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Ou-sama Game The Animation – 01

「再壊」 (Saiken)
“Begin Again (Break Again)”

Well gentlemen, say hello to this season’s train wreck. While Ousama Game was always likely to fly right off the rails thanks to its horror origins, I never thought we would receive glorious disaster only one episode in. Seriously, schizophrenic male lead, a swath of busty ladies down for deflowering, and ten deaths right off the bat—and that’s before we even get to the good stuff. Does it make sense? Oh hell no, but I’m not sure it matters. If you’re laughing at a horror, it must be doing something right.

As highlighted in the trusty RC preview, Ousama Game has all the right pieces needed for thriller material. We have a unique game of death inviting plenty of suspense and suffering through its system of choice, a large character cast offering multiple opportunities for imaginative deaths, and a supernatural tinge insuring it can continue as for as long as the writer thinks it’s interesting. Decent horror setup right? The issue is that Ousama Game effectively wastes all these strengths. Character introductions were almost nonexistent, seemingly passed over in favour of the mad dash to self-immolation and kissing under the starlight. While certainly debatable if a lot of the characters even need development—they’re all going to die after all—some buildup is necessary to at least get us to care. We need a reason for what’s going on, and explanation to connect the dots between all those deaths and the mechanism behind it. Ousama Game so far has done a piss poor job of this, and while we may get some more information next time, lacking the introduction formalities right now hurts the show’s overall impact. In horror, first impressions are everything.

Where this especially hurts is in understanding Ousama Game’s background, because as the preview also highlights, this adaptation is of Ousama Game’s sequel. Why is anyone’s guess (there’s a reason sequels are not adapted first after all), but it does explain some of the strangeness present. Nobuaki (Miyano Mamoru) for example probably comes across as off his rocker because we are missing the entirety of his previous development. Sure a few scenes casually sprinkled throughout helped fill in the blanks, but alone they are not enough to reconcile his actions with his behaviour. We need more backstory to get a half logical explanation, even though that is also seriously in question thanks to Ousama Game’s current pacing. For better or worse the show seems intent to get right onto the killing, although how long it can keep that interesting is the big unknown. Without some further elaboration and focus on the game itself, Ousama Game may find running off the rails the least of its concerns.

While certainly problematic even by B grade horror standards, this does not mean Ousama Game is entirely lost just yet. A full season remains to make up for (some) lost time, and with the assurance of even more ridiculous murder porn ahead, the hilarity will never be far away. Plus with Natsuko (Horie Yui) giving off the creepy vibes (cold lips? Heh) there’s a good chance of some twist lurking in the background. Ousama Game may not be the thriller I hoped it would be, but as popcorn entertainment it has everything it could ever need. I’m definitely ready to see what next week brings.

 

OP Sequence

OP: 「FEED THE FIRE」 by coldrain

Preview

End Card

October 5, 2017 at 10:19 pm
28 comments »
  • October 5, 2017 at 11:08 pmdp

    I dunno, the show seemed fine as a horror flick to me.

    Motivation of the main character (freaked out by last experience)
    came across well, and there’s really no need to introduce the entire
    cast in one gob of exposition in episode one anyway.

    • October 5, 2017 at 11:33 pmPancakes

      I think the issue for me was the rushing. Nobuaki’s motivation came across fine and the first half of the episode worked well enough, but then we went straight from kiss the girl to 10 people dying and mass hysteria. It felt confusing and out of place, as though something important plot-wise was missing. Might just have been my expectations, but I was thinking we would have received a bit more buildup before offing nearly a third of the class.

      • October 6, 2017 at 3:21 amHalfDemonInuyasha

        After watching the episode, I immediately went to find the manga and just finished ten chapters and yeah, there’s definitely a chunk missing that could lend more credence to Nobuaki’s behavior here beyond solely just being the only survivor from playing the game before. The initial view we got also gives obvious hints, but it still lacks the impact it could have had without seeing the two having gone through what they did in the manga.

  • October 5, 2017 at 11:22 pmSDFGS

    Honestly I thought it was obvious that the dude was somehow connected/did a previous King’s Game. So I didn’t get why some people reacting on Youtube were wondering why Nobuaki was acting like an anti-social ass-hat. Sometimes even just information sprinkles should be enough to connect the dots without issue. Clearly he doesn’t want to make any friends with people as it would somehow get them dragged into the King’s Game.

    Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t exactly interested while watching this and thought this show was just being edgy to be edgy; along with finding myself just rolling my eyes at basically everyone (yeah, even the friendly people. Good god can people not just jump on the new guy like sharks with fresh meat? Not everyone likes playing 20 questions). This is just one of those shows (unless it proves itself different by having better pacing and story-telling/character backgrounds) that you basically just turn off your logic and watch for the suffering of characters.

    Final Note:…..I seriously hope these dares don’t stay so vanilla – “Licking someone’s feet” “Texting ‘Die” to a classmate” – but not turn into so obvious like “Kill your best friend”. Now this isn’t because I’m some big pervert or whatever, and this is just one of the many examples I can think of.But I genuinely want to see one of these texts force people to actually choose between getting themselves killed or doing the dare. A test a pride so-to-speak.
    Like forcing 2 guys (no girls because that’s just yuri-pandering to the standard otaku. need something that the typical viewer wouldn’t normally see for actual shock value. Because the typical reactor seeing 2 girls make out would just go “Yeeeeaah! Boiiiiiii!!) to like “do it” with each other. Not some kid crap like “Lick her feet” Believe me, if someone dared me to do it with a girl (as a gay guy) or get killed….I would take death. I got my pride to live by.

    • October 5, 2017 at 11:31 pmSDFGS

      In the non-perverted categories. Another example of better dares would be to have one of the students’ whose dirt poor and only lives with his mother that works full-time pay-check to pay-check (I’m just doing hypothetical at this point), burn his mothers’ money after she just cashed a check that was going to be used on rent.
      *after spoiling myself*
      Okay, so after seeing all the Kings’ orders I would have to say some of them get better (or get fleshed out more)….but I still got to say they’re basically contrived just to kill a bunch of people and have no real mental test on the subject besides “Who do I kill?” *yawn*

    • October 5, 2017 at 11:45 pmPancakes

      The reason people are probably confused is that Nobuaki had a tendency to switch from emo-esque moping to acting “friendly” in a heartbeat. Best example is the kiss, after shoving Natsuko away he is then fine when she tries again? You’d expect him to freak out a bit more after having his plan thwarted IMO, much like when he broke down the guy’s door and found him hanging. I didn’t think it was much of a problem (considering the hints towards his backstory), but I can see where the critics are coming from.

      As for the dares they do not stay vanilla and don’t devolve into things like ordering someone to outright kill another. The first game (from what I’ve read) was ingenious with some of its dares, and I’m hoping we get similar situations here. It’s basically the Final Destination of anime, complete with all the mind numbing stupidity :P

  • October 6, 2017 at 12:22 amsouma

    http://randomc.net/image/Ousama%20Game/Ousama%20Game%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2031.jpg

    hmm…what’s this familiar feeling….ah it’s mayoiga!

    • October 7, 2017 at 7:46 amOnion Warrior

      Totally thought about that too! Except, Mayoiga did a BETTER job with its intro and animation quality than this. I mean, the episode one is really unbearable. I was like, its just the first episode and they ran out of budget already XD (maybe bc they hire Mamoru and Horie and thus, gone bankrupt lol)

      Ahh…and i thought Garo and 12 Zodiacs were a joke!

      • October 7, 2017 at 7:14 pmsouma

        Meanwhile at the studio: F*ck story,f*ck animation let’s just make it a gore fest wuahaha!

  • October 6, 2017 at 1:32 amzztop

    I’m guessing the deaths are supernaturally induced, and the King’s also a supernatural existence as well.

  • October 6, 2017 at 1:38 amzztop

    There was a Japanese literary critic who criticised a cellphone novel as stories that would never pass the cut of a proper writing competition. I wonder if King’s Game, being cellphone-novel based, would’ve had the same fate as well.

  • October 6, 2017 at 6:18 amTopboy

    The main character name/surname is the author name. Kanazawa Nobuaki.

