211th G-View: Akuma no Riddle

This show is both easy to enjoy and rip to shreds. It has no difficulty in following what’s going on yet at the same time doesn’t do enough for some. Let’s go into detail as we take a look at Akuma no Riddle.

Akuma no Riddle Cover

Alternate Title: Riddle Story of Devil

Genres: Action, drama.

Themes: Assassins, school, yuri

Number of episodes: 12 + 1 OVA

G-Rating: 8/10

Plot Summary: At the private girls’ boarding school, Myōjō Academy, thirteen girls are transferred into the academy’s “10th Year Class Black”. Of these thirteen students, twelve are assassins from various backgrounds who are all tasked with assassinating the remaining student, a girl named Haru Ichinose. If they succeed, they will be granted any wish they desire, but if they fail, they are expelled from the class. One of the assassins, Tokaku Azuma, develops feelings for Haru and defects to her side, resolving to protect her from the other assassins.

Akuma no Riddle height chartPlot progression is quite simple in this one. There are 11 assassins for TokaHaru to fight in 12 episodes with a 13th one later on. I honestly did not know how else they could divide the screen time for all these ladies in such short notice. I also do not know what decisions go into creative when deciding how many episodes a anime adaptation of something can get. Obviously if it had been 20+ there would have been a lot more time to deliver more in-depth explanations on motivations and snuggle time between roommates. Despite that what we got covered enough ground covered for most of the ladies. However some of them did get the short end of the stick, thankfully not many.

Class full of killer lesbiansBack to the plot’s pacing. The show has a very formulaic progression process which can be seen as both good and bad. However this kind of concept is nothing new. See, AnR is one of many anime, movies and video games to follow the “one (or two in this case) vs many generals” narrative. Some examples I know of include Seven Koopalings, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Kill Bill, Trigun’s second half, Kill La Kill’s 1st half, No More Heroes and Organization XIII from Kingdom Hearts to name a few. They all have a similar pace in progression.

  • 1: Meet the heroes and foes.
  • 2: Get to know both sides little by little as the story progresses.
  • 3: Sometimes the generals get flashbacks or a bio explaining their motivations but usually it is not fully explored in one outing. Some don’t even get explored at all.
  • 4: With each fallen general the hero’s past or motivation begins to unfold further and further. The closer he/she gets to the last general, the clearer the hero’s reason for being becomes until it is made fully clear.
  • 5: Face the mastermind.
  • 6: Some sort of conclusion.

Now whether the plot is well presented is a matter of preference. I mentioned some examples earlier, mainly because these complaints were often brought up by detractors:

  • 1: Not enough exploration for some of the assassins and their motivations.
  • 2: Not enough on-screen snuggle time between all the roommates.
  • 3: Sometimes the pacing felt rushed or cut for time.
  • 4: Character interactions felt unbelievable. This last one is the most subjective of the four but I felt it needed to be mentioned just in case.
  • 5: I don’t even want to dig deeper by explaining the plot holes the plot has. I’ll try to name a few for kicks.

-Why does it have to be a one by one order?

-Why can’t some of the assassins cheat by taking out the competition before going for the gold themselves? (This one is sort of addressed)

-How do the janitors clean up the debris from previous battles in less than 24 hours?

-Are these assassins’ exoskeletons made of adamantium?

I’m being generous here. A pro cynic could have a field day poking holes into this water balloon. Then again these are the ones I vaguely heard about during my skirmish into fanbases.

I am personally not proud of this red text part. It feels wrong. A more in-depth explanation is given in the link below the review.

Simply put what I expected from this show was cute and sexy killers beating the crap out of each other while occasionally snuggling with one another. For the most part I got exactly that.

Assassins in the showerUnless it’s the late 70’s and early 80’s no anime featuring a mainly female cast is complete without glorious raging otaku boner material and AnR does not disappoint. Granted it is not exaggerated for comedic purposes, meaning “it ain’t Gainaxed” like Sakura Trick was…which I suppose would delight some.

Tokaku vs KoukoNext up are the boss fights. There aren’t any minions for Tokaku to beat up so it’s mostly her against one of the assassins. The fights are violent but not gory. Like any sports ppv event not all the fights are of high quality or great length but the ones that go out of their way to deliver do it in a big way. Oh yes.

Rotten smelling girlThe animation quality is solid as far as I’m concerned. It fits the show’s theme perfectly and that’s what matters. I especially love the naughty facial expressions and demonic gazes. Captivating.

