Four different people are stuck in the elevator. Everyone of them have a different reason for being in the building. To pass the time three guys and a girl decide to play the game of "truth". Each of them tells their most terrible secrets.
Akumu no Elevator (AnE) is a two chapters manga made by Hanta Kinoshita. Without a doubt, this was one of the most pleasant surprises I found in a long time...
Jun Ogawa's life is about to change: his wife just phones him to tell that the baby is ready to leave her belly! Just one problem: at that time, Jun was in his mistress apartment...So, after apologizing, he runs to fulfill his role as the ideal husband. He called the nearest elevator and... everything turned black. When he finally awakes, he realizes that he is inside the elevator, with three other
people: two relatively common guys, and a gothic lolita (yeah!). These persons inform him that after entering, the elevator starts to free fall, and he hit his head with the ceiling... but recover almost immediately. Unfortunately, the elevator is broken, and they're trapped. And they're incommunicated, too: Jun forgot his cell phone in the apartment, and none of the other three have one that works. They could be trapped for hours until someone notices... and that's how an idea born: to kill some time, they decide to tell each other their darkest secrets. This is the first time the four meet, no names were given, nor addresses, and this will be the only time they'll be together, so... why not? As the stories are told, Jun realizes that he couldn't be surrounded by a worse group of people...
That's the staging of AnE: a small, isolated place where four people just talk. For the protagonist, the tension just grows and grows with the brutal and disturbing topics, but the thing that disturbs Jun the most is the fact that his elevator partners are extremely calm. Sometimes surprised, sometimes puzzled, but no matter what are they chatting, they're always very calm. This help to make the mystery of their true identities even bigger...
But not everything is creepy and sinister in this manga, no. There's also a peculiar sense of humor, sometimes, dark, sometimes silly, and occasionally surreal. Brilliantly executed, several dialogues are so funny and random that it would take the reader by surprise.
I will not give details about the characters, since they're truly the soul of AnE, but I can say that the four are extremely well worked for such a short story (less than 150 pages). In the end, you really get to know them...
The art, without being brilliant or incredibly detailed, is very good. Simple, but effective, and work perfectly. The characters are very different from each other, and are well drawn, without crazy anime designs (and seriously, that gothic lolita chick is hot). The scenarios are even simpler, since the action is in a small place.
And the verdict, well, if you followed, is quite predictable: Akumu no Elevator is a tremendous manga. Not only the concept is attractive, over the pages the surprises start to pile up, and the revelations hit hard. The characters are brilliantly conceived. You will be intrigued by the situation, and later you would laugh hard. AnE is almost the definition of hidden gem. Go and read it, now!
...But before that, some considerations. Actually, this is the main reason I choose to review this, beyond of course, being an excellent product. You see, the first chapter of AnE can be found in many sites... but with the second one, that's another story. From this one, thare are only a few pages scanlated (at least, until now, 31/07/12)... but the full translation is available in mangahelpers (yet, without images). Please bear that in mind, since at first we all thought AnE was just a one shot with a ridiculously open/surreal ending. So, now you know the truth.
Ok, now everything is said and done. Enjoy the reading!
... Or if you are too lazy to read an entire chapter with just word and no images, you can watch the live action movie. Yeah, there's an Akumu no Elevator movie. Maybe I should have said that before, but... who cares?
Akumu no Elevator (AnE) es una historia corta de solo dos capítulos creada por Hanta Kinoshita (en realidad, es la adaptación de una película, pero se entiende). Sin lugar a dudas, fue una de las sorpresas más agradables que encontré en mucho tiempo…
La vida de Jun Ogawa está a punto de cambiar: su esposa acaba de llamarlo por teléfono, para decirle que su bebe está listo para salir de su pancita! El problema: en ese momento, Jun estaba en el departamento de su amante… Así que, después de disculparse, sale corriendo a cumplir con su rol de esposo ideal. Llama al ascensor y… negro. Cuando se despierta, se da cuenta de que esta adentro del ascensor, con otras tres personas: dos tipos relativamente comunes, y una gothic lolita (yeah!). Dichas personas le informan que se desmayo por unos instantes, pero que se recupero de inmediato. Desafortunadamente, en ese ínterin, el ascensor se descompuso, y están atrapados. Y también incomunicados: Jun se olvido su teléfono en el departamento, y ninguno de los otros tres tiene uno que funcione. Podrían estar ahí por muchas horas hasta que alguien se dé cuenta… y así es como surge una idea: para matar el tiempo, deciden contarse sus más oscuros secretos. Ninguna de las cuatro personas se conoce. No saben los nombres de los otros, ni donde viven, y esta va a ser la única vez que estén juntos… así que, por qué no? A medida que las historias son contadas, Jun se da cuenta de que no podría estar rodeado por un peor grupo de gente…
Esa es la puesta en escena de AnE: un reducido espacio en el que cuatro personas se dedican a hablar. Una de las cosas que más perturba a Jun (y al lector, seguramente) es que, sin importar que tan escabroso sea el tópico, sus interlocutores se mantienen demasiado tranquilos. A veces sorprendidos, a veces intrigados, pero siempre muy calmados. Eso ayuda a cementar todavía más el ambiente, lleno de tensión…
Pero no todo es siniestro en este manga, no. También está presente un singular sentido del humor, por momentos oscuro, por momentos surreal. Ejecutado de forma brillante, varios diálogos son tan cómicos y colgados que tomaran indudablemente al lector por sorpresa.
