This is still a fairly good episode despite the somewhat rushed pacing and a few scenes they totally removed or compressed. The fight scenes have mostly stayed true to the source, and the dialogues were almost the same. As always, the game mechanics had been glossed over, so I won’t comment on those anymore. The gory scenes were toned down as well, which I will cover at the end of this review. For now, let’s talk about the scenes they compressed and removed.
First, Ray’s dream sequence. In this episode, it already started right after the accident, unlike the novel version where it showed Ray reminiscing about his relationship with his brother. Thus, we never learn about Unkra, an extreme MMA sports in which Shu, Ray’s brother, is a champion. We also never learned that Shu’s expertise in that sport nor his strategies and why having a broken leg was considered a guaranteed defeat until Shu proved otherwise.
The scene with Grandardra is nearly the same. Though since they compressed the scene, many of her dialogues were cut. But despite that, they still got everything else on point.
Second, Nemesis fighting on her own for the first time. The fight was fully shown in the novel, but for the sake of pacing, they skipped most of it. That is not really that bad considering the schedule that the studio had to follow.
There were two scenes that they totally removed here. First, Cheshire and Jabberwock talking about Ray defeating his second UBM and discussing the monsters of Infinite Dendrogram in general. This one is more of an exposition and worldbuilding, though I still wished they had kept this if only to give the A.I.s their much needed screen time.
The second scene they removed was the aftermath of the fight with Gouz-Maise. In the novel, Liliana and a company of knights arrived to assist Ray, thinking that GM is still alive. Much like the first deleted scene, this one is more on character interactions.
Now for the gory scenes, I guess it’s already expected that they would tone down the violence. Much of the fight scenes were censored despite all those blood in this episode. In fact, they completely cut off the last part of Gouz-Maise’s birth, which involves him devouring the last gang member in a disgusting and gruesome way.
But despite all these flaws, I’d still give this a 7/10. Next week will be the start of volume 3. And depending on how much they would adapt, I might totally drop this from my review list, if only because I’m reading the novels alongside each episode release, and I might not be able to keep up if they start rushing everything. However, we’ll see.