Having watched five episodes of Deca-Dence, I have some thoughts I’d like to share. There’s obviously a load of mystery and misdirection going on here, but I dare say it’s using this to literally lie to our faces.
What’s going on?
I know, I just posted my review of episode five yesterday, but I schedule posts and since I wrote it I’ve had some time to think about what’s going on. It’s no secret that I was a little put out by how much it revealed so early in the season and in a way that it was revealed to the audience and not the protagonist, Natsume. I’ve probably spent way too long thinking about it, but then that’s something I enjoy doing. I like to look at how the stories are put together and try to spot the clues to what’s really going on. Basically, I think I may have stumbled onto a couple of theories that I’m going to lay out before the next episode airs. As you may imagine, there will be spoilers… well, they might be! We just don’t know yet, but I feel it’s best to warn you now.
What do we know?
One of the very first things we witness in Deca-Dence is Natsume’s father looking through some old buildings and finding something peculiar. He even flat out says that there’s something that’s not quite as it seems. I felt that was a little on the nose, but now I’m wondering if this was intentional. Things progressed through the first episode where we learnt a little more about the world from the perspective of the humans, known as Tankers. As far as they know they are constantly under attack by creatures known as Gadoll and the only way to fight back is through the Gears, a warrior class that coexists with the humans. They are stronger and faster than humans.
The first episode ended with a glimpse of a strange and colourful world with cheery messages informing the inhabitants on what to do. Could this be the mystery Natsume’s father was hinting at? I think that’s what they want us to think! We’ve been set up to look for a mystery and then they’ve given it to us. The second episode opened with a clear statement about the world and how most of humanity was gone and the last remnants existed inside Deca-Dence. The Gears are actually avatars that cyborgs use to fight the Gadoll in what can only be described as a game. Wow, that’s great, mystery solved… or is it?
After that big reveal, the series returned to focusing on Natsume and watching her develop to become a fighter and get recruited into the human part of the Gears – The Power. We get to see Kaburagi trying to watch over Natsume as she is a bug in the system, even though it’s his job to find the bugs and eliminate them. Several times he tried to reveal what the world really is, but stops himself.
Finally, Natsume goes on a mission to find the Gadoll nest and end the fighting once and for all. It’s a lie, of course, as this is just another mission within the game in which most of the low-level Gears will be killed, including the Power. Kaburagi is determined to save Natsume and ends up defeating the undefeatable Gadoll and upsetting the event. This causes a new and even more terrifying Gadoll to appear, no doubt with the task of destroying Deca-Dence so that the game can be reset. Kabuargi, however, finds a weak spot from when the Gadoll wasn’t finished being created which then gives Deca-Dence a chance to use its main weapon.
With the battle over, Natsume and Kaburagi look over the world. She’s excited to see what life has to offer, but Kaburagi knows better. A wave of light flashes overhead and then across the land. Once it has passed, the land is swarming with Gadoll once more. The Gears aren’t surprised that there is another level, Natsume is distraught. Kaburagi slipped off and was potentially killed by the administrator as punishment for messing with the game.
What I think is really going on?
I’ve already alluded to the idea that the real mystery hasn’t yet been revealed and I maintain that idea. We’re supposed to believe that this is the continental mass of Eurasia and that it exists within a protective bubble. It’s a large manufactured game and the endangered species, humans are a part of the game. I think they’re lying to us. I also think they’re lying to the cyborgs… At least that would explain why we keeping getting these little documentary-style information dumps.
This leads me to believe that this isn’t the real world and is just a digital version of it, much like the Matrix or a VRMMO. The way the level reset itself with the Gadoll just appearing would also support this idea. So, if the world is fake, I also think the cyborgs are fake. Or not so much fake, but they are the actual humans. They just don’t know it yet! What about the Tankers then? Well, I’m glad you ask. I think the Tankers are AI. They are the NPC characters in this virtual game and they also don’t know. The whole thing is a virtual simulation and everyone is being taken for a ride. This would also explain the chips and how Natsume didn’t die when the system thought she had.
The real question is why? This all seems rather elaborate, but I like the idea from the Matrix where humans couldn’t exist in a perfect world as it would cause them to reject it and wake up. Just like me with this story, humans are always looking for answers. Sometimes, we’ll even create new questions just so we have something to discover. So, basically everything is flipped, nothing is real, and they’ve used a pretty simple trick to feed us a lie and we’ve accepted it without any resistance because of the way it was delivered.
If I’m right, then this is a very clever and deviously calculated storyline. I hope I am, and not just for the bragging rights, but because I love it when a story really commits to an idea. Of course, there is a chance that I’m wrong. If that’s the case, then I’ve just about plotted out some excellent ideas for a potential story of my own. I can’t really complain either way. It’s also been a lot of fun trying to get to the bottom of what’s going on. I also think that this would help explain the unnatural appearance of the cyborgs. They are basically avatars for the humans, who then take on human avatar forms to fight against manufactured monsters for fun. Now, it’s starting to sound like Inception. It’s an avatar in an avatar, but what if we’re just avatars too!
Anyhow, thanks for reading. I can’t believe you made it this far. I hope you’ve enjoyed the ramblings of a mad man and will look forward to finding out if I got any of it right.
Other posts in the series
- Season One
- Bonus Posts