The final episode of Deca-dence Kaburagi connects with the Deca-dence but is incapable of moving. Minato announces the final mission for the players, gather the parts of the Deca-dence. Excited by the mission a lot of cyborgs log in to participate. Kaburagi engages with the control system, claiming that he will change the world outside of the system. The system calls Hugin and Munin are “puppets that carry out the orders of the system.” The system claims that opposition is futile. As morning breaks, Kaburagi gains full control over the Deca-dence.
The Tankers refuel the old parts and form a new cannon. The mutated Gadoll prepares to fire its High-density oxyone energy, Kaburagi panics as Donatello flies towards the Gadoll, sacrificing his avatar. Kaburagi releases the limiters of the Deca-dence, firing the cannon destroying the Gadoll. The power released by the Deca-dence causes it to collapse, and Kaburagi shuts down. Natsume finds his body and tearfully thanks him for everything. The sight of a broken “dead” Kaburagi was shocking and sad. I thought it was important to see what Kaburagi’s sacrificed.
The future is bright
The episode flashforwards three years. Minato has become the new system administrator with Jill as his secretary. Deca-dence City is built from the ruins of the old one. Cyborgs, humans, and Gadoll live together in harmony, farming, and growing crops together. The core of the Deca-dence has been made into an “attraction area,” where they play the zero-gravity sport of “Core Ball.” Meanwhile, Donatello and Kurenai compete against each other in the Battle Arena. The most interesting development is that Gadoll has become friendly towards humanity. They’re now in a type of petting zoo, giving children rides. Natsume becomes a tour guide. Jill reveals that she reserved some of Kaburagi’s data, and she revives Kaburagi.
One of the central themes of Deca-Dence is “freedom from the system.” The series focuses on the humans and cyborgs being free in episode 11 of Deca-Dence a “free” Gadoll makes an appearance. The mutated crablike Gadoll lacks a “control chip” or “identification number,” and therefore isn’t within the system. Jill explains that the Gadoll “were not designed” to have “free will.” Hugin attempts to kill Natsume, but Karubagi kills him in his second avatar. The crew of the Deca-dence identifies the Gadoll as an “omega type,” and fire cannons at it. They have little effect bouncing off. The damage suffered by the tank has made a full charge impossible. Minato believes that they are running out of time. He orders that the cannon be ignited at 60%.
The Deca-dence launches the arm cannon but the Gadoll catches it. They’re unable to retract the arm before the Gadoll rips half of it off. The Gadoll then sends the Deca-dence flying back, damaging the movement systems. Meanwhile, the Gadoll evolves. While the defense team fires a Solid Cannon the Gadoll shoot its high-density oxyone energy blasts. The cyborgs begin to panic, as the Gadoll appears to fall asleep. Munin contacts Minato and the crew and thanks them for their hard work. They have decided to shut down the Deca-dence. The Deca-dence will be “reverted” with the omega Gadoll with spatial compression. Munin states that “only the system need be preserved to make recovery possible.” Minato accepts their fate, telling Kaburagi that “it’s over.”
Kaburagi takes over Deca-dence
However, Jill claims that someone can log in and use the Deca-dence as an avatar. As a former developer, Jill says that “their bodies are under the control of the system but their “cores” or minds are independent. If someone connects their core to the Deca-dence’s then they can gain control. Unsurprisingly, Kaburagi offers to do it, even though the Deca-dence is in terrible shape. Small Gadoll hatch from eggs and begin to crawl towards the Deca-dence. The Tankers including Natsume face off against the new Gadoll. Kaburagi enters the core room of the Deca-dence where Minato tries to stop him. Meanwhile, Natsume meets the cyborgs and is greeted by Jill. Minato ends up helping Kaburagi connect to the Deca-dence. Despite the potential failure and the threat, the new Gadoll creates, episode 11 of Deca-dence was hopeful.
This episode made the case against attempting to control everything or at least what that will likely cost. It has already been established how little regard the system has for the humans that populate Deca-dence, but Munin’s decision to “restart” shows that the system will always put itself first. The series seems to suggest with the introduction of the mutated Gadoll that those outside the system will not have a perfect existence. Deca-dence episode 11 does have a lot of new things to say, the series continues to maintain its strong storytelling.
In episode 7, Kaburagi decided that the system must be destroyed. The cyborgs decided that they will destroy the Gadoll factory. If they succeed, the game will fall apart as it requires the Gadoll. The factory is protected by a barrier that kills Tankers and instantly logs out Gears. The only way to get in is to be undetectable by the system. Natsume and Kaburagi are the only two that can accomplish this mission. First, they need to retrieve Kaburagi’s old avatar. Jill, Kaburagi, Donatello, Turkey, and Sarkozy trick Minato into revealing the location of the avatar.
So far Natsume has remained ignorant of the larger world that surrounds her. It thought it would take some convincing but I was certain that Kaburagi would be persuasive. I did not doubt that once Natsume realizes the danger Solid Quake possesses to humanity she will be willing to risk her life to stop them. With his old avatar back, Kaburagi gets Natsume on board. Meanwhile, Turkey tries to get Sarkozy to betray Donatello and Kaburagi.
Deca-Dence asks the question: Is order even necessary to prevent chaos? To some it is. However, others see “order” as oppression. Preventing them from being free. Order must dictate most aspects of their lives. From their perspective, chaos isn’t the likely outcome freedom is. The system is unjust, if it were then rebellion wouldn’t be necessary. The destruction of the system was always the logical conclusion of this series. However, Deca-Dence has already proven that the series isn’t predictable. I don’t expect that Natsume or Kaburagi will get what they’re hoping for.
