The setting is a rural city in which a kidnapping and a series of murders are happening simultaneously, where there was also a kidnapping 8 years ago. The victims, the compulsive liar "Mii-kun" (the narrator), and "Maa-chan" (Misono Mayu) reunite and start living together, despite of the fact that the kidnapped children were in Mayu's apartment...
Taken from my recommendation post (with accompanying picture snaps) on http://sekijitsu.com/2011/01/21/rec-lying-mii-kun-broken-maa-chan/
I **** you.
Words that are open to interpretation. This manga plays skip rope with the line that defines love and hate, fear and fearlessness, sane and the insane. Truthfully, I’m writing this not long after completing the manga, but with only 5 chapters, it is one that goes by really fast. The lingering questions however, stay for much longer.
The manga referenced here of course is the psychological drama/mystery “Lying Mii-kun & Broken Maa-chan: Precious Lies”. The title hints at the deceptive nature of the story, as the narration successfully manages to throw curveballs and
lead you in the wrong paths, even though the reality might actually be the opposite. If you think that my words so far have been pretty ambiguous, its because it is meant to be. Being only 5 chapters long, there’s not much room to maneuver around key plot points so the only way around it is to be a bit vague. I’d rather not spoil anything from this manga, since to experience it fully; you really have to go into it blind. I certainly did.
Seriously, this manga managed to get into my mind quite a bit as I read through it. The protagonist and narrator, “Mii-kun” is a very interesting person whose dark past haunts him constantly. This leads to some heavy exploration of the complex overtones in the human psyche, as both he and “Maa-chan” attempt to rid themselves of the demons that plagued their childhood. Mistakes were repeated, although not through faults of their own. The things that they have experienced and continue to experience really makes you wonder about people who suffer from similar mental states. Their relationship with each other is also pretty ambiguous, since the mangaka censors the words that they try to express to each other. “I **** you”. Open to interpretation.
Mii-kun as the narrator is really memorable as you look at the story through his tainted eyes. Seeing that he is a compulsive liar, you can never be too sure about what he says, even his inner monologues. If I were to compare it to a previous manga I read with similar themes, I’d guess that the style is similar to “Onani Master Kurosawa”. In OMK, you empathize (eventually) with the protagonist Kurosawa who does indecent, unforgivable things to his unsuspecting victims. A similar scenario is evident here, although instead of having someone jizz all over your undergarments, you replace it with murder and torture instead.
Through the second chapter, the introduction of a detective figure made me think about comparisons with Death Note, another notable psychological, mind-game thriller. While this angle was not used as much as I hoped in the end, the cryptic dialogue between Mii-kun and the detective was enough for me to bring about images of L and Light’s infamous mind games. While that may be a bit of an exaggeration, at times this manga is really good with its dialogue, even though it is extremely short.
In the end though, like Kurosawa, you really feel for the characters’ plight. You empathize with the protagonists, you vilify and hate the antagonist, even though at times you don’t really know who is in the bad until the very end. Like I said, the way the story is narrated can sometimes throw you off the path and there are plenty of twists and turns that make you doubt your previous assumptions. Even at the end of the story, there are questions left unanswered. I won’t spoil it here, but since I was so invested in these characters, the ending’s lack of concrete answers made me feel uneasy. Still, there are just some problems that can’t ever be solved so at the very least, leaving the ending as it is allows the readers to interpret the conclusion the way they want to.
The author’s done a great job at portraying such a dark subject matter and it is definitely a worthwhile read if you want a quick fix of mind fuckery. Each chapter will leave you wondering what lies ahead and therein lies the beauty of this short gem. I initially entertained the idea of just having a large “wtf” in bold as the post’s content since it really is crazy at times but that wouldn’t give this manga justice. It just deserves better.
With only 5 chapters, its very hard not to recommend this. At the end of it all, you’ll be thinking “Is that it?” Regardless of its length, I really think you should give this a go, since you will come out of it feeling grateful for what you have in life. A final caveat, the weak-minded should tread with caution.
