Deca-Dence #06 – Radiator

Hi everyone!

Welcome to Anime Asterisk! Today, I will be reviewing Deca-Dence Episode 6: Radiator.

Episode Recap

So where we last left off,  Kaburagi managed to beat Gadoll Alpha by accessing his limiter release mode, changing the game’s planned outcome. As a result, Kaburagi got in trouble with the head administration and was last seen being knocked out by Hugin’s pet, Mugin. As he lies unconscious, Kaburagi has a nightmare of Natsume getting killed in a battle as his physical body gets sealed away. 

A little while later, Kaburagi wakes and notices Hugin in front of him. Leading Kaburagi to realize that he has been forcibly logged out. Irritated, Hugin tells Kaburagi that he has caused a lot of trouble for everyone on the staff.  Worried, Kaburagi asks what has happened to the Deca-Dence. But Hugin informs him that it is none of his business and remarks that he should be more concerned for himself.

Defiant, Kaburagi remarks that he doesn’t regret his actions and sarcastically tells Hugin that his world didn’t appeal to him. Smirking, Hugin remarks that while he would like nothing better than to scrap Kaburagi, the upper brass has different ideas about him. Picking Kaburagi up, Hugin announces that he is to be sent to the Bug Correctional Facility instead. Confused, Kaburagi asks how this could happen, leading Hugin to speculate that somebody may have pulled some string to spare him, Hugin then tells Kaburagi to repent for his actions as he tosses Kaburagi down into a sphere  that transports him to the facility.

A short while later, Kaburagi wakes up and discovers himself handcuffed and lying on a conveyor belt with other cyborgs. A announcement.then sounds welcoming everyone to the facility. The announcer then informs everyone that they will be undergoing an examination and given special Oxyone. The exam is far from pleasant. Seeing the other prisoners get tortured, Kaburagi tries to make a break for it. But he gets caught, injected with the special Oxyone and electrocuted during the scan. Knocking Kaburagi out once again.

A few minutes later, Kaburagi regains consciousness and finds himself in a large room. As the prisoners wonder what is going one, another Hugin-type cyborg appears. The Hugin-type cyborg informs the group that their job is to sweep up Gadoll feces and dump them in the nearby vat. Upset, the prisoners naturally start complaining. But the Hugin-type cyborg ignores them and  continues to explain the purpose of the facility. As the prisoners continue raging, one of the prisoners tries to talk with Kaburagi. However before the prisoner can walk over to Kaburagi, he gets crushed under a pile of newly fallen sludge. Watching the display, the Hugin-type cyborg  explains that the sludge will fall after the buzzer.

Angry, the prisoners point out that the buzzer came after the prisoner was hit. But the Hugin type cyborg ignores them and warns them to do their best not to get crushed by the sludge. The Hugin-type cyborg then informs the group that those who are deemed incapable of correction will be scrapped and leaves. During the first day of work, Kaburagi gets hit in the face with sludge. Despairing, Kaburagi plays an audio track of Natsume’s declaration to never give up to cheer himself up. 

A few days later, Kaburagi befriends another inmate named Sarkozy (CV: Yūji Ueda). Curious, Sarkozy asks why Kaburagi is working so hard, when he is probably never going to get released. Kaburagi declares that he will get released. However, Sarkozy digresses and explains that nobody is ever released from the prison. Sarkozy further warns that Kaburagi that he shouldn’t try escaping either as the correctional facility is located beneath a lake. Suddenly, the two are approached by another inmate who asks Sarkozy for a drink. Pulling a tap from his body, Sarkozy pours the cyborg a drink. As the cyborg walks away, Sarkozy turns to Kaburagi and explains that the drink is his own specially brewed Oxyone. Offering Kaburagi a drink,  Sarkozy tells Kaburagi that he should get used to life here..  

A month later, Sarkozy offers Kaburagi another drink. Taking the opportunity, Sarkozy asks why Kaburagi is able to try so hard. Kaburagi explains that he is just pushing himself to his limits and adds that he doesn’t want a certain Tanker girl to get mad at him. Flustered, Sarkozy replies that it is too late for him to push his limits. Kaburagi digresses and replies that they have plenty of time to do that. But worries that Natsume might be dead. Sarkozy replies that Natsume is still alive because the Gadoll haven’t been attacking lately.  Relieved, Kaburagi asks where Sarkozy got that information and Sarkozy explains that there are some inmates who can illegally log in to game at the facility.

