With an interesting premise that is dark and alluring, this show looked very promising. The thing with some anime adaptations is that it’s hard to pull off while the source material is still on-going. Studios and Staff that take on this type of project are now tasked with a challenging job of getting the execution right. Akuma no Riddle is sadly held back from the poor execution on many of the aspects, ideas and story elements it presented that prevents the show from being great.
Adapted from Yun Kouga's manga, Akuma no Riddle follows the path of Tokaku Azuma, a seasoned assassin who transfers to a
private boarding school in Myoujou Academy to attend Class Black. It consists of 13 students, 12 being assassins and 1 being the target in Haru Ichinose, a bright and cheerful girl who aims to become friends with her peers. Unknowing to her, things soon take a turn for the worst. The purpose of this Class is more of a test or game for the assassins, they have to find out who is the target among them and then assassinate her within the rules that have been established. The ruling is that the target must be informed that she is going to be targeted and killed and that it must happen within 48 hours after issuing the notice. Failing to follow the ruling or the completion of the assassination within the time frame has one expelled from Class Black. If successful, one is granted any wish of their desire.
Tokaku concludes that Haru is the target after thoroughly examining her peers and has her sights on her. She finds out that Haru will become her roommate and after spending the time to getting to know her more, she becomes drawn to her to the point where she defects to her side and becomes her protector as they both strive to graduate Class Black. This is how the story begins and I found this rather interesting. I like the whole idea of this survival concept but as the story progresses, it felt that it was following an episodic format where an episode is dedicated to each one of the girls trying to kill Haru. While we get some flashbacks about their past and how they came to Class Black, it leaves every character besides Tokaku and Haru one episode for development. This led to shallow characters, rushed conclusions and a drowned out overarching story which for the most part makes Akuma no Riddle fail to make anything meaningful.
This is where I felt Akuma no Riddle was lacking and it’s how the show handles its characters. I wish there was more exploration with our main protagonists though we get to see their true self behind the façade they put on and also learn important details of their past. For the rest of the characters, due to time constraints of only 12 episodes, it was a tough ask to get more from them or to care for them. This is a big flaw, given the setup of the show is extremely character driven and with the ‘assassination of the week’ approach it gives limited ways for development, which in this case comes from a flashback, what they want for their reward or how they failed the assassination. One episode for development is simply not enough to feel invested.
One of the things to appreciate about Akuma no Riddle is its distinctive look and style. The world is well designed, the art style and colour palette used helped create a dark and eerie atmosphere which increased the intensity of the assassinations. The character designs were very well done and each character's look suited their personalities. Diomedea studio did ok with the animation, it was consistent despite drops in quality occasionally. Majority of the action scenes were very fluid and choreographed very well. An interesting choice the show implemented was the custom Ending that each episode got dedicated to each character of the series. I found that very creative and it added more content—showing a little summary about their story.
The score is mainly fast-paced and dark atmospheric tracks to keep you engaged in the assassinations but no particular track was inherently memorable. Immediately I found myself hooked to the Opening song, "Soushou Innocence" by Maaya Uchida. It really sets the mood and tone for the series while also fitting the themes. As mentioned before, I was pleased by the custom Endings and to go along with the different animation used in each one was also different songs. This is what made the Endings so refreshing and another plus factor in the creativity category. I had no issues regarding the voice acting, each of the voices used fitted the design and personality of the character. They deserve praise for showcasing the characters true killer instinct perfectly both in and outside of the assassinations.
When the series began, I noticed it had a "Yuri" tag but that was later switched with ‘Shoujo-ai’. Call me blind if I missed anything but there was no Yuri, sure there were hints with Tokaku and Haru's relationship but nothing serious or anything that would turn viewers off who may not like Yuri. The concept of survival game is nothing new but it did attempt to give it a bit more flair, something I can appreciate. The rating I had for it before the last two episodes was a bit higher but I had to bring it down because I felt the ending was anticlimactic and was disappointed on the route it chose. Despite its flaws Akuma no Riddle can still be an enjoyable thriller for those who like episodic series with lots of action, it has its moments and I felt that I may have enjoyed it a bit more if I didn’t go into the show with high expectations.
Anime Review No.8
Akuma no Riddle an anime about 12 girl assassins enrolled in a prestigious private high school where they are gathered there for one reason and that is to kill the daughter of a very powerful and influential clan in japan. The plot is already not promising for it’s kind of one sided. Oh come on? 1 vs 12 and they are assassins for crying out loud! But the story have a twist one of the assassins named Tokaku Azuma decided to protect her for unknown reason giving the targeted girl named “ Haru Ichinose” a chance to survive. This anime is something you
can expect to be good because it’s like the same with Mirai Nikki in terms of two partners helping each other to win the battle royal in a yuri type of way but entirely after finishing this show you will be disappointed for you can’t understand what is going on about the show?
“Warning this review may contain spoilers but if you want to be save by not wasting your time to badly written animated show please here me out”.
There are so many elements and events that make the plot badly written to the point you can’t understand the show anymore. It’s not your fault if you can’t understand the show. It’s the plot’s fault for not giving proper explanation on what’s going on. I list down below the major plot holes they carelessly didn’t give a damn for the viewers to better understand the flow of the plot.
1st is that the Tournament rule mechanics is not properly explained. Even though they did explain the rules for just a “few seconds” you can’t understand what are the penalties and other alternatives that rule can offer. They just let the action do the explaining in which in the end just make the viewers and also me so confuse in what the heck is happening to the show. We don’t know what happen to the girl if she failed to assassinate the girl and another thing is that does the rules even fair to begin with? The girls are randomly selected to kill haru but do the girls have the right to interfere just to give them the chance to kill haru in case the present challenger failed? The problem of the rules is it doesn’t give a clear explanation how it works which make the battle royal pointless.
Another thing is that Haru background story is unclear why the black classes wanted to kill her. Being in an influential family is not enough for an explanation.
The logic of the show is screwed. Why do haru even push herself to study in a school where she already knows that all her classmates will attempt to kill her?
Being friends with the people who will try to kill you is very stupid mindset even in the most common sense.
The show present flashbacks to characters at first it was understandable but as the story move’s forward I cannot even understands each of the story.
The story is trying to make the characters feel dramatic or I call it the “FEELS” factor which is useless for the characters have no depth. You cannot make character depth in a few seconds of a flashback which is another weak factor for the plot.
The plot is so train wreck you cannot take it seriously for the action makes no sense.
Lastly the biggest plot hole is that haru manage to survive just because the characters who have the 100% chance of killing her and win the game goes full retard in at the last second and always give Tokaku the “prince charming figure” the chance to save the damsel of distress from its assailants. Obvious plot armor.
The characters have no originality if you watched a lot of anime with typical stereotype of personalities it is not hard to identify. Major weaknesses of the characters by the ff.
If you are going to kill someone never give a second thought that’s not assassin like. The moment I always see this scene the more I discover this girls are not really mature assassins but immature children going on crazy because of puberty.
The logic of Tokaku being allied with haru is senseless. They just met for a few hours, talk about each other’s pass and exchange some dialogues and boom what we got Tokaku changing of heart out of the blue’s thought the so called manipulation ability of haru explained in the last episode make’s sense but still it's confusing if you need to endure 11 more episodes.
The action’s and logical reasoning of the characters is so predictable in the point you’re annoyed.
Pretentious dialogues. My issues of this show for what they say is different on what they act.
Characters songs are pointless if you don’t like the characters.
I will give an average score for the good action scenes, knife slicing, explosions and girl punches.
I just enjoyed the small scale action and nothing more.
This anime is not about assassin being mature but it’s just show killing people is “Immature”. Immature violence and nothing really happens in the story. Nobody dies and everybody lives happily ever after like the story just makes a reason for the girls to kill and hurt each other in the first place.
