King’s Game the Animation / Ousama Game the Animation
Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Mystery, Horror, Supernatural, Drama, School, Psychological, Intrigue, Death Game
First Aired: Fall 2017, 12 episodes
Summary: Nobuaki Kanazawa is a transfer student, fresh in a new school with a heart of ice. His classmates wonder why Nobuaki is so cold as he maintains his emotional distance. He finally begins to warm at the school’s sport festival during the relay race. Shortly after the festival has finished the entire class receives a mysterious text from someone claiming to be “King”. The seemingly harmless prank turns serious as Nobuaki warns his classmates of the serious nature and severity of King. They had better play by King’s rules or risk the consequences.
The rules of the King’s Game are as follows:
- All class members must participate
- The order sent by King through text must be followed within 24 hours
- A punishment will be given to those who don’t follow the order
- Quitting the King’s Game halfway is forbidden
Imagine a more intense version of Battle Royale or the Hunger Games and you will have an idea of what King’s Game is all about. I am always intrigued by psychological anime that take a deep dive into the human psyche and sociological effects of pushing a group to their limit. As I watch the series I think about how I’d react in each situation. I like to think I would be calm and collected, making correct choices, but it is difficult to know what I would actually do if the situation were real. The ensemble cast of characters left me wondering who would be punished next. Some of the crew were jerks, but do they deserve to be punished in such a cruel manner? Some classmates are timid and kind, I hope they survive the King’s Game!
You might enjoy this if: High stakes mystery and intrigue is your style.
You might not like it if: You are not into violence and gruesome death. King’s Game spares no one’s sensitivities when it comes to murdering in the most grotesque way.
Note to the Viewer: Be prepared to pause when an email appears on the screen. They are only visible briefly and usually contain important information regarding the “game”.
King’s Game Official Crunchyroll Trailer