Is Deep Insanity the Worst Anime of the Fall 2021 Season?

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Deep Insanity: The Lost Child Episode 10, "take 10," now streaming on Funimation.

Deep Insanity: The Lost Child has been a turbulent ride since the series premiere, but unless the show pulls an incredible ending out of nowhere for the final few episodes, it may take the prize for the worst anime of the Fall 2021 season.

The most frustrating thing about Deep Insanity is not that it was bad, but that the potential to be good was constantly wasted as the show flopped between an action/adventure disaster and something quite enjoyable. The first episode was not a promising start but the show immediately managed to completely turn things around in Episode 2. It shifted from Daniel Shigure shooting up poorly-done CGI monsters in the world of Asylum, to meeting all the other characters of Daniel's squad, strengthening their bonds, and building a diverse, enjoyable cast.

The world of Asylum slowly opened up into something mysterious and beautiful as the introduction of Exiles made the moral implications of exploring Asylum far more complex. There was a real chance there for the squad to become caught in a net of international politics and corporate scheming that would have sent them into deeper depths of the underworld. Instead, the show backtracked in the worst way to become merely confusing and boring.

deep insanity

The main issues with Deep Insanity at this point lie with Commander Vera Rustamova and the villainous Hayden. The show seems to delight in not explaining anything to the audience in a way that leaves us not with suspense but with simply confusion. Vera is able to travel back through time and has done this many times thus far. How she became a time traveler is a mystery, but at least Leslie Blanc was able to figure out her secret after many repetitions at her side. Hayden, on the other hand, gives the situation consideration and decides that the fact Vera was close to Leslie must obviously mean time travel.

Hayden himself is a continuity disaster. His ability to come and go from Asylum as he sees fit when the facility is supposedly locked down has only recently been explained by his partner Nadia using her hacking skills. These go along with her piloting skills in a place with no airflow and the apparent ability to lift Exiles up out of Asylum and send them after Daniel and the crew in the halls of the headquarters. Hayden is a complete wild card who could be capable of anything without any explanation.

By this time in the anime, some sort of endgame should also be apparent. The goal of assassinating the Exile child El-Cee has been in the works for a while, but why she has to die has never been explained to the squad, and therefore, not to the audience either. An unnamed villain wants to 'fuse' with her, but none of this has been explained even in passing. As the questions pile up, the show forgets what once mattered at all. Randolph Syndrome was once a serious question, but apparently, the disease seeping up out of Asylum has stopped mattering.

Deep Insanity: The Lost Child

One of the best parts of the series so far was when the four Sleeper agents got together for a drink and were able to be chatty and the focus of the story for just a few moments. The cast truly does have good chemistry and a show that had utilized that better could have been much stronger overall.

While it would be fantastic to see Deep Insanity pull it together for the last two episodes, given the number of questions left unanswered and the likelihood that any final confrontation will be Vera using her impressive scythe skills to save the day, the most we can hope for is that the squad makes it out alive and that an extremely dangerous sickness doesn't seep out and wipe out humanity. The most likely scenario is a botched ending that won't make much sense and send the show down into the vaults of poorly done action/adventure anime to be completely forgotten, and that will probably be for the best.

The characters of FreakAngels, Crunchyroll's new anime adaptation of the 2011 Warren Ellis comic.
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