Upon the understanding that a film, book or television show will feature assassins as its fundamental aspect, it’s likely that the immediate set of expectations we receive from this falls along the imagery of thrill, excitement and aesthetics. Akuma no Riddle is very much a show that exhibits these types of expectations. It sets the stage for a high-school battle royale well enough by introducing 12 female assassins, each with their own desires, and one target, a girl striving to survive the oncoming ordeal. The assassins and target must all participate in Myoujou Academy’s elusive Black Class, where they’ll assume the guise of high-school students,
and whoever is able to successfully kill the target may have their any wish granted. However, due to a twist of events, one assassin successfully defects to the target’s side, vowing to protect her at all costs. It is quite an exciting premise and definitely promises those characteristic expectations of assassins. Unfortunately, Akuma no Riddle falls short on delivery of said expectations and is ultimately a weak series. That is not to say that it fails solely because of its lack of deliverance. Rather, the series’ shortcomings can be directly attributed to a much greater, fundamental flaw located right at its very core. That and one particular misfire that brings down all hopes of the show had of being redeemed.
The particular assassin that defects to the target’s (Haru Ichinose) side, is Azuma Tokaku, the central character of Akuma no Riddle. We are affixed to her presence from the show’s very beginning and quickly learn that she is stoic, reserved and not the most determined assassin out of the bunch. Her reason for defection is not initially made clear by the series though this is not a hindrance but a gateway for speculation that Tokaku has become subtlety attracted to Haru. Tokaku is very much the protagonist of the series though, due to her newfound predicament, she finds Haru, the series deuteragonist, in her company more often than not. Haru is a surprisingly cheery and optimistic girl for a girl of her position, and her grand desire is to achieve friendship with the assassins and graduate from the Black Class, not as enemies but as friends. It seems to be a vain goal but, we learn that through Haru’s past experiences, she has been shaped to think like this. The main characters don’t have the strongest or most convincing characterization they could but, it is done well enough to make them interesting to follow. What’s more interesting than their individual characteristics is their relationship. Tokaku and Haru share an inevitable bond that grows stronger with each assassination attempt, which is a pleasure to watch. It is probably one of the the series’ greatest strength. It’s not long before the series sets us free to discover the other 11 assassins and their motives. The quality of their characterization varies, but Akuma no Riddle sets out to define each and every assassin to their distinct character. However, the success of this greatly hindered by the great limitation of the series; its very own formula.
Harkening back to the rules of the Black Class, assassins must hand in an advance notice to Haru in order for their assassination to be considered valid. From there, they must successfully execute their assassination within a 48-hour limit. Failure upon doing so means expulsion from the Black Class. In retrospect this is where the series limits itself. This is not an apparent limitation but it’s how Akuma no Riddle handles this rule that causes the series to become restricted. From the start of the assassination game, the series decides to formally focus on usually one assassin and their assassination attempt per episode. This type of formula of focusing on a different character each episode is a familiar one, so it’s all up to the execution to make sure that it’s a effective episode with strong characterization and memorable moments. Akuma no Riddle fails to deliver here. With the confliction of the show’s premise (Tokaku protecting Haru from her assassination), the 48-hour time limit and only one assassination attempt per assassin, it’s obvious that there can be only one outcome. For the sake of the show to continue, it should be no surprise that Haru and Tokaku are able to prevail over their opponents, resulting in the opposing assassin being disqualified, never to be seen at Black Class again. This type of formula can get tired fast and yet, Akuma no Riddle decides to let it dictate nearly the entire series. It gets old seeing the same thing twice, nevertheless the 8th time as well. By deciding to have this formula, the series allows itself to become entrapped in a web of predictability. It doesn’t matter what happens to the protagonists in each episode because you know what the outcome will be. Surprise is effectively killed, despite the series’ best attempts to shake it up now and then. It is a breathe of fresh air when the series does this but the problem is that the formula is still there when it really shouldn’t be. It’s probably the most roundabout & counterintuitive way to execute the series’ premise.
Predictability is not the formula’s sole crime however. A very important and much focused on aspect of this series is affected as well; characterization. Each episode has a focus character and the show wastes no time in its attempts to characterize them and flesh them out. However, with solely one episode to work on a character (who probably didn’t get a lot of spotlight because prior episodes focused on different characters) Akuma no Riddle’s attempts at characterization are ineffective and insubstantial. There’s just not enough time to develop these assassin-of-the-week characters who won’t be seen again and any attempts that are made are just shallow. Usually a good option for this one-episode-character trope is to have these characters leave an imprint on the main characters and have them develop instead. However, Akuma no Riddle has no desire to do this. It solely attempts to develop these side-characters who will ultimately have no significant outcome on the story. It is entirely futile and the series doesn’t do a particularly good job at making us care for these characters anymore than we did before, no matter how tragic or reverent the character is. It’s thanks to this formula of strictly focusing on side characters that the series forgets to focus on the more interesting aspects of the series, like Tokaku and Haru’s relationship. If Akuma no Riddle had focused more on their relationship, we generally would have gotten character development that mattered and watching it would’ve been more rewarding.
With surprise taken out and weak characterization in abundance, surely Akuma no Riddle should be able to soar with exciting, thrilling and aesthetic action. After all, the formula is not strict enough that it needs the action to subscribe to it. As I said earlier, Akuma no Riddle is not able to completely deliver upon these expectations. Assassinations are not as clever or exciting as one would expect. Most assassinations don’t have much effort put into them, they lack effectiveness and creativity, almost as if the assassins aren’t really trying to seriously kill Haru. Though this is unconvincingly addressed by the series later on, it doesn’t make it any more engaging. There’s a point where the series understandably breaks free from its formula, and surprisingly enough, it is almost able to redeem itself. The final three episodes are able to deliver thrilling revelations, truly exciting action and well-built momentum for an engaging, albeit confusing, finale. However, it is what directly follows the finale that permanently sinks Akuma no Riddle. An epilogue that is meant to give closure to the series, while also attempting to please the viewer ends up becoming a complete misfire. It’s confounding in its own right, but as a direct cause of being an immediate follow-up to the climax, it becomes incredibly jarring and backwards. The finale sets up a definite ending, one that is understandable, and a good one for the series. The epilogue completely rewrites this climax, undermining it as well as everything else the series had built up prior. The bizzarity of this epilogue is outstanding that it’s almost surreal and its disparity with the rest of the series is too apparent.
Akuma no Riddle had all the pieces, but assembly led to mistakes that ultimately brought down the series. It is still has its enjoyable aspects however. Animation, while not incredibly impressive overall, conveys the fight scenes and action quite well and is without compromise. OST accompanies scenes well, and while nothing stands out, it fits into the background nicely. Character design does stand out thankfully and each assassin has a memorably distinct design, setting them apart from the rest. The OP ‘Soushou Innocence’ is notable in delivering a fittingly moody & energetic tune filled an aesthetic visual experience. Regarding the EDs, Akuma no Riddle generously gives nearly every assassin their own song which can serve as further characterization as to who they are. For example, the 8th ED ‘Mayonaka no Toubou’ is able to effectively exude the melancholic delusion of a character through its lyrics, tune and visuals. The art for these EDs are in good quality as well, matching the characters nicely and further indirectly characterizing them. It’s a shame that the series was not able to deliver the same level of characterization with such conviction.
Even with Akuma no Riddle becoming a slave to its own formula, it can still be enjoyed. Tokaku and Haru’s relationship is pleasant to see (when it is actually focused on), the action is decent, reaching an all time high near the end, and some of the characters can still be entertaining (notably the ones given more prominence than others). However, its formula is its greatest enemy, bringing down the deliverance of expectations, characterization as well as the effectiveness of its story. Along with a questionable epilogue, Akuma no Riddle is weakened and restricted from crafting the exciting, thrilling and aesthetic battle royale it wanted to be.
