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The card reads as follows: Congratulations! You are one of the 1 in 100,000 people who has been entered in the amazing LIAR GAME TOURNAMENT!
Along with the postcard there is 100 million yen in notes. That's the beginning of the Liar Game. When the game ends, in 30 days, you will have to return your 100 million. If your opponent steals them, he can keep them as a prize, and you will have a debt of 100 million...
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Has flaws, but definitely a good read
Ok, so, straight to the point then...
If you're going to be shallow and base everything on how it looks, this manga is not for you. AT ALL. The art isn't anything to look at... It's not in the least bit pretty. But to be perfectly honest, it suits the story. It's portraying the darker traits of people and is very much a psychological manga about cheats, liars, and power hungry schemers all duking it out against each other with a huge amount of debt hanging over their heads --hardly a pretty tale full of singing and joy and bishies and if that's what you're after I suggest you walk away. Now.
Oh, and if you're after blood and guts or lots of action. Walk away.
If you're after something exciting and suspenseful that has you stopping to think about whats going on and reveling at how clever some of the points were (especially when you haven't thought of them yet), then stay right where you are! This is right up your alley, my friend.
Yes, after 90 chapters there are a few repetitions.The scenarios all have a bit in common, but when you consider that it's a game, the rounds are all going to be similar to some degree. Afterall, what game changes so much that there's nothing each level has in common? None, I tell you.
The explanations get tedious, but only if you read the chapters back to back in one go. You have to remember that this is a serialized series, so to keep readers from being confused or forgetting what happened the repetitiveness is necessary to a certain degree. I will admit that the line has been crossed a bit here and there, but nothing to fuss over extensively.
As for the characters; Nao makes mistakes that she should really learn from, but makes again anyway. But she's a sweet girl and despite her naivety and gullibility, she really is an intelligent person when she needs to be. Akiyama continues to always a have a near flawless plan for victory, but he does have some weaknesses. Fukunaga seems to sway from ally to enemy at every blink of the eye. They're all good, likable characters with their own faults and quirks, just like rest of us.
I couldn't put it down when reading it and if this sounds like something you'd like, then I can almost guarantee you'll be the same.
Trying to be clever
Imagine. You are in your living room. Suddenly someone sprints through your garden and tapes a note to your front window. The note says: "When I ring your doorbell and you open the door, you agree to hand me 2 quadrillion Yen." You start to panic. Will you be forced to keep your door locked for the rest of your life, because of some random stranger. Then your thought progress is interupted by your doorbell ringing. Of course smart lad you are, you ask whos ringing before you open the door. The person on the other side says postmen. So you open up. But ooh the clever devil fooled you. Its the person who just sprinted through your garden in a post uniform. But the man shows mercy and agrees to take your family jewels instead of the money. You hand him the box containing the jewels but replace the stuff lying on the bottom with rocks. The man checks the box only sees the stuff on top and walks away. You take your well earned rest knowing that you tricked that fool out of half your jewels. ;D
If that described you perfectly, you are just like a character out of the liar game. ^^ This is the first problem the series has. Apart from 1-3 characters who are about as intelligent as the average Joe everybody is really stupid and just there to fill the numbers.
The second problem lies with the author. He tries hard to create a threathening athmosphere with (seemingly) hopless situations for the characters. Sadly he ignores any law doing so and is keen to invent new ones that don't exist. (To name an example. A contract is either binding to everyone signing or to nobody. It doesn't matter if you sign with "Spiderman" or your actual name.) So one has to simply accept whatever happens in this series deep thinking and placing yourself in the shoes of any player different from the main char will tear up (huge) plot holes. I'm mentioning that because it is sad for a manga focusing on mind games and logic. There also lies the next problem sometimes the author overlooks holes in his games, meaning he declares a strategy a sure win strategy when in fact it isn't. (Some might remember a certain game where players traded already casted votes but nobody thought of trading uncast votes, which of course would've destroyed the authors sure win strategy and would mean its possible to name a winner even before round one)
So those were a lot of negatives. But I like a lot of the games the author designed. It's fun thinking how oneself would act faced with the games presented. Also logic flaws and stupidness arent on a level that makes it impossible to read the series. On the contrary. Some reactions will make you laugh. Creating a somewhat light atmosphere for the series. Also one has to mention that with advancing chapters the author spends more time thinking his games through and the quality improves somewhat. Also decent manga focusing on psychology of the characters are hard to find. (I can only think of Kiseijuu and Eternal Sabbath.) So despite negatives this is still a decent read.
