King’s Game (Ousama Game) has a high chance of being this season’s Mayoiga, which can be good or bad depending on the type of viewer you are. Fans of the King’s Game novels and manga may be disappointed with this adaptation.
The plot focuses on a class of 32 students who participate in the King’s Game, and they must obey the text message orders they receive. Failure to obey or attempting to quit will result in death.
Nobuaki has played the King’s Game before and is “lucky” enough to play again. His combination of shunning his new class then issuing frantic warnings leads to brief paranoia. Things quickly escalate with a rising body count that contrasts with visuals that are often more cute than scary.
The premise sounds exciting, but it’s not. Besides Nobuaki, only two characters are “introduced.” Naoya, an orphan who inexplicably falls in love with Nobuaki at first sight, and the jerkwad Yuuichi. The other 29 characters are left to your imagination.
It’s amazing how King’s Game spends the first 16 minutes doing nothing. Like Nobuaki, we sit around waiting for the King’s Game to start, only for events to have a lackluster start. Seriously, nine people die in their sleep. One does explode into a pool of poorly animated blood. Basically, it’s a cheap excuse to say that ten people died in the premiere.
Death-game anime aren’t the bastions of great writing. They rely on thrills, surprising deaths, and some characterization to entertain you. King’s Game has none of those elements in its premiere, which gives a poor first impression.
Hopefully, King’s Game goes off-the-walls bonkers to justify watching, just like in Mayoiga. However, it’s giving Big Order vibes and death-game fans might be just want to stick with this season’s Juni Taisen: Zodiac Wars.