The concept of the survival game and battle royal is very mainstream today and is favored also by many people, a lot of anime that uses this concept with the objective of achieving huge profits that make anime these days feels more commercial. One of those anime is Riddle Story of Devil or commonly called Akuma no Riddle, a show that comes from Diomedea studio (known for the anime Squid Girl). The story is illustrated in Myojou Academy, a boarding school for women. The school has a special class named Black Class, containing 12 assassin who has a mission to kill 'the target' which
is in the same class as well.
One of the weaknesses of this anime is the supporting element of the story that almost didn't run at all, the concept of battle royal that usually thrill and exciting can not be felt. Also, the anime is not paying attention the importance of an originality of a masterpiece, the story didn't have an identity. Furthermore, Akuma no Riddle has a plot that is very common, the plot is not well organized and feels very easily predictable from the beginning, the ending looks very forced. There are plot holes that still empty until the end of the story. Exacerbated by many unexpected fan service appear everywhere like rain. These factors above really makes Akuma no Riddle very weak in the story section.
The animation possessed adequate existing standards, as well as the character design. But it doesn't fit with the story feeling, figure portrayed an assassin less on character design.
Even so, there is no problem in that their actions show. In terms of sound and music, Akuma no Riddle quite above average. The opening song very lively, the ending songs is quite interesting because each episode has their own ending songs. While the voice actor does their job adequately.
Deepening the characters in this story concept is difficult, let alone this show consists just 12 episodes, very difficult to make an interesting character in that short periodic of time. This happens on Akuma no Riddle, the anime impose to tell all of the character's past. But do not notice how shallow the development of the character they make, which creates a backfire to the plot. The main character also has a very weak motive and irrational reason in helping the target.
Akuma no Riddle may have a lot of shortcomings in terms of story and character, but it didn't make this show very ugly until you want to dispose of this radioactive far away, maybe recommended for people who are looking for action and fight rather than a story.
Finally, you like it or did not it depends on you.
The term ‘devil’ can transit a variety of reactions towards an audience. Here we have a show named Akuma no Riddle (translated as Riddle Story of Devil). And incidentally, we have an angel-like character with and energetic personality named Haru Ichinose who gets herself into a mess that threatens her very existence. Luckily, she’s not alone because Haru’s got a protector. Her name is Tokaku Azuma and she is not a pushover, not in the art of assassin anyways.
To call Akuma no Riddle a memorable art piece though could be both an understatement and overstatement. For starters, we have a diverse and colorful cast of
characters who transfers into the infamous all-girls school known as Myojo Academy. One particular class stands out known as the ‘10th Year Black Class’. It’s here where the show tells its story as Haru is marked a target for death by the other transfer students. As a show based on setting of survival, the premise tells of a different setup. Rather than a free-for-all and every killer for themselves, it’s all against Haru. Apparently, the victor gets themselves a wish, something that I’m sure almost everyone wants if they ever had a chance to make a fantasy into a reality. While all this seems interesting at first, the first episode only introduces its premise that is underwhelming. The premise serves a device to show the deadly game as Haru becomes the prey and the transfer students are the predators. It’s easy to figure out the concepts of the game though since the show explains itself early on with the mechanics. The part where it gets confusing is the ultimate purpose of the game. Mystery draws out throughout the show like a riddle with characters in the background such as Nio Hashiri to spellbind the audience’s curiosity.
Throughout the show, there’s an instinctive towards the assassin’s motivations, which differs between every character. However, one prominent attribute involves Tokaku’s will to protect Haru from harm. Her motivation is uncertain besides a few cryptic hints relating to possibly Haru’s past and herself. In essence, the show is one big riddle with her motivations and how they fight for survival at the school. For Tokaku and Haru, they develop a close and innate relationship spawned by the time they spent together. Existing as polar opposites, there’s some development between the two although the duo feels incompatible. For instance, Tokaku is someone who hates others getting close to her and dislike people referring by her first name. On the other hand, Haru is energetic, sociable, and often tries to brighten a gloom and doom atmosphere. Curiosity spawns as how these two can co-exist together as a duo when their lives are at stake every single day at the academy.
Like mentioned before, each assassin is different with a different personality and even killing method of choice. In total, there are 12 of them including Azuma. Here’s where the problem comes in when it follows the adaptation. The manga has only been publishing for about a year and its inconclusive how it will end. In other words, the anime braces itself for a possible anime original ending. But that’s not really the main problem. The main flaw here is characterization and development of the assassins. As a one cour show (12 episodes), the show implies that each assassin gets only about a full episode of screen time. That’s also fallacious because in one particular episode, three assassins are eliminated all the same time while one of them didn’t even get her own chance at Haru’s life. In retrospect, it means that there will hardly be any concentration or focus on an assassin’s character. The only focus it spends is the flashbacks that often feels too centralized, predictable, and sometimes cliché. Director Keizou Kusakawa appeals to the audience with his gimmicks that quickly turns itself into a twisted game as each episode progresses on. More and more students are “transferred out” of the class, but in reality are expelled/killed. His previous works on series such as Sekirei and Campione also relied on a main character to fight for glory and triumph against other skilled adversaries. Here, it follows a similar suit only that it seems episodic in nature. By worst, the series also likes to pull out some oddball conclusion with its finale that seemingly circumnavigate backwards with its original theme but destroying the grim feelings of despair. Perhaps the unaired special OVA will find its way to depict a more accurate image.
Diving into this show also will feel like dark academy adventure. To get the best experience, it would be to familiarize yourself with the various characters. This could be a problem since most of them are hardly relatable as result of their weak development. Not to mention the fact that all the assassins have deadly skills, it’s hard to picture yourself in their shoes in the first place. But luckily, there is a catch of diversity. Each episode offers something new with the characters. They attempt to kill Haru with every chance and seizes that opportunity. The methods they formulate results in creative ideas that although seems gimmicky but is also unorthodox in an unique sense. These include diffusing strategically placed bombs, fighting on stage in front of an audience in the disguise of a school play, or even literally solving riddles. And to further diversity themselves, each character has a different persona whether it’s a sadist (Isuke Inukai), innocent little girl (Hitsugi Kirigaya), assertive (Koko Kaminaga), or even one with dual personalities and among others. Haru’s presence creates a strange vibration between some of these characters as she is too fragile and incomparable to them. It mixes in the wrong way when it comes to developing any sort of relationship with them. And because they are assassins, the only relationship is decided by life and death.
A variety of themes is dealt with throughout the show whether it’s friendship, jealousy, regret, or vengeance. It explores the basics of human nature in a dark way since most of the characters seems to have a troubling life based on the various flashbacks. But these concepts don’t have a profound way to express themselves. Looking at on the surface, there’s a feeling of cuteness molded with dark configuration. Even the girls that fights for “justice” plays roles as anti-heroes rather than a figure of admiration. But for what’s worth, Azuma perhaps the most dynamic character for her self-motivation to protect Haru. In attempts to protect Haru, we learn more about Azuma including parts of her past and visage as an assassin. We also see different sides of her through the relationship between the duo. But ultimately, this comes down to storytelling as the main premise is still intact throughout the series. As Haru is the main target, their relationship is tested by the human nature and instinct.
It’s also explicitly shown that the show does take itself seriously, perhaps too much for its own good. Whether these are the taunting riddles, intimidating expressive eye gestures, or even torture scenes, the show makes its oddball point. But despite this dark nature, it also tries to humor the audience with its gags. These include the yuri vibes between some characters including Haru and Azuma. This shouldn’t be surprising considering the way the show is setup. But other tactics of humor attempt often includes Haru’s lack of sense and the denseness of the classes’ teacher, Ataru Mizorogi. From a motivational case, this doesn’t work right since the show has a grim and more mature setting. The girls are dead serious on killing Haru so when comedy sometimes come into play, it doesn’t balances itself right.
