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10 Things Anime Fans Need To Know About Infinite Dendrogram – DNews

From the premise to the villains, here’s what you need to know about the highly-anticipated Infinite Dendrogram series.

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It’s safe to say this winter anime season isn’t exactly the most interesting. It’s the calm before a larger Spring season that’s packed with big titles and releases. However, Infinite Dendrogram was one of the more anticipated titles, with the series having existed as a popular novel since 2015.

Though it has the feel of yet another series about characters trapped inside of a video game, there’s enough to set this apart for people who might be weary with these types of series to give it a try. This list will give curious fans all the information they might’ve wanted to know about the series before diving in.

10 WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

10 Things Anime Fans Need To Know About Infinite Dendrogram

Infinite Dendrogram takes place in the near-future of 2043. In that era, virtual reality games have become all the rage. The latest one is Infinite Dendrogram, which is capable of emulating all the player’s senses to make for the most immersive video game ever.

The lead character is a young man named Reiji Mukudori, who begins to go by Ray Starling after logging into the game. Ray meets up with his brother, intent on trying out the game and becoming hooked.

9 WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT

10 Things Anime Fans Need To Know About Infinite Dendrogram

Infinite Dendrogram isn’t the first time we’ve seen a character in a video game before. Of course, Ray isn’t trapped in this game like Kirito from Sword Art Online or Shiroe from Log Horizon, and the game has him log out very rarely.

But we’ve had series like that as well, so what makes it stand out? It’s not about the players, but about the characters in the world. The so-called NPCs are so well-developed they feel real, and it can be difficult to tell the NPCs and the people apart. This leads to some players having a difficult time separating the game from reality.

8 EVERY CHARACTER GETS A SUMMON

10 Things Anime Fans Need To Know About Infinite Dendrogram

Another thing that makes combat feel different from every other game is how Infinite Dendrogram receives a special item referred to as an Embryo. Each player’s Embryo develops differently, and they all function something like a familiar—a summon the player can use in battle whenever they want.

We’ve met a succubus capable of charming men everywhere. One character has an Embryo that literally works to help him use a giant robot, others are giant guns, it depends on the character and there seems to be no end to the possibilities.

7 THERE ARE SOME UNUSUAL CLASSES

10 Things Anime Fans Need To Know About Infinite Dendrogram

This anime already goes out of its way in terms of it’s setting with the summon/Embryo system. But the class system in it is really something. Since it’s supposed to be a video game, there are the expected MMO classes like Paladin, which is apparently a mid-tier class that players can get if they can satisfy certain conditions.

But then there’s also something like “Pimp”. No, that isn’t a typo—one of the main character’s friends in the game has a Pimp class, and it involves charming and taming monsters. You can’t say they weren’t trying to be creative.

6 THE MAIN CHARACTER’S SUMMON

10 Things Anime Fans Need To Know About Infinite Dendrogram

So what’s Ray’s Embryo like? Well, at the start of the game Ray takes on a quest that seems like an impossible job, particularly when he’s level 0. Eventually, Ray summons his own Embryo, which explains itself to be a Maiden-Type, the kind which seems to have a bit more personality than most…and allows Ray to fight opponents that are otherwise far more powerful than him.

Nemesis essentially serves as Ray’s primary other party member, and she has arguably even more personality than Ray himself.

5 THE GAME MECHANICS

On a scale of Sword Art Online to Log Horizon, anime pretending to be MMO can be pretty wishy-washy with how the rules of their game world work. And with Infinite Dendrogram, it’s obvious this works more along the lines of how the writer wishes MMO’s worked rather than how they actually work.

Still, there’s discussion of cooldowns, techniques have certain limits to them that are expressed in the story, and there’s a ton of discussion around having the right techniques for specific jobs. Also, status effects play a larger role in this series than most others anyone might find.

4 THERE’S PLAYER VERSUS PLAYER

10 Things Anime Fans Need To Know About Infinite Dendrogram

Every game anime has to talk about how the world deals with player vs. player scenarios. In Sword Art Online, Player Killers were essentially an actual cult devoted to killing others. In Dendrogram, the consequences aren’t as severe because the player can log out whenever they want.

However, Pking is still possible in the game, and there’s quite the penalty for dying. Any player that gets killed will be forcibly logged out for an entire day. In-game, time moves much faster than in the real world (somehow), and so being gone a day equals being gone three days in the game. This leads to the loss of certain quests, which can have even worse effects in the game, depending.

3 THE IMPORTANCE OF LOOT

10 Things Anime Fans Need To Know About Infinite Dendrogram

Though the anime and Ray’s actions would make people otherwise believe this game is all about immersing one’s self in the environment and going on fun adventures, most of the characters still approach this like regular video games. In other words, it’s all about the promise of sweet, sweet loot.

Interestingly, NPCs in the game can decide whether to give or not give loot for major raid missions. This can have wider effects on the game itself, which drastically affects the storyline being told at any given moment. Ray’s time in Altar occurs in the aftermath of one such major storyline, where another country nearly wiped out the one he’s in.

2 WHAT ARE THE VILLAINS LIKE?

10 Things Anime Fans Need To Know About Infinite Dendrogram

A series like Infinite Dendrogram can easily slip into not having an arc villain, instead choosing to tell more episodic storylines, and on the surface that can seem to be the case here. But there’s a set of villains in the background manipulating things to their own ends.

From the very first episode, it’s implied that the quests being taken on in this series thus far are serving the bad guys’ greater purpose. Ultimately, it seems like the big bad prefers to operate from the shadows until they absolutely have to make a move.

1 FOLLOW THE NOVEL AND MANGA

10 Things Anime Fans Need To Know About Infinite Dendrogram

For anyone really loving Infinite Dendrogram, unfortunately, it only seems to have a single season confirmed for now. This means the light novel that’s been in development for nearly a dozen volumes now isn’t exactly going to get the attention and time it deserves.

However, there’s also been a manga adaptation going nearly as long as the light novel itself, and it’s currently six volumes deep. For those who find themselves addicted, there doesn’t seem to be a new season of this coming, so the light novel and manga are the best bet for getting into the series going forward.

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