The soundtrack is as bizarre as some of the ladies are. I am referring to the casual moments. The serious moments and fight scenes have great tunes. As for the OP and EDs, I’d definitely have no problem listening to these tunes while driving around the island. Great stuff.

Akuma no Chibi 2Character interactions do their thing. Each assassin (and Haru) are all diverse and have their likable and freaky traits, motivations, fighting styles etc. Unless the viewer is a lemon it should not be difficult picking favorites. 13 to choose from.

Almost thereAnd now for what is obviously the main reason the yuri nation was hyped for this one in their own way, the yuri. Ummmmm…it’s definitely there…but it is…subdued. Sakura Trick this is not. Slightly higher than El Cazador de la Bruja. Let’s leave it at that. I will say though that while subdued the most important part was how effective the yuri was as a whole and I can confidently say it succeeded in moving the yuri nation in many ways at the very least. Tokaku and Haru’s relationship grows at a steady pace and doesn’t escape believability as far as “love at first sight” is concerned. I’m no love expert so I can’t vouch for this statement’s reliability. As for the other pairings, I’d rather have viewers see for themselves especially a certain big-small combo.

Overall Akuma no Riddle is a fun, yet flawed show but its flaws are nowhere near game breaking. It is not revolutionary and it won’t win any academy awards but it will at least guarantee a fun ride that any yuri nation member can enjoy.

PS: I wrote a followup to this review explaining the error of my ways. I will leave this review up as a reminder of my mistake.

Life Lessons: Be True to Yourself

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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48 Responses to 211th G-View: Akuma no Riddle

  1. kefkaownsall says:

    I think we went in with higher expectations then we expected not watch dogs level but heigher

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      I knew exactly what I was getting into and what I wanted from the show. Some apparently didn’t.

      Watch_Dogs looked like a typical “sandbox” game with hacking mechanics when I first saw it and that’s exactly what it is. Nothing more. I didn’t get into the hype at all because “sandbox” games like GTA and Saints Row do little for me.

      Like

  2. kitsu260 says:

    Is always sad finish a show Intensed like this.
    Say Goodbye, Star New Season, Miss Them

    Like

  3. Fangirl says:

    I expected this show to be beyond what it was. Now granted it’s no kill la kill but I couldn’t stop watching it until the end It was a great anime you summarized it pretty good

    Like

  4. Cheshire Cat says:

    It’s end already? Is it ironic that I felt “Yuri love” from other assassin couples (HarukixIsuke, ChitaruxHirigaya, HanabusaxShinya) more than main couple (TokakuxHaru)? I think the thing that makes this show is special because it is Yuri…. but, yeah, its yuri is “Slightly higher than El Cazador de la Bruja.” ;_____;!

    Btw, I was enjoyed a little bit though hero/action animes isn’t my favorite show genre. After all, thank you for all of your reviews, OG ^^ ♥

    Like

  5. Lee503 says:

    I also enjoyed the series , a lot of twists and turns, but also a lot of deus ex machinas. It was great for what it was. 8/10 is a good rating.

    I liked how each character got their own ending, (except for Shiena Kenmochi, which was too bad)

    Like

  6. Cytrus says:

    -Why does it have to be a one by one order?
    It doesn’t. Rewatch the rules episode.

    -Why can’t some of the assassins cheat by taking out the competition before going for the gold themselves? (This one is sort of addressed)
    They can. Little point though, as Haru should be easier to kill than any proper assassin, and getting yourself into unnecessary life or death situations would be retarded.

    -How do the janitors clean up the debris from previous battles in less than 24 hours?
    They don’t, as evidenced by the teacher stumbling upon the debris of the stage-trap. Anything less than that, though, they can surely clean up. Why wouldn’t they? There are cameras everywhere and they have the cash to afford the manpower necessary.

    -Are these assassins’ exoskeletons made of adamantium?
    Close. They are made of titanium (Haru).

    I don’t see any plotholes here. A plothole is an internal inconsistency no amount of suspension of disbelief can fix. AnR is full of unlikely events, but I’m not sure any of them are truly impossible or inconsistent.

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      I was only making a point and holding back by using examples of things I heard online. These questions aren’t mine per se. I didn’t even mention the “mixed opinions” ending.

      Like

      • Cytrus says:

        I understand. But if you refer to unlikely plot developments as plotholes, whatever the reasoning behind it, what words will you use when describing actual plotholes?

        There are even people out there who think a plothole is when a character doesn’t do what they would do in the same situation. It’s a crazy world.

        Like

      • Overlord-G says:

        Point taken. Perhaps nitpicks would be have been a more preferable term. I shall rectify that.

