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Deca-dence (2020, Nut Studio)

Anime Reviews

Deca-dence (2020, Nut Studio)

Beings known as "Gadoll" suddenly appeared wiping out most of mankind. In an effort to survive the mobile fortress Deca-Dence was built by soldiers known as "Gear" who serve The Power corporation, doing their best to fight them off and survive.

One day, Natsume's father and his team set out on another expedition to explore the world convinced there were secrets about the world they didn't know about. Natsume had sneaked along and not expecting to run into Gadolls, her father is killed and she loses her arm. She does her best to work as a Tanker, people who supported the Gears, hoping she would be approved as a Gear one day so that she could become stronger. While carrying out her duties, she meets Kaburagi and soon learns he is an ex-Gear. Natsume's wish to become a Gear was ever closer now but also the truth behind the world they lived in.

Promo art caught my attention on this one. It's quite heavy on lore as it wastes no time in giving you a lesson (literally) on the world setting during its first episode. It even leaves the opening animation out which usually ends up a bit of a spoiler in itself hinting at certain events.

It feels kind of like Iron Fortress Kabaneri early on, another post apocalypse show but with something else instead of the zombies and the fortress is a lot bigger too which is more like a mobile town compared to the train.

Direction is quick and fun setting a good pace for such a short original show. Scenes transition quickly but also smoothly. Just when you think you've settled down with all the details it just flips everything over although it does give you some subtle hints.

Natsume is your familiar cheery girl full of energy and is full of expressions. Nothing seems to get her down and seems to be the kind of person that would brighten up someone's day. Just Natsume alone is entertaining enough never mind watching her grow along with Kabu. It gives enough screen time to the supporting characters to give it a good build up and wraps it all up well at the end of the show too.

It kind of has a Trigger vibe to its direction and presentation even though this new animation studio was founded by a producer from Madhouse. It's an action comedy, sci-fi show where character names are printed in big bold font, comical expressions, strange tech, silly creature designs and overly-enthusiastic characters. The only thing it doesn't have from a Trigger show is the sensual fan service.

Art work looks good even though the creature designs aren't all that detailed. At least when it's in "detailed mode" anyway. I guess it gives you a clear distinction between the characters in the show other than just saving time on detail but, it still kind of puts me off as the aesthetics feel like it's going from a serious POV to a early morning kid's comedy show. On the other hand, I guess it's similar to Mob Psycho and that's a good show too.

Other the other hand backround art by Chiptune and Nara Animation look good enough to pause and admire (you can check out a lot of it on the official site). Eye catch art is particularly detailed. It has great theme songs too; OP is high tempo enough to get you psyched up for the episode and the ED "Kioku no Hakobune [Ark of Memories]" is by one of my favourite artists Kashitaro. While I don't recognise any big name voice actors; most are fairly new to the scene but the Japanese voices seem spot on and deliver their characters really well.

It's good as long as you don't mind the "simplified mode" aesthetics side of it which put me off a bit but the overall story and direction more than makes up for it. It's got an interesting plot to keep you watching and has many good moments. There's more than meets the eye and all the pieces just fit together so well in the end. First two episodes alone will get you hooked otherwise it's probably not for you.

If you enjoy Trigger shows that are filled with enthusiasm and energy you'll probably enjoy this sci-fi, action comedy (but without the fan service). If Chika alone is worth watching Kaguya-sama then it would be Natsume for this show.


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