This recap contains major spoilers for the Deca-Dence episode “Turbo Charger.”

Where last week ended, “Turbo Charger” picks up almost immediately. If you’ve wanted Deca-Dence to pick up the pace just a bit, this is your episode. Revelations are made, character arcs are completed and the world of the series changes dramatically. 

When we last left Kaburagi and co., they were planning an assault on the Gadoll Factory. That assault, and the accompanying prison riot far below it, take up almost all of “Turbo Charger.” Two plots run in parallel here. The first is Kaburagi and Natsume’s assault on the factory, and the latter’s failure to understand what’s going on. The second is that of Turkey and Sark, whose arcs conclude here in dramatic fashion. The rest of the Bug prison population are here, too. Donatello and Jill in particular play major roles.

Jill (Deca-Dence, season 1 episode 9)

Donatello, looking a bit frightened (Deca-Dence, season 1 episode 9)

Granted Jill’s role is mostly to keep Donatello in line….

Debugger

Kaburagi and Natsume’s attack on the factory is to both activate a “kill switch” that will destroy all active Gadolls and to blow up the factory’s reactor to prevent more from being made. Their advance is actually fairly straightforward for the first part of the episode. It only becomes complicated when Hugin shows up to throw a wrench in things. Kaburagi gets a solid action showcase in this part of “Turbo Charger,” one of the best he’s gotten in the whole show. Jill employs some wonderful cyberpunk nonsense (something about “eye hacking”) to make holographic duplicates of Kaburagi. Hugin is distracted for long enough that by the time the factory starts flooding, Kaburagi can knock a hole in the wall, ensuring his and Natsume’s escape.

Hugin and Kaburagi fighting (Deca-Dence, season 1 episode 9)

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One could levy the complaint that this has, somewhere along the line, become Kaburagi’s show. It’s not an unreasonable idea. He’s the central character of this episode and several prior ones. Still, the episode’s end (more on that in a minute) seems to signal that the focus will shift back to Natsume for the finale.

Fuel

Meanwhile, in the prison first seen in “Radiator,” the jail’s populace begins a riot. It is, in fact, Turkey who leads said riot. Despite his claims later in “Turbo Charger” that he simply wants a pardon, he does seem to actively revel in his two-faced role as both the instigator of the uprising and the person who convinces Sarkozy to tip off the guards.

It’s Sark who has the surprising character turn in “Turbo Charger,” though. Initially it seemed like Sarkozy’s story might have a sad ending. In a way, it does. But after an entire episode of being kicked around (sometimes literally) by Turkey, Sarkozy is able to summon his inner courage. After Donatello gleefully takes out the prison guards’ reinforcements, he tosses Turkey in the fertilizer pit introduced back in “Radiator.” Turkey begs Sarkozy, dying from a lack of oxyone, to help him. Instead, Sarkozy, the poor craven drunk, mind you, lights himself on fire and leaps into the pit. It sends the whole thing up in flames, and that is in fact what destroys the factory’s reactor.

Sarkozy (Deca-Dence, season 1 episode 9)

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It’s a magnificent, if deeply bittersweet end to one of Deca-Dence‘s best second-string characters. “Turbo Charger” does a lot with a little throughout much of its run time. Even though the fight scenes that Donatello and (as aforementioned) Kaburagi get into are quite nice, the economy with which it’s able to both tie up old plot lines and spin off new ones is impressive.

Reactor

Which brings us to “Turbo Charger’s” closing moments. The factory’s generator is destroyed. The Gadoll kill switch is flipped. But something is still a bit amiss. Put yourself in Natsume’s shoes at the end of “Turbo Charger” for a moment. You were led to believe that you were going into some kind of nest to destroy a bunch of monsters. Instead, you’ve been taken to what is clearly some sort of ultra-high-tech factory. One that seems to be creating the monsters. Your mentor’s last words to you before he passes out from what you assume is pain are to tell you that everything in the entire world– her home, the monsters she’s spent her whole life training to fight, even his own body– are fake. Constructed by someone else for some specific purpose.

That’s quite a lot to hit a character, any character, with. It’s clear that on a deeper level it’s meant to speak to the cultural shock of learning why things are the way they are. But even on a more literal, narrative one, Natsume has just been hit with an absolute bomb. What’s worse, we have no idea how she’ll react. This is the last shot of the episode, a cliffhanger with the best of them.

Natsume at the end of "Turbo Charger" (Deca-Dence, season 1 episode 9)

Until next time, Deca-Dence fans.

Catch up on our Deca-Dence recaps here!

 

 

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