Dorei-ku the Animation – Episode 1 [First Impressions]

Tsuyoku’s First Impressions

Dorei-ku the franchise has been around for a while, so I was a bit surprised I didn’t know about it until this anime season. Originally a light novel series, it has been adapted to manga and to a live-action movie, so I suppose having an anime adaptation now must mean the original source must be doing something right.

This premiere of Dorei-ku was quite a ride in more ways than one! First off, this isn’t for the easily-offended or the faint of heart. Right off the bat there’s questionable stuff going on as we see people at a mixer party playing cards and the winner seems to magically convince the losing woman to have sex with him. Then we learn about SCM, a device that’s been selling on the internet for a while and now is valued at millions due to demand. Rumors have it that this SCM lets people control others as slaves as long as certain conditions are met: that both are wearing SCMs and that one of them wins a duel against the other.

After this introduction we meet Eia, who I’m convinced has some personality issues, though honestly, probably every single character in this show will, if the summary is anything to go by. She’s listening to her friend talk about her breakup. It turns out her ex-boyfriend left her for another guy. Soon enough we meet the said ex-boyfriend, Yuuga Ohta and Eia dares him to kiss his boyfriend right there. Instead, Yuuga poses a question to her and since she is able to ‘win’ his challenge, he promises to meet her later and let her in on some information. Quite the shady business, if I can say so myself.

At the same time the episode starts following a couple that was mentioned during Yuuya’s little game and we meet Lucie. She’s holding a SCM and there’s a expository flashback of her history with Meguro which ends in non-consensual sex. Quite dark, I must say. She seems pretty determined to get back at him for raping her. Next we see them together again in a pachinko parlor and the first game takes place. The character interaction in this part was quite crude and lecherous, it almost left me grabbing my metaphorical pearls. I still must say I enjoyed that we got to see the SCM in action before there was a more extensive explanation on it.

The episode jumps back to Yuuya ad Eia talking and he’s giving her more details about the SCM and what they’re for, how they work and what his intention was when gave her that little test. Yuuya invites her to become his partner in this world of games to gain slaves and test themselves. He needs a partner and insurance, someone who will aid him if he loses and he trusts Eia can help him out. She seems enthralled by the requests and then she agrees, but the scene closes with her lamenting meeting him, she wishes she could turn back time to before she got involved with the Devil’s device, and this right here, peeps, this is the hook!

I honestly found the animation and designs about average, the music forgettable and the voice acting unremarkable, but I’m intrigued! That hook, knowing what Eia regrets and how she will deal with that will keep me here through thick and thin. The following scene with Lucie testing the limits of her control and the after credits scene of a blonde girl in bondage where just an extra treat to keep me entertain. I know for sure I’ll stick around. The psychological component reminds me a bit of Kakegurui and that was fun to watch, so I’m expecting more of less the same from Dorei-ku.

Possibility of blogging: Guaranteed


Midnight’s First Impression

I am usually pretty good at picking out who is going to be my favorite character in a series from a single glance at their character design. Glad to see that this hasn’t changed, Eia was the one character that really caught my interest when I took a loot at the promotional art and she is certainly the force that will keep me watching this series.
I adored just about everything about her, from her willingness to just grab her friend and smooch her out in the middle of public to make a point, to her ability to calculate a situation and read it to the obvious personality disorder she seems to have. Tsuyoku is right, the idea that she regrets getting involved in all of this is just a wonderful hook into the series to make you wonder, what’s going to happen?

The SCM itself is of a certain interest to me as well. The way they described it functioning was as it amplifying your sense of obligation to the person you lost to and it acts as a drug of sorts if you try to remove it. I am curious if we will come across anyone in the series that does try to remove it and escape their place as a slave and suffers from mental damage because of it. There is an entire storyline there that I am hoping the series explores at one point or another.

This is the second anime of the season for me to have sexual assault in the first episode, and while it’s served the plot both times I’ve had to stop and ask myself ‘Was that really necessary?’. I think Dorei-ku uses it to further the explanation and world building better then Magical Girl Site did but it’s just like, at some point you have to step back and ask yourself. “Can I do my story without this?” and if the answer is yes, then just don’t.

Sadly, another thing that Tsuyoku is right about is the general blandness of just about everything. Nothing really stands out to me so far, bar Eia’s personality and some interest about the events to come. Some of the other character designs in the opening did gain some interest from me. In particular, the character with their eyes covered by their hair.
I feel like that’s another character I’ll probably end up enjoying and I am usually right on this kind of thing. The girl with the eyepatch has potential as well, but I get the feeling that a lot of these characters are going to be fodder when it comes down to it all.

Well, with Eia looking to maybe be my favorite character of the season even if the rest of the series falls flat on it’s face I can say with confidence that I want to see where this show is going. The first episode stumbled, but I see a lot of potential in where it’s going. The hook worked to catch me. I’ll gladly be sharing this series.

Possibility of blogging: Absolutely

Tsuyoku

I'm a huge fan of stories of all kinds and I've been an animanga enthusiast since 2007. I don't see that changing anytime soon!

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1 Response

  1. zztop says:

    I recall reading the manga version of Doreiku. The good news is that the story’s complete, so there’ll be a proper ending for this one.

    One thing I recall of the manga was how it was set up as a story of interconnected protagonists – each chapter focused on different people connected to the SCM and had some connection to previous chapter characters.

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