Sep 6, 2014
Duds Hunt is one of the best thrillers ever written in manga, and out of all the psychological manga, it is the one that makes my heart beat the most. It isn't just an interesting survival game, but a carefully designed web of great detail.
Our main character Nakanishi in "Duds Hunt" is different from typical main character isn't just a novice who relies on a cool veteran of these phone-to-real-life-survival-games (a game like this one could arguably be compared to "Darwin's Game", for example). He quickly catches the momentum of the game and you are thrust into an intricate network of strategy and battle
lust. Other characters are intertwined into the main character's lifestyle of murder and money... From a different perspective, there is a young girl named Chihiro whose father was assaulted and put into the hospital. Also included is the former boss who made his life so miserable; and finally, the friend of the main character who first introduces him to Duds Hunt.
As for the script, the translators did a very good job as the thinking of the main character ramps up the tension at the beginning when he is just a novice, and changes to ruthless pride as he gets more and more confident. The script clearly explains the details of the game as they proceed, so you won't get lost on how the system works or who, what, where, why, and how. You understand why the main characters do what they do, how they work and also their motives.
The art is clear and easy to read as long as you've been reading manga for a while. Lines for motion, facial expressions, shock, etc are all properly displayed. There aren't any two-page panels in the middle of the story, so if you're the type to zoom in and then have to zoom back out for the big pages, there's nothing to worry about in Duds Hunt.
It also includes a one shot named "Awakened Dreams", which is an elaborate puzzle of different art styles, suspense and mystery. It might not be what you are looking for if you try to compare it to another manga in the same genres, but it is a masterpiece all on its own. It focuses on perspectives in a short but well-put-together murder; if you're looking for something unique in the world of psychology manga, this addition to Duds Hunt is perfect.
My only advice is to keep a close eye on the appearances of the characters (their faces, hair, anything and everything) to recognize them, as sometimes characters that came across the main character will pop up unexpectedly with very important roles. This just adds to the intrigue and density of the manga - everything wraps up and clicks together perfectly as it finishes. Duds Hunt is the result of a well-thought-out idea and ingenious planning. This is a great manga that any fan of action/thriller/psychological mangas should try out.
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