        Besides you occasionally dropped by my episodics. Surely you noticed how much I “cared” about these little “online gripes”.

        Like

      • Cytrus says:

        Yeah, I know you have your own standards for enjoying a show and don’t pay that much attention to how others judge those things.

        Like

      • Overlord-G says:

        I wrote a followup to this review because I felt it had to be addressed.

        Like

  7. Cyan says:

    I knew what I was going to get from this show, some plot holes and one character each episode, so I wasn’t too attached at first. It may be lacking but it leaves me satisfied somehow. Like for example we may only get a glimpse on one character a time but somehow we grew attached to them, it may be because their personalities were awesome or the yuri between them.

    I enjoyed the show, like take what I said seriously. I watched a lot of the same elimination genre and compared to the others this was better (compared to Danganronpa which was disappointing),. If this had a game, that would be great, because like the others of the same genre which was based on a game did not do well on the execution for the anime, in short it sucked bad.

    I liked all the characters, they were fun… Who doesn’t like sexy psychotic assassin ladies. Banba and Takechi were awesome, funny how I was wishing that Takechi should have stayed longer and then she appears again during the tea party episode. Hanabusa was sexy as hell with that suit, but her action scene was lacking with all that money she should have been better. The Romeo and Juliet scene was really nice, how cruel can their fates be? Shuto should have teamed up with her roommate Kaminaga since they are both weak and only good in bombs, maybe the game could have been better. I was wondering what Kenmochi did, when I remembered I was like “Oh, thats why I couldn’t remember anything.” If I have to point out a favorite that would be Sagae, her fighting style was awesome, better than Inukai.
    It was silly at first, the plot was too simple, but the twist of Tokaku’s past lasted some awesome fights.

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      As the very observant Cytrus noticed from the get-go, many of the plot holes I mentioned were pet peeves with plausible explanations.

      The writers succeeded in their mission. Introduce diverse ladies and make them all appeal to some people. As I mentioned unless the viewer is far too cynic it would be difficult to not like at least one of the 13.

      Some of the battles could have been better but they got the job done by pumping the viewers up for more.

      Simplicity is not a bad thing contrary to popular opinion. That’s how these kind of storylines work. They’re not supposed to be complex. The only reason Kingdom Hearts’ storyline is convoluted is because it’s Square-Enix. They revel in making things unnecessarily complex.

      Like

  8. Hanneman says:

    As i’ve already stated before, i didnt had any expectations on this show from the beginning, so i guess i have the same opinion as you, OG. I got what i came for at least.

    I’m a type of guy that cannot see plot holes that often, unless they are right in your face (heck, i’m still trying to figure out the one you mentioned in your Symphogear review). And you know what, i like being that way. If i noticed all these holes you mentioned, probably my enjoyment of this show would’ve veen lower.

    Like

  9. seem to me that their main mission is to find a soul-mate xD

    Like

  10. ArcaJ says:

    The “Everybody Lives!” ending gave me Mai-HiME flashbacks. While I am glad Team Teddly is stil around (snuggles for all!) make them not-dead is a disservice to their sacrifice. The same could be said of Tokaku and Haru. Their fight was raw, passionate (and in retrospect kind of stupid and unnecessary). So while I’m glad Haru survived, it kid of lessens the impact on Tokaku’s life outlook. The only way to prove that she wanted to protect Haru of her own will and feelings is to kill Haru. OK…. Somebody edit TV Tropes and put that in the entry for “Insane Troll Logic.”

    It’s called FAITH! Faith in your feeling s=for Haru, faith in you will and abilities. FAITH STUPID! YOU DON’T NEED PROOF WHEN YOU HAVE FAITH!!!!!

    I’m sorry, but I get angry at bad/lazy writing.

    At least we got to see the assassins, moving towards potential happiness/mental stability. I get the feeling Haru’s going to pass those diplomas out. ^_^

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      Exactly what I thought of when I saw that ending. A person who also saw Mai-HiME tried to spin it somehow but no, same thing. At least the cast in this one is 100% likable imo compared to HiME’s 25%. That show did not age well. At least ShizNat still rules.

      I got that argument a lot. The whole “impact of the sacrifice being weakened” thing but I’m not complaining in all honesty.

      Technically Haru went kamikaze on Tokaku’s sweet buttocks but Tokaku was in “confused hottie mode” so…yeah, karma I guess.

      I would have gone with gut feeling or love at first sight but faith works too. So yeah. Fun, but flawed.

