Anime Review: Riddle Story of Devil

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2015 is over and it is that time of the year where people try to make goals to accomplish.

As for me, even though I cleared through the DVDs I got for Christmas, with two that should arrive some time this month, I still have other things to cover, since I got some iTunes credit.

Using that credit, I got two shows, and today, I will be covering one of them, which is called Riddle Story of Devil.

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For many years, there was a family that put its female members through trials starting the day they were born, where must survive, which culminates in an ultimate test when they reach the age of fifteen.

Haru Ichinose is a member of that family and is placed in a class where all of her classmate were ordered to kill her, and she must survive the attempts of each assassin to take her life.

However, even when one of the assassins decides to protect her instead, it might not be so easy for her to survive.

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While I thought this show might be interesting at first, I am not too sure about it now.

I did like how there was some bit of mystery, like why Haru was being targeted the entire time, and even why she had so many injuries.

After all, most stories need some kind of mystery, in order to be intriguing, at least if it does not show some growth in the characters.

I also liked how a few characters face some kind of internal conflict, as well as external conflict.

In our lives, our interactions with people are not the only things that can give us troubles, but the way that we see things can give us troubles too.

For example, much like Jimmy Kudo said in Rachel's flashback during episodes 86-70 (Japanese count) of Detective Conan, we would all feel terrible if somebody we knew and cared about committed an act of evil or betrayed us, especially when every avenue that could prove their innocence turns out to not be right, like when Jimmy had to in volume 29 of the Detective Conan manga.

Here, we have one assassin, whose main target is unknowingly right beside her the entire time, and because of the bond that they grew to have, the assassin was hesitant about going through with her revenge.

In another instance, the assassin that decided to protect Haru and Haru herself were wondering if their alliance was not formed because Haru unknowingly tapped into something she had as a member of her clan.

While I am kind of annoyed with how easily the alliance formed and broke apart, I have no doubt that I would willingly betray people if it was the only way to find out the truth, though I would not be happy about it if I also knew that I had to be the one that broke up the alliance to begin with, even if it would have been a much safer move than staying with that individual like Sakurai Hiroyuki did in Judge Volume 6.

The thing that I liked the most though was seeing how Tokaku, the assassin who decided to protect Haru, developed through the series.

In the beginning, she seemed like a person that had no qualms with taking a life, which is the way an assassin should be, but then she freezes up when she first comes to Haru aide, which was before everyone found out that Haru Ichinose was indeed the target they were supposed to kill.

However, as things go on, Tokaku finally realizes what is holding her back and becomes the kind of fighter that she was portrayed to be before she entered Class Black, not that it was not that interesting to she her fight prior to that point.

This seems similar to what many of us go through when we have to do something on our own that is necessary for our survival, such as hunting and fishing, especially considering that one will not always be able to tell what plants or edible and which ones are poisonous and the troubleshooting steps of the computer world, which can be used to solve a variety of problems everyone encounters, may not help if the poison kills you too quickly.

However, as time goes by, it gets easier to do things, which is why it is much easier to quit doing things after the first time than it is when that thing has become a habit.

Outside of those things, I cannot really think of anything else that really impressed me too much.

The fact that there some character experience internal conflict, especially Tokaku and an assassin who had unknowingly met the one they sought, and that there was some kind of mystery did make it somewhat enjoyable.

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Although there were things that I liked, there are some issues.

First, I do not really get why Tokaku decided to protect Haru.

While they were in their room, Tokaku noticed that Haru was covered in scars and seems to decide right then and there, without really knowing Haru, to protect her.

However, later on, it is suggested that Haru may have unknowingly manipulated Tokaku into protecting her and their alliance is broken.

First off, unless the person was a child, I doubt that anybody is going to want to protect somebody that they do not know very well, especially when the individual seems otherwise fine, like Haru does, because there is nothing that really ties the two together. The most people are probably going to do is call an emergency number and/or take the individual who has as many injuries as Haru to a hospital.

After all, while I might show concern for other people when it does seem like they are struggling in some way or they are How am I supposed to even believe all of this? It does not seem to make sense at all.

Unfortunately, as much as I want to blame Yun Koga, since she created the story, I cannot because the series is ongoing.

As a result, I have to blame the people who created the anime, seeing as this may have an ending that is as different to the original source as the 2003 anime adaptation of FMA was to the manga, and likewise the 2009 anime adaptation, and might be way more unsatisfying.

Honestly, if this is the best that studio that create anime can do, the anime medium, one of the only few remaining 2D animated art forms, that once held high regard among my generation for having great stories and explore avenues that are pretty difficult to do in the live action medium kind of deserves to die, though I would not be happy about it, because great works, like Clannad, Pandora Hearts, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Rurouni Kenshin, since the things being made now, regardless of medium used to tell the story, seem to be based on past data of what has sold well before, whereas I only write stories I feel like writing.

Still, it is too early to have anime die, and the studio seem to be one that I have not really heard of before, though Kadokawa does seem to be affiliated with it in some way.

The thing that I kind of hated the most, aside from the OVA, which can be safely skipped, was that the show was not really that interesting.

Yes, there is some action, which will undoubtedly attract the male audience that this show targets, and some mystery, but the latter is practically nonexistent.

While I do not always expect there to be mysteries like those found in Detective Conan or the Sherlock stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle or the works of Agatha Christie, I do expect to see some kind of mystery that makes me want to continue on with the whole story.

For example, Pandora Hearts, which has no elements of detective or crime fiction, makes me wonder about various different things throughout all of its volumes, such as what Oz's sin actually was and why Xai did not treat his supposed son like a human or even that the main cast may actually be older than first thought.

Unfortunately, things like that do not even exist in this title.

Instead, I am treated to a lousy death game that I wish ended before episode 5, especially because the real mystery does not even seem to begin until the very end.

Seriously? Is this really any kind of sign that this is a decent mystery?

I do not think so and it probably would have been better to have this start like Yoshiki Tonogai's Judge, where none of the characters know why they are there and then told the rules they must follow to get out, even if Doubt, the series Yoshiki Tonogai made before Judge, had a much better mystery than either Judge or this.

After all, there would have been a much better mystery than if Haru manipulated Tokaku, or it would have been presented better than it was.

Other than those things, nothing really bugged too much, aside from something that might suggest to parents that this series was talking about whether or not a person was sexually active, even though the dictionary does indicate that its usage was indeed correct.

While there was not a whole lot that I caught my eye, what did seem to be wrong with it hurt it quite badly.

Despite the fact that there were things to like, the bad outweighed it to the point where this was only good enough to kill time.

I only recommend watching this if you are a fan of Yun Koga, though this anime might present the same dilemma that fans of A Certain Magical Index says is a problem, which is that the anime is way inferior to the original.

What are your thoughts on Riddle Story of Devil? Did you like it or hate it? Was there something that you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.