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The Japanese government has launched a brand new law: because of the laziness and apathy of Japan's people it was decided that someone, daily and randomly, will be chosen and killed with a poisoned capsule in order to "bring to life again" and wake up the others.
The person elected will be warned with an ikigami (or death notice) and after this he/she will have only 24 hours left to live.
What will those condemned think and do during this short time?

Note: Was nominated for the Angoulême International Comics Festival in 2009.


Related Series

Associated Names
Death Paper
Death's Notice - The Ultimate Limit
Ikigame - The Ultimate Limit
Ikigami - Der Todesbote (German)
Ikigami - Glasnik smrti (Serbian)
Ikigami, préavis de mort (French)

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.6 c.36 by Imangascans over 7 years ago
c.35 by Imangascans over 7 years ago
v.6 c.34 by Imangascans over 7 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
10 Volumes (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 8.2 / 10.0 (176 votes)
Bayesian Average: 7.95 / 10.0
 22% (38 votes)
 16% (28 votes)
 33% (58 votes)
 19% (33 votes)
 6% (10 votes)
 3% (5 votes)
 1% (1 votes)
 1% (1 votes)
 1% (1 votes)
 1% (1 votes)

Last Updated
May 29th 2018, 9:33am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Big Comic Spirits (Shogakukan)
Young Sunday (Shogakukan)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Viz (10 Volumes - Complete; Print/digital)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #550 increased(+167)
Monthly Pos #1083 increased(+526)
3 Month Pos #2573 increased(+204)
6 Month Pos #2954 increased(+673)
Year Pos #4291 increased(+252)

List Stats
On 847 reading lists
On 655 wish lists
On 94 completed lists
On 51 unfinished lists
On 214 custom lists

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Forum Posts
saddest story over 2 years ago
Why was this abandoned? over 3 years ago
Ikigami to Enter Final Arc over 6 years ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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The ending   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by kagayaki_kaya
July 21st, 2015, 12:28pm
Well, i like this comic because each story have the "feelings".
But fuck up with the end. Just like that?
That's not conclution. not solve anything.
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Neat idea   
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by blackmokona
May 27th, 2012, 1:55am
It's a neat idea. Too bad good stories are not made up of ideas.

Execution, sorry, barely there. Characters, you know characters are not dependent on their circumstances right?

And Hello, how about the philosophy, the one about greater good I mean. Just please touch upon that. And I get that you're exploring different facets of how such an absurd thing is accepted so easily, and it's really kind of cool. How about a little more dimension though? Depth would be nice, since you are very blatantly telling worn out stories, add something else to it, you know? Otherwise you've got these various societal problems approached in the same iterative mile-wide-inch-deep manner.
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Vivid, but illogical   
Rating: N/A
by kamerdiner
May 13th, 2012, 8:47am
Stories are great, emotional and vivid, If you don't mind those political miscalculations.. It really does not make sense to kill 1 in 1000 people, since even heart disease is more possible (well you can die from car crush, cancer or whatever and it is purely random). And what is the point of making such law, if you can't actually control the deaths? I think in the end there will be some bosses from the government that actually know the odds. Or else, everyone (!) receive those nanobots and government can choose who to kill.
On the other side, it is pretty much close to WW2 events with government ridiculously killing people and "corruption thinkers punishment".
And why killing 19-25 years old? They can't even start living, and of cause they don't know yet "the meaning of life". For the knowledge that you can die anytime? Wtf? I know this already, better GIVE THEM EDUCATION for all those tax money going to maintain the process of vaccination.
There have to be someone above, that benefits from it greatly.

I recommend to read, just for the idea of 24 death notice. It is amusing to see how people struggle in their last moments and what their dreams were. And to think for yourself, too..

(sorry for bad English)
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A shinigami in a modern setting   
Rating: N/A
by intemango
August 21st, 2010, 5:27am
(Armchair boring rant goes here...)
Spoiler (highlight to view)
(cue The United States Declaration of Independence)
This 'fictional' japan is, exactly as pointed out, an authoritarian and oppressive regime, intolerant of dissent on a level somewhat similar to North Korea. Blind loyalty to the interests of politicians is deceptively justified, masquerading as patriotism. Refusing the innocent their right to live for an imaginary cause and the well-being of 'the nation' is a favorite excuse for any dictators. Motivating the youths is one thing, justifying censorship and the death of free speech, along with a gross violation of human rights and travesty of justice is another. Certainly any sane people wouldn't want their children to be born in a country like that, so the country either goes NKorea-style or devoid of all citizens. So for the sake of my sanity, I'll have to accept that this fictional nation is very dumb to NOT either have outraged over the ikigami bill and banned it from existence, or already overthrown this totalitarian regime from day one. Let's not even talk about how the US, the EU and the UN would feel about this, and I'm pretty sure WWII happened in this world so the UN exists, so the JSDF is pretty limited and conforming to public opinion, and the US won't allow this ikigami bill to happen. Or perhaps the Axis won in this fictional world, or everyone went crazy ? My brilliant suspension of disbelief is just not willing to go that far, seeing as how exactly everything else stays the same.