      Indeed. All can be forgiven when the journey was most enjoyable and while the destination is questionable, more living and breathing killer lesbians is always a good thing. the wait for episode 13 will quite a drag but hopefully there will be enough shows to appease our appetites till then.

      Like

      • ArcaJ says:

        So, Shinnya’s gone forever? Pity. Mahiru’s a sweetheart though. I hope they perfect alchemy in their world so they can resurrect that guy who abused her and murder him again. (slowly this time…) Isuke got a sweet mother-daughter moment. (Squee!) But, I wanted to meet her Papa!

        Plus, Nio actually is pretty cute when she’ not being shark-toothed psychotic.

        I’mm guessing Haru’s going to hand out those diplomas, and then she and Tokaku will have to deal with both of their families. Hopefully, they can draft a few of their “classmates” into the fight.

        So, yeah, Tokaku’s way of dealing with her feelings = STUPID. But, apparently Haru forgave her because she wanted to know the truth as well. I guess love makes fools of us all. (but especially those two!)

        Like

      • Overlord-G says:

        I figure Mahiru eventually found what she was looking for and Shinnya’s services were done. Oh well, she probably lives on in Mahiru’s wet dreams…or when Hanabusa requests her presence in her chamber. How else could Mahiru afford that duck farm she now owns?

        Come now Miss AJ you know Isuke’s Papa is really Neil Patrick Harris with a brown wig.

        That’s why Nio is popular.

        Whatever happens as long as we FINALLY get a legit smooch between the two. It would be a shame if we were to be robbed again.

        You have every right to call out Tokaku’s stupidity. Why did she not dodge and use her common sense for one minute instead of continuing to look for an answer she already knew from day 1?

        Like

  11. Lena K. says:

    I think we already know what to expect from the OVA, but wouldn’t it be great if the show finally went all out and handed out the yuri stuff that we were all hoping for?
    I guess this is highly unlikely to happen, but I still have hope!

    Like

  12. mutopis says:

    all I would say about the show is that they had some good ideas, but that they could have done so much better. the main problem is that the manga is still going so the anime has clearly taken a different direction (we have to idea how it will end), specially since they left out a lot of parts (the manga is much more gayer and spends more time with the characters, this is clearly a huge shift.) one of my main complains is that this show was clearly meant to be yuri, but the studio decided to go the subtext road.

    the creator and the studio clearly like to tease its fans, but if they are going to do this they may as well give us at least a kissing scene… such a shame (there is still time if they decide to do an ova)

    兎角が黒組の教室で晴と初めて出会い、一目惚れするシーン
    The scene where, at Black Class’s classroom, Tokaku met and fell in love at first sight with Haru.
    From BD1 jacket.

    Like

  13. MarkS00N says:

    It could be better…
    My complain is that for a beautiful girl (instead of cute girl) show, it seems to be too afraid to go beyond norm of cute girl show (one of the example as you said formulaic episodes) which seems to be what they try to do from episode 6 onward, then episode 12 happens…
    Not that the formula is bad, but the episode isn’t enough to flesh out character and get satisfying ending…

    But who cares?
    Maybe my critical side don’t like episode 12, but the fact that what happen in episode 12 happens, gives us more fuel to pair these girls and the ED gives some pairing a more obvious proof, just waiting for fan-art (I hope it gets some at least)…

    Like

  14. x says:

    Awesome they all lived but it’s going to be a problem giving them there diploma’s and finding them without fighting them

    Like

  15. God….the ending was the WORST thing about this show. The ending RUINED the experience for me. It was a complete COP-OUT and it made everything POINTLESS. Just ugh. I highly don’t recommend.

    Like

  16. kracen says:

    Just finished my re-watch of this…. I must say I enjoyed it more the second time around, not that I didn’t enjoy it plenty the first time though.
    Its a shame this was only 12 episodes long, as the entire cast had rich interesting stories that we only get to see merely a fragment of, except Kenmochi, who is a complete mystery except in the end credits where it shows her to be a bit of a tech wizz.
    Would have just loved to have seen more about each and every character, especially Hitsugi and Chitaru… but alas, it will not be so.
    Overall the show is enjoyable, intense throughout and all the characters unique and good.
    I’d like to say I disliked the ending… Given the premise of the show, a tragic ending is something I would have accepted and liked, but it did the usual, ‘I like the characters I created too much to kill them’ which there is nothing wrong with doing, I would do the same. But I liked the ending, purely because I love end credits of any show that shows the characters in the ‘where they are now’ way.
    What I really enjoyed was the final moments in the crypt with Haru and Tokaku and just how clever it was. How do you prove you were not being compelled against you will to protect someone? Try kill them.

