First Look: The Devil’s Riddle

H1

Alternate Titles: Akuma no Riddle, Riddle Story of Devil
Manga Adaptation by Diomedea
Simulcast on Funimation

Premise

A young assassin is sent to take part in an assassination game. There are 12 contestants and one target who is to be assassinated. Winning is simple, be the one to kill the target. Or at least it would be simple if our assassin had the sense not to fall in love with her target and decide to protect her instead.

Lifesong’s Verdict: Exciting and Suspenseful

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this, but I’ve heard good things about the manga and well how can lesbian assassins go wrong? Right? I am sure there are plenty of ways if I am honest, but this first episode managed to impress me. The drama built into a this premise creates a great mood as our assassin meets the target she is to kill. The “likeable” cast of insane killers make the one kindhearted girl in the class the obvious target, or is she?

There is a lot going on in this show and a sense that not all is what it seems. The thought of seeing our unsuspecting target take a knife to the back becomes more and more unpleasant as the episode plays out. There is a sense of tension and urgency as everyone comes to the same conclusion. The girl who is acting like a regular student down on her luck and looking to make friends needs to die. There is also the riddle given to our assassin to be and a promise of redemption in the form of her targets answer to that question. Who wouldn’t want forgiveness? A grief stricken assassin would. This first episode was everything I was hoping it would be. I can’t wait for more.

1

Jel’s Verdict: Killer

My gut instinct told me this was going to be a male fantasy wish fulfillment deal with lots of blood and girls making out. Instead, we get a tense psychological thriller that I would describe as a reverse-murder mystery – the killers are trying to find out who the victim is supposed to be. Like any good mystery, this first episode does a fantastic job of building tension. Like any good mystery it makes you trust NO ONE, planting seeds of doubt in even the most obvious theories.

The premise of a special class that exists solely for a game of killer cat and mouse is totally ridiculous and arbitrary, but it works because The Devil’s Riddle makes it clear it has a message. Instead of a realistic, character driven story, it sets itself up as a morality play, questioning the boundaries of right and wrong. Each time Tokaku tries to solve the riddle on her phone she learns a little more about herself, and it’s that kind of ambition that impressed me more than anything. Add on some stylish visuals and the potential for some cool fight scenes and I am definitely intrigued to see more.

2

Iro’s Verdict: Has Potential

The basic idea of a giant cat-and-mouse game could be interesting, but already this first episode has raised some questions for the basic premise. While rousing curiosity is generally a good thing, I found myself more frustrated that the goal of the game wasn’t made clear. That, and if only one girl is supposed to not be an assassin, it seems like it would be trivial for all of the other assassins who are trained from birth to take her out. But, I suppose it’s anime, and I have to leave some room for the plot to actually happen. I’m not a fan of the unnecessary fanservice (not helped by 90% of the cast being psycho women), but I’ll keep an eye on this show for at least a few more episodes.

3

Marlin’s Verdict: Waiting for More

I enjoyed this show somewhat. The cast was a little disappointing in how they all had to be either annoying or creepy, but I’m sure it’ll become satisfying once Tokaku starts fighting them and breaking their weird assassin facades. I am also in the camp of people who thinks Haru might not be the target after all. If this is played up well I could see this being a fun fighting show, but I’d like to know more about the rules of this strange game. Seeing how Tokaku destroyed all the secret cameras made me think that maybe the target needs to be killed without notice. If that wasn’t the case, then it’s confusing as to why every assassin thinks Haru is the target, but do nothing about it. That said, I’ll be keeping on so I can learn more about the world before I make a complete judgement.

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