Deca-Dence Episode 4, Transmission, begins with Kaburagi ordering Natsume to return to Deca-dence. She isn’t ready. However, Natsume is determined to battle and save Pipe. As she enters the fray, she is horrified by the violence. Natsume flees to regain her composure. She takes a deep breath and returns to battle. Natsume springs into battle, flying through the magnetic field, piercing Gadoll with spears. She gets noticed by the Gears in the surrounding area. Kurenai compliments her for the fight, and Natsume is understandably pleased to meet her idol. Kurenai welcomes her to The Power.
The largest battle in Deca-Dence history
The next “event” is the “Freezing Cold Snow Battle,” Kaburagi is told that the event is actually “impossible to clear.” Defeating an alpha Gadoll is considered impossible even for S-class Gears. Massive casualties are expected, particularly from A-Class and under. The plot of the story of the event features chosen heroes of which Kaburagi is chosen to be one. Mindy, Mundy, and Mendy are introduced to Natsume. At first glance, these three feel like red shirts. Later, Kaburagi warns Natsume that the upcoming battle isn’t for a Gear of her level. He tells her that “it’s won’t succeed, and peace will never come.” Natsume refuses to give up and Kaburagi sabotages her equipment. However, her motivation hasn’t disappeared and she joins the crew.
The battle begins
Natsume and her squad head out into the blizzard. Natsume isn’t taking the upcoming fight seriously. The S Rankers dominate the battle, as they notice that a lot of lower ranked gears are dying. As Natsume’s squad arrives at the location of the alpha, they witness the results of a massacre. The Gadoll alpha spots them and they charge. The squad quickly notice that the alpha is attacking the tanks. Enraged, Natsume rushes in and is saved by one of the tankers. She takes on the alpha alone, she manages to stab it with a needle. However, the alpha removes the needle and heals. Before it can hit Natsume with her needle, Kaburagi arrives.
He pierces the alpha with two needles, forcing the Gadoll to use a smokescreen shrouding its position. Kaburagi pulls Natsume out of the zone and tells her to abandon her squadmates. Kaburagi’s negativity is once again in contrast with Natsume’s hope. After the tankers sacrifice on her behalf, she’s motivated to “push herself to the limits.” Kaburagi battles the alpha while Natsume escapes with her squad. Kaburagi begins to break his limit but is warned that if he kills the Gadoll it will “affect the storyline.” In a stunning show of skill, Kaburagi kills the alpha. As the fog lifts, the nest is revealed.
The death of Kaburagi
However, a massive Gadoll appears. Kaburagi had made the situation worse by breaking the rules and now must be punished by the system. Meanwhile, the Gadoll displays its powerful pressure beam. Kaburagi notices that the Gadoll is “unfinished.” He charges in and attacks, distracting the Gadoll in the process. The Deca-dence Cannon lands the finishing blow. Just when we expect a peaceful ending, several massive Gadoll arrives. Natsume collapses at the impossible situation they find themselves in. Natsume and Kaburagi switch worldviews, with the former feeling helpless while the later hopes for the future. Finally, Kaburagi meets with Hugin who demands Kaburagi repeat the words “There is no place for bugs in this world.” Instead, Kaburagi says “Bugs are needed.”
Hugin appears to kill Kaburagi with a laser beam. Deca-dence continues to surprise. Kaburagi’s change of heart was predictable, but his apparent demise wasn’t. However, is it real? His Cyborg body wasn’t destroyed. I predict that he hasn’t officially been killed yet. This episode does highlight the differences between the Gears and Tankers. It would seem reasonable that there would be a sense of comradery among them. However, the Gears seem to look down on them so much so that they don’t even value their lives. This dynamic could become toxic. Finally, Natsume has changed her perspective and has become more negative. I doubt this change will be permanent but what will it cost her short term?
Deca-Dence Episode 3 opens with Kaburagi reviewing the moment Natsume “dies” and her chip malfunctions. Kaburagi throws her into the deep end. They practice on a Gadoll called Spoonwormer’s. Small and pink, the Spoonwormer is fairly weak. Kaburagi gives a tutorial that both educates Natsume and the audience. He explains that it’s important to force the Gadoll to activate their zone. The Gadoll appears to do this instinctively. Within this zone, a magnetic field is generated, making gravity unstable. The round tank lets he wearer see waves. The goggles permit Gears to see Arteries of the Gadoll, which carries oxyone.
Oxyone is the main source of energy that powers Deca-dence. It fuels almost everything, including the attacking and riding of the Gears. The tank automatically fills with oxyone. Killing mid-size Gadoll requires bleeding them out. Natsume doesn’t take to battle the way you might expect the main character. However, she has another limitation, her arm.
It’s not your weakness it’s your strength
Natsume’s arm features only three “fingers” making gripping difficult. This is especially problematic when trying to use the regulator lever, that’s used to adjust oxyone usage. Despite the difficulty, she refuses to give up. Kaburagi takes her to a weapons store. He creates a new artificial arm for her that has five fingers, a hose valve, and a compressor. Natsume will be able to use needles with. While returning home the Gadoll attack, destroying the ground. Natsume and Kaburagi rush after Pipe. Meanwhile, the Gears prepare for battle.
After episode 2, I wondered what Deca-Dence would focus on. I didn’t expect more surprises but was curious about how they would respond. This episode focused on Natsume’s training while explaining the world more. We learn how humanity lost its way, how difficult battling Gadoll is, and Kaburagi’s tendency to save “bugs (Natsume and Pipe).” This behavior is going to become a problem for him in the future. In the meantime, Natsume will get a chance to fight for real.