DOREIKU The Animation – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Descend into the dark world of SCM, where you are labeled either a master or servant based on your ability to win a game. What type of depravity will people reach to become the ultimate master? (Official HIDIVE Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
DOREIKU The Animation had me cautiously curious about how creative it would get with this mind control mechanic plot line and the disappointing answer, atleast for the first episode, is to mainly use it for sexual assault. The very first case of the SCM, the mind control device of the show, being used in the episode is a guy telling a girl to have sex with him and her compliance because of it. The sexual angle is also re-inforced through the show constantly having women flaunt their assets, in particularly their breasts. It’s not aggressively in your face but it’s enough to let the viewer know what kind of show DOREIKU aims to be.
The opening credits of the show make it seem like we will be following a lot of different people around in this game of SCM showdowns though for episode 1, we have only been introduced to three characters. First we have Eia, a young women longing to shake off being labelled distant and detached by her friends. Then we have Yuuga Oota, a young man who wants to use the SCM to gain power and riches. He recruits Eia into the world of SCM after being impressed by her observational powers, which to be honest, seemed a little unconvincing. The games that SCM users engage in for their matches haven’t been defined or restricted and there are plenty of games where power of observation will mean zilch towards winning. So either Yuuga is a bit of an idiot or is too lazy to search further for a partner. But that’s not a major complaint, just something that contributes to why I feel DOREIKU has a poorly set up contrived plot. Either the show is going to make Eia practically be a superhuman and be able to win the most random of things through her observation skills and/ or it’s to set them up for a devastating loss in some match where her skills means nothing.
Finally we have the third character,Lucie Suginami a woman that Eia and Yuuga has noticed on a date who ends up being sexually assaulted by her date. She then decides to use the SCM to exact her revenge on her assaulter, so bonus points for not using it to sexually assault someone BUT this whole situation was started by one. This brings us to the next contrived set up. We find out that the SCM only works if both parties involved are wearing the device. The start of the show makes it look like SCM devices are all the rage/famous enough to be the talk of the town on the internet. So when she approaches her assaulter to wear one, it’s a bit surprising that he seems to have no idea what she is holding in her hand and for someone who assaulted her earlier, he is rather compliant and trusting about going along with whatever she says. You could overlook his ignorance of what the item is as it does seem like there aren’t that many who seem to know about the SCM but his willingness to put a completely foreign looking object in his mouth is a little hard to overlook.
There is of course a chance that you will be able to look past the contrived parts and are watching DOREIKU just to see how excessive and depraved it gets. As I mentioned earlier, there seems to be a large emphasis on making it sexual. It starts with sexual assault, has one more happening in the episode and then at the episode, we see a completely nude women in chains and bonds being commanded by someone. We are only one episode in but I wouldn’t be too surprised if fan service remains one of DOREIKU’s main objectives so if you’re still considering watching this show, keep that in mind for better or worse.
Animation and imagery wise, DOREIKU uses quick shots that feature bondage themes and dark colours to help highlight the seedy nature of its world. It’s not super original but it does the job of setting at the very least, the dark sexual nature of its content.
Based off this first episode alone, I wouldn’t recommend this show to anyone except those who can forgive, overlook or even enjoy contrived plots for the sake of depravity and drama. The mind control device in the world has been given some rules such as winners cannot command losers to kill themselves or commit acts that would result in death but the show dispenses this knowledge in a casual and quick scene of Lucie reading the rules off a pamphlet. It seems like for now, that’s the only rule the show thinks the SCM needs to stick to, as it gives us little else information about it. The explanation of how it works is also vague and extremely fictional, in that we’re just supposed to accept that somehow this device amplifies feelings of obligation in the loser to the point of making them completely compliant. It even goes so far as to tell the audience that people cannot take out the SCM because their sense of obligation will force them to put it back in if they take it out. Apparently this device has an effect on you even if you take it out. DOREIKU basically asks its audience to shake off all sense of disbelief which would be easier to do if everything in this world were highly fictionalized as well but setting it in the real world and trying to inject some emotional depth into the show causes a major clash. To sum it all up, DOREIKU The Animation is a show that’s best for those who can shake off their sense of disbelief and can accept whatever information or lack of information the show throws at them for the sake of a highly contrived setting. But given how contrived it is and how it already seems a little too obsessed with throwing in sexual content, always at the cost of a female character, I can’t imagine it winning that big of a following.
DOREIKU The Animation is available for streaming via HIDIVE.