Tomodachi Game Episode 1 Review: Friends Don’t Let Friends Die For Money

New season, new Death Game! Tomodachi Game Episode 1 tries to upend the formula by picking up close friends to be a part of the game as opposed to total strangers. Did it work? Let’s find out in this review!

Tomodachi Game Episode 1 Overview

Tomodachi Game Episode 1 Title

Tomodachi Game, or Friends Game in English, is a psychological strategy anime belonging to the Death Game genre, a kind of anime that pits several characters against each other in a bid to make one of them outlast them all. It is based on a manga written by Mikoto Yamaguchi and illustrated by Yuuki Satou. This episode of the show is also referred to as Friends Game Episode 1.

The anime adaptation is developed by Studio Okuroto Noboru, a studio with only two full-length anime adaptations in its catalogue, Special Training in the Secret Dungeon and the second season of How Not To Summon A Demon Lord. The show is directed by Hirofumi Ogura, the director behind several well-known shows such as Black Butler and Cells At Work.

– Friends Game Episode 1 Review does not contain any spoilers –

Tomodachi Game Episode 1 Review- Are We Friends?

Tomodachi Game Episode 1 Friends

To get it out of the way first, this isn’t exactly a “Death Game”. Not yet, at the very least. The players’ lives aren’t exactly in danger, as far as we know. However, the stakes are there, and so are the contestants. There are mind games being played, heavy psychological warfare that threatens to tear everyone apart and bring a thorough enjoyment to the viewer, and actual games that involve multiple people being watched over through a camera and people controlling those games to be as chaotic as possible. I’d say that’s close enough to be a Death Game, wouldn’t you?

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As the title implies, this little game of ours involves a group of friends getting stuck in it due to some strenuous circumstances and now have to play and win the game to get out of this situation scot-free. They only have the power of friendship to save them and get them out of this mess. There’s only one tiny issue- they really can’t trust any single one of them, as it was one of their own that got into this position. Not only that, they are deliberately working to bring the entire group down.

Doll Tomodachi Game Episode 1

This was a solid first episode for a Death Game show. The show tried to cut past the boring stuff quickly and start the game as quickly as possible. However, that led to two awkward moments in this episode. The first of them was that it rushed the introduction and establishment of the characters, the very same ones with whom we have to spend the entire series. We might get more instances of their past and moments later on in the future, but as of right now, we don’t know anything about these characters or why they might do what they did.

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In the same vein, we have the second awkward moment. For the same reasons as above, all the friends in the show are stereotypes that are common in media such as this. The studious class president, the wily vice president, the rich dumb guy, the bullied girl, and the main character follow basic tropes that we’ve all come to know with our time watching anime. Tropes exist for a reason, and the reason is that they work most of the time. So these generic characters aren’t exactly a bad thing, just a little awkward. There might be more to them in the future, but we don’t know any of that right now.

The animation was made to look intentionally serene at the start, which was a great touch despite not being subtle. There was an air of tension to the show despite the bright colours and relatively normal animation, in which the music played a huge part. Despite being fundamentally solid, the first game wasn’t all that interesting, but the editing techniques the director employed worked wonders in making the scenes more urgent and action-packed. The story has begun as a bit of a fool’s plot, but it has a lot of potential to be great. Let’s see which way the tide rolls!


Tomodachi Game Episode 1 was a solid start to the show despite being a little generic. The game was intense and is going to play with a lot of feelings. The future looks to be exciting for this one.

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Tomodachi Game Episode 1 was a solid start to the show despite being a little generic. The game was intense and is going to play with a lot of feelings. The future looks to be exciting for this one.

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Tomodachi Game Episode 1 was a solid start to the show despite being a little generic. The game was intense and is going to play with a lot of feelings. The future looks to be exciting for this one.Tomodachi Game Episode 1 Review: Friends Don't Let Friends Die For Money