Wishing she would live up to the ideal, Kanzaki Nao's father named her thusly for "honesty." Nao has more than lived up to her father's wishes—even exceeding them and earning the label of "a foolishly honest girl." This makes Nao the least qualified candidate for the high stakes "Liar Game," where winning requires deceiving the opponent out of their money and losing means receiving massive debt; however, that doesn't stop a box containing a hundred million yen in cash and a card informing her of her participation in the game from arriving at her doorstep, nor does it stop her from being promptly tricked out of the entire sum of money. Upon hearing that a genius swindler, responsible for the bankruptcy of a major corporation, is being released from jail, Nao goes to the swindler, Shinichi Akiyama, to enlist his help. With that, the two are drawn into the dark, greed-filled, and deceptive world of the Liar Game.
When I first started Liar Game, I had pretty low expectations, thinking it was probably some Death Note rip-off. Boy was I wrong. While at the the beginning, I seriously considered dropping this manga, for reasons I'll explain later,I am EXTREMELY glad I didn't! This is a manga that will leave you at the edge of your seat, begging for more.
So, in a nutshell, a stupidly honest girl gets mixed up in a game where you must lie. The first thing she does is fall for a lie, and seeks help from an ex-scam artist.
All in all, it's pretty original. But if you consider reading this on just the plot alone, you may find it's completely different then what you'd expect. This story explores into the darkest parts of a human's heart; lies, deceit, greed, and selfishness, and one pure girl who looks beyond that.
Ok, this is the first reason I almost dropped this. The art at the beginning is mediocre at best. Eyes that show no emotion, people with oddly shaped heads that triple in size with open mouths, and tiny arms, not to mention the drawing are highly disproportional. (Ex. When standing normally, Nao looks around average height, but when she falls on her knees and bends over to cry, she looks as if she'd be 8 feet tall standing.)
Notice though, I said at the beginning. The art noticeably gets better as the series progresses. The art style gets better, the bodies look proportional, the weird way of drawing lips the make the top one look like a mustache disappears, as does the strange habit the artist has of drawing the eyelashes at the side of the eyes. Although the art doesn't improve to something worthy of great praise, it becomes pretty good.
Character ~10/10~ -prepare for semi-long rant-
The heart and soul of this manga. And the second reason I almost dropped this. At the beginning, this story's major flaw was Kanzaki Nao. Stupid, naive, easy to fool, always relying on other people for help, and a total crybaby. Again, notice I said 'At the Beginning'. As the story goes on, she turns into a strong girl, yet still retains the honest purity she once had. Thanks to this, she's able to realize the "true" (air quotes because this has not yet been 100% confirmed) motive behind the liar game.
The thing that made keep going in this manga was Akiyama Shinichi, the genius swindler recruited by Nao. The word genius is an understatement for this man. Able to bring an entire MLM company to it's knees, not to mention he's only like, 24? I don't really want to go into detail, so I'll just say he's pretty similar to L of Death Note, even having the dark circles under his eyes. (The picture of him on his MAL profile does him no justice though, he's actually fairly good looking) The reasons behind the things he does and his abilities are a bit of a spoiler, so I won't go to much into detail on him.
This cast of characters is perfect for the story, each having their own reason for staying in the game, whether it be for wealth, domination, saving the other contestants, or finding the horrible person behind the Liar Game. Each has their flaws, some more then others, but each one has good in their heart, brought out by Nao and Akiyama, except for one. -*cough*Yokoya*cough*-
I thoroughly enjoyed this manga, to the point where I finished 95 chapters in 2 days (Although each chapter is roughly 17-18 pages). It's a manga that will have you thinking about how on earth could Akiyama possibly beat the opponent, only to have a plan so complicated and thought-out that Einstein would be staring at the page with smoke coming out his ears. Truly an amazing manga.
At the begining, Liar Game looked like anohter irrelevant thing, but when I started reading it, I was trapped untill today. This manga has a very good psichologycal style that explores the deepest parts of human ambition: seeing how each different character thinks and behave differently in the same situation keeps your attention drawn on every moment, allowing Liar Game to be an outstanding story.
Story: It has a very original idea, about a girl who sees herself trapped in this game, where she has to lie in order to live, Anyhow, she's got a problem: she is stupidly honest.
Art: The drawing in Liar Game is not the best drawing ever, but it meets it's duty.
Characters: a handful of very different characters lets one understand how each type off person would behave in extreme situations.
Enjoyment: Being completely unpredictable, it will keep you hooked and you won't even realize how many chapters have you read.read more
It's been a couple years since I first discovered Liar Game, and it has all the elements that can draw me to a fictional story : an intelligent plot, a collection of interesting characters, and a truly original premise.
I read a few arcs (which were very good) and decided to put it on hold until the story finishes because I am not that patient a person.
And when I finally decided to take it again .. boy, does it deliver.
The first thing you'll notice is the drawing. It's quirky and veers to the unusual (especially the reactions), but it really sets a tone to the story's atmosphere. The uncanny realism really suits the manga style and rhythm, and makes every character memorable.
The second thing you'll notice about it is the pacing. It starts off relatively slow, then it picks up speed as it goes, soaring at critical times, making the otherwise peaceful and action-free nature of the games a setup to some intense and thrilling moments without using pulling any cheap tricks.
