Raizo Fuwa is a 25-year-old salaryman living in a cramped home and working in a crowded office in Tokyo. His hopes for improved conditions are dashed when the new office building his company is supposed to move into is condemned as unsafe because the construction company has been cutting corners. Since the old building is already being demolished, they have no choice but to "temporarily" move the office into Fuwa's new flat. The final complication arrives in the form of the new employee Izumi Hiyama, a high school dropout the boss has promised to take care of as a favor to her family. No landlords are willing to rent to a 15-year-old girl, so she too has to move into Fuwa's home/office.
Looking at the premise of Living Game, you may expect a silly, enjoyable romp with goofy humor and awkward situations. While these elements are certainly present, as the chapters flip by, this story evolves into something that is both very real and touches on many issues of life, and living.
Story: The story in Living Game really snuck up on me. While I was enjoying the elements and laughing along, a very real story had naturally evolved and entwined itself with what I was reading. Everything that was introduced felt well paced and natural, even the shocking elements. Characters act how you would actually expect
people to act in the given situation, giving the story a very real feeling.
Art: Well, it isn't the prettiest looking manga, but it gets the job done. The character designs are very simple, but emotions on the faces are well expressed. The art fits the mood of the story, and I did not find anything that was distracting or jarring.
Characters: Now this is where Living Game gets its charm. Raizo Fuwa is a enjoyable lead, who is just someone going with the flow of life. Izumi Hiyama is a bundle of joy, it is adorable to see how she reacts to the new situation she is put in. When the story gets serious, however, we see our leads develop serious, raw emotion in a believable fashion. Living Game hits with these emotions really well, and I found myself both cheering and crying with the leads.
The secondary characters are also very fun. There are too many to list efficiently, but you can rest assured that they all have their quirks and charms that make the story enjoyable. None of them are throw-away characters either, they all bring something to the story at at least one point.
Enjoyment: Whether it was was watching the characters fall over when something ridiculous happened (seriously, this gag never got old for me, maybe there is something wrong with me...) , or watching the emotional development between Fuwa and Izumi, I was always having a fun time. I laughed audibly multiple times, I flipped pages lightning-quick with heart-a-flutter to see what emotional development awaited me, heck, I even started yelling at the pages. This manga will take you through ups and downs, as well as everything in between, and still come off as a very believable, mature story.
If you are at all interested in romance or drama, I would suggest this manga. Living Game pulls off its comedy and slice of life elements as well, but this is really a love story at its heart. It has undeniable charm, and is my favorite of the romance genre. I recommend Living Game wholeheartedly.
This early manga has a bit of a dated feel to it, and you immediately think of the early 90's. After introducing the main characters, the story began to roll by and a comfortable pace. I'd have to say that this is one of the few times when I didn't notice the evolving storyline, which is always a good thing. The characters are all designed to work with each others personalities and there aren't all too many "minor" characters.
I'd have to say that the main theme of Living game would probably be making decisions in life, hence the name living game. It's mostly
centered on living space (characters move multiple times through the series) and the futures of the protagonists. The one thing that I noticed the most is the theme of moving on in life. Reading this manga felt like visiting old friends in my opinion.
Only one bad thing: the ending was pretty blah. it just kinda ends the story where it is, but nothing BIG happens. It's not necessarily bad, but it kinda gave me that "wait, it's over?" kinda reaction. like there's a sequel, but there isn't.
All in all, a great manga which truly describes the "slice of life" genre, a good read.
"Living Game" is an enjoyable romance drama based in the early 1990's that combines an age gap couple, issues with maturity and growing up as well as the individuals search for purpose in life. As the title might suggest, the plot itself centers around the various living conditions of the main couple - their first meeting and initial living situation being caused by seemingly two random acts of real-estate terrorism. As the story progresses the changes in living situations start to portray the characters quest to find a place for themselves, or more succinctly, a place where they belong.
On the whole the plot and
characters in this manga are solid and the constant themes make it enjoyable to read because it helps you understand the reasoning and thinking behind the leading couples various decisions. I wouldn't say the plot itself is anything particularly deep, but it's executed with loving care and honesty.
Being an older manga the art style might be a little out dated for some people, but I found it pleasant and most importantly the pacing of the panels were easy to understand with the entire work flowing smoothly and at times I found myself appreciating the fact that due to this being written in the early 1990's that there was more of a focus on telling a plausible romance story than a trope ridden mess that seems to be all too common these days.
Overall "Living Game" is a great manga from the last century that's greatest strength is it's ability to make you understand and feel the motives of it's characters.
I loved the comedy. I loved the romance. Fuwa and Izumi were great characters. The office workers were great characters. I loved all the characters except Tokiko & her husband. They are the very definition of a dysfunctional marriage. They are what ruins it from being perfect. He's a complete scumbag who neglects & hits her and she's an idiot for going back to him time and time again because she does this soooo many times. Most of the time it came off as a joke that she would leave her husband, but honestly that just made it worse. I started to drift when it
became more and more about them. She was a likeable character at first until it got more into her story with the husband and then it spiraled. There were times where you were supposed to feel bad for the husband, but again he just came off as a complete scumbag. Worst of all [spoiler]she gets pregnant with that scumbag's baby and of course goes back to him and then after she leaves with him, they joke about her running away again.[/spoiler] I've never seen a more frustrating couple in a manga than I have with Tokiko and her husband.The last 2 volumes were good because you didn't see them until the end [spoiler]where she comes back AGAIN, pregnant & talking about divorce and her idiot husband right behind coming to argue with her.[/spoiler] All in all, a really good romance slice of life where its perfection is ruined by 2 highly unlikable characters. I know this review is mostly about ranting Tokiko and her husband, but seriously, they are the one flaw of this manga.