First Impressions – Akuma no Riddle – METANORN

First Impressions – Akuma no Riddle

Badass lady-assassins staying in the same classroom; what more do you want?~

For some reason I’ve always had a thing for assassin characters, so when hearing about Akuma no Riddle, I knew right away this would be one of the first shows I’d check out. While this first episode wasn’t as impressive as I thought, there’s still a number of interesting aspects to stick around for~
All I knew about Akuma no Riddle before watching was that it’s a gritty story about psychotic assassins and yuri. …Which seems like as good of a genre mix as any. And what do you know, it was a gritty story about psychotic assassins and yuri. Er, maybe it’s not quite yuri yet, but the flags are totally there.

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 I have to say it’s nice to see a non-moe ensemble of girls as the front-runners of a show for a change (with the exception of course being Haru, who’s too cute for her own good). There’s a lot of strange, dark, and frankly insane personalities amongst the 8 assassins, and we still have 5 more that need to be introduced! Already the interactions between them have been pretty tense, which makes me excited to see how they’ll interact once they’re all together and fighting to kill the target first. I hope we’ll get to see some kick-ass battles between them like we do in the opening. Yet, while everyone is out for blood, there’s Haru, who’s this very bright person among them. She’s all sorts of adorable and hopeful for a happy school life, which makes me sad because of course no one else is thinking the way she is. Luckily there is at least Tokaku to be there for her. But despite her appearance, it looks like Haru might have a dark past herself with those strange looking scars and the mention of her ‘real self’. I wonder if it’s this past of hers that makes her the supposed target of this assassination?

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Right from the plot’s description, it says that Tokaku and Haru are going to be the main pairing, but… is that really going to work? I mean, it’s the typical “serious person with no heart”/“cheerful person who wants to be everyone’s friend” pairing, which is fine. But as far as the actual character chemistry is going, there isn’t really any. Tokaku seems interested in Haru for no real reason, it seems. There wasn’t really any meaningful character interaction, but she still felt the need to hang on to the charm that Haru made. Maybe they can make this work out as the plot progresses, but I hope that it isn’t a romance out of nowhere just because Haru seems to be the first non-assassin-ish person that Tokaku has spent time with. Though that might be a bit of a presumptuous statement. Maybe there’s some actual reason that Tokaku feels interested in Haru due to her past or something. Also, maybe this isn’t the first non-assassin-ish person that Tokaku has met. However, that’s what it looks like from what the anime showed. If there are going to be side couples though, it looks like that will be interesting to see. Especially if they’re going by the dorm assignments, since Isuke and Haruki seem like they would be a super interesting pairing from the interaction they had over their nails.

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It wasn’t a bad first episode, but I feel like it’s one of those stories that might have been better explained in the manga. Do they not know who the target is? It seems like it’s Haru, but are the characters 100% sure that it’s her they’re supposed to kill? Is Haru an assassin too, or what? Of course, there’s the question as to why they’re all sent to kill Haru (if she really is the target) in the first place, but that will most likely be answered later on. It was an interesting enough premise though, and it looks like this is heading in an interesting direction. I looked up the author of the manga, and it turns out that it’s Kouga Yun, the same author as Loveless (but this has a different artist instead of Kouga this time). Which should be good for interesting relationships (hopefully) and plot twists, but I also found that there were a lot of convoluted concepts in Loveless that I never fully understood. Having teenager kill each other seems like it will be a simpler concept than syllable battles and cat ears that mark your relationship status.

I never trust first episodes for anything because I know certain types of shows take some time to build up, and already I feel that Akuma no Riddle is going to be one of those shows. Honestly, it’s a bit of a turn-off, but as I said in my intro, there are a lot of aspects to stick around for. All the girls seem interesting and I’m eager to catch everyone’s backstory, as well as their personal reasons for participating in this assassination. Not to mention there’s still 5 more girls to introduce, the possible reveal of whatever happened in Tokaku’s and Haru’s past, and to see if Tokaku actually does develop romantic feelings for Haru. The next episode’s preview didn’t show much, but hopefully they’ll finish introducing the rest of the characters so we can get started on these assassination attempts and more. Until next week then~

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16 Responses to “First Impressions – Akuma no Riddle”

  1. Liza says:

    I enjoyed this first episode. I liked all of the girls(and how crazy they all seemed to be). I was actually surprised when I found out this was a yuri. 0_o I couldn’t sense a romantic feel from the main duo. I actually thought it was going the “friendship” route when I read the description but whatever. Maybe the scars on Haru are related to Tokaku?

    • BlackBriar says:

      I think the female viewers will find it easy to overlook the steadily increasing yuri factor if there’s enough action beside it.