Trust The Damn Writer Nao Haters!
Frick, I am so annoyed at the comments I am reading that go, "Oh I dropped the manga because Nao was too annoying 20-40 chapters in." Jesus, have any of you actually read anything good before? There is this thing called character development, and this manga does it wonderfully. It would be completely unrealistic if Nao went from being so honest that she gave up and cried, to becoming a cunning fox right after she met Akiyama, and that would ruin the whole freaking story!
No, instead of that we, as well as all of the other characters (who often comment on it), get to be surprised as we watch her develop and learn to think critically, in the same way that the readers are learning to think critically in an attempt to guess what will happen next. Of course she started off relying on Akiyama, and she made me so angry that it was hard to stick by her stupidity (especially in the downsizing game - oh dear god), however, the Liar Game wouldn't be interesting without her!
What fun is a game when you know everyone will try to outwit eachother? Her existence and HONEST intentions (the person who said she is a selfish liar is just nuts), are the twist that makes Liar Game so interesting!
Unique plot and very good story. It's in the same category as those "solve the problem" manga (detective ect). It's fun to read something new for once. You also immediately get into the manga without a slow start.
Edit: Omg, read chapter 18 and understand why the protagonist is the stupidest f*ck in the world... -.-
Edit2: It's fun again at least. But i'm sure she'll demonstrate her complete lack of IQ after this round too.
... Last updated on July 14th, 2008, 11:40am
This is an interesting and well-thought-out manga. The premise of the Game might seem slightly unrealistic, but I believe that there are many such illegal events taking place in the underworld of today.
The manner in which the mangaka explores different types of people and their reactions to dangerous situations is extremely intellligent; and each game is carefully and meticulously constructed so as to enable Kaitani Shinobu to show us different aspects of a person's mentality. Also, contrary to what many comments state, I find the behavioural patterns of the characters to be very believable under the circumstances in which they find themselves.
The protagonist, Nao, is by no means 'stupid' or 'ridiculous'. Yes, she is naive and (apparently) unintelligent; but as the story progresses she is exposed to various other players and comes to know of their ulterior motives. Thus, we see her gradually evolving into a person who firmly retains her original personality while developing an infallible spirit and a strong personal philosophy. Akiyama is a brilliant, calculating man, but his imperfections come to light more and more frequently as the story progresses - and Nao becomes as important an asset to his victory as he is to her continued survival in the game.
The art is not beautiful, but it matches the dark psychological aspect in a way that a more stereotypical style never could.
Therefore, I can safely say that Liar Game is a manga well worth all the time and effort put into reading it.
... Last updated on January 25th, 2011, 3:25am
Before I start out, I want to say that I am an avid-shoujo manga reader. The only other mangas I have read and liked besides the shoujo genre is Death Note, and, well, this manga: Liar Game. From the first chapter it's already filled with different events taking place. The logic forces you to think, and it explains each situation carefully so it's hard to get confused.
Many people have compared this to Death Note, and other than the fact that Akiyama shares one trait like L -- a genius -- from my view, nothing else is really that similar. And in my opinion? Liar Game surpasses Death Note. Not by a lot, because honestly they're both great mangas, but I think Liar Game has more edge and logic.
The art isn't too great, a bit below average, but the characters compensate for that. Akiyama, the mastermind, is obviously by far my favorite character in the series. He's amazingly smart, yet sometimes makes mistakes in his calculations which I find totally makes him not cliche. And then there's Nao. She's actually a good character in the series in my opinion. She actually thinks, and although she might not be as intelligent as Akiyama, she tries her hardest, and actually a few times comes out with a solution.
