Crunchyroll will stream ‘Tomodachi Game,’ prompting ‘Squid Game’ comparisons

Crunchyroll announced at Anime NYC that it will stream studio Okuru to Noboru’s upcoming Tomodachi Game. The adaptation of Mikoto Yamaguchi and Yuki Sato’s ongoing shonen manga, first serialized in 2013, was announced earlier this month with a key visual and staff.

The upcoming anime will be directed by Cells at Work!! director Hirofumi Ogura, with a script written by Kenta Ihara (Mieruko-chan, Saga of Tanya the Evil). And this isn’t Tomodachi Game’s first adaptation. The series, which has sold 2 million print copies to date, saw a live action television drama and film in 2017 written and directed by Jiro Nagae.

But those unfamiliar with Tomodachi Game are finding more recent touchstones to sell the show on, with everyone from fans to Crunchyroll itself drawing comparisons. Here’s what the show’s about:

High school student Katagiri Yuichi, who values friendship above all else, enjoys a fulfilling life with his close friends Sawagiri Shiho, Mikasa Tenji, Shibe Makoto, and Kokorogi Yutori.

However, after a particular incident, they’re dragged into a debt repayment game.

The only way to beat the “Tomodachi Game” is to not doubt their friends. Bound together by solid friendships, the game should’ve been easy, but–

So, Squid Game but anime? More than a few fans jumped to that conclusion. “Sounds like a squid game anime,” read just one tweet in response to Crunchyroll’s announcement.

The announcement, along with a comparison to the popular Korean drama, drew applause at Crunchyroll’s Anime NYC panel yesterday afternoon, but Twitter is decidedly frustrated with the comparisons. “This feels kinda direspectful to tomodachi game when the manga is released way before squid game,” reads one Tweet representative of the sentiment.

The manga has also drawn comparisons to Darwin’s Game since the announcement, another recent anime adaptation about a high schooler drawn into a life-or-death game

Crunchyroll announced its acquisition of Tomodachi Game‘s streaming rights alongside a slate of other highly anticipated series due next year. Tomodachi Game will stream on Crunchyroll in April 2022.