Diomedéa, known for their previous involvement with other game scenario-esque shows such as Problem Children and NouCome adapts similar gimmicks. Only this time, it focuses on the deadly side with its character designs. In fact, every character in the show has an appeal to color themselves as a competitor. Some seems intimidating while others are innocent but all the assassins are deadly in respect when they show their true colors. This is shown prominently by how the camera focuses exclusively on their eyes. It depicts the anti-thesis of schoolgirls are like, especially in a prestigious school. They hide their true nature until the moment comes to strike just like assassins. As far as their face gesture, it crafts this gimmick right by nature. Character outfits are also decorative with distinctive figures to match their personalities. However, do expect some fan-service when it comes to pool episodes, censored bath scenes (TV version) and the shock violence that comes out as cheesy.
The soundtrack isn’t a super powerhouse but does works very well as a supplement to this show when it works with the characters. The most noticeable aspect involves the ED songs as each assassin gets her own theme song (when the episode focuses on them). The OP song remains unchanged however with depiction of the assassins in femme fatale like poses and a catchy aesthetic rhythm. Not to mention, the song contains some spoilerish scenes involving their weapons. For most of the character voices, they show their tone of intimidation and violence. I’d give credit to most of their mannerisms to stay consistent with the characters. However, Haru’s voice mannerism greatly contradicts this with her innocent nature. We also get a variety of soundtrack to depict the heavy action toned sequences. Some works out right while others feels repetitive but ultimately does the job to craft a decent balance of sound mixture.
Akuma no Riddle’s endgame is the fact that the show focuses exclusively more on story rather than character development. Demanding for that would leave you unsatisfied. After all, the ultimate goal of the show is to deliver Haru’s execution and fulfill the wish of an assassin. While all this sounds dandy, it also tries desperately to appeal to the audience with its misplaced comedy, shadowy flashbacks, and shallow character relationships. And although it showcases yuri at times, it isn’t a prominent feature to that end either. But the show does offer great diversity with its colorful character cast. For all its faults, the show’s raison d'etre can still be appealing and leave audience wonder who or what happens next. Make no mistake though. This show isn’t just some Romeo and Juliet story about two girls but rather their tale of survival. Because in their world, the strongest prevail and the weak perish.
Just finished watching the 6th Episode.Though it started so well(first 2 episodes)it really failed to deliver a solid story and explanation of whats really going on
Pros: Graphics( I consider graphics slightly above average close to good,and thats mainly of the decent fights i have seen, beyond that it isnt anything speciall) -Soundtracks(I like em very much and they are very close to the specific enviroment this anime tries to deliiver)
Cons:where i should start.. Well Haru is one of the most annoying anime charaters i've ever faced,her life is threaten daily and she faces her possible assasins with an annoying smile and a way of
a total unrealistic looseness and kindness
Story:Its swallow and total unrealistic in many ways.
I am really pissed off with this anime cause first episodes gave me the impression of something good.Truth is that it is just an awkard situation where a girl goes to school with some assasins and she is trying to be friends with them, even though she knows they want her in pieces. 5.5/10 its my score graphs and OSTs save it for the day
Ok, so this is my first review and I'll be as honest and thorough as possible for an readers.
Ok so basically Akuma no Riddle is about a girl named Haru who has to survive a classroom full of assassins. That's really the gist of it. That being said, let me move on to my scores and why I rated them as such.
The story was very much lacking in this show, and I say that with utter disappointment. This was a show that when it first started, had the set up to be an awesomely written masterpiece full of character development and
plot twists. Sadly, that didn't happen. I was hoping for characters that were in the class for ulterior motives, or that had such an elaborate plan that it lasted longer than one episode. This didn't happen at all. This show is basically a generic battle-royal. Not that I have anything against battle-royal style anime and manga, but I honestly expected more out of the show and its characters.
The other disappointing thing, was that whenever a particular assassin was the focal point of an episode, that was it. They got one episode and then done. They got two episodes only if they didn't start their battle in the beginning of their first one.
The art was pretty good. It wasn't anything stellar and it certainly had some horrifically drawn moments, but those were very rare and it had plenty of other scenes where the art looked excellent. Not a master piece, but certainly above average.
The sound was probably the highlight of the show. The tracks during the fight scenes were good, and the tracks during emotional scenes were good as well. The best part however, were the OP and the EDs. The OP was amazing, and each assassin had her own ED. So basically when it was that assassin's turn in the show, it played their ED at the end. All of the endings were unique and very very good. The lyrics also reflected the characters extremely well. If you are a fan of anime music, this would definitely be a reason to check out the show.
This pretty much plays off the same reasoning I had with the story score. Just as there was a lack of plot twists and really good story development, there was an extreme lack of character development as well. None of the characters were outright terrible to begin with, and some were more interesting than others off the bat. Their personal reasons for wanting to assassinate Haru were pretty much all interesting too, but that's all you get from them. Like I said under story, after they get their one episode spotlight, that's it. So character development really becomes impossible.
I rate this as high as I do, simply because I enjoyed it for what it was; a battle-royal high school anime. Sure if I take into account the poor story, lack of character development, and the ending (wont spoil it at all, but just me personally, I didn't enjoy it) then I would rate it a lot lower. That's precisely why my overall score is lower. BUT if you take the show at face value and just accept it for being a generic battle-royal with a bunch of fighting between unique assassins, then it's pretty entertaining to watch.
When I take every part of the show into consideration, I cant score it anything better than mediocre. While it didn't completely blow at anything, it didn't excel at anything either, especially in parts it should have. The story could have been SOOO much more, and along those lines a better story could have brought much more in depth characters. I wont say it isn't enjoyable to watch, but if you're looking for some masterpiece of a story, with characters that will blow your mind, then this show is not for you. If you're just looking for an action anime, with good music and very minimum yuri, then you might want to take a look at Akuma no Riddle.
Just an extra tid-bit here - but if you're one of those people that flocks to the manga to get more details or if the anime has a bad adaptation, then don't. This is one of the EXTREMELY RARE cases where the anime is better than the manga...and I mean significantly better.
Akuma no Riddle was an interesting anime. But not in a good way. Potential seems to be the name of the game now-a-days, and if you have it you must be good, right? This was an example of that being completely, and truly, false.
Story - 6/10
If you're here, you've probably heard this anime referred to as the "DanganRonpa with Yuri". As of finishing the series, I can assure you, that this was partially true. This, like DanganRonpa, had a lot of potential and a very interesting plot going in. This also shares DanganRonpa's somewhat bad traits by having everything culminate into next to nothing.
However, in Dangan, it's next to nothing. Here, we get absolutely nothing. Nothing changes throughout the course of the series, and it leaves me with a very bland feeling that nothing was accomplished after 12 episodes.
Now, this would be minor spoilers, but the tags on MAL are wrong. If you are watching this purely for Yuri, you will be extremely disappointed. There is very little Yuri, if you could even call it that. Maybe if you have some pretty intense Yuri googles, you might enjoy this.
Art - 8/10
Let's be honest, the art is really good, and the animation is beautiful. I do recognize that it is 2014, but we still have shows like Kill La Kill that look terrible. Yes, I know that money is a factor, but it still doesn't excuse poor animation. Anyways, the animation in Akuma no Riddle is very fluid and looks amazing. Very few corners were cut here, and we don't have books covering peoples mouths so they didn't have to animate them talking...
Sound - 8/10
This is and Art are the only places Akuma no Riddle shines. This anime had some very enjoyable OST's that really fit the feel and mood of the show. But the thing that really stood out to me was that each ending of this show is unique, and each has a unique song. This is something that may have been done before, but I have never seen this before, and it shows that the creators at least put something into creating this show. I liked this most of all, but I'm not someone who's big on the OP/ED of shows. I much prefer the actual content, and a bad/good opening/ending doesn't really reflect the content within the show for me.
