Anime Best in Show

Review: Darwin’s Game Episode 2 Best in Show

Quick Summary

In Darwin’s Game episode 2, “Gemstone Mine,” Shuka Karino gave Kaname Sudou some much-needed context about why she had asked him to start a family with her. Kaname, not wanting to be hunted down and killed before he can understand even the Darwin Game’s fundamental rules, teamed up with Shuka, and they went on their first mission: shopping for clothes. Or is that Shuka’s real intent? Why is Inukai so interested in tracking down Kaname? How does Inukai’s information broker know so much? And what’s this about a treasure hunt?

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

Best Moment in the Show

This series better be careful! It’s starting to get my hopes up that these might be interesting and dynamic characters! Capture from the Funimation stream.

I haven’t read the manga, and I’ve only seen this and the first (double length) episode. So, I might be about to set myself up to look pretty stupid. But I’m beginning to think this show has a lot better handle on characters than I hoped it would.

Maybe it’s all about expectations. This genre hasn’t amazed viewers (okay, me — but it sounds more expansive if I saw “viewers”) in the last few years, so my expectations were pretty low. Remember The Lost Village?

Shuka, though, seems to be way more devious than she acts. It makes sense. She was the Undefeated Queen until recently, so you’d think she’s got skills. I was a little afraid they’d present her as little more than Kaname’s puppet or worse after she surrendered to him, but this episode gave me hope.

As my Best in Show moment, I could point to her explaining what she meant by “make a family with me” in the previous episode. She’d meant a game clan. You could tell by her expression that she was totally messing with Kaname. Or I could point to how she playfully asked him to take her on a date, when her real goal was to conduct reconnaissance on the upcoming event’s theater of operation. I’m not saying she wasn’t enjoying the idea of a date. She seems to see something in Kaname that she likes. But she never forgot that they’re in a life and death game.

You can tell at a glance who’s in charge here. I can’t really tell if Kaname is cool with it or he doesn’t know. Capture from the Funimation stream.

My favorite moment, though, was when they were in the park. Shuka was standing on a bridge, looking at the pond, with her back to Kaname. He asked her why someone like her would willingly join this game.

She didn’t look startled. She didn’t dissemble. After considering him seriously for a moment (9:39), she told him he had to let “a beautiful girl like me-ow have her secrets!”

That not only continues to establish who’s really in leading this relationship (and Kaname doesn’t seem to mind it’s Shuka; either that, or he doesn’t know…). It also keeps me interested in the character. There’s some mystery here! I have something to look forward to learning.

And now that I have more confidence that Darwin’s Game can deliver, I’m excited!

What did you think of the encounters this week? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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