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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • The amount of confessions and sex in the King's orders have been theorized/joked about by /a/ to be a way to force Japan to raise their declining birth rates. With the reveal that the King isn't a real person, this interpretation was swiftly put on the kibosh.
    • On one hand, these kind of orders come off as bizarre for people in their frequency. However, if the orders are put into the context of insects, all of a sudden, they start to make perfect sense. As considering the origin of the game, a jar full of bugs really doesn't have much options to go with besides their natural instincts.
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    • Are the participants truly holding the Idiot Ball on purpose or is the King's Game which depends heavily on the use of Mind Rape and hypnotic suggestion, artificially corrupting their minds altering them into the level of a insect's mindset, in order to make them more susceptible to its orders?
    • Speaking of the punishments, do they really happen as they are depicted or are they merely what the participants think they see them play out after reading the messages from the King? Considering that the entire game is using brainwashing to take effect, the punishments themselves might just be hallucinations, masking what really happens to the punished participants, aka that they either are killing themselves or are murdered by the other students while under the influence of the Game.
  • Ass Pull: The end of the second novel/anime: despite getting run straight through by a chainsaw, Natsuko somehow survives long enough to kill Nobuaki alongside her, rendering pretty much everything he's done moot. Being impaled through the spinal cord by a chainsaw should've rendered her paralyzed and dead.
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  • Awesome Art: Renda Hitori's art for the manga is very expressive, which is important for selling the intensity of the story elements and the reactions from the cast.
  • Awesome Music: The opening theme of the anime, FEED THE FIRE by coldrain, and Lost Paradise by Pile, the ending theme.
  • Bile Fascination: Perhaps the only other worthy reason to watch the anime besides the opening and ending song is how mind-bogglingly stupid the plot and characters become.It's entertaining but not for the reasons the creators expected.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: With several rather unlikable and very dim-witted characters, an Anyone Can Die situation and it seeming like nothing is working out and several of the characters being unnecessarily cruel to each other, the series can fall into this for some viewers. Granted, plenty of people also find the show unintentionally hilarious, see Narm and Bile Fascination for more details.
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  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Ria, mainly for having a cool design and being the only character in the show to point out just how stupid Nobuaki's ideas and actions are, and how ridiculous the rest of the cast is being. Her voice actor performs the end of episode theme.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Natsuko, despite how (justifiably) villainous she is, is pretty hot.
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation: Readers didn't take kindly to the identity of the King. Mainly, they find the concept of an organic virus that became a computer virus who kills with hypnotic suggestion far too absurd and underwhelming a reveal.
  • Narm:
    • The series, in all of its forms, is pretty hard to take seriously. It's somewhat understandable that everyone would be panicking because they're all about to potentially die in 24 hours, but every line is stuffed with scenery, people turn on each other like a pack of wolves, and the situations are too fantastical and downright silly to even think about in a practical manner. The anime takes this up a notch.
    • The fact that the orders and punishments have a habit of skewing into Calvinball territory. Characters are supposed to die if they don't complete their order before midnight, except for the times that they don't. Orders have a habit of being hilariously vague and can come at any point during the day.
    • So many of the orders are sexual in nature that it's enough to make you wonder if the King is running out of ideas, or if the author's idea of Fanservice is horribly failing.
    • And, while not intentional, the sole Japanese name of the series can be this, due of the fact is sounds phonetically similar to the name of Osama Bin Laden, at least for non-Japanese viewers.note 
  • The Scrappy:
    • Chiemi in the anime, who in the present is nothing but The Lost Lenore, and who in the past was nothing but a Satellite Love Interest. She's much better received in the manga and film adaptations of the first book, where she plays a central role in discovering the truth about the King's Game.
    • Natsuko has been called "the world's worst Manipulative Bitch", who has only managed to keep her position as the resident string-puller due to everyone else grabbing the Idiot Ball. Not helping matters is that she deliberately acted as a Hate Sink (which she succeeded at too well) because she was a bog-standard Yandere who didn't want anyone else to be with Nobuaki, which makes absolutely no sense if you recall that she both gave out a False Rape Accusation against him and also wanted Mizuki to send him a text that will kill him as early as the second episode.
  • Shocking Swerve::
  • Snark Bait: The premier example for the Fall 2017 anime season, second only to Dynamic Chord in Japan. The nonsensical reveal of what the King is pushed it even farther into this.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: Basically the anime version of Chain Letter.
  • Voodoo Shark: You want answers to the mystery of the King? Don't worry, they're just the result of a virus from a species of bug, that makes all of the game's punishments real through hypnotic suggestion. And in the second Ousama Game, it's even a virus spread by phone! What do you mean that doesn't make sense?
  • What an Idiot!:
    • While granting that they are teenagers, the cast do some incredibly stupid things over the course of the series that makes you question their thought process. The one that takes the cake, however, is Nami. She's given an order by the King to give herself an order she must follow before midnight, otherwise she's punished. When she talks to Nobuaki about it and hears his theory about the King being a classmate of theirs, Nami orders herself to "Touch the King" under the premise that her touching the King will force them to send confirmation of her completed task, exposing them. While there are several problems with this that play out in the chapters to come, the main issue is doing all of this solely because Nobuaki came up with a half-baked idea. There wasn't any proof the King could be a student, so Nami just trusted Nobuaki knew what he was talking about instead of coming up with a better plan with him. As a result of her ill-conceived idea, Nami does face her punishment from the King.
    • Natsuko tries to claim that Nobuaki tried to rape her... after she revealed herself to be two-faced in front of everyone else, and even tried to force herself on another boy. Absolutely no one should believe her, yet they do, and they try to lynch Nobuaki again, seemingly forgetting that their last attempt to do that got the ringleader killed!
    • In general, Nobuaki can fall into downright Stupid Good territory at times, as he constantly believes that everyone can work together to end the King's Game. Even though he's been through one Game and seen that plan blow up in his face, he continues to believe in it even when it's pretty clear his optimism isn't going to work. It ultimately ends up getting him killed the second time around.
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