Akuma No Riddle or The Devil’s Riddle is a tough nut to crack. In my Weekly Comments I just loved to dub this as “Danganronpa with lesbians” and, for what it’s worth, I don’t think I’m wrong, but is that all there is to it? Having a main character who looks like something Ciel from Kuroshitsuji and Haruka from Free! would spawn if Ciel was a girl, I had high hopes for the neccessary yuri anime of the season.
The story focuses around Class Kurogumi, or “Black Class” that’s set in an all-girl private boarding school. In this class, Haru Ichinose’s goal is to survive and graduate all while being targeted by the 12 assasins in her class, Tokaku Azuma is one of these assasins but, after some unforseen happenings, she develops feelings for Haruka and swears to protect her against the rest.
Akuma No Riddle had the plot going for it, heck, it could have been a great battle royale that just happened to have a lesbian couple instead of a show that really is just there for the sake of the lesbianism. Akuma No Riddle, unfortunately, ended up having none and concluded in a half-assed attempt of creating something big with little to no romance to support the ‘yuri’ tag so many people were looking out for, in the end, it turned out being kind of tame.
So if the story turned out to be less-than-good and the yuri is basically left up to your imagination, what does Akuma No Riddle have to offer? Characters? Character relationships?
Well, yes and no. The relationships are hella shallow and can be wrapped up with “Tokaku hates everyone” and “This girl is gay for that girl“, apparently there is more to it than that, but I’m guessing it’s kind of hard to give satisfying focus to all the 13 girls in a 12 episode show, despite Akuma going on the character-of-the-week road at some point. This is one of the few things I genuinely enjoyed without taking the piss out of it (unless it’s that one episode with the immortal girl, what the fuck was that about?)
The characters are fun and quirky, hell, you’ll even root for some of them after you’ve learned their backstories. Unfortunately though, Akuma No Riddle goes exactly as you expect it to go and the most unlikable duo of the entire show gets to sit on the throne till the bitter end.
Personally, I love the looks of Akuma No Riddle. It’s like Danganronpa (you probably know what it looks like even if you know next to nothing about the franchise itself) but polished. Big eyes, crazy hair, lots of weird proportions.
The colours are well blended and, as far as the actual animation goes, it’s pretty smooth, or atleast nothing to complain about. The OP itself is fantastic and catchy while the ED-of-the-week, depending on the girl-of-the-week was mostly forgettable Jpop.
Subjective-Objective Final Verdict
Objectively, Akuma No Riddle is a show that doesn’t do anything wrong, but doesn’t do anything shockingly amazing either, what with it’s great stylization and mediocre everything else, Akuma No Riddle is still a valiant attempt in doing something cool.
Subjectively, this show is on the edge of meh-ness, and while it can be genuinely enjoyable from time to time, it’s timespan and cheap story tricks are enough for me to recommend you stay away from this show. Akuma No Riddle gets a final Subjective-Objective score of a 5.8 out of 10 and if you want more of girls cutting eachother, I recommend Black Lagoon and Sakura Trick. Cheers.