Liar, Liar Episode 1 Review

A promising premiere, no word of a lie.

by J.R. Waugh
Liar Liar Episode 1 Review

Going into an anime without any previous exposure to its source material can be a blissful experience. It’s important to be open to new experiences when checking out new works in this broad medium, so in the case of Liar, Liar, I found this to be a rewarding one. Even upon a glance of the light novel series it adapts, I didn’t expect to be this impressed or enthralled after one episode, but here we are. This is my review of Liar, Liar Episode 1.

Hiroto Sits Upon a Throne of Lies


The premiere introduces us to Hiroto Shinohara, who gives a bold first impression to the viewers: not only is he below average, but he’s likely at the bottom 10th percentile. Despite this, he quickly puts on an act by addressing the students of Academy Island with a cocky speech about him being a Seven Star, and not losing any of his stars to any challengers, no matter the game. It elicits some angry reactions from spectators, and then he promptly walks away.

Only he walks away to reveal his utter regret in such a statement. He barely scraped by getting into this academy, and is the lowest-ranked student there. This doesn’t stop him from a chance encounter with a cute girl who mistakes his bumbling for disrespect and negative ulterior motives, and quickly urges him to challenge her to a game. But in doing so, a great power is destabilized in the academy, with this student, the supposed Empress of the academy, unseated, and now Hiroto, the victor, sits upon a throne of lies.

Games, Lies, and Sci-Fi


The genre of the light novel series Liar, Liar is based on may well be a Romantic Comedy, but the Sci-fi elements shine through for Hiroto and the students of Academy Island. Their status and ranking is determined by Stars and winning or losing games of their choosing, complete with buffs they can apply. It is essentially a school anime where people settle their scores quite literally with AR-assisted games. Liar, Liar successfully made a compelling, exciting staring contest and I was pretty impressed there.

The central gimmick that Hiroto must use, thanks to the Red Star he was given in his accidental win against Sarasa Saionji, is to convince the entire island he is a Seven Star, not just a One Star. The Red Star holder is given the ability to uphold one lie, and must expose the truth to the next holder. Hiroto is forced to commit this lie, and Sarasa herself confronts him as the previous holder, to reveal to him that she’s actually Sarasa’s double, Akabane Rina. A lot happened in this episode, loaded with games, lies, and sci-fi, and I ate it all up.

A Promising Premiere, No Word of a Lie

  • Liar-Liar-Episode-1-Review-Sarasa
  • Liar-Liar-Episode-1-Review-Natsume-Ichinose
  • Liar-Liar-Episode-1-Review-Shirayuki-Himeji

I was instantly enticed by the premise. A Seinen series where lies are a central theme is not exactly new, but it is almost always compelling, allowing the writing to be showcased instead of pure spectacle. While the animation isn’t exactly going to blow any minds, everything is stable, and the characters are engaging, they convey different emotions effectively, and it can be surprisingly funny.

I also should note that the series can bring some serious style, such as with its opening theme. I haven’t heard such a good opening theme in a while. LIES GOES ON by May’n, accompanied by a gorgeous opening title sequence teasing an enticing cast of characters, is a great way to introduce viewers to this series. This, among other factors, results in a promising premiere, no word of a lie.

The Verdict


Hiroto is clearly a fish out of water at this elite school, so when he is confronted about the destabilizing effect his upset win against Sarasa, this endears the viewers to him, to see if he can uphold his lie. He has no discernible skill except to conceal his inner feelings and keep them separate from his outward expression, to fake it til you make it.

Hiroto must bluff his way to the top. While he may have gained a surprise ally in the end, with more characters teased in the final moments of the premiere, it’s tough to say how this will go for him. But as it stands, I’m not gonna lie, I loved everything about this premiere, balancing style, humor, and substance to create an engaging experience for viewers to eagerly anticipate each week.

This review of Liar Liar Episode 1 was made using a screener provided by Crunchyroll and Sony Pictures. Liar, Liar Episode 1 premieres on Saturday, July 8, 2023, at 8:00 AM PT, and is available to stream weekly on Crunchyroll.

- This article was updated on September 7th, 2023

About The Author

J.R. is a content creator with AOTF and has been covering gaming and entertainment in the industry since 2022. Along with a B.A. in History from the University of Cincinnati, he has studied at the University of Birmingham, UK, and part of his M.A. at the University of Waterloo. You'll find J.R. particularly at home writing about the hottest manga and anime. He is highly passionate about horror, strategy, and RPGs, and anything about Star Trek or LOTR. When not ranting about fan theories or writing guides, J.R. also manages his local movie theater.


Liar, Liar (Episode 1)

  • Score: 4.5 / 5
  • Available On: Crunchyroll
  • Published By: Kadokawa
  • Developed By: Geek Toys
  • Genre: Romantic Comedy, School
  • US Release Date: July 8, 2023
  • Reviewed On: Screener provided by Crunchyroll and Sony Pictures
  • Quote: "I'm not gonna lie, I loved everything about this premiere, balancing style, humor, and substance to create an engaging experience for viewers to eagerly anticipate each week."
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