Characters - 4/10
The way the story develops the characters is in a really poor way. It goes the route of introducing them each individually. Then, it will give you the characters backstory. The problem with this is all the side characters shove out the mains and leave them with less development time. I'm not fan of this way of character development at all because now I feel like I know next to nothing about any of the characters, because the screen time was too evenly split. Therefore, it's more like things doing actions rather than an actual character you can grab on to.
Overall/Enjoyment - 4
Honestly, I was very disappointed by Akuma no Riddle. I thought it would be this new innovative anime that would really try to branch out and do its own thing and end up amazing. This was not the case as it reverted to the old tried and true methods that we've all seen before.
So, in conclusion, I would not recommend this anime to almost anyone, as it has my cliffhangers and boring design choices that left me yearning for what could have been, instead of what we got.
Please note that this review may contain minor spoilers. You have been warned.
"The world is filled with (___)." -Kaiba
This anime has been called several names including "'Danganronpa but less shitty." Were they right? Well... maybe. Both certainly have their pro's and con's and even though they are similar in terms of topic, I don't feel the need to compare them.
Today I will be reviewing the highly anticipated yuri hyped anime known as Akuma no Riddle.
Story - 6/10
Akuma no Riddle (AnR for short) is set in a high school (because apparently nothing interesting ever happens outside of one) in which 12 assassins
have chosen to partake in some sort of a contest. The assassins share one common interest. Each with the goal of assassinating our main protagonist Ichinose Haru with the hopes that they will receive the prize that comes with it. A chance to make one request of any kind a reality, but if they fail their attempt they are expelled and forced to leave the competition. This is where our main heroine Tokaku comes to play. Even though her original mission was to assassinate Haru, she grows fond of her and decides to be the one that protects her. Now it is 11 assassins vs one target and a protector.
The overall premise of the story isn't really unheard of with there being a competition in which one must kill to succeed, but I applaud it for trying to bring a more refreshing topic in mind.
The problem with this story is that after you finish the series it leaves you with no fulfillment. They manage to create so many asspulls and plotholes in one abrupt moment, that after you are finished with the series it makes you feel that everything you've learned or seen about the characters had no meaning in the end. You are just left there; confused with a bunch of questions unanswered.
Art - 8/10
Although the style of art in an anime shouldn't be the deciding factor of whether or not its worth watching or not, (Ping Pong the animation being the greatest example I can think of) I constantly see my opinions being influenced because of it. I found myself having no problems with Akuma no Riddle's art quality. AnR's art quality was actually quite nice. It fits the quality of an 2014 anime (of a 2014 anime art style) and is actually above average during its high points. The fight scenes were interesting and nice to look at, but the art that really stood out for me was the custom ending's (ED's) made for each antagonist in the anime. I found that these were creative, well thought out, and well executed. These little things I feel help differentiate from your typical anime and is definitely refreshing to see.
Sound - 8/10
The soundtrack of AnR is actually on par. The opening "Soushou Innocence" is very catchy, and has its high moments. (especially when it gets to the chorus) The different ED's was what made this area stand out. Choosing to play a different ending song every episode was very interesting and having it sung by the characters themselves was an exceptional bonus as well. The combination of these endings was what made each of them stand out on its own and was well executed. The OST's in this anime are okay, but none of them really struck me as something that stands out on its own. That being said, it wasn't bad. Overall as long as the soundtrack helped compliment the anime, then it has done its job, which I felt it has.
Character - 6/10
This is the section where I feel AnR required some work in. I enjoy yuri as much as the next person, but I felt that the other characters (the antagonists) were basically just catalysts for Tokaku and Haru to build their relationship and nothing more. Any form of character development from the antagonist's are thrown out of the window, as after their 'feature' episode, they are basically gone without any recognition in the later episodes except for possibly a few mentions. This is why this anime feels a bit empty. Any form of bond gained between the antagonist's and the viewers are cut, never to be seen again. (I should write my own drama novel lmao) Overall, i'm just disappointed in this section as if it payed more attention to its side characters it could have shined.
Enjoyment - 7/10
Overall before ending - 7.5/10 Overall after ending - 6/10
Overall, I felt that I did not regret watching this. Although there are components that prevented this anime from excelling,it was not done terribly. Hell, i'd even recommend it to some people if they enjoy anime's like these with an assassination type feel, but it certainly wouldn't be the top choice i'd recommend for that type of anime. If the premise and the synopsis interest you, then you should check it out BUT lower your expectations. After finishing this series/ending with high expectations, I was quite dissapointed. There are some parts that are ridiculously stretched (when you find it, you'll see it clearly) and just dissapoints me because this anime had the potential to be so much more. If you are planning to watch this anime don't expect this to be a breakthrough in its genre or you will be quite dissapointed.
One of the more anticipated series of the Spring season, this series definitely did not live up to those expectations. That being said, the series is very good. I mean, the entire series is based on teenage girl assassins, with very little side story. What's not to like? Throw a little yuri into it and it becomes a fairly interesting series.
A brief summary: The story is set at Myoujou Academy, a private girls' boarding school. The 10th year's Kurogumi (Black) class has 12 assassins with their sights on one target, Haru Ichinose. Tokaku Azuma is a recent transfer student who is also targeting Ichinose,
but she gradually develops feelings for Ichinose, and becomes her protector. And that's really all you need to know. The show's plot is very straight forward and basic at best. But it has a ton of action, with some puzzles that need to be solved. But the viewer doesn't really need to solve them. Tokaku solves them for you. LOL
Each episode centers around one or two of the assassins and their attempt to assassinate Haru. During the episode, you learn of their motives, and reasoning behind why they are participating. Each assassin has a unique situation which drives them which is something I really enjoyed about the series.
In regards to the music and "art", they both were very good in the series. Each episode has it's own ED, which is very unique and something I rarely see. The character were drawn fantastically and the animation is spot on.
Probably the biggest negative I have is the length. I think the series could've used another few episodes to further explain things. At a few points, I felt the episode and series was being rushed a tad bit due to the time constraints.
Overall, Akuma No Riddle isn't the best series of the season, but it's far from being bad. It's filled with a ton of action, and doesn't stray too far from it's straight forward plot. The premise of the series kept me interested, and the series should keep you entertained if you aren't looking for a series that requires a ton of wit and thinking.
Akuma no Riddle:
-action sequences are nicely animated
-opening/ending themes are find but depends on personal taste
-the yuri is there, sometimes
-don't think too much while watching it
Having only 12 episodes and way too many characters for it to handle, I have doubts on how Akuma no Riddle will do in terms of the development of its casts as well as its story and as it turns out, my intuition did not fail me. The characters indeed lack depth and development for viewers to sympathize with their hardships and trials, this include the two main characters Tokaku and Haru. The story didn't progress
much from the given plot either as one can already predict exactly what will happen except maybe in the last few episodes which in my opinion have plot devices coming out of nowhere without proper build up.
However, with brain turned off, Akuma no Riddle can be quite enjoyable. The fight scenes have such fluid animation and are so fun that I didn't even mind much that they are unrealistic and in times dumb and does not make sense. The romance factor, though not as well handled as the action do have some of its moments and are able to entertain for a bit.
In conclusion, if you don't have anything else to watch, try Akuma no Riddle, why not? Though it's not exactly the "I highly recommend this!" type of anime, it can be fun. just don't question it's logic too much, your head will explode
(updated 9/19/18 to match format with other reviews, slight content revision)
Hi! Welcome to another Robert's Too Late Reviews! As always, the synopsis is your friend, and there could be SPOILERS but I do try my very best to avoid/minimize them. Working the dubbed version. If you've seen some of my reviews, I can be a little forgiving, but alas, Akuma no Riddle doesn't leave much room for positive elements. There are surely more wasteful anime out there, but there are MANY more that towers over this in quality, so there are better uses of your time. Will this make the RTLR wall of fame? You
might be surprised! Let's get into it.
