Akuma no riddle is an otoko no yume but I prefer to wake up

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Oh, emotionally-fragile-but-physically-strong boyish girl, you’re just like a boy, I hope you won’t mind if I project some unrealistic lipstick-lesbian subtext onto you.

I like the superficial details of the show.

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It’s got fairly realistic combat details – but the major ideas are weak.

I can’t even bring myself to enjoy the fanservice, which is somewhat surprising, because this really is an otoko no yume. I really like the crazy pale yandere girl, for example, but I just can’t get into it because the technothriller side needs realism and the fan service is so obviously a slickly produced collection of unrealistic stereotypes.

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I think the older-man-loving girl is an attempt at unique characterization, rather than an attempt to win over 40-year-old male fans.

Regardless, this is a show clearly aimed at a male audience. It offers nice little details like fairly realistic close-quarters grappling and knife throwing.

But the overall premise is just plain silly.

It’s a “survival game” of assassins.

“Survival game” scenarios are ridiculously wasteful. No realistic story should feature them as a means of plain killing, because if you wanted people to kill each other, you would be a lot more efficient about it.

Apparently the “Katniss Everdeen” stories cobble together a plausible explanation of “Hunger Games” as a propaganda exercise or psychological-operation on a cowed public. That might be plausible, but I haven’t read those stories.

Likewise, martial arts tournaments are a special case where the archaic discipline can be measured fairly well as a sporting tournament, and sporting tournaments are not exercises in efficient violence.

But supposedly the heroine is being sent to compete with other assassins. Why? If you really want some specific high-value target dead, you should not make a tournament out of it. You might play such gladitorial games with low-value targets, but not an important target.

Also – if they are actually interested in knife-throwing, aikido-using assassins – wouldn’t teenaged boys have stronger muscles than teenaged girls?

There are clearly a few realistic details, but it’s mostly an implausible exercise in inefficiency.

It’s worth noting that it’s no less realistic than, say, El Cazador de la Bruja, but that story is clearly a road-trip coming-of-age buddy-story, not an aspiring techno-thriller, so I cut it much more slack.

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