No voy a dar muchos detalles en sí de los personajes, dado que son verdaderamente el alma de AnE, pero si puedo decir que los cuatro están bien explotados para ser una historia de menos de 150 páginas. Uno llega realmente a conocerlos…
El arte, sin ser brillante o increíblemente detallado, es muy bueno. Simple pero efectivo, refleja perfectamente la acción. Los personajes son muy distintos unos de otros, lo que ayuda a evitar confusiones (y en serio, esa gothic lolita es muuuy interesante). Los escenarios son sencillitos, por razones argumentales.
El veredicto, si me siguieron, es bastante predecible: Akumu no Elevator es un manga tremendo. Su concepto inicial es atrayente, si, pero no se queda solo en eso. Con el correr de las páginas las sorpresas empiezan a aparecer, y las revelaciones golpean con fuerza. Uno realmente no sabe en qué va a terminar todo. Los personajes están brillantemente concebidos. AnE es lo que se conoce, por definición, como una gema escondida. No dejen pasar la oportunidad, y denle una chance!
…Pero antes de eso, algunas consideraciones. De hecho esta es la razón principal por la que decidí escribir esta review, más allá de que el producto es excelente. Verán, el primer capítulo de AnE puede encontrarse en muchos sitios… pero no pasa lo mismo con el segundo. De este solo hay (al menos, hasta el momento) una traducción (sin scanlations) en mangahelpers. Por favor, ténganlo en cuenta, por que al principio todos creíamos que este era un one shot con un final muuuy abierto o surreal. Así que ya no hay excusas para no entender que es lo que realmente pasa.
If you happen to be in the mood for a mystery or dark psychological horror with plot twists try Akuma no Elevator.
This is a manga full of that and true dark humor.
Actually, the reason I decided to read this, is the initial synopsis sounded very much like the French existential play "Huit Clos" (transliteration would be No Exit or Behind Closed Doors ) which is a play about that takes place in a closed locked room with a very small cast of similar characters, and the setting seemed like that to me, so when reading the first chapter I
thought it was going to go along those lines but it also takes influences from other closed room stories such as a movie about an elevator called Devil and a mystery by Agatha Christie.
As I said, the first chapter starts off with a very existential feel to it - the play I was comparing it to is about 3 people locked in a room together for eternity as their punishment in their sins in a personal Hell - the motto being "Hell is other people". That being with others who you hate and can't stand the sins of would be torture , and that having your own sins revealed to them would be, rather than physical torture instead mental or emotional variety.
The first chapter of this seems to be heading in that direction as they are confessing their sins locked in an elevator, but after that first chapter some plot twists occur that completely changed it being that theme!
It veered off in another direction that I did not expect.
Personally - I really like it when a work surprises me with a twist where I can't guess the plot, therefore, it makes me rate those works higher for their "pleasant surprise factor". So the departure from what I thought I would be reading actually increased the enjoyment for me, even though as I say this is a manga that is unabashedly dark and sardonic.
If you appreciate dark humor this will probably be more to your liking than if that bothers you. :)
The art was good but nothing spectacular, and the characters were interesting however where this particular story really shines is the actual story and plot. The ending is good but sort of open, as in it could well continue and it makes you wonder what might happen next instead of completely telling you.
It is a one volume/ 3 chapter work so it is definitely worth the time.
Overall, I am giving this Akuma a 9.
This is a mature seinen manga with horror and dark psychological themes so it is probably more suitable for mature readers who like mysteries and crime dramas.
I think the best thing to do is to go read this manga having only read the synopsis and enter this roller-coaster of a story.
I don't want to get too deep into the details of 'Akumu no Elevator' or the characters themselves but I just want to say that this really makes you think. Or at least, that's what it did to me.
Whenever I hear about those terrifying situations that some people get inserted in and the way they come out as changed people, I get incredibly terrified because it makes me wonder if I would have made the same choices if I
were in their place. Would we hold on to our morals and ethics tightly to the very end even if we see no other option but to let them go to survive?
Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I don't think the writer just wanted to come up with an exciting thriller just for the heck of it. So this is as close as I could get to actually talking about the story without crossing into Spoiler Land but I hope whoever's read the manga would understand:
One of the characters could have cut the losses and stopped things from spiraling out of control but that person's hesitation caused everything to get even more complicated, although doing The Right Thing could have made it better, this manga shows that people rarely do what's seen as right when it comes to saving their behinds and coming out clean.
First of all...trigger warning, I'm giving you. I saw it nowhere written in near sight, but the story deals with a heavy mental issue and mentioning of self-harm. I was slightly shocked, and if I saw mention of it, at least I'm prepared.
The other thing - shock value. This manga is full of it, not for the better.
I'm not sure if the effect the author was going for was supposed to be dramatic...it wasn't, I was LOLing hard at the "badass" characters and the tragic yet hilarious turns the story took every fifth or so page.
Illogical decisions, total lack of comprehending the gravity of
the situation and pages after pages of chatting and flashbacks just pile up for no reason. The tension is horribly forced. Oh, and that's a mighty spacious elevator, I must say. I swear I only saw similar in hospitals.
Also, the idea of a confession forced by a lacky detective agency under such extreme conditions (aka being literally threatened)? Are you kidding me?? I'm not convinced that could stand before ANY judge in case of a divorce.
But of course, this all becomes secondary, when we finally reach the final moments and understand what was the point of the whole story. A piece of advice: it doesn't worth it.
But the drawing style was fine, I'll give the artist that.