  2. Highway says:

    I thought the feel was very similar to Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge, and liked that (and I’m glad it wasn’t like something like Danganronpa or Btooooooooooom!). I like the competence of everyone, and I think the personalities will work, although I wish there were more ‘normal’ personalities, you know, just your average person who just happens to be a murderer, too. It seems like they had to make everyone obviously flawed somehow.

    I mean, it’s the typical “serious person with no heart”/“cheerful person who wants to be everyone’s friend” pairing, which is fine. But as far as the actual character chemistry is going, there isn’t really any.

    I felt a little more chemistry, and I get the feeling that the ‘typical’ tropes you mention are more of a front than how they really are. We’ll see how it ends up, but I think that nobody’s being genuine yet.

    • Karakuri says:

      I read a bit of the manga since I wrote my part for this. Haru certainly gets more interesting~.

  3. skylion says:

    I really couldn’t get a feel for this show. Maybe the survival trope really isn’t my thing, and I dropped both Danganronpa and Btooom early on. I stayed with Mirai Nikki and sometimes wish I didn’t, and Crime Edge had more character development up front.

    That being said, there is a minor spark of interest in that Haru may not be what she seems. It’s been done before in other stories loads of times, but I could stick around to see how they do this one.

  4. Overcooled says:

    I quite liked the first episode, even if the story is pretty garbage right now. I also feel like Haru and her stoic friend are becoming close for little other reason than coincidentally being in close proximity most of the time.

    I’m not really invested in the plot or characters, but I like how they’re ALL psychos. It makes for a really tense environment where they all have to be on edge all the time. The mind games such as figuring out if an opponent is right or left handed are pretty fun.

    So I’m not expecting a lot out of this aside from girls being super bitchy (like…murderously bitchy) to each other. But eh, I’ll take it.

  5. zztop says:

    I looked up the author of the manga, and it turns out that it’s Kouga Yun.

    That’s the same one who designed Gundam 00’s characters, right?
    I hear the source manga only spans 2 volumes & still ongoing, so I’m not sure how the anime intends to end itself.

    PS. Not covering Kamigami, Kara? 🙂

    • d-LaN says:

      I think Kara mentioned that she doing it bi-weekly.

      • Karakuri says:

        Actually, wait like 10 minutes, and Kamigami should be posted. I’ve just been busy this week with final presentations/projects/papers.

  6. zztop says:

    OP preview for Wounded Innocence by Uchida Maaya, out this 23rd April:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKyIXi48g1c

    Had no idea Iki Hiyori’s VA could sing well.

    Also, each episode of Devil’s Riddle will have different ED song.

  7. BlackBriar says:

    Finally, it’s here. I had been anticipating this series since Fall last year because of its premise that raised some interest. Rather more like an experiment of the sort given that there hasn’t been a series that literally had both action and yuri in the formula. While watching the first episode, I didn’t know what I saw more out of the setting: Danganronpa or Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge.

    Fortunately, I have a thing for psycho girls. Nice to see the students present in Black Class are off their rockers with murderous intent and don’t beat around the bush about it so things will most likely start going all out by the next episode. As we see who’ll start clipping who for the prize, most of the interest will be on Haru. I see no reason to send in a dozen assassins for one seemingly harmless target unless said target is more than they appear.

    As for the yuri part, looks like Tokaku’s ice cold demeanor is already thawing out simply by interacting with Haru. She told Kaiba she had no wishes but eventually she’ll say she wants to protect Haru.

    Tokaku seems interested in Haru for no real reason, it seems.

    Given the way Tokaku was presented at the beginning, she’s probably an orphan and it’s the start of the first real relationship she’s ever had so she’ll immediately start getting attached, though it’s obviously something she never intended. Remember how cold and hardened Jormungand’s Jonah was? Yet he developed a bond with the kind of person he was supposed to hate.

  8. Foshizzel says:

    Dat Hisako Kanemoto voice for Haru <3 <3 <3 <3

    I can't wait to see the girls plot against each other and slowly move in for the kill! It looks like all the girls have different targets or are they all after Haru? I guess we shall see~

  9. BlackBriar says:

    By the way, going by what ANN stated in its Akuma no Riddle post some time ago, the ED for each episode is a different character song. The first one already started off with Tokaku so we’ll have 12 more to look forward to.

  10. anaaga says:

    I love the whole same sex x same sex concept, but somehow I’m not feeling the plot of this anime. the characters seem interesting though, so I guess I’ll watch this for the characters and all the gay love

    I don’t get how all these assassins assume that their target is Haru. Isn’t is odd how Haru hasn’t graduated until now? Meaning that she has been repeating Black Class again and again? I expect a twist where Haru is actually an assassin too and their real target is actually the homeroom teacher. That guy looks innocent and a great target to pounce at

    • Kyokai says:

      Just a point, innocent looking people don’t always remain innocent in anime. 😉

      • BlackBriar says:

        That’s true but beware of the quiet or refined ones. They’re the really sadistic kind.

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