The show has taken another turn in Tomodachi Game Episode 5, but inexplicably, this one seems to be for the better. Let’s see what changed in this review!
Tomodachi Game Episode 5 Overview
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 5.
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. You can read our review of the previous episode here!
– Friends Game Episode 5 Review does not contain any spoilers –
Tomodachi Game Episode 5 Review- Say What?
Let’s take a step back for a moment and think about what this show is supposed to be about. Five friends, one game that threatens to destroy not only their friendships but also put one of them into immeasurable debt, and one bad egg who planned it all just to get revenge on a particular member of the group. In this group, we have a Smart guy, a Rich yet Dumb guy, a Poor guy, a Studious and Rules freak girl, and a Bullied girl. Full of stereotypes, sure. Full of a lot of potential to be a great show? Also true.
We have talked about the merits and demerits of the games in particular and how the reveal of Tenji Mikasa to be the “mastermind” worked in some places and not in others. However, not much has been made of the protagonist, Yuichi. His designation in the show is just that, of the Poor guy. What makes him good enough to be the focal point of the show? Why is he the one who is solving the games and is personally trying to bring the intruder down? What is so special about him? At this point, absolutely nothing. But what if this was the point all along?
The show’s latest episode tried to prove that it is more self-aware and smart than we realise. We are still not privy to things behind the scenes, and a lot of what happened was directly related to those. While that is a very romantic thought, and it being true would negate a lot of the criticisms thrown at the show, the show hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt just yet. Just one thing of note happened in this episode, and it is one that we can’t talk about for two reasons. First, that would be a huge violation of the spoiler rule. Second, we don’t even know how the thing that happened, happened.
However, the framing of this episode as a war of intelligence and attrition between Yuichi and Tenji was great, and the show did manage one very smart deception that had the audience fooled, let alone the characters in the show. The plot development that occurred was a substantial one, which also makes the rest of the show a whole different ballgame. While this does make the rest of the cast look like total idiots, at least they aren’t the incel who took a 20 million yen loan just to get even with a girl who left him.
The game runners in this show are some of the most toothless and benign creatures that exist only to provide some extremely insipid commentary about human psychology that isn’t even true half the time. Combine that with the lacklustre animation and the overuse of group reaction shots, and you have an episode that struggles to give up its worst elements despite trying to move forward into a fresh and engaging storyline. Still, the future doesn’t look too bleak for this game just yet.
Tomodachi Game Episode 5 was a great episode that was haunted by the show’s previous sins despite having a solid plot and some good character writing.
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