This week, I had the distinct pleasure of watching an anime that both intrigued and captivated me. While I tend to consume a lot of anime, it is very rare that I tell myself that I am definitely going to watch a show again after only watching episode one. So, without further ado, I present you with my review of the anime Doreiku.
So, this show is about a mind control device known as the SCM and how the cast of characters have their lives changed by these devices. The SCM allows the wearer to enslave another person who is also wearing an SCM by defeating them in a game or a challenge. The enslavement of the loser is pretty much absolute, with very few rules to go by, and while the most obvious thing that would pop into people’s minds here is sex, this show isn’t a hentai. Instead, it is more of a thriller than anything else.
At first glance, the plot of this anime seems relatively simple. And it is. If I wanted to explain the plot of this show in a very vague way, I would simply say “people use a mind control device to enslave other people”, which I’m sure most of us could name at least one other anime (or hentai) with that same basic plot.
However, the simplistic plot is not a bad thing. Because of how basic the actual plot is, it gives room for the characters to display who they are and what they are about more effectively without having to give time to needless narration or exposition.
By far, my favorite thing about this show is the characters. Each of them is different, with different personalities and motivations, and watching them interact with each other is more interesting than anything else. The funny thing about this is that none of the characters are actually likable. They are all (with few exceptions) absolutely horrible and deserve everything that they have happen to them. For the most part. There are the select few who did get a raw deal in this whole thing.
Funnily enough, I didn’t feel like this show truly had a main character. While it can be said that the first character we are introduced to (Eiya Arakawa) seems like she is the show’s MC, she gets just as much screen time (if not less) than the other characters in the show. Honestly, the only thing that makes her able to be seen as the MC is that she is the best of the worst. I won’t spoil the show by telling you why that is, but, trust me, she is the best one of the cast.
All that said though, because this show is only twelve episodes, there is a lot to learn about these characters in a short amount of time. This issue was handled well by the creators of the show. Each character gets their own little portion of an episode where we see how and why they got involved with something as crazy as the SCM. Some of the stories are better than others, to be sure, but I do think that it was well done.
The only complaint I have is that not all the characters are really memorable. A lot of the characters we meet early on have such a small impact on the overall story that it makes me wonder if they were worth mentioning at all.
I love this show. I would definitely recommend this show to people who are fans of the thriller/psychological genre of anime. However, I would be lying if I didn’t say that I felt that the show would’ve benefited from being a bit longer and a bit darker. The characters obviously have dark inclinations and it would have been nice to explore them a bit more.