The entire premise of a prestigious school recruiting a special class of assassins to just kill a single target, and then impose tons of rules on how the hit can go down is just ridiculous beyond words. It would have made more sense for the assassins to find the target on their own means and attempt to attack than to pool them together and say 'wait your turn now!' They're all supposed to be pro killers, why would they ever even bother with this setup? There are better ways to write in a killer facing down her target than what we're given. Worse still, one assassin who has never killed yet somehow made the cut for a class of super killers, decides to protect the target character with what i would call murky motivations at best. The story comes across as a half baked thought someone scribbled on a napkin then, without further refinement, just threw it together.
The art wasn't bad, the animation seemed to flow well from my perspective, though it was not anything to write home about. It was kind of middle of the road to slightly good side. Not much more to say on it.
I dig the intro song, the rock style matches the theme of assassinations and action, so that's a positive, and in an interesting twist, each episode features a different ending song that is related to the assassin that was featured in that episode taking their turn to kill the target. Some of the songs are odd, but mostly they seemed to fit the assassin's they were written for. It was a nice touch and not something I've come across previously.
As I said, the main pacifist assassin doesn't really have a good reason to throw her lot in with the target, but does so anyway. The target is made to be somewhat mysterious in her background and such as an attempt to inflate the sagging story, but that fails as well. The target comes to a point where she admits she knows everyone's out to kill her, and is still cheery and ready for class each day. If I found out my entire class was only there to kill me, I think I'd play hookey for.....well forever!
The assassins' themselves are a mixed bag, some are cool, others are just disappointing. Each killer uses a personalized weapon, say a knife or a sword, or bombs and poison. This anime does feature one of my favorite characters, a split personality killer who is mild mannered by day, and stark raving mad and in a murderous rage at night. I like crazy girls, what can I say? There's also a weird set of an obviously older assassin who watches over a much younger one. This one tips way too close to an inappropriate relationship for my tastes. There are a few redheads that are basically slight variations of each other, and the 'MC' of the killer competition is just straight up annoying.
If not for Jamie Marchi's character (yes she's been in EVERYTHING but I'm a fan anyway) and the ultimately awesome hammer wielding Mahiru Banba, the assassin group would be a bore.
I was not expecting much because the basic plot is clearly too contrived, but I watched, hoping for some awesome assassin action. There are a few moments, but not enough to justify the amount of time invested to see them.
As I came towards the end of the series, I could think of 3 or maybe even 4 twist endings they could use that would have just really made it so worth it, but again, what seems to be lazy or uninspired writing took the day and the show limped to the end. There are too much good anime to waste time on this one like I did. Strangely enough as much as I felt 'meh' about this anime, it ranked two pics on the wall, one purely for Banba (hammertime!) and one of the bodyguard and the target girl because I like romance, even when it's kinda limp. Still, pass.
Akuma no Riddle is a generic, edgy show that features edgy girls doing edgy things for edgy reasons. It is a bad series that I can not honestly recommend to anyone. For starters, the pacing was poor, with some sections proceeding at breakneck speeds, while others dragged. This is not one of the most glaring flaws, but is still present. The main flaw in this series stems from the poor writing. Characters develop seemingly randomly, motivations are shaky at best, and the resolutions at the end of each arc were unsatisfying at best. The poor writing means that the dialogue between characters is not just
confusing, but often times nonsensical, and leaves viewers lost. The soundtrack is also an issue in Akuma no Riddle, because the score seems to just play whatever at any given point in time. The music almost never fits the scenes, often times giving off mixed feelings, like being tense in a situation where nothing is actually happening, or going to happen. The final, fatal flaw in this series is the conclusion, which not only fails to wrap up the story, but instead leaves the viewer in shock. Nothing happens, and nothing is achieved. In conclusion, if you're looking for a poorly written action series featuring homosexual women, you've found your series, however if you're looking for a decent story with fleshed out characters, and a plot that is well-defined, you won't find it here.
Akuma no Riddle: The Intriguing Battle Royale with Squandered Potential
Akuma no Riddle was an interesting take on the battle royale genre, that ultimately failed in delivering its promising concept. I won't go through the story as the synopsis is written down, but I will address some mild spoilers so keep that in mind if you want to go in 100% blind.
Unfortunately, the strongest aspect of this show was its plot. Most battle royale anime put a group of competitors against each other, with the last man standing as the winner. However, this show takes the concept and flips it on its head, by having
only one murder target, while everyone else is a competitor. With such an interesting premise, I was expecting this show to be really well made. Although, despite having such a fantastic idea, the delivery was horrendous. Without spoiling the show, I'll mention that the main plot twists and threads are introduced not when it's relevant, but when it's convenient. This results in the progression being rather convoluted. The story doesn't flow naturally, and feels like it is constantly travelling back and forth between plot threads that are introduced with abysmal timing. Akuma no Riddle wasted so much potential, and it really hurts me to see such an awesome idea go to waste.
The art isn't exactly bad by any means, but it's nothing outstanding either. It's the kind of art you'd expect from a standard battle royale anime. At times the fight scenes had some interesting perspective shots that added to the intensity, but they were few and far between. If anything, these occasional jumps in quality were somewhat jarring to the show, and made the production quality feel inconsistent. The only time I really felt inclined to keep my eyes focused on the screen was during the opening.
The sound design is nothing to write home about. The effects are your run-of-the-mill style sounds, although the music was very well composed. The opening song got me excited to watch the show, and the music played throughout the show was used at the perfect times. I feel that sometimes, the music was a little unnecessary, but not exactly harmful either. It was there, but didn't at all impact the scene in any way.
This will by far be the longest part of my review, because the characters were so poorly written that I would've been better off watching Sword Art Online. Yes, I really do think they're that bad.
The main character (Tokaku) is an apathetic edgy stereotype. She shows no empathy towards other characters and is constantly acting "cynical" however this cynicism simply comes across as blind and ignorant negativity. Although she strongly expresses her care for our side protagonist (Haru), she hardly ever gives her the respect she deserves. Tokaku acts like a two headed snake, doing anything she can to protect Haru one second, only to talk Haru's ideas and hopes down the next. As a protagonist, she blunders not only due to being cruel, but also due to her lack of relatability.
A key aspect of Tokaku's character is her lack of parents. Both her mother and father are deceased, and I imagine the creator of the manga did this to provide a motivation for her constant negativity. It doesn't really feel like a solid motivation though, and feels like a backstory someone would write for their Sonic OC. It doesn't make her character feel interesting or easier to sympathize with, it quite simply feels cliche and half-baked.
The saddest part of the characters, is that despite Tokaku being the protagonist, every other character in the show was more fleshed out than her. That isn't to say that the other characters are well written though, because they still feel like one-dimensional stereotypes. Most characters only got one episode each, which didn't give viewers enough time to grow attached. We got around twenty-two minutes to see what drove them. While some characters had some thought provoking motives, others were basic, almost flat. Much like the animation, the character quality was inconsistent and felt jarring to the show's progression.
Despite the harsh criticism I've given the show, I'll give credit where it's due. The music was an absolute blast to listen to, and the story itself had a really kick-ass premise with some interesting twists along the way. So, would I recommend this show? Well, it could serve as good background noise if you need that, but otherwise it isn't all that great.
I do think I am being a little harsh on this anime, but it isn't all that amazing regardless. Overall, I'll give it a 6/10. It lacked a lot of substance and could have done a lot more with some extra episodes and a good director.
This is my first review here. I hope you enjoyed it and thank you for reading.
A class full of assassins. Twelve assassins, all tempted with a reward for being granted anything, versus one student. One assassin has a reversal; a change of mind, to protect the student. Night after night, Tokaku Azuma fends off the schemes, traps, and ambushes of these assassins in order to keep Haru from being killed. (The premise is copy-pasted from my review on the manga; it has not changed between mediums.)
And does this anime portray this story well? Like the manga - to which I have also given a poor score to - it does not.