Be warned since some chapters are long-winded. It feels sometimes novel-ish, even. But again, you'll probably be too drawn in to notice. (I would lighten some long "and heeere is how it was done !" chapters but then again, minor inconvenience).
The games are usually very balanced which leaves the reader on the edge, so much so its reaches sometimes the frequency of 1 turning table/chapter ! (the only thing that seems to be more frequent is how many times Nao gets deceived, fooled or laughed at.)
The games are simply A-mazing. If only for them I would gladly give Liar Game its 10/10. Some of them may seem simpler than others but even the simplest ones are very well-thought. Most of them are really just parallels to real life situations put in a Game format, and they're all brilliant.
The solutions chosen by the smartest players are usually ingenious, but be warned because as you progress through the story you might lose the surprise factor. The endings are usually rewarding, however.
As the games become THE container for the story's final point at the latest stages, some stagings become "too convenient" for said point to be driven home. Some loose endings are swiftly cut, but you can still feel it if you pay enough attention. But then again, minor inconvenience.
What's really neat about all the games is that most -if not all- of them had a way to break-even for all players, or even make a profit just by the act of uniting (which is Nao's naive point), but the manga does it job to hammer in the notion that humans ARE greedy, nasty creatures. (speaking of nasty, as much as I hated Kaiji's nastier parts, I really wanted some of the games to gain some troubling aspect, but the author chose to keep all the games very family-friendly, which is not bad).
But before dismissing most of the characters as evil monsters, just try from time to time to put yourself -really- in some player's shoes and see what actions you would have taken under the same circumstances, you may gain some insight in the process!
The characters are also an important point to mention since they really make the package believable (and by characters I only mean the main characters since the background ones all seem mean and stupid to a fault, and are used, time and time again, as pawns in the Chessmasters games).
It's impossible to talk about the characters without giving out some of the plot, so let's just say that most of them get to have a satisfying development.
And unlike, say, Death Note, Liar Game doesn't try to veil who's Mr. Good and who's Mr. Bad: everything from their design to their every sentence is pretty much white or black, which makes it hard to sympathize with the Evil ones (which make up the majority, according to LG).
However, the nature of their evil is usually brought into the spotlight and their evilness is usually justified (sometimes by need, but mostly by greed to a point that the manga might as well be called Greed Game).
The most noteworthy character is definitely Nao (what, not Akiyama ?) since she gets to have the most character development and is the personification of Good, clumsiness and all, but she's not cheesy (if this was your typical shounen when she says something like "loyalty is the key to victory !", everyone would seem deeply moved and invigorated.. well it suffices to say this ain't your typical shounen).
The manga also handles comedy very well. Although most of it comes naturally from the unfortunate shenanigans Nao puts herself into (like, whenever she says "I have a plan!", you just knows she's gonna make some huge plan that is completely impractical, and grin as she suggests it with immense confidence).
The later religious touch was also a very subtle take on both religion and the good/evil question (without judgement nor glorification, which is nice). Same goes for the overall political stand of the manga.
So, in summary :
- Is it worth reading? YES.
- Is it perfect ? No.
- Why does it get a 10/10 score ? for many reasons, including :
1. The Games. The Games. The Gaaaaayyymmmmezzz.
2. Some characters are just very admirable, especially in the story's world.
3. Some twists are really unpredictable, I mean REALLY.
4. The expression when someone you can't help to hate loses miserably.
5. Did I mention the games? Right.
6. The Overall message.
7. The ending was .. you need to see it to judge for yourself (genius, lazy or both?)
This is an epic story that I have been following for years now, and I can't believe it has finally ended. *cries*
The story is a very VERY intense chess match that isn't filled with cheesy stuff like the power of friendship, but is more on actual logic. It's really unique, and it feels like every move, action, and reaction of the characters has been researched beforehand to make everything that more realistic. The games are probably the best part, and it's probably because of them that I finished this manga.
The art is not that pretty, and the reactions seem very exaggerated, but the story definitely makes up for it. Don't give up on this manga just because you can't stand the art.
The characters are very diverse, with each and every character having a reason for being there. Even the minor characters feel important enough to take note of, which is quite a feat for a manga that has A LOT of minor characters. The character development is also very well done, especially in the main character, Kanzaki Nao. She is very annoying at the beginning, but just bare with her for a while. She gets better as the story progresses. The other main character, Akiyama Shinichi, is somehow the opposite. As Kanzaki improves herself, Akiyama starts to step back from the spotlight to let her get in on the action. They balance each other out, not overshadowing one another.
Now for a *spoiler* that isn't really a spoiler. (Just skip this paragraph if you want to go in completely in the black):
The ending is very rushed, making it quite disappointing. It leaves too many loose ends for me to completely accept it. I personally suggest reading only up to the second to the last game, unless this manga comes with a sequel or an epilogue. I honestly changed my rating from 9 to 8 just because of the ending. Again, that is just my opinion, but consider yourself warned.
-end of pseudo spoiler-
Overall, this manga is an amazing read, and I don't regret rereading it while I was waiting for updates. Very enjoyable read that makes you want to jump in and join in the games (if it wasn't for the incredible risks you would have to take).