Even if you are a shoujo fan like myself, or any other genre, I highly recommend Liar Game. You won't be disappointed--this manga is a must-read. (I'm surprised this manga hasn't been licensed yet. It definitely should be. ^^)
... Last updated on August 16th, 2009, 3:07pm
Liar Game is pretty mind-blowing. There are very few manga series that have earned my respect, many are just guilty pleasures, but something about this is really amazing. Of course, itís not perfect and is a bit ďskewedĒ in terms of distribution of focus in the following categories, but the intricacies of the plot make up for most of it.
Art: Itís readily apparent that the art is nothing to fawn over. Iím usually really picky about art, but this is the one series where I donít mind the below average art/anatomy. The simplicity helps you focus on whatís really important and the style really fits the story. Characters are easily distinguishable too (which is rare in many manga series).
Plot: In terms of sheer smarts and logic, it is by far the most impressive series Iíve ever read. When I picked this up I couldnít put it down. This is the only series where I had to think and focus hard to follow along, while other ones I could just skim to get the idea. Liar Game actually works a lot more strategically than it sounds and everything about its plot is so meticulously planned and executed that I almost wonder if Kaitani-sensei could write these games forever without losing his touch. Plus, this isnít one of those stories that tries to trick the reader into thinking itís smart. It actually IS smart, and itís not convenient. Otherwise I would have dropped it immediately, but the scenarios/probabilities are all explained with grounded realism. Even though you know some twist is coming, itís difficult to guess what it is specifically and despite the farfetched nature of the game itself, the way the events unfold and the players build their plans/alliances are very believable. Psychology is another major factor that's focused on in the Liar Game and it's used in a very technical way (mostly by the emerging leaders like Akiyama, Yokoya, ect). On another note, the flow of the manga is also quite impressive. As in, the quality of the plot doesnít really decrease and the pacing is perfect. If youíve read anything longer than a one-shot, youíll know that this is very rare. There are some arcs where more interesting and appealing to me personally (like the downsizing game and the virus arc), but honestly, all the games are pretty stimulating and intriguing.
Characters: The only downside to the amazing plot is that the author focuses so much on the game itself the characters come across as underdeveloped and rather flat. They have their general labels but the author doesnít really delve as deep as I would have preferred. However, given the pace of the game from chapter to chapter, it would admittedly be difficult to develop the characters at the same time and level as he did with the game. The plot naturally took 90% of my attention away. As for Nao, sheís quite an idiot, and I usually detest her type, but then I realized she serves as not only the method of theme delivery but also as a way to explain things to the readers. So sheís very necessary, despite her annoying tendencies. As for Akiyama, heís amazingly smart but a bit 2-dimensional in the manga and plus, I prefer his J-drama counterpart.
Now understand this genre isnít for everyone. Thereís absolutely no romance, and thereís no action. Itís just one intense strategy game (that always manages to be more complicated than you first expect which can be good or bad). I can imagine half the readers who pick this up being too bored to get past the first chapter, while the other half might finish all 138 chapters in one setting. It depends, but itís definitely worth a shot. If you donít like it, then drop it, but if you pass it because of the art or whatever reason, you might be kicking yourself later when you do decide to read it. This manga is extremely underrated and personally, I'm very glad I read it.
... Last updated on September 29th, 2011, 7:52pm
Makes me wanna take up psychology.
There are no words for this manga. Just freaking amazing. Deserves so much praise. It sparked my interest for psychology. So so good and interesting!
Characters Akiyama is one badass. He is THE genious. I love that cool character of his. I know maybe he's too perfect since he always seems to find a way, regardless of what. Who cares? It goes with the story. Even so, there's Nao to balance him off. She's the complete opposite of him. Some people find her annoying but in my opinion, it's like food. Akiyama is like spicy food and Nao's like the cold drink to cool that spiciness. (Lol what?) She has to be there to contrast him. Plus, I like how people are portrayed though sometimes a bit exaggerated but who wouldn't freak out if you think you're gonna have a huge debt?
