What is it that you can never catch up to?
The beach episode is a common staple of any modern anime series, and Akuma no Riddle is no exception – although thankfully, it primarily served as the setting for the episode (alongside a little fanservice) without being too overbearing. And as Nio said, it’s a nice change of pace compared to the gun-shooting, knife-fighting and explosions that have characterised past assassination attempts – and hopefully we’ll be seeing a bit more change as the show transitions to its final episodes and plot twists start occurring. Unlike most of the other assassins, who tried to kill Haru in some solitary location in the dead of night, Suzu didn’t even bother trying to hide anything – admittedly there’s not much point in doing so at this stage of the game, with about half the Black Class remaining and everything about their common goal being out in the open.
Suzu’s game consisted of placing a timed bomb on Haru, with a time limit of midnight; the only way to unlock it was to input the correct 4-digit password within three tries, with clues to the correct code placed all around the pool. While the concept itself is pretty interesting, it almost felt episodic in design – the process through which the riddles were solved mostly consisted of Tokaku suddenly figuring something out and racing to a particular location, although I did think that some of the answers (like the “forest” of cards) were quite clever. This sort of game relies on a certain degree of trust and honour being present – more specifically, that Tokaku and Haru would place their trust in Suzu’s word. If she was really ruthless, she could have backstabbed them and given Tokaku a completely wrong code, or not given her three tries – I can definitely imagine some of the other girls taking that route, in line with the very definition of what an assassin does. Suzu ended up being surprisingly romantic in honouring the memory of the man she loved – it seems like Haru’s optimism and her tendency to think the best in people ended up saving her life this time.
We’re whittling down the number of assassins even further now, and with that the plot moves ever so slowly forward – as has the yuri, which has finally emerged, over halfway into the show! With the significant restrictions placed on each assassin, Isuke’s questioning that the death of Haru isn’t really the real goal of the top brass – there’s something larger at play here, something currently too vague for me to try speculating any further into. Nio knows it all though, and at this point I’m sure she’ll stand as the final boss, if it’s not going to be Haru herself – I didn’t miss how she was the only one to wear a full bodysuit, presumably to cover up whatever it is she’s hiding.