If you liked the review, you can find more of my work on my blog www.sekijitsu.com
Sounds pretty ambiguous, doesn’t it? Lying Mii-kun and Broken Maa-chan : Precious Lies is one of those manga that, like the opening statement, leaves many things up to interpretation. This manga blurs the lines between two extremes, where things are not always as they appear.
The title only helps add to the deceptiveness of this short series. You will effectively be thrown for a loop on more than one occasion and afterwards wonder if what happened was actually reality or not. Although it is only 5 chapters a long and a tad under two-hundred pages, it still manages to suck you in like few
“Mii-kun,” as mentioned before, is the narrator, and I believe that because of this you get a truly in-depth look into how much he and “Maa-chan” have suffered. Each of them have their own inner demons that they try to face in their own unique way. However, the fact that “Mii-kun” is a compulsive liar makes things all the more interesting, as even with his inner monologues you are never really sure when he is telling the truth, or if he is lying not only to those around him but to himself as well. I think that this is a rather ingenious way of luring the reader in while also making them question the honesty and the deception.
The relationship between “Mii-kun” and “Maa-chan” is especially interesting because of its ambiguous nature. Between them they have the most censored dialogue, leaving the interpretation of their relationship up to the reader. There are also a few other characters that “Mii-kun” has interactions with, though for the most part these conversations are rather evasive. Even so you would think, for such a short manga, that the dialogue could be one of it’s shortcomings but, in actuality, the opposite is true. The dialogue is superb, especially given the length that leaves little room for mistakes or wasted language.
Another interesting aspect in this manga is that you are never quite certain who the antagonist is until the very end. This leaves you guessing and on the edge of your seat, because every single twist or turn could give you the information you need to determine who it is. Unlike with the antagonist, you know who the protagonists are and legitimately feel for them.
The art is also incredibly realistic. Nothing is disproportioned and all the characters actually look very different and unique. The backgrounds and scenery look nice too albeit a little plain sometimes, but they are never really the main focus anyway. Another thing that I really liked were the facial expressions, I think that they accurately portrayed the emotions that the characters were showing.
This manga is definitely not for the faint of heart. It does, in fact, cover some pretty dark material but it is portrayed in a realistic manner. That being said, I can’t exactly say that Lying Mii-kun and Broken Maa-chan : Precious Lies is a masterpiece, because it does leave some questions unanswered at the end, but that goes along with interpretation which is what this manga is all about. However, I would highly recommend this short series to anyone who likes psychological manga and is in the mood for a quick read… But be prepared to get mind fucked.
I’m not quite sure where to start off with this manga. First of all, I didn’t like it. The art was nice but that’s probably one of the nicest things I’m going to say about this.
I’m going to be honest with you, when I first read the description, I thought I was going to read something actually interesting and of substance. Maybe this will be a one shot about how the victims of kidnappings are handled in Japan, or at least a critical look at their mental health system.
But it wasn’t.
Honestly, I wasn’t even sure what was even going on with the manga itself. Okay,
the gist that I’ve understood — eight years ago, prior to the story, there was a kidnapping. They kidnapped Mayu and a little boy, presumably the person calling himself “Mii-kun”. Afterwards, she kidnapped two children, a brother and sister, and keeps them in her closet.
There’s these murders that’s happening around the city. Okay, I got that too.
How do these two connect?
They… really don’t. They kept making it seem that “Mii-kun” was the one who’s doing the murders because all we see is the hooded figure walk away ominously with a bloodied knife and who do we know that has a hoodie…?
And then there’s these adults – a doctor that seems to have a deeper connection to “Mii-kun” than she lets on (and someone who Maya calls a liar) and there’s a detective who’s just there just to fill in the character count.
It turns out that the killer was actually the real Mii-kun who was kidnapped (the narrator just happened to be the kidnapper’s son and who happened to be there) along with Maya and Maya had killed her parents and the kidnappers (the narrator’s parents) and that messed her up, big time.