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      The manga version will probably please those people who want more. Frankly they should thank this show for motivating them to check the manga out and see the author’s real vision rather than whine about the ending over and over again. If the upcoming manga ending still doesn’t please those people…oh well. It will be as expected from internet fans of anything.

      Like

      • kracen says:

        I’ll have to check it out, the lack of romance Yuri on my watch list has faded to none so I’ve actually been reading manga and I’m actually enjoying it… Already have like 20 bookmarked on my tp read list

        Liked by 1 person

  17. yureville says:

    hey there OG

    so i just finished AnR, and i must say, massive loads of fun!!! woohoo!!!!

    totally loved the action, and the movements, oh, tokaku’s movements. sublime! and when she goes ‘red’ or ‘yellow’, totally perfect!!

    she can totally OP, but i love how they didn’t overdo it, like when it came to our resident cyborg sumeriko, even with all her prowess, as the best assassin in the world, [for me she totally is], when faced with a cyborg assassin that’s really good and can augment herself, i think i didn’t mind her being beat there, and what’s more, by the object that she thought would surely put her opponent down and out! anyhow, lemme stop there, i’m not gonna fawn over her through this whole thing

    i also loved haru’s ingenuity, that hadn’t been shown fully really, i’m guessing her time with azuma really paid off when it came to strategy and she wasn’t just goofing off, as it were, all that time

    and for the yuri, why i started watching it in the first place, from the get go obviously, apart from the ‘love-at-first-sight-somewhat-at-the-door’, chitaru and hitsugi was just meant to be, even though they really were the fated-tragic-lovers, all the times we saw them, they just seemed to click so effortlessly, and their romeo-juliet death, after all realization, a good send-off i thought

    but really, i loved, OBVIOUSLY, tokaku x haru, and their ‘even though you wanna protect me, i still wanna be my own self as much as i can’, and the decision to kill to prove her love is true, LOVED IT!

    and to think that that action made haru love her even more, what more could i want! and when she said, ‘daisuki!’, running right into her death, priceless!!

    even though it was soo clear that azuma loved her, and showed her that time and again, i still wish she’d said it, verbalized it at some point, even the end, y’know, i just love to hear the words, even over and after everything and when it’s soo obvious. still, the waiting after graduation and haru slipping her arm inside tokaku’s as the walk away, nice

    just one thing i wished with all i had, and i still wish…

    NIO MUST DIE!! NIO MUST FREAKING DIE!!!

    i simply hated her! i just wish azuma had gone all ‘family-name’ on her and completely obliterated her after that stab and cut her up into tiny little neat pieces beginning with that smirking mouth and lips and head!!

    anyhow, AnR is totally awesome and ToHaru is simply perfect!!

    arigatou gozaimasu!

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      Tokaku’s super cool.

      The prince and teddy were adorable even during the play.

      You’re one of the few peeps I know who disliked Nio.

      I can only imagine how much more you enjoy TokaHaru after picking up the manga.

      Like

      • yureville says:

        yeah, totally adorable they were! and their scene at the hospital, that was actually the first scene i watched of AnR, i just wanted to sorta see how it ended first, and i happened to land there and i was like, “they are simply perfect for each other.”

        hehe, nio, that annoying little tattooed smirk! i just grit my teeth when i think of her! i’m glad that haru forgave all the girls and all, i harbor no ill feelings for any of them, i actually loved them and their diversity, but not nio, nuh uh! she deserved real death, real painful death and no forgiveness at all from haru, or tokaku for that matter

        but it went the way it did, so that’s that i guess, unless i do my own doujin or fanfic picking up just before she gets stabbed and make it really graphic, just for her sake….

        you bet i do enjoy it, but i’m giving it a rest for just a little while from today.

        apart from nio, whom i hate, not just dislike, i think the nation may wanna have my head for this next one, hehe. i just dislike her, not hate, like i’d have her written off or anything, but for her to just “not-interfere” as a matter of speaking. karen. the darling of many a H!! KinoMoza fan

        i just wish she wouldn’t butt in on shino and alice, or she would be blind to shino in some way (impossible, i know, that blonde hair, oh boy) or she just super quickly pairs up with honoka and leave the other two alone already!

        anyhow, i digress, so i guess i sign off right thurr!

        Like

  18. This show was pretty nice. though it would have be nice to see Haru and Tokaku kiss and make there relationship a little more known at the end all you see is them walking together. Also we can only guess that Tokaku’s wish was for her and Haru to be together, but there is technically no truth weather it was or not.

    Like

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