Meanwhile in the Gadoll production room, scientists are busy creating Gadoll. Another scientist then enters the room and informs the leader that they have permission to start releasing Gadoll into the field. Getting excited, the lead scientist starts attacking his pet Gadoll. In Deca-Dence, a worried Natsume wonders aloud where Kaburagi has gone. Kurenai thne approaches her and takes Pipe. Petting Pipe, Kurenai asks if Natsume has found Kaburagi yet.  Noticing the worried look on Natsume’s face, Kurenai asks if she is alright. Natsume cheerfully declares that she is certain that Kaburagi will come back soon.

The next day, an intrigued Kaburagi asks Sarkozy to lead him to the bugs logging into the game. Sarkozy warns him that the guys in the gang are strong enough to frighten the guards. But Kaburagi replies that he can handle them. Sarkozy tries to protest further, but Kaburagi demands to meet them. Giving in, Sarkozy leads Kaburagi to a hidden room, where the gang led by Donatello and Turkey is waiting for them. Greeting their former teammate, Donatello and Turkey lash out at Kaburagi for getting them in this mess. Donatello rudely asks what Kaburagi wants and Kaburagi explains that he wants to use their machine to log in to Deca-Dence.

Lighting a smoke, Donatello explains that he is still mad at Kaburagi for obeying the system and becoming an armor repairer. Kaburagi rebuts that he is no longer an armor repairer, but a bug now.  Another cyborg named Jill (CV: Michiyo Murase) then interrupts the pair and asks why Kaburagi wants to use their system. Kaburagi explains that he wants to see a certain Tanker girl. Laughing, Donatello replies that if he wants to do that, then he has to prove himself first. A few minutes later, Donatello leads Kaburagi to the vat and challenges him to “Death Dive,” a life or death battle over the vat. Although Kaburagi has difficulties at first, he finally manages to beat  Donatello and saves him from falling into the vat.

Back on the ground, a coughing Donatello asks why Kaburagi saved him and Kaburagi replies that he felt Mikey would have done the same thing. Suddenly, a furious Turkey runs up and tries to kill Kaburagi. But Donatello stops him before he can do any damage to Kaburagi. The gang then make up. Admitting his loss, Donatello and the rest of the gang lead Kaburagi to the login chamber. Once inside,  Jill explains the rules to Kaburagi as he steps onto the login stand. The final scene shows, Jill logging Kaburagi in.

Impressions

So we have finally come up to the prison arc! Overall, I’m not really surprised that Kaburagi was spared. Seeing as there is no real point in having a lead characters being killed off at this stage in the anime.  Though I was more worried that Hugin would try to torture Kaburagi for info about Natsume. I also have a sneaking suspicion that Minato was the one who saved Kaburagi from being scrapped. Which is good as it means that the system is flexible to some extent. Especially if they allow cyborgs to pull strings and make deals with it.
 
I’m also rather surprised that the cyborgs in this world have a sense of smell. The fact that their parts are developed enough to be able  to smell means that either the cyborgs are more human than we think or that cyborg parts are really that advanced. We also got full confirmation that the Solid Quake Corporation are the ones creating the Gadoll. Seeing how they are made is quite interesting, though I’m not really sure what that purple goop is. I also hate how that scientist abuses that cute little  seahorse Gadoll too.
 
Seeing Donatello and Turkey again was also a nice surprise. At first, I had assumed that both of them had been released from the facility and that Donatello was now operating Dotkin. Though considering the corrupt nature of the system, this scenario wasn’t entirely unexpected. Dotkin also had a similar appearance and voice to Donatello’s original avatar and seemed to know Minato personally. So I guess the latter part of my theory can still be true if Donatello was operating Dotkin as an illegal user.  Though it is also likely that Dotkin may be controlled by another avatar too.
 
Additionally, I’m elated that Kaburagi managed to make up with his former teammates and was able to come to terms with his past a little. The fact that Kaburagi was able to confront his former teammates is proof that Kaburagi has grown since meeting Natsume. As before the old Kaburagi would have just accepted the system’s decisions and never questioned his orders. However, now, Kaburagi has become more stronger and independent. He is acting on his own desires and taking the initiative to do whatever he wants. No longer a cog in the system. 
 
Kaburagi’s relationship with Natsume has also become more endearing. To Kaburagi, Natsume is his savior. She is very important to him and he is devoted to protecting her. While Natsume constantly worries about him now that he has gone. For fans of the show, their relationship can be seen as either romantic or platonic. But it  is still great in either case. Though I would personally love it, if these two became a couple. Furthermore, considering the ending, I hope Kaburagi will be able to meet up with Natsume. I also wonder if she will recognize him in his new avatar body.

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