Onigiri – Episode 1 [The Curtain Raises on Onigiri] [Quick Look]
Yes you read that correctly, this is an anime about an MMORPG with the same name as a Japanese snack. The title is intended to be a play on words – in the game, the characters have a background as “oni-cutters” (demon cutters), but “onigiri” is also the word for a Japanese rice ball.
The anime is based on the MMORPG by CyberStep, released in North America on Canada Day (July 1) 2014. It was released in October 2015 for both the Xbox One and the Playstation 4. In the game the player is paired with one of 8 female NPCs (non-playable characters), each with their own personality and abilities: Shizuka, Yoshitsune, Obaraki-dōji, Kaguya, Amaterasu, Veronica, Uzume, Kijimuna, and Sakura. However in the anime, the focus is instead on this cast of eight, and a male player character named Jin. Jin, interestingly enough, can’t talk – his words are merely text on the screen. Only the female characters can speak.
The premise of Onigiri, both in the game itself and the anime, is that monsters called Kamikui had long ago been sealed away by the Goddess of the Sun,
Amaterasu Ōmikami. Now one of the seals has been broken, and it’s up to the onicutters to rid the world of these monsters.
So in the first episode, our group of nine is fighting a cluster of Kamikui, massive monsters that look like they stepped out of an episode of Yu-gi-oh because that was literally the last time I saw purple and gold colored monsters. Shizuna gets ready to attack, but the other girls each start butting in because they want the XP (experience points) from the kill. As they bicker, the Kamikui power up and blow each of the characters to a different spot on the map.
As it turns out, Shizuka and Yoshitsune land together in a place called Satsuma. They see a group of Kamikui terrorizing a group of civilians and instantly leap into action. They start unleashing their arsenal of attacks, each one getting more and more powerful. Suddenly as Shizuka is about to release her Dragonball Z-inspired attack, Hectic Exposure Wave Earth Destroyer, the two girls are teleported off the map and taken to a black void. There an omniscient female voice informs them that a “faulty tool” has been detected, and the accounts of the two girls is being suspended for a week so they can be investigated.
My thoughts: It’s really short and cute, but as someone who plays World of Warcraft casually, I really like this parody. I found the voice of the narrator amusing, as he interjects with commentary whenever the girls say or do something they “shouldn’t be doing” as NPCs, like talking about “fall damage”. I’m definitely going to keep watching!
Possibility of Watching: High
Possibility of Blogging: Very unlikely