Given the options I was provided for this year’s Secret Santa review competition, I was provided three options. I could go with Tortov Roddle, which while available on Youtube was far too short to really get my money’s worth in a review. The next option was Kino’s Journey, which is a show that is far too good for me to review. That left me with Akuma no Riddle, a show that was widely available when it came out earlier this year. Given the feedback I got from those who had watched it, I was warned to look out for the bullshit at the end. The only question was whether I would choose to unethically watch this on the website of the licensor or follow my ethical calling.
The first thing this series does is to put the viewer into the life of the protagonist Tokaku as she is training. She quickly gets annoying from this point on when there’s a flashback and we are reminded that she is actually a killing virgin. She’s thrown into what seems to be a normal classroom where she quickly befriends another girl named Haru who appears weak and generally helpless. By the end of the second episode, the general concept of this show is pretty clear.
The rest of the class apart from Haru are trained assassins, and if they are able to kill Haru they will be granted whatever wish they desire. Each has to notify Haru that they intend to kill her via a special notice where upon they have 48 hours to get the job done or they will be disappeared from the school. Tokaku decides she doesn’t want to play this game so she takes it upon herself to play the protector.
What follows after that are greater and greater escalations of the schemes attempted to kill Haru that end up being pretty obvious. It starts pretty quickly with a girl named Otoya who liked scissors too much and wanted the freedom to kill anything with her wish. She’s disposed of quite easily be Tokaku. Then along the way, you get girls with split personalties, a girl who specializes in poisons who comically meets her end, an actual Romeo and Juliet ending for two potential killers, an immortal girl that has the absurdly named Highlander disease and a cyborg. Tokaku gets troubled just a little bit more with each one since this is supposed to be suspenseful.
However, it all seems to be over too early. A little too early. With enough rope, the plot managed to hang the rest of the series. So after she’s defeated the final potential killer, it’s revealed that Haru is actually like a queen bee sending Tokaku as a worker out to do things for her. That’s where Nio, who had acted as a messenger for the entire proceedings proceeds to start attacking Haru and Tokaku. The latter takes her out before Haru decides to just sacrifice herself on Tokaku’s knife.
So Tokaku is the grand winner of this competition and with it comes whatever she wishes for. What would you guess would happen? Would she reflect on how unfortunate she is to be treated and brought up as a child soldier and that this game meant she had to kill the only person she had ever befriended. Well, you would be wrong. Instead, everyone is brought back to life and everyone gets a happy ending. What was the point of all of this?
So the plot structure is awful, but there were a few things I did like about this series. The action scenes were pretty intense at times and I never complained about how well things were animated. The characters outside of the main pair are pretty interesting for as brief as they are on the screen. They also had an OST-padding 13 different ending themes for this series. Most importantly, it was really entertaining in a dumb action sort of way that I hardly get to experience these days. But, and the it’s as big a but as I can use, this is definitely not a show I can recommend to anyone because it has the 2nd worst reset ending in anime.