Spring 2014: Akuma no Riddle
Akuma no Riddle – one of my most expected series of the season. At least before I noticed the Yuri tag. And before I saw all the characters are female. My expectations suddenly made a dive. Regardless, I gave it a go – for better or for worse.
To be honest, I wasn’t that impressed with what I saw. I actually had to force myself through the first few minutes, because I really disliked something about Akuma no Riddle. I can’t immediately pinpoint what it was, but something is still bothering me.
OP: The opening song didn’t impress me. Pretty average. The animation in the OP was quite good on the other hand – showing all the characters (in pretty erotic poses too…) and even some action scenes.
ED: And interesting thing about the ending was a very short sequence of what happened during the episode. I rarely see that happening, and the way it was incorporated was good. Other than that, the ending was accompanied by still images of the protagonist, and the song was just a bit better than average.
Voice acting: The voice acting was quite good, almost all voices fit the characters and are like I expected them to be. Perhaps an exception here is Nio Hashiri, who sounds way too brutal for the moe girl she tries to be.
Visuals: The style isn’t my favourite – lack of detail in the characters themselves. The animation is pretty smooth, although not top quality. During the “crazy” moments, red colour was used. Too often, in my opinion, making it less effective. Overall the colouring like the setting sun was good.
Characters: Although not all characters were introduced right in the first episode, we got to see quite a few of them. There’s the main character Tokaku Azuma, who is an emotionless assassin with a dark past. Of course that’s just on the surface. That’s why there’s the yuri tag – she’ll probably be all over the other main character, Haru Ichinose. Haru is the typical cheerful high-school girl (reminding me a lot of Yui from OreGairu), maybe even a clutz. There’s also a bunch of crazy assassin high-school girls who aren’t missing a chance to intimidate the Tokaku. Overall a pretty average cast, although without a male lead – at least no harems will emerge.
Story: Tokaku Azuma has been trained to be an assassin since her childhood. She graduated, and was chosen for her first task – to kill a high-school girl. For that reason, she is transferred into a big school, where she has 11 assassin classmates and her target. I didn’t understand very well, what her goal is, since she didn’t assassinate Haru Ichinose right there. The other assassins, who according to Tokaku’s boss (Kaiba) all have different ambitions, and yet are all still shown to target the same girl as our main character. So throughout the first episode we are just introduced those fellow assassins, who arrive to the school one by one. Nobody makes a move though. Yet. They just throw Pocky’s and bag decorations towards Tokaku, to test her skills. A decent introductory episode for a battle-royale anime.
Conclusion: For many people this anime reminded of Danganronpa. Maybe it is similar, but I felt a much stronger similarity to Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge. And that one was very disappointing, to say the least. Mainly they share the crazy female characters, ready to cut you up at any moment. I’ll probably stick around for a few more episodes, but I am not hoping for much here. The plot just doesn’t look promising to me, based on the first episode. However, I might be totally wrong, and Akuma no Riddle might become one of the better animes of this season. You never know!