Unfortunately, the anime has not "enhanced" the value of the
manga at all, aside from adding its intended attributes: visuals and audio. There are even some areas where the anime has perhaps made the viewing experience *worse*, due to the added intensity of clichés and various other hackneyed devices already present in the manga.
For those not familiar with the manga, the only reason I would recommend the anime over it is because it is somewhat easier to understand from the get-go; although this improvement is only a smidge above.
The premise is actually interesting and has potential, but the execution and delivery of a good, gripping, and tense story of survival, deceit, and conspiracy is...futile, to say the least. There is very little, if any, messages to be derived from the series, and whatever messages it did attempt to convey are completely overshadowed by the sheer stupidity of tropes such as delaying the final blow, the overuse of dramatic pauses, and cheesy dialogue. In other words, this is an extremely frustrating and underwhelming show to watch.
While I am not of the belief that death is an absolute essential, even in a story such as this, the significance of life and living lacks any depth here. Which seems incredibly difficult to screw up with a protagonist like Azuma Tokaku, an assassin who is handicapped with the inability to kill, but the writing still manages to do so.
My original score for "Character" in my review for the manga was 3/10 (poor). So how does it get worse in the animation?
Again: the animation did not necessarily "improve" what was the manga was deficient in; aside from presenting a couple of scenarios more clearly. A few characters benefited from having voices and animations, such as Kaminaga and Takechi, but others had a reduced presence (even lacking their original backstories), such as Nio and Kenmochi.
Perhaps it was the bluntly dull and trite dialogue, behavior, and interaction of the characters in animation format which made it all the more worse. As stated in my review of the manga, "There were characters I very much wanted to "understand", but the writer refuses to develop and expand upon them. With a cast of killers, it should be expected that their resolve and reason for their resolve be explored..."
Haru's steadfast motivation to graduate Class Black remains redundant. Azuma's desire and reasoning to protect her remains redundant. The other eleven assassins just do not have enough screen-time to offer some variation from the redundancy of Haru and Azumas' interaction with one another. Therefore, it becomes difficult for the viewer to sympathize with either.
Additionally, very few assassins actually felt dangerous and deadly. Many were simply outdone by cliché maneuvers such as shooting whatever may be hanging off the ceiling or not being a challenge at all to Azuma Tokaku's daggers, even if they were equipped with a firearm. This really lowers the viewer's expectations for the rest of the cast, which is not a good thing at all.
For once, the score for Sound > Art.
I do not like admitting it, but I feel compelled to make a note of how badly action is conveyed in the animation. The battles, chases, traps, trials and tribulations...none of them were exciting or intense. Everything felt very "slowed-down", almost to the point of absurdity. This really contributed to the overall disappointment that can be felt from watching the show.
The animation feels almost undeserving of the musical score it has been coupled with. Atmospheric, eerie, and foreboding at times (e.g. Owari no Hajimari), percussive and inspiring at others (e.g. Mamoru Beki Mono); the soundtrack is excellent, but unfortunately oddly contrasted to the slow and rigid pace of the animation.
As for the voice acting, it was not noticeably good, nor was it so horrible that I could not stand listening to it. It sits somewhere in the middle of the scale, probably gravitating towards the lower end. The voices clearly could not carry the burden of bad dialogue.
I could not enjoy this. And from reading the comments underneath the videos on the site where I watched Akuma no Riddle, many people did not either.
However, I did manage to finish it. I did not feel turned-off enough to stop at any point, but it did take me a little longer (about a week) to watch the last four episodes due to a lack of interest along the way.
3/10 - Poor. Not an improvement from the manga. As such, my recommendation remains the same for what I have stated for the manga: I just would not recommend this.
In short, Akuma no Riddle is about a special class in Myōjō Academy where 12 assassins are tasked with taking down the remaining classmate in the class they are grouped in.
I feel that the assassin theme is not new to anime culture, nor is it outdated in any way. I feel that adding this concept into a seemingly on the surface, slice of life anime makes it fresh, though, in reality this series is far from a slice of life. Seeing attractive young ladies showing their grit and fighting for their lives, is not something I've seen in many anime series, hence it
seems kinda fresh in my perspective.
As for the progression of the storyline, the only thing that gets me down is the predictability of the progression of the series. It starts with a 1v1 duel and pretty much stays that way throughout the rest of the series. Platonic, but it is something i do not mind going back to after each episode
The art in Akuma no Riddle is fantastic on the front of character design. All of the 13 girls each bear a strikingly distinct feature that sets them apart from the rest of the cast. All of these characters are beautifully drawn to life and are all pleasant to the eyes, as all girls are.
Then again, one serious drawback in the art department would be the realism of the action sequences in the anime. There are times where fight sequences seem a tad bit too "low budget" with very underwhelming actions and repetitive simple animation. Yes, this is an anime on assassins. These people are trained to kill, but the anime struggles in illustrating what could be the most important selling point in the anime. The "action" in an "action" genre anime
I personally feel that this is one of the aspects which Akuma no Riddle excels in. The anime is a short 12 episodes , and runs with a single opening. However not only is the opening engaging and fast paced, the 12 unique endings based on each character add spice to each episode, making the audience want to watch all the way to the end of the episode. This unique twist also allows fans of the different characters to take back a piece of their own, in the enjoyment of that particular character. Something that is very fresh in anime today, which I hope I can see more in the future
Despite the show's short running episode series, 12 episodes proved sufficient in capturing almost all of the different characters in the anime. Despite it being "sufficient". To introduce this much back story for each of the characters in such a short time is not just "ok". its a pretty damn good achievement on its own. Its a shame that the anime had to move so quickly, but I applaud the creators on that feat.
Personally, I did quite enjoy myself while watching this anime. Most of the elements of the show blended in very nicely to make watching this anime worth the time spent. However, those looking for an intricate storyline, plot or ending may be a tad bit disappointed with this series, as it mainly centers around action and suspense.
Akuma no Riddle is an ongoing manga written by Koga Yun and illustrated by Minakata Sunao. Last year it was adapted into a twelve episode anime series by Diomedéa, the same studio behind Ika Musume and some series I've never seen and know basically nothing about. This is my second exposure to their work. Let's see how they do.
Azuma Tokaku is an assassin in training. She gets selected for a rather strange mission at Myoujou Academy, a girls' school. She and twelve other girls will make up the school's Black Class and all of them except one, Ichinose Haru, are assassins. The assassin to slay
Haru will be rewarded with whatever they desire. Things shift when Tokaku develops feelings for Haru, vowing to protect her from the others even if it costs her her life.
Let's start by looking at the issues with the narrative. There's really only one major complaint I have. The ending is pretty weak. There are parts of it that work but it tries way too hard to wrap everything up nicely and there are some things that really don't add up as a result. I can't really go into more details without giving major spoilers but if you've seen the anime you know exactly what I'm talking about. I will also say that the pacing isn't very good and the series quickly falls into a rhythm of having an assassin make an attempt on Haru's life every episode resulting in a match between her and Tokaku. I will give the series credit for being able to pull this off without it getting really samey and it's kind of understandable since the series has the same number of episodes as assassins, but it still leads to a sense that things are getting rushed.
On a more positive note, the concept is compelling and it does keep you invested. The tension is really strong and there are a lot of really good sources for it be they mysteries about a character's past, a situation with one of the assassins that's particularly perilous or mysteries surrounding the scenario itself. I also like that Haru isn't a helpless damsel who can't do anything without Tokaku. She proves herself capable on several occasions and she even saves Tokaku a few times. The romance is also nicely done. It starts off kind of abruptly, but it gets a lot of good moments including a buddy breathing scene that's on par with Due South's, and it does develop into something really good. The series also has a really tragic episode about halfway through and it's very well done and handled.
