Title: Akuma no Riddle
Summary: The story is set at Myoujou Academy, a private girls’ boarding school. The 10th year’s Kurogumi 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..
Review: Akuma no Riddle was an anime that had the right foundation but poor execution. The first few episodes had me curious, but nothing solid in terms of entertainment. I decided to stick with it because it seemed like an anime that could turn out to be a pretty good action series. Unfortunately it took the slew of different characters with various weapons and backstories and smashed everyone together into an inseparable mess.
To start I would say that the one thing Akuma no Riddle could have pulled points in was art. Could have. However, the series decided that it wouldn’t do anything special despite being primarily action. More often than not I felt like I was watching still scenes of a manga rather than an anime. The overused blurred corners got tiring quickly. It’s a cheaters way out to make it seem like a scene is more intense than it really is. The characters didn’t have anything that stood out about them other than the occasional scar or sexy clothing. I didn’t see them being a good representation of the character types. The series seemed to spend more time creating beautiful lighting and expressive facials during the most mundane moments. I understand Akuma no Riddle’s main focus was supposed to be the character development, but even that was a huge flop.
I couldn’t get behind any of the characters despite every episode revealing a new backstory. I got that the series was trying to reveal the motivations of each assassin, but some of them were a far stretch. The things that were supposed to make them special weren’t that captivating. I feel that the fault lies in the way the episodes were planned out. It opens the ‘rules’ of combat stating that no two assassins can attempt to kill Ichinose at the same time, which for a twelve episode series and twelve assassins sort of sets the pace for the whole thing. By spending half the episode building up the relationship between Tokaku Azuma and Haru Ichinose, about a a quarter for the episode’s protagonist’s backstory, and the next quarter on action, it led to rather dreary pacing. They tried to sprinkle in some mystery here and there of who Azuma really was, but it turned out to be a let down. The past visions and trauma she suffered wasn’t all that shocking. However, I don’t think that Akuma no Riddle was all bad. Each of the assassins had their specific skill sets which led to unique fights every episode, my personal favorite being from episode six. Although the action scenes weren’t very exciting, they did try to keep things fresh as much as possible. My second praise was that the series wasn’t oversaturated in Yuri. That may be good or bad depending on which side of the fence you sit on, but I personally enjoyed the fact that the Azuma and Ichinose didn’t completely gush over each other every chance they got. It kept the relationship very level headed and focused more on the fact that people were trying to kill Ichinose. I don’t know about you, but to me that would take precedence over everything else in my life. Overall I would say that the series suffered from:
- Lack of fleshed out back stories
- Non-relatable characters
- Poor action scenes
- Odd ending
Final statements: I know this is a rather short review, but quite honestly the series didn’t have much to talk about. Each episode was the same thing with a different villain. I consider this one an avoid watch because there are plenty of other action anime out there that overshadow Akuma no Riddle.