But if you CAN not be too nitpicking and accept the total lack of democracy (while the people knowingly suffer) in this fictional japan, what you have is your standard death-related human drama. (Insert inquiry into the meanings of life and insane character growth and revelations). It's actually not boring at all, seeing how other seinen series usually do much worse. Even if we can already see death tropes from 50 miles away, we can still get moved by it every time, because it's the story of a person's life.
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Harimau
April 7th, 2010, 6:40am
This is a 'what if?' scenario. Dumb premise? Bogus backplot? Only because you lack the flexibility to view things from a different perspective. "The UN would never allow a democracy to do this". If you feel like you really have to rationalise it, then simply think "the UN does not exist" or "the UN has no power" in this particular scenario. It's a dystopian setting. It's an alternate reality, but somehow you think that it's exactly the same as our reality, just with a different Japanese government. I wonder how you'd react to Akumetsu... Use your brain, it does more than take up the space in your head. This manga has justified its plot on the simple fact that it is fiction. The author doesn't need to merely take liberties with reality, "reality" is at his liberty. I have so far seen no internal inconsistencies, so that satisfies me as a reader.

As for the manga itself... No matter how far-fetched the premise is (but again, who cares?), the premise is brilliantly executed. It's like a philosophical experiment in manga form. What would you do if you had only 24 hours left to live? What would different people do, living under different circumstances? Strangely (for me, at least), you actually feel for many of the characters. You sympathise, you empathise, and indeed, you hate. But it doesn't stop there, the wheels are turning in the background, society is slowly changing, people are rebelling, and the rebellions are being put down. You just know, shit is gonna hit the fan.

... Last updated on April 7th, 2010, 7:37am
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Nice read though with a bogus back plot...   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by deathcoy
March 31st, 2010, 8:14am
a nice read... pretty realistic about what you gonna do with that 24hrs left... touching with some, cruel with others... though the setting is a bit stupid, theres no way this system will happen but in a fantasy world only... wish the main character was more involved with the "victims" story... well now that the new counselor has a hidden agenda, things got a bit more interesting and i hope they move into that part soon... interested how the story gonna end...
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* seems like Dumb Premise or hard to believe premise at first   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by Hell_Clues
December 28th, 2009, 2:39am
The premise is really stupid. The execution is really stupid as well. The U.N wouldn't let a democracy do this. A democracy wouldn't be able to do this period. They don't explain why crime would go down when people might be killed by their own government or why the people would allow it. Except for the partially unrelated, intrusive police that kills you for speaking out anyway. I have to imagine that something like this would simply cause a mass vacation of Japan.

they should have used an alternate universe with an alternate government. Maybe even a fictional country, for it to make any sense.

All the lessons learned could have been learned without this. In fact, random death is already a part of life. But this stupidity blankets these dramas. Also it would make japan's bad immigration even worst.

Update: What I said about the premise is true but I realize I didn't really talk about the quality of the manga and didn't even rate it. Like I mentioned, you can't do this(premise) except under a well hidden dictatorship, where people take what's best for the nation over its citizens. Then again, this wouldn't be good for a nation unless its overcrowded which Japan isn't...

It's nice to see growing dissent over it. I'll just quickly say that the stories are generally okay. I basically felt the same emotion throughout them with some slight variation usually in the first half of a story. That it's a messed up situation. I feel that this manga gets better as it goes on, it might end up being quite good.

* Update - Like I told someone over a message, I felt that the manga agreed with me. It turns out it's a 1984 style world but much more hidden. So you are suppose to feel that it wouldn't happen in a democracy because it doesn't, it is a hidden oppressive government. This actually makes the story more interesting and sets up the over arching storyline.

... Last updated on May 26th, 2012, 12:31am
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by 62renji
December 21st, 2009, 12:46am
Omg, this series is not for everyone. One story is gorry and the next is heartwarning. It reminds me of deathnote at the begining when light says that he will kill criminals to control the world but this is the government controling japan.

If u think the world is a little screwed up this is for u.
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Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by sweetnsour321
December 2nd, 2009, 7:15pm
I don't know what to say..It's really good in a werid way..I first didn't like the first two chapters but.. after that it just blew me away. I am still speechless.. after you read it it gives you this feeling and a vibe (maybe it's just me..)..most of the stories are really's dark and depressing/gloomly but really good. I can't describe the feeling after I read it. I guess it impacted me in some measures/way...this manga is a really good read. It's on my top 15 list out of thousands and thousands of manga I read so far..It was a meaningful plot and the art is quite's definatly a good read but its not for every's is not your everyday manga, thats for sure.

... Last updated on December 2nd, 2009, 7:16pm
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Good plot   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by sea-slug
October 12th, 2009, 12:02am
Can't say that I like the art a lot, but this plot is very clever! The thought of the government using death to threat people into spending their lives wisely is unique and interesting.

I'd really recommend this to everyone even though it is quite dark and depressing.

... Last updated on October 12th, 2009, 12:04am
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