This story starts with the tradgic tale of Meguru sister in need of a $100 million for a hert transplant and how they money was stolen by those who helped him. After this event Meguru finds himself along with 9 others in a life or death game in exchange for money. Meguru is a verry kind person giving everyone a fair chance and helping those in need. This is a verry griping manga that will have you on the edge of your seat. I highly recomend this manga to all. Its definetly one of my favorites
PS: sorry for not going into too much detail didnt want to give too many spoilers away + only 6 chaps are out so farread more
What makes a good short manga? Most manga are written with the idea in mind to make them go on for quite a while, or even with a full set plot in mind, may go on for several volumes. In this case, Life is Money spans only 3 volumes, which is, in my opinion, the perfect length for this story.
Plot: Meguru needs 100 million yen for his sick sisters heart transplant. After being scammed by a group of people and outcast by people who believe he stole the money, he's desperate. So desperate that he listens to the sly words of a bar patron who tells him of a high risk game that can earn him 100 million yen. With his deathly ill sister in mind (and more tricks from the bar patron) he agrees.
What follows is a game similar to one you could find in Liar Game, though instead of a deadly debt, there is literal life on the line. It's a mental game, if a player gets to stressed out, or breaks a rule, he'll be trapped in a mental prison and die. There are also other elements, such as cutting off a players sense to add to the challenge of the game.
It's a survival manga, not much more too it. But what follows is more interesting, an event comparable to the stanford prison experiment. At first it seems simple, all they have to do is ignore each other. But quickly the rules change after one of the player hogs the only food they were given and says he'll only hand it over if they agree to give him some of their winnings.
The plot progression is not the most interesting part of the manga. You could almost call it predictable in some aspects. What makes it interesting is the character development and how they react to scenarios.