Tomodachi Game: The Spring 2022 Preview Guide

What’s this?

Yūichi Katagiri, a young man with a perfect student life who has four friends with difficult lives. His quiet daily life comes to an end when 2 million yen (about US$20,000) in school travel expenses go missing. The puzzles unfold when Yūichi is drawn into a mysterious game for money and must decide if friendship or money matter more.

Tomodachi game is based on yuki satoThe manga and broadcasts on Crunchyroll Tuesdays.

How was the first episode?

Nicholas Dupree


I give isekai shows a lot of crap for being simultaneously ubiquitous and boring, but if there’s one genre that can outshine even that otherworldly monolith in sheer tedium, it’s death games. One of my biggest concerns is the massive success of squid game bring this already oversaturated story idea to the big stage. And while this show isn’t strictly a death game – all that’s currently at stake is money – it’s just as hard to beat as any other hackney edgelord parade trying to put a new spin on the prisoner’s dilemma.

The main reason for this is how undercooked the “Tomodachi” part of his title is. This is meant to be a dark and gritty look at how five dear and loving friends can be forced to betray each other for money, but the core friendships of the group are basically non-existent. We get a whole scene of all five characters talking before they’re thrown into this low-rent. kakegurui scam, so watching their tenuous friendship fall apart as they play the most obviously rigged game on the planet isn’t dramatic. These are people we’ve mostly gotten to know through a single screen of text explaining their personalities to us, and none of them have strong enough personalities to overcome that and make this whole ordeal interesting. When they start betraying each other, it doesn’t mean anything because neither of them are real characters, so all the tension of this game melts away.

I’m also so, so tired of each of these having to bark up the same tree. Each of these things think they need their own Monokuma, but once you’ve seen a couple of creepy cute mascot characters who are secretly ~evil~, it loses its impact. So the CG anime mascot character is equivalent to a squeaky voice exposure machine without impact. Add in the random supervisor girls who have to comment on everything from their surveillance room, smirking at how their totally devious mind games will ruin another friendship and you have a story that’s so unbearably impressed with your short-rate nervousness that finishing the episode is a feat of endurance.

The only bright spot in this premiere is in the final moments, where it seems that our hapless protagonist has come up with some kind of plan to outsmart Kokkuri-san’s game that all of his friends have gotten into on purpose. That, at least, could be a novel twist to this whole setup: our hero has to play 4D-Chess to get all of his friends to play fair so they can settle their debts together, forcing a happy ending in the face of psychological manipulation. obvious. . I have very little faith that’s the way the show will go, but it would at least be a twist on this scenario that I haven’t seen done a million times. Still not enough to make any more of this charmless dull look, but it’s something, I guess.