How did the narrator know the real Mii-kun the killer? We’re supposed to be following this guy everywhere, since he’s the narrator, but he’s like “Oh, yeah, I totally knew it was him all along.” Couldn’t you drop a hint or two there, friend? I get this is a oneshot but still – how did you figure that out?
Why did Maya kidnap the brother and sister? There was literally no point to this at all other than an excuse for the narrator to “save” her – he had no intention of saving the kids. There was no rhyme or reason for her to do that other than, “Oh, she was kidnapped before. Her mind is broken.” Okay, and? She must have had some purpose for them.
Who is this doctor and what is her connection to the narrator? Seriously, what’s going on between them? You can’t really just slap that on and go, “Oh, what a mystery!” Context clues! Hints!
Why bother with a detective at this point? She was only there, really, to kill time I guess because there really was not much use for her.
What happened to the kids after they got away from the real Mii-kun? Seriously, they kept showing us them each chapter and they kept saying how they were abused by their parents. Okay, but…. did they get away safely? What happened to them? Shouldn’t the detective be worried about their safety as much as the narrator’s or any other characters?
Why did the real Mii-kun start killing? They made it a point that, while he and Maya are in the same class together, it’s clear that the both of them don’t remember fully what happened all those years ago. Okay, but why did he start killing then? It would have been nice to get at least his perspective to make this an interesting story so we could at least sympathize with him or understand him better. Why did he pick those victims in particular? If you’re going to have a theme of mental illness, try to delve in deeper than just “selective memory”.
Why couldn’t they show the real Mii-kun more often? They only showed him mostly in the beginning and then at the end, in the big reveal. You could barely see him in between and when the big reveal was shown, it was just very underwhelming. Who was he and why should we be surprised it was him?
What was the point of the narrator being with Maya and trying to “save her”? He owes her nothing and he didn’t even really seem to love her. If anything, he seemed only to check up on her since he knew she’s rich and used her as a free place to crash. In the beginning, he seemed to be stalking her but for what? Why? Again, explain yourselves! Why do these characters do anything?
I wouldn’t say that this manga offended me as much as I’m making it sound — if anything, it’s just making me question a lot more. There’s not much mystery. There’s not a lot of romance (mostly because I don’t think the narrator was that much interested in Maya anyway beyond a free meal and housing). There’s not much of anything. There was not neither enough showing or telling. It felt really bland and it felt very run of the mill.
Apparently, this manga was based off of a novel by the same name but I can’t imagine reading something like this in print if the manga adaption irritated me this much. I don’t know. There was hardly any mystery about anything.
I really wouldn’t recommend this if you’re looking for a mystery, or really anything, manga. This isn’t very good and, as interesting as the premise sounds, I have to warn you – it will disappoint.
I came across this manga completely by chance and I’m not even sure what made me pick it up. Since it’s not my typical read, I don’t have much in my line up to compare it to but its definitely worth looking at.
The twists and turns in this manga were done right. You think “oh so that’s why that happened” and a page later your rethinking your whole though process and trying to figure everything out all over again. The stability of the main characters wavers as things develop [I’m speaking mental stability within their character, not the actual written character] so ways of
thinking tend to change with stability. You’ll make your own assumptions about the characters and their sanity.
The story is told through Mii-kun eyes. But you have to remember that Mii-kun went through a series of trauma as well so what you’re seeing isn’t quite a clear picture. I had to re-read sections at times to determine if what he said was actual truth or another lie. I think the author did a good job conveying what affect the incident years ago left on Mii-kun and Maa-chan. It showed what pieces of self the characters lost and what they had adapted into in order to get by.
I’d read it again just to get a better understanding of the concepts and Mii-kun character. I’d also recommend it but expect what you’re getting, a psychological story of kidnap and murder.
I cant recommend movies since this is a manga but if you enjoyed this try watching Perfect Blue. Its a different story but it has the same psychological thriller aspect.