Story This is exactly why this manga is so amazing. The foundation is psychology. Well, more focused on social psychology. It tells it to you real and there actual terms. After reading, I would go research by myself to find out more. It's so interesting! Even when I don't understand how something works, I will keep reading that chapter until I finally do. There is so much rereading potential here. It's not complete yet but I have reread it a few times to understand certain concepts better and refresh my memory of the story (because it isn't complete yet).
Art Some people say it's terrible. Okay, well that may be true. It's still bearable though. In my honest opinion however, I freaking love it. It sucks yes but I love it. Why? It gives an unexpected comical twist to the story. The expressions are so priceless, especially when people lose. It's like purposely bad to lessen the tension a bit. It's like Angel Densetsu (which is a hilarious as hell comedy) which has terribad art but serves its purpose for comical reasons. The art does get better so don't worry. Anyway, it's such a minor thing. The story and its base completely overrides any flaws the series has. I don't care. It's awesome!
What are you waiting for? Go read it. I swear you will be glued.
Flawed yet Amazing and Profound
This manga was great. There were plot holes but I didn't really mind and I don't notice it most of the time. I'm a bit biased when it comes to my favs haha. I think that the art was unique and the reactions were kind of exaggerated yet priceless.It tackles human nature and hit bulls-eye's. And a lot of 'em too. The games reflect real life like how the musical chairs was about politics and stuff. I like Nao most of all. Nao and Akiyama complement each other. The two of them would most probably not win without each other(even if akiyama is a genius). Though I found nao kind of annoying at first, she made a huge impact to me. Her growth was well-paced. She changed slowly but surely, not overnight, too. But what I liked the most about her was that her values didn't change. She was still the honest nao minus some of the naivety and a lot of tears. Because when some female heroines change, they go for revenge and tend to have icy hearts. Lol. Okay, maybe I'm wrong about that but I think that Nao is a symbol of hope. She's not perfect and too honest and idealistic. Not too realistic for a seinen? I don't think so. Because IMO in the 7 billion people on earth, it's not impossible that there's one Kanzaki Nao, Moreover it's more about the LG, psychology and human nature rather than the MC.
First of all, if you are one who reads manga mostly for the art, this is probably not for you. The art is very American compared to others. Nonetheless, the artist is very thorough, with backgrounds to nearly every frame, and easily distinguished characters.
Most importantly, the main reason to read this manga is to observe how the characters approach seemingly impossible puzzles and solve them. Each and every solution is proven mathematically or psychologically. It is very entertaining and interesting to read these solutions. (which the opposition creates solutions for, which in turn, makes the main characters make solutions for, etc etc.) The only problem I have with this aspect of the manga, is that one or more characters describe every solution as "foolproof" despite the fact that most solutions are countered just a few pages later by the opposing team.
The plot is very slow moving if you are paying attention to the entire picture of winning the entire Liar Game. Despite being so many chapters along, I still only feel like we are just scraping the surface of this Liar Game.
Each plot arc does flow quite nicely. Despite what other reviewers have said, I did not find the plot at all predictable. I could/can never tell when a character was/is acting or not, and for whom. It is easily distinguishable where the climax of each is. Some arcs seam to carry on forever. You have to be a very active reader to follow exactly what is happening and when it is happening.
The characters are all pretty well rounded. Nao (the female lead), is consistent yet unpredictable, and the mangaka succeeds in keeping her in character despite situations which it would be so tempting just to make her go super bad*ss.
The male lead is incomparable to Light from Death Note. Many have made the comparison, but neither the male lead in Liar Game or Light from Death Note would succeed if their roles were switched with each other's. I don't want to go to far into that though...
In total, I totally recommend this to anybody who is looking for something that will make them think, and isn't looking for too much art-wise.