Anime Best in Show

Review: Darwin’s Game Episode 9 Best in Show

Quick Summary

In Darwin’s Game episode 9, “Heads Up,” Kaname Sudou found himself in a duel with the stupidly powerful Alexei Bergenikov to prove that their two clans should be allies. But even as Kaname proved victorious, a new player arrived: the mysterious Xue Lan Liu, the number one player in Darwin’s Game. She was number one for good reason. Exerting seemingly little effort, she kidnapped Kaname. Can Shuka Karino, Ryuuji Maesaka, Rein Kashiwagi, and Sui hope to find where Xue Lan has taken him? And even if they do, what can all of them (even combined) do against the number one ranked player in all of Darwin’s Game?

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

Best Moment in the Show

Kaname made Xue Lan promise that if she was going to betray the clan, she’d betray him first. Not sure that Kaname has read about the judgement of Paris… Capture from the Funimation stream.

This is my favorite episode so far. I like what they’re doing with Kaname in particular, but Shuka’s proven that she’s not someone to be trifled with. In fact, if I had to face either Shuka or Xue Lan in a fight, I’m not sure which would be more lethal.

I’d probably be dead either way!

So it might be a good idea to avoid any conflict with both of them… Though this episode did answer the question of whether or not Shuka really liked Kaname or was just playing around.

My favorite moment came after the best fight scene in the series — so far. Xue Lan had kidnapped Kaname. She recognized that he had a particular personality type, and it’s a type that played a role in my first favorite moment for the series back in episode one. Basically, he shines brightest when the gun is closest to his forehead. To Xue Lan, that means he’d be a perfect addition to her family of assassins. She went so far as to offer to conceive a child with him to genetically fix their traits (11:45). I had to admire her dedication to her cause, even while I mourned the necessity.

Is it just me, or does she make a compelling argument? Capture from the Funimation stream.

Shuka and the rest of Kaname’s clan, who had apparently decided on the name Sunset Ravens (and the various reasons for the choice were this close to being my Best in Show moment!), came to Kaname’s rescue, and his quick thinking kicked off a challenge between the two clans. The fighting was fantastic; I’ve never seen Shuka fight with such ferocity or skill. Very, very cool stuff.

But in the end, because of Sunset Ravens’ teamwork and strength, they fought Xue Lan to a standstill. Her driver Ximing, who I don’t think is just her butler, convinced her it was time to make allies, and she agreed to join the Sunset Ravens.

Kaname, however, continued to show good sense, as well as his emerging leadership skills. He had a feeling he can trust Xue Lan to keep her promises, so he imposed one condition on her entry into his clan. He asked her if she would promise that “If you ever decide to betray the clan, betray me first” (21:05). She accepted. And now his clan has not only Shuka, who was universally recognized as a badass. It also has the number one ranked player in the game.

Not bad for a day’s work. Now if they can just keep Xue Lan from murdering them all in their sleep, Kaname first…

What did you think of the fight scenes in this episode? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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