After the former President Trump era, “QAnon” is a term that has come to be used, and born people who engage in political activities with ideas that to the casual observer might seem like ludicrous conspiracy theories. In Japan, too, a certain comedian urges us to “believe it or not, it’s up to you” in a half-intimidating manner, and then encourages us to “believe it or you’ll lose money later, hey guys”. Many of us may be tempted to go along with the flow without really understanding what it is about.
What if these conspiracy theories that have swept the world today were really real? The “Darwin Club” is a story about what would happen if such conspiracy theories that have swept the world today really existed. When I last posted this article, the first volume of the manga had just been published, so this time I would like to talk about the contents of the book, including subsequent developments.
Terrorist attacks begin against global companies around the world where the economic disparity between CEOs and employees is more than a thousand times greater. The protagonist, a former police officer named “Taira Ishii”, had his father killed when he was a child. The man is mysteriously called “Sato Tanaka”. In one case, Taira and his junior colleague “Miyamoto” investigate on their own and manage to find “Sato”, but his image is erased by someone inside the police force. In addition, Miyamoto’s life is in danger. What is the purpose of the organization to which “Tanaka Sato” belongs? The organization is said to be related to Darwin’s theory of evolution. The organization behind the case is called “Darwin Club”. The club seeks “good deeds” and “good people. Hirara, who quit his job as a police officer because of Miyamoto, chooses to infiltrate a company called Troy, which is related to the Darwin Club. What awaits him as he approaches the club is a terrifying plan.
The manga depicts “Relent”, a global e-commerce company that looks like it is modeled after “Amazon”. The mysterious man says that Rorke, who appears as the CEO of the company, was able to build such a huge company and create such great wealth because of “our investment and cooperation. And those who succeed in this world have entered into a certain covenant with the “Darwin Club”. And anyone who breaks the terms of the agreement will be given a card. What does the number “068” mean?
Behind the great success of that company (or person) was that organization. Perhaps there is an organization like a secret society that is spoken of as such in every country. In Japan, there is also an organization called the “Nippon Kaigi”, which is said to control politics and the economy behind the scenes. Whether it is true or not, I do not know.
Conspiracy theories are very useful ideas. Especially, in today’s world of complicated problems, conspiracy theories have the effect of simplifying things and making them easier to understand, making them a quick fix for those who refuse to think and prefer to jump to something easy to understand. If there were only one or two people in the world who believed in such conspiracy theories, there would be no problem, but when the U.S. Capitol was attacked once before, about 800 people gathered there. The crowd, or rather the rioters, no longer believed in the baseless story and tried to destroy the Capitol building.
In this “Darwin Club”, too, the “Piaf” accident at the automobile manufacturer made headlines around the world simultaneously, and the leaked conversations among the “Piaf” executives in the company caused a firestorm, which was fanned by “Tanaka Sato” behind the scenes, depicting the very moment when he set off a spark in the world. Yes, he only set the spark, but it was actually the crowd who knew nothing about it that made the flames grow.
In the comic strip, the “Darwin Club” is behind every major incident that causes a stir in the world. In the manga, the general public is portrayed as agitated and swept away. However, they are not often evaluated as stupid or anything like that. The employees of “Soku-B”, a clothing company, are introduced, and even though they know that their company’s president is in danger, they have the following peaceful conversations. They seem to be somewhat strangers.
“Will the Angry Beagle attack begin?”
“My stock of this company is going down, isn’t it?”
“I just bought an extra share of the company’s stock.”
“The meetings are going to get more and more heated.”
“I wish you’d stop asking me for sales figures based on the overall target.”
There is a “Darwin Club” insider inside the police force, “Miyamoto” was killed by that guy, and the main character, Taira, retired from the police force because of the incident. The main characters are on the edge of their seats, and the above peaceful exchanges are too much. Is ignorance a blessing in disguise? I feel the irony of the author, “Ao Akato”, toward the world.
What I am personally looking forward to in the future of the “Darwin Club” is how this mass of people will be involved in the protagonists’ struggle. Will the protagonists just fight the “Darwin Club” in secret and win (or lose)? Or will the masses push for one camp or the other and thus bring about victory? In the developments leading up to Volume 3, the masses are rooting for the “Angry Beagle”, which attacks big business for fostering inequality. There are plenty of people who want to be the enforcers,” says “Sato Tanaka”, perhaps because he believes that the masses can be easily manipulated by showing them facts that provoke their discontent. The masses are either smart or stupid.