The cast is surprisingly strong. For a series with more major characters than episodes they do manage to give them all back stories, motivations and make them pretty well fleshed out. There are certainly characters who are better developed than others, but they do do really well overall. That isn't to say it's perfect. There are some issues with it. They use the pop culture version of dissociative identity disorder. There's also a part of Isuke's background that bothers me. She has two dads, no that isn't what bothers me, and calls one of them “Mama.” I'm relatively certain that most gay couples do not have their adopted children refer to one of them by an opposite gender term and that that detail was just put in to make their family more “traditional.” In fact, most gay couples just differentiate by using different terms like “daddy” and “papa” or “dad” and “father” or “papa” and “vati.”
There are a lot of good aspects to the art. The character designs, mostly, are well done. Although I still have no idea why that one girl looks like a grade schooler. The action scenes are really well done with a lot of intensity. There are a lot of nicely done background details too. On the downside, the series is overly fond of fan-service
Our leads are voiced by Suwa Ayaka and Kanemoto Hisako (the voice of Ika Musume). They both give solid performances. We also get great performances from Nanjo Yoshino (Canaan's Maria), Misawa Sachika (Kitakubu Katsudou Kiroku's Reina), Uchida Mami and Yamada Yuki. Really, there aren't any badly done performances in this. The music is also really good. Interestingly enough, the ending themes change from episode to episode and all the major actresses get to perform either by themselves or as part of a duet and they're all really good.
While this is a yuri series, the romance elements are a bit downplayed. About the most you get is going to be a hug here and there. Still, the relationship between Tokaku and Haru is really well done and there is some extra yuri on the side between Chitaru and Hitsugi. There's also the fact that Isuke has two dads but we never really see them together. So, the ho-yay factor is a 7/10. Don't come into this expecting a lot of snogging and romantic scenes.
Akuma no Riddle is an interesting series with some really good moments, intense action scenes, compelling characters and an intriguing plot. It's not perfect by any means and there are some head scratching decisions in it, but I still suggest checking it out since there are so many more things that it does well. My final rating for it is going to be an 8/10. Next week I'll look at Sengoku Otome : Momoiro Paradox.
Ah, another anime with a battle royale-esque plot just came out, but the question is, was it any good? Well, yes and no.
Since I'm a huge fan of battle royale, I feel inclined to watch anything that has any resemblance to it's basic plot (Future Diary, DanganRonpa, Btooom!, etc) and Akuma no Riddle did not fail me in the slightest.
Story (6) -
Akuma no Riddle is set in a class full of 12 assassins that have the main goal of killing Haru Ichinose in exchange for a wish to be granted. However, one of the assassins, Tokaku Azuma, decides to help protect Haru against the others.
very episodic for the majority of the show. Each episode is based around a new assassin trying to kill Haru and Haru somehow living with the help of Tokaku. This set up makes it very predictable, but doesn't make it any less interesting. Since it can be compared to so many other story lines, the story is nothing extremely original. Nevertheless, it never fails to be entertaining enough for you to keep watching.
Also, the ending was very disappointing, at least for me. Allow me to quote someone very important, who points out something that this anime totally ignores at the end.
"People die when they are killed." -Shirou Emiya (Fate/Stay Night)
I do so hate it when stories neglect this.
Art (7) -
The character designs were one of the best things about this anime. Each looked completely different than the rest and they all looked really cool. The rest of the art was good, but nothing extraordinary.
Sound (6) -
Nothing really popped out when it came to the music within the show. The opening was good but nothing amazing. The endings are what really stood out, as there was an ending for each assassin when the episode was about them. They corresponded with the character and had really awesome music/visuals. Beyond the endings, the soundtrack was decent.
Characters (8) -
With a huge cast such as this, it would be hard to give them all the same amount of screen time or different character traits. However, this anime excels at giving them each their own backgrounds and quirks. Each assassin also has different wishes that are mentioned and expanded upon, as their wishes are the driving force for trying to kill Haru. The only one that didn't have that much originality was the main character, Tokaku. She was a tsundere. Thankfully she actually had a personality, as she loved Haru and had a past that haunted her enough to give her emotions.
Another important thing to mention is that the anime is considered yuri. However, the yuri factor isn't very prevalent. Sure, there was some hugging and group bath time but nothing really happened beyond that. That's alright with me but if you're a yuri fan, you might be disappointed.
The romance was left open-ended. However, it can be assumed that Haru and Tokaku do start dating, or at least remain very close friends. So, romance fans might also be disappointed.
Enjoyment (8) -
I'm a sucker for stories about characters trying to kill other characters. It's just something I'm into, don't judge me. If you like an entertaining story with great characters (and character designs) as well as some decent twists, then you should give this a go. Don't expect anything amazing, but expect a fun ride.
Final Verdict: A classroom with female assassins + Battle Royale = ...DanganRonpa 2.0?
Just curious, how longer will they be smashing the hopes of poor viewers in the end of the series? Why should they make every second one into something sticky, made of a concentrated purple goo? Yep, Akume no Riddle, it’s about your creators.
Characters fap-fap-fap. I couldn’t get a grip of the m=names, expect for Haru (Haru wo mamoru, I’ll be saying this while doing illogical things). The main heroine is fit to become an ideal soldier, why don’t they have more of her. And the others! Stamp in on stamp here, raw materials barely make a single line. Even in Danganronpa they had it kinda
more livelily. Mi-nu-s.
Dat logic made me getting a vicious dump. I thought the director is the laziest man in the world. I was about getting my on-duty washbowl, when… *spoiler*. And that’s it! Everything fell into place. Then *spoiler* again. The problems I even wasn’t aware of have got rid of. Yet the final scene disturbed the good impression, I think that’s because some people have a bit too much vitality. But it’s a plus.
The same goes for the place. At first you are scrambled upon some black classes, assassins, way too elite schools… *spoiler* makes everything clear. The world at once becomes well-made and ready-to-defend-itself-against-your-criticism. Well yeah, just not bad, it has noting new or interesting in particular., and it’s wasn’t even planned that way. Simply plain.
GRAFICS. And SOUNDING. I frealing love it when each episode has its own ending theme. There are even descent ones. The opening is much more promising than the anime itself, and you can’t ignore it. At least everything is pretty and well-animated! Characters fap-fap-fap (da voices even make my desire stronger), especially the red-haired one, left behind near the end. Haru is quite something too. And the school. And it’s a plus.
The plot. The plot. It seems there is one, but on the other hand – is it needed? – you think for yourself while watching before *spoiler* occurs. Then it happens, and… What’s “and”? An artless “kill or be killed” story with a tiny bit of pure girls’ love. The last episodes start to interpret the previous ones freely, adding up a certain degree of THE DRAMA, but without answering the questions. As I seem to respect THE DRAMA here, there’s no minus.
Well… minus-plus… turns out to be a mediocre, casual anime which, however, has everything it takes to excite an unsophisticated viewer. If you don’t look into details much, you can even gain pleasure of it. It ain’t like you are anime for its final, right? Yet sure thing you won’t be looking forward to the promised sequel, damn it… Have a look at cute schoolgirls? Here you go. They even have weapons! I don’t know a man who’d stay calm and, ermmm, not get excited.
5/10. It’s normal; there are much more bad things. But for you to know – you should watch this BEFORE Danganronpa and stuff.
Akuma no Riddle has a fairly decent premise and the art is nice, but it loses itself in tropes, a rushed story and a deus ex ending.
The story follows Tokaku and Haruka, one an assassin and the other the target of a class full of assassins. The characters themselves are very one dimensional, and because the anime was so short, we barely get any character development before the characters are booted out of the plot and quickly forgotten about. I've seen it compared to the Dangan Ronpa anime in this respect, but I feel that the Dangan Ronpa anime was a little more enjoyable.
The anime appears to have a yuri setting, but other than gratuitous panty shots, bondage and bath scenes, there seems to be very little actual romance - probably because there is literally not enough time for it.
The ending leaves you unsatisfied and wondering what the hell I spent the past 12 weeks watching this for.