Director: Keizo Kusakawa
U. S. Distributor: Funimation Entertainment
U. S. Release Date: December 8th, 2015
Format: DVD / 325 Minutes / 12 Episodes + OVA
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Drama, Action, Yuri
Age Rating: TV 14
Overall Personal Rating: B
Based on the manga from Yun Kouga, creator of the beloved manga Loveless, Riddle Story of Devil sends twelve female assassins to a prestigious boarding school to compete against each other in a secret killing game. The winner will be granted anything her heart desires, but only one girl can come out on top.
The mission is simple: send fellow student Haru Ichinose to an early grave. The task should be easy for heartless assassin Tokaku Azuma – but everything changes when she finds herself strangely drawn to her naive target. Her decision to use her lethal skills to keep her new friend alive will raise the stakes of the game and push the girls closer together as the other beauties threaten to tear them apart.
Riddle Story of Devil makes two series in one week that hit me by surprise. I had very low expectations for this series and in the end I was surprised and entertained. Within the first few episodes I thought I was watching another unfortunate version of Battle Royal or Danganronpa. Just another anime trying to cash in on a story line that has been run to death. Once it worked its way into the plot and story Riddle Story of Devil managed to find its own voice and became something more than another knockoff anime.
I can’t say that I fell in love for any of the characters nor did I find their development anything special. The story was much more predictable that I expected but in the end I liked the fact that there wan’t some mind-blowing twist. The animation itself was a little flat and never made much of a difference in the overall impact of the series. One other item that left me wondering why it was even there was the OVA. I had begun to think we were out of the useless OVA period. I guess there was a need to give us one more episode that made no since what so ever.
Overall Grade: B
Riddle Story of Devil somehow managed to find its own space in a crowded field of battle high school anime. The odd thing was that there was a conscious effort to provide fan service without really putting it out there. This made all attempts to toss out gratuitous bath scenes almost inept and they just became another uneventful aspect to the series. The area that the series really wins is in the way it tells the story and how it becomes a story of redemption. One other aspect that I liked about the series was a story device that I first saw in Judei Chan: The Lovely Eye Patch. Now I am not going to be able to tell what this is because it would be a major spoiler, but anyone who has seen Judei Chan just might understand what I talking about.
Anyway, Riddle Story of Devil manages to win me over in the end even if I feel as though it is nothing more than a weak knockoff anime. I wonder how much longer we will have to live through this string of anime chasing the money?
There is one very curious part to all of this and that is the fact that this Funimation release is just a DVD. Not the Blu-ray / DVD combo we have all come accustom to or the DVD Blu-ray being separate, but rather just a DVD release. I guess something must have happened in the manufacturing of the Blu-ray or maybe Funimation just wants to save some money. Very odd indeed.