Saturday, 3 May 2014

Riddle Story of Devil - Episode 5

Life - and in particular Haru's life - continues in the Black Class, with thoughts turning to a school festival and a class production of Romeo & Juliet... a story with just enough death to satisfy its assassin participants, one would imagine.

While Kenmochi gets rather too into her role as director of this play (a role which also seems to be helping her make notes that may well prove fruitful in terms of any future attempt on Haru's life), it's Haruki Sagae who is our focus for this week's episode - with a huge family to feed back at home there's no need to expound upon her motivations to succeed in killing Haru, and with that family going hungry it's time for her to act.

Rather than keep her powder dry, Haruki's efforts begin by riling up Azuma, in a bitter verbal exchange that leaves Ichinose curious about her protector's family and past (which we're also duly regaled with) but Tokaku herself more than a little irked at having that past dragged up and bandied about.  This ultimately plays right into Sage's hands, as she invites Azuma for a chat with a view towards simply keeping her away from her attempt on Haru's life - an attempt which of course falls flat.  With a decidedly suicidal assassination plan in mind however, stopping Haruki from succeeding is ultimately more of a matter of luck than judgement.

The biggest risk being run by Riddle Story of Devil at this juncture is that it's becoming too formulaic - the last three episodes have been "assassination attempt of the week" affairs, and neither the means of trying to off Haru nor the back stories of the characters have really been interesting enough to drive that formula forward in any particularly notable ways.  The result is a show that works well enough in simple terms, but one that offers nothing memorable, and now that we know its setup it needs something above and beyond watching its assassination attempts to play out - the trouble is, I'm not too sure where that extra element could come from at this point in time unless the series significantly ups its game in terms of the mechanics of its efforts or its character building.

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