Thoughts on Akuma no Riddle: Riddle Story of Devil Volume 5

The final volume of Akuma no Riddle has been released in English, and the title of this post probably gives away that I have got hold of a copy and read it. Naturally, I be sharing my thoughts on the events contained within, as well as the series as a whole.
I’ll also be discussing the ending of the series, so I’ll start by leaving this here:

This post contains spoilers for the ending of both the manga and anime of Akuma no Riddle.

With that warning out of the way, let’s take a look at the conclusion of this series.
This final volume contains ten chapters, from thirty-eightall the way through to the final chapter.Akuma no Riddle Riddle Story of Devil Volume 5
Death Is Not the End?
At long last – the final chapter of Haru and Tokaku’s tale has arrived! With Haru living in  a dorm full of assassins, Tokaku has taken on the duty of keeping her safe. But after emerging victorious from a hard battle with Sumireko, it turns out that hte last obstacle standing before Haru is Tokaku! Does death await them at the end – or something else altogether?

Tokaku’s fight against Sumireko continues in chapter 38, ‘My Queen’. When Tokaku ends up in a tight spot, Haru gets Sumireko’s attention. She chases after her, with Haru proving that she can fight as well.

The fight against Sumireko reaches its conclusion in chapter 39, ‘Even If I Am the Only One Left’. The Black Class has dwindled down to just three: Haru, Tokaku and Nio. Nio tells Haru and Tokaku to meet in a classroom for a new orientation.

Haru and Tokaku enjoy what could potentially be their last meal at Myojo Academy in chapter 40, ‘A Day Without Assassins’. Kaiba (Tokaku’s teacher) gets in contact with her and reminds her that there is still one more assassin left.

Yuri Meichi, the chairwoman of the school, introduces herself to Haru and Tokaku in chapter 41, ‘You Are Special’. Yuri reveals that Haru has the Primer – an ability to control people. Haru tries to deny it, but Yuri tells her she couldn’t have overcome twelve assassins otherwise.

Chapter 42, ‘My Nio’, shows how Nio first met Yuri. Nio had a rough way of talking, but Yuri was able to discipline her to use respectful language.
After that flashback, Nio escorts Haru to an underground mausoleum.

An angsty shower is the order of the day for Tokaku in chapter 43, ‘A Place of Prayers’, who is trying to work out if her feelings for Haru are genuine or because of the Primer.
In the mausoleum, Haru tells Nio the only person she’ll obey is herself. Meanwhile, Tokaku grabs a gun and sword.

Tokaku appears before Haru in chapter 44, ‘Voice’, and attacks her. A second Tokaku then shows up – the real deal. The first one was an illusion created by Nio. Ultimately Tokaku is able to get the best of Nio before she can harm Haru.

The only way for Tokaku to be sure that she isn’t under Haru’s control is to kill her, or so she declares in chapter 45, ‘Kill Me if You Can’. Haru understands, and tells Tokaku to do it.

Having shot Haru, Tokaku turns the gun on herself in chapter 46, ‘Tears’. However, Haru isn’t dead yet and she refuses to let Tokaku take her own life. Haru decides to make Tokaku her own, or risk losing her forever.

Haru is the only graduate of Class Black in the final chapter, ‘To Each Their Own Answer’.
As Tokaku was the victor in this whole Class Black thing, she was granted a wish. Her wish was simple: she wanted Haru.
Kaiba gives Tokaku some homework, without a due date: to use the rest of her life to figure out what she really wants.
All the other assassins from Class Black are alive after all they’ve been through, and back to their various everyday lives – some more dangerous than others.
There’s a final scene of what appears to be an older Haru and Tokaku about to take a helicopter to a meeting. Before they go, Haru sneaks a quick kiss.

That brings Akuma no Riddle: Riddle Story of Devil to an end. Let’s start by talking about the ending. Much like in the anime, all the assassins recovered after their attempts went awry. If you were hoping for the manga to improve things, I can only imagine you’ll be disappointed to discover a similar situation.
Personally, I don’t mind the ending. I can accept Akuma no Riddle as being more about the journey than the destination. After all, it gave us some rather interesting conflicts, ranging from Sumireko’s fight to things like having to find the password for an explosive collar.
Also, having all the assassins survive leaves plenty of potential for sequels. Whether this is a series that will be revisited or not, I don’t know. Still, I wouldn’t mind seeing more from Tokaku, Haru or any of the other Class Black assassins in the future.

So, which is better: the manga or the anime? Well, the manga immediately gets points for being more open with the characters’ relationships and sexualities. The final volume actually has Haru kiss Tokaku – it is only a playful kiss, but it’s better than the anime’s kiss of life. Also, Isuke and Haruki are an official couple as of the final chapter, and then you have Mahiru living with Sumireko as her maid.
The manga also expands on some characters who didn’t really get much screentime in the anime, such as Shiena.
However, the anime also has some scenes not featured in the manga. Ideally, the best way to experience the series is to watch the anime and read the manga.

Should a situation arise where you can only experience one of the other, I would probably say the manga is the best option – especially if you were drawn to Akuma no Riddle by the concept of lesbian assassins. Also, there’s no mention of titanium ribs in the manga’s ending – it’s just that Myojo has some very good medical technology.
The ending may not be well received by a lot of people, but I still think Akuma no Riddle is a series that is worth looking into.

About Rory

I enjoy writing, manga, anime and video games, so naturally here on my blog, you will find anime reviews, Nintendo news and other such things that I deem interesting.
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