Takahata Shun's day at high school begins just as normal and boring as ever, but it doesn't end that way. After his teacher's head explodes, he and his classmates find themselves forced to play children's games, such as Daruma ga Koronda (a game like Red Light/Green Light), with deadly stakes. With no idea who is behind this mysterious deadly game session, and no way of knowing when it will finally end, the only thing Shun and other students can do is keep trying to win...
Well, this manga is an odd one.
It sounds just like another survival manga, the kinda "Everyone around me is dying" type. I can't say that it's totally original, but there's something special here- like the amount of cultural references, maybe it's the bizarreness level of this manga, or maybe it's just the fact that it's so unexpected! I mean, I don't know what this is about this manga, but it's absolutely awesome. Go read
NOTE: Because of the many cultural references, there are so many translator notes, so if you're not up for reading those, don't start.
We have all had this thought at some point throughout our lives, and thanks to the high level of technology today, we are able to escape from our boring life into the amazing world of video games, movies, anime and countless other mediums. Yet we realize that they only provide a momentary relief from our boring life and we soon wish that our life was akin to our favorite movie/book/show or that we could somehow be truly a part of that world. But what if one day you were suddenly thrust into a world of fantasy and
adventure, yet it is not the one you had hoped for? The old adage holds true: "Be careful of what you wish for."
And so it was for our average black haired MC, Takahata Shun, an average Japanese high-schooler leading an average boring life. That is, until one day his teacher's head blew up during class. And thus the games begins.
The synopsis will tell you a lot about the manga already and thus this review will go into the things that aren't mentioned in the synopsis while (hopefully) being spoiler-free.
While the genre has steadily gained popularity over the past decade with the rise of the Saw franchise and Hunger Games in the West, and bigshots such as Gantz and Battle Royale in Japan, the survival games genre sees its latest incarnation in Kami-sama no Iutoori as a shounen manga. And readers beware, it is a true SHOUNEN manga. With the typically average male MC somehow magically turning into the most suitable person to survive the events happening to him while simultaneously attracting every woman within a ten mile radius, this manga is not suitable for haters of the shounen genre.
The story begins by following the typical formula, the MC steadily picking up allies and rivals as he beats the challenges one by one while the minor characters become expendables... or so we think. Yes the story has unexpected twists and turns up until the very end, which makes the story highly enjoyable, especially for fans of the genre. Keep in mind that this is but the first part of the series, as it's sequel is already out. So do not expect for everything to be explained or for closure of any sort.
The characters are definitely the worst aspect of the manga as they are for the most part generic at best. There is practically no character development with the exception of the MC who actually becomes quite traumatized by the experience. To make up for that, the characters seemingly act out of character to create the appropriate setting needed to move the plot forward.
The art is nothing special. Rather, the first few chapters were somewhat poorly done (especially the facial expressions) yet it improved as the chapters went by. Some might be put-off by how detailed the repulsive parts are compared to the rest but overall, it manages to convey the story well enough.
Now let's all take a breather and realize that as I am writing this review, the views presented here are fairly subjective. Feel free to check my profile to see whether or not this review can be trusted or not. That being said, I highly enjoyed reading this manga and with only 21 chapters it is definitely worth reading. The only question that remains to any of you that decide to read this is the same one asked whenever one delves into the survival game genre:
Survival manga - This kind of genre has a different appeal to its audience. So even I think this manga was really GOOD, it might still be different to other people.
This is another survival theme manga. And this one falls on the category in which every participants were forced to do something in order to survive(no need to kill each other).
This manga contains bloody scenes(but no body internals were exposed just cut body parts), bold actions in which you might think no sane person would do(this also includes some perverted scenes and languages), and some witty/tricky situations. So if you don't want some of those(esp.
the vulgarity and the gore) that I mentioned above this manga might not be for you.
This manga starts with just a normal school day but then a certain event happened in their classroom which gives them no choice but to participate on the game or else they die instantly in front of their classmates. So that's what actually happened on chapter 1(ofc I won't give much details to keep this spoiler free). And after that shocking start, this manga continued to give more intense situations, chapter after chapter.
Though the events in general are kinda repeating -- after an event ofc there's a victor and many dead persons then it proceeds to another event to further filter(kill) the students then just repeat that cycle, but this manga doesn't make you feel that it was boring and repeating. As the story proceeds the situation becomes more and more intense, every character gives a different aura -even though some end up dead which adds the thrill to this manga, the twist and turn of events also adds enjoyment(many things happen very unexpected), and some perverted scenes that are inserted on serious situations which I think is also good(for a little change of mood).
So to sum it all up, this manga was very good. All the chapters are essential, there's no waste of chapter for some kinda boring and dragging filler and after reading all the 21 chapters you will still want more of it. And the good thing is there's "Kamisama no Iutoori Ni" for those who might want more(this is neither a sequel nor a prequel it happens in parallel with the first one).
Maybe I can say that you try reading the first chapter and then after that you can already decide if you'll drop or continue this. Yeah just more or less 5 minutes of your time wouldn't hurt compared to the feeling that you might miss a very good manga like this without trying since this kind of manga has a very low possibility of anime adaptation and it might ruin the manga if it will be animated since many scenes might be omitted/edited..
And by the way, if you have decided to try this one just always make sure you are reading the one made by " Kaneshiro Muneyuki and Fujimura Akeji" since there's another manga which has the same title which might confuse you(but its a romance manga).
A survival manga that tells the story of a mass murder that started in a high school, only to be found out on an international scale. Only a few students survive games -revolving around the Japanese culture- thus going to the next stage, in search for the "next god".
Unfortunately, the manga ended in the middle of a game because of a major plot twist. We didn't get to see lots of interesting events or what happened in the actual end. It wasn't satisfying, to say the least.
The characters stayed the same during the story minus minor character developments.
The thrill is there, but so much
mystery and questions are left unanswered; for hell's sake, the manga ended while the investigation was still ongoing!
Art and Characters: 5/10, 5/10 (Mediocre art, fine when there's gore, characters clichéd sometimes ""driven by friendship"" and as I said earlier little to no development.)
Story: 7/10 (while not very original on the survival aspect, it differentiate itself with the Japanese games mixed in it)
Enjoyment: 8/10 (There was the thrill of finding out who will win, who will die next)