that was Wang was the perfect way to climax that arc.

What did you think of Kaname’s development? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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4 thoughts on “Review: Darwin’s Game Episode 11 Best in Show

  1. A great end to a thoroughly enjoyable season. I’d agree that this one far exceeded my expectations too. Even after the first episode, I felt like it was going to good, but not this good. Bring on season two.

    1. “I felt like it was going to good, but not this good. Bring on season two.”

      The fact that it was Shuka who did the most damage to Wang was just perfect. She was so not impressed with his threats!

      I’m hoping for a season 2.

      1. She was calm and calculating and it was excellent. I think all the characters have been pretty decent and contributed in one way or another throughout the season.

        1. “I think all the characters have been pretty decent and contributed in one way or another throughout the season.”

          You know, I’ve read some reviews talking about how the character were unidimensional or archetypical, but I’m not seeing it. Now, they’re not at the complexity of Steins;Gate (which I’ve picked back up to discover I dropped it one episode because it got cool), but I was surprised at Kaname’s arc in particular.

          And I just like Shuka on principle.

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