  • October 6, 2017 at 7:55 amAnonymous

    This first episode seems weird. It’s been a while since I read the manga, so I looked into it again. I haven’t seen the episode yet, but from what I read, Nobuaki wasn’t a transfer student, the game kind of started one day (it wasn’t in the middle of it at the beginning of the story), and the heroine’s name was Chiemi, not Natsuko. Also, it seems like Chiemi and Nobuaki were dating for some time before the start of the series. Did they change some stuff around? Can someone confirm this?

    • October 6, 2017 at 10:51 amUrizithar

      They are animating sequel of the manga you are talking about. He survived first king game alone, transfered to new skill and it start all over again.

      It was probably the worst Iwatched this season so far including Black Clover and Sengoku NIght Blood that both were pretty terrible and ended dropped almost instantly.

      • October 6, 2017 at 11:08 amAnonymous

        Thanks. I read the original, so watching the sequel is kind of exciting.

      • October 6, 2017 at 2:36 pmUrizithar

        I would love to know how the hell I posted skill instead of school. Oh, well… xd

  • October 6, 2017 at 8:49 amEnan84

    • October 6, 2017 at 10:44 pmPancakes

      She’s so cute you just know she’s destined for some horrible form of death. How else could we get Nobuaki to suffer more? XD

      • October 7, 2017 at 1:07 amEnan84

        I guess so. But hopefully we get a long and bittersweet build-up until then.

    • October 6, 2017 at 11:20 pmanon123

      If they follow the manga, she will have sex with other guys haha

      • October 7, 2017 at 1:05 amEnan84

        Awesome!

      • October 7, 2017 at 5:26 amSuspension of Disbelief

        The order has already been given to 21 Nagata Teruaki & 25 Honda Natsuko this ep. Crunchy TLed it as “hookup” but 性行為をしろ means to have intercourse.

      • October 7, 2017 at 6:30 pmsouma

        Damn it guys use spoiler tags!, you ruin my appetite hahaha

  • October 6, 2017 at 9:02 amAnonymous

    Sorry about my earlier comment. Now that I realized that it was a sequel, this clears things up. I look forward to watching this…though I’m treading lightly.

  • October 6, 2017 at 9:10 amChoya

    One big issue I had with the first episode is that they started out with a mass text instead of limiting it to a handful of people. Typically, stories like this would start out with just a couple names so you know it’s real when someone dies from it. Killing off a large chunk of the class, however, starts the show off in a weird position where it felt like it needed to weed out the classmates they didn’t want to bother developing. The “no sleep” rule sounded like BS they needed to get rid of everyone. It feels like it’ll cheapen how invested we get with the characters if so many are just going to keep dying regularly, especially if everyone is as unpleasant as Nobuaki.

    Another weird thing is that this is adapting the sequel for some odd reason. Did the director just really like the sequel manga better? It’s like if the new IT movie only adapted the adults half of the book with little to no context about what happened to the cast as kids.

    The good thing though is that it looks like it’ll be a fabulous trainwreck like many of the other horror anime I’ve had fun watching in recent years. Doesn’t look as funny as Mayoiga or as intriguing as Another, but it’ll have to do.

    • October 6, 2017 at 10:51 pmPancakes

      You nailed what I was trying to get at Choya, the show went wide instead of specific. It would have been better focusing on Nobuaki and Natsuko to start, giving time to flesh a little more out regarding Nobuaki’s backstory and build up to the first texts. Ideally IMO this episode should have ended with the class receiving the first text, and next episode actually handling the killing. It would have given more time to make sense of all the hanging and actually explain better why they even died.

      On the plus side though the show is guaranteed to blow up magnificently, so we at least have some fireworks to enjoy :P

  • October 6, 2017 at 9:51 amKamion

    Ousama Game was a trainwreck in general, but starting with the sequel is a really weird choice because the first instalment explained what the king is already.

    Either they’ll work that mystery into the sequel somehow or we’ll just get the Ousama Game 1 resolution infodumped next episode. It’s such a weird choice.

    (BTW: The explanation is pretty bad, so if they just skip it… that’s okay. I’m just watching this for the lulz.)

    • October 6, 2017 at 10:46 pmPancakes

      Considering this episode’s pacing, I’m expecting more infodump than proper tie in. Not really a problem as you mention though, I’m pretty sure those of us watching will be doing so for the hilarious stupidity :P

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