Akuma No Riddle - Twists, Madness, Emotional Backstories, and Murder
By Gemma | 04 Aug 2018
Originally starting out as a manga in 2012 running through to 2016, Akuma No Riddle was turned into an anime in 2014. I was a little late to this anime, but it's still such a wonderful watch consisting of 12 episodes, licenced by Funimation, and one Original Video Animation (OVA). The title, Akuma No Riddle, translates to Riddle Story of Devil and when you watch the anime and hear the plot you understand why. It just fits perfectly. The really unique thing about this anime is how the songs are sung by the voice actors themselves; which I think is wonderful and really comes across well.
Akuma No Riddle is about a group of girls; who are also assassins. They are after a target, so what better than to have them all attend the same school, live on the same floor, oh and go to the same classes as the target. The array of characters in this anime are just wonderful, as you get so many different personalities. The Assassins all attend a boarding school called Myojo, there are 12 assassins and, as mentioned, one target in the '10th Year Class Black.' All the girls have various backstories, each one traumatic yet interesting; the series takes you through each story
The girls are tasked with assassinating one person, and upon doing so will be granted one wish; some are very sweet some, some are rather selfish. If they fail to assassinate their target, however, they are expelled from school and not allowed another chance to kill the target. Things seem pretty stacked against our target, right? I mean 12 people for one young girl seems a bit much. Shouldn't there be someone with the young girl vowing to look after and protect her right? I mean no one goes into these things alone -- they always have someone by their side. But, at the start of Akuma No Riddle that really isn't the case, not untill you see how unfairly stacked things are. That's when one of our 12 assassins decides she is going to swap sides and vow to protect our target. Now that's more like it! Things are looking a little more favourable for our target. How hard can it be to fight off 11 assassins? Pretty hard actually, as that's still an impossible situation. I wonder if they manage to come out triumphant.
Let's meet our characters, and find out some more about our target and some of my favourite assassins.
Haru Ichinose is our target, but it is an ordinary name. She's a fairly ordinary girl by the looks it. She is kind and caring, cheerful and always wanting to make friends with everyone, and sees the best in anyone. She's very naive to all her classmates until they become hostile with her. From the start, she seems innocent and we can't work out why they have sent 12 assassins to her -- an innocent girl. Later you see her bare, with scars covering her body. This is when we start knowing about something traumatic Haru has been through -- with one or two scars you can understand anyone having, maybe she broke something or cut herself on some glass at some point.
However, as these scars are all over, it means she has clearly been through some awful ordeal.
Her story begins to unfold and we come to understand that she has a strange ability that only people in her ‘clan’ can possess. Something called the Queen Bee ability, which allows her to control and manipulate people. We also come to find out that Class Black wasn't made for the purpose of killing, her but was a test to see if she could use her abilities to stop the assassins and prove she had what it takes to lead her clan. In some ways, this was a right of passage, but poor Haru wants nothing to do with any of it.
Azuma is our would-be-hero-ex-assassin. She is very cold and calculated and comes from a very feared family of skilled Assassins. Making her a very good choice to have on Haru’s side. Azuma isn't sure why she decided to help Haru but she does. This changes as we find out more of Azuma’s story, we come to the realisation that even though she can use knives and has very fast reflexes, and comes from a family of skilled assassins, she has never actually killed anyone -- she got the job due to her families name. Azuma is very loyal and protective of Haru throughout the anime, and her dedication and loyalty certainly can't be faltered. I like how she developed as a character from this cold and calculated woman we saw at the start, to someone a little warmer and more compassionate.
A Brief intro to some assassins
Isuke has a troubled past; adopted into a family with an assassin for a mother who trains her to be her successor. Isuke's adoptive mother rescues her and murders her biological parents. That's enough to make anyone a little mad and crazy right? When your adoptive parent kills your real parents and then trains you to do the same at such a young age. It actually works well for her, as she's in this to get money so her parents can retire. I mean when you think about it, that's really sweet -- I think?
You thought Isuke was bad, well Koko comes across like she is stuck in her books, shy, and distant but my god is she messed up. She's an orphan, that's sad, but unfortunately, she was raised by a Christian Church to be an assassin. Have you ever heard of anything like that? She uses explosives, but truth be told she isn't a very good assassin, nor does she wish to be. Her only wish is to be able to leave the life of the Church behind her.
Haruki comes from a huge family, she has a lot of brothers and sisters. She kills to provide for them, which to some extent is sweet and shows a great sense of family loyalty. Her view is that if she does as asked her family is always protected and well looked after.
This one gets a little confusing. Suzu is old but doesn't look it. She has a syndrome which means she can't age; she been around for such a long time her only wish is to find a cure. All so she can finally age -- which is understandable and commendable.
I've got to say she's probably one of my favourite assassins. She's crazy to an insane degree, as she's got the whole split personality thing down to a T. Otoya is playful, innocent, and nice when it suits her, then becomes some psychotic scissor-wielding killer -- to the point of being nicknamed Jack The Ripper. I adore the crazy characters; they just speak to me on a whole different level. I love watching how a crazy character can develop, especially the ones who just snap in an instant. Her wish is completely selfish, as she wants to be able to go on killing people without the fear of ever being caught. She shows absolutely no remorse and just has a pure love for murder.
I've left some assassins off the list, six of them to accurate. I, of course, still want you to experience them and find out their stories by yourself. I just wanted to showcase my favourite assassins Akuma No Riddle. I love the others, but these ones are just so wonderful on so many levels.
Akuma No Riddle is a crazy anime with a wonderful tale to tell. It has immersive backstories, and wonderful character development. The anime continues on in the books; if you do enjoy the anime I suggest reading the manga. The artwork of Akuma No Riddle is wonderful, as is the acting, and the music is just impeccable. Along with this, the fact the actors all actually sing everything just adds to it.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching Akuma No Riddle and how it ended was just what it needed to do. I would love to watch it again or even see more of it. If you enjoy things with a twist, a dose of madness and utter craziness then look to Akuma No Riddle. Especially if after reading this you want to see how the battles turn out, or how our assassins attempt to kill our target then you will not be disappointed. As each assassin has a different way to kill, that's 11 different techniques to watch and wonder over.