Saw has been a popular film now for 13 years and is one that I enjoyed very much (although I cannot say the same for the subsequent sequels). Whenever an anime comes along and takes their spin on this type of genre, I like to check it out and see what it can do. Ousama Game: The Animation (King’s Game) is the latest in anime to portray a Saw-like show, but does it do anything different to really make itself stand out?
First Episode Impressions
Ousama Game features a boy named Nobuaki Kanazawa. He is a quiet boy who doesn’t want to get close to anyone nor make any friends. One day, he receives a text message on his phone stating that The King has ordered him to kiss his classmate Natsuko Honda within 24 hours of receiving the message, otherwise he will be punished… aka… killed. Nobuaki refuses to do so because he knows what will happen if he disobeys. The only problem is that Natsuko would die, too, but at the same time, he feels that her sacrifice will be worth it in order to save everyone else’s life. Should he kiss her, it would start a chain reaction that would bring his entire class into the King’s Game.
The issue here is that Natsuko has a crush on Nobuaki and despite his attempts to get her to leave him alone, she persists. Right before the midnight hour, she kisses Nobuaki and starts the chain of text messages to the entire class. By the end of the first episode, 10 total people die, nine of which hung themselves after disobeying the King’s order not to rest. Of course, being the middle of the night, the nine who hung themselves were already asleep. Nobuaki reveals that he tried to distance himself because he played the King’s Game before and was its sole survivor.
So far, the show seems pretty average as far as survival horror games go, but the interesting part will be the types of punishment people will receive. Despite being pretty average, I rather enjoyed the first episode just because I want to see how everything pans out and if Nobuaki can survive two games in a row.
OP and ED Thoughts
I will admit.. I held off on this first reaction until Episode 2 (which I didn’t watch) so I could hear the ending because the opening was so good that I was that interested to hear what the ending was like to give a proper reaction. With that being said, what was the opening (which served as Episode 1’s ending)?
It was “FEED THE FIRE” by coldrain. As soon as I saw the band’s name, I was hyped beyond belief. Ever since I heard “8AM”, which served as the ending to Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger, I was hooked on them. Their opening for RAINBOW, “We’re Not Alone” completely blew me away and while “FEED THE FIRE” relies mainly on its chorus and bridge, it’s still an amazing track that is on constant repeat in my playlist. As an added bonus, the full version is already out so make sure you go out and pick up a copy of their single!
I fast forwarded to the end of Episode 2 to check out “Lost Paradise” by Pile. While not as good as the opening, it’s still a great alternative, bridging on heavy, rock track with female vocals. The track is good enough to serve as an opening to the anime if it chooses to do so. This will be another song I’ll have to pick up once the full version becomes available.
YES – While the concept of Ousama Game is pretty average, it has a bit of a nuance about it that draws you in. It certainly has captured my interest and I actually want to see how creative the writers get with the types of punishments that will be handed out! It has that Final Destination allure to it where you just want to see people die in the most creative ways and since this is anime where rules can be bent or broken beyond belief, I’m expecting some fantastic creativity here! My God, am I a ghoul or what?