2nd Riddle – “What Dwells in Your Heart?”
Things move along quite a bit in this episode as we learn the rules to this little assassin game, and Isuke makes the first move on Haru’s life. For a bunch of killers, they have quite an interesting set of rules. These guidelines along with the school setting may seem reminiscent of last year’s survival game Danganronpa. The dark atmosphere and outrageous characters are definitely shared attributes, but I guess the biggest difference is the fact that Akuma no Riddle’s class is completely female.
The rules to the game are fairly simple. Whoever kills Haru first (I say that as if someone can kill her second) wins and is granted anyone wish by the headmaster. However, anyone who wants a shot at her must signal to everyone via a red card, seen in the opening sequence as well. Once this is done, the assassin will have 48 hours to eliminate Haru and if she fails, then she’s expelled from the school. Compared to Danganronpa, the penalty seems much less severe, but I wonder if it will really result in something as simple as the girls leaving the school. As much as I would like to see an ending where everyone lives (I like all of the characters too much to watch them die), I’m not sure what direction the series will take.
Before the game even starts, Isuke launches a preliminary attack on Haru. However, Haru is quite certain that she can survive and I guess she’s right to think so because Tokaku comes to her rescue. Though, when she’s asked as to why she did it, she only responds with “I did it because I’ve decided to protect you.” That really doesn’t tell me much in the way of character motivation. On the upside, we glean a bit of information about Tokaku when Isuke mentions that she smells like a virgin assassin. Less to do with her, uh, experience but more to do with the fact that she appears to have never killed anyone before.
We also learn that Haru’s entire family has been murdered for the sake of keeping her alive. It’s amazing that she’s able to keep a smile on her face at all. If I were to make any predictions right now, I’ll assume that the newest student, who I will call Evil Himari (from Penguindrum), will be the toughest opponent for Haru and Tokaku. She’s the scariest in my opinion and she’s depicted as being physically weak. Anime likes to be tricky like that.
“Haru’s life doesn’t just belong to Haru. It’s a life that everyone worked to protect.” ~ Haru Ichinose