Die Now or Duan Nao is another Chinese animation from China produced by Haoliners Animation League. The very same animation company that produced Cheating Craft, Hitori No Shita: The Outcast, Reikenzan: Hoshikuzu-tachi No Utage and School Shock, also known as Chu Feng B.E.E. Basically the story it’s about a boy who is a part of a school detective/deductive reasoning club who goes in search of his missing girlfriend whose entire existence has been erased… yet somehow the rest of the world seemed to remain the same. With the help of his friend, Xiachi begins to investigate the strange disappearance of girlfriend, of which only the two of them have preserved the memory. They stumbles across the equivalent of an underground gaming community. A high, tech, murderous, gaming community where people are pitched into some alternate scenarios/environments.
The reason I like the Chinese anime is because most of the new Japanese anime rehash of the same 3 or 4 themes. To me, the best part about the series got to be the puzzles. They are complex without abusing bullshit reasons to get to the “correct answer”. Some of them are literally non trivial math puzzles. They also don’t thoroughly explain every single problem for 5 minutes, which is kinda refreshing after hearing hours of puzzle explanation from every mainstream anime that uses them. The main character is shown to be intelligent, he just act like an idiot when it comes to to his girlfriend but then again, I still think he’s kinda cool when he’s using his brains. It has those borderline harem moments where every woman is or seems to be interested in him for his intelligence or his moral standards. I hate that but I reckon most people here like it so you might enjoy it, and it’s not too forced anyways. Most secondary characters seem to have a well developed backstory too.
On the lows of the series… It has lots of rough edges on animation (But hey, at least it’s better than some of the Chinese animes I watched), but personally I expected it of an ONA from China. They’re probably working on a very strict budget. The animation is not too bad but if you don’t pay attention to detail it looks average. There is no Opening in this anime but the Ending sounded pretty good. It’s not until the last episode that the reason for the games are shown, somewhat and the story comes to an end without a conclusion. BUT the anime ended with an announcement stating there’s a second season and asked us, viewers to look forward to it. Would I watch this again. Maybe? But if you are an anime fan who is looking for a some 15 minutes episodes that involve stepping into a game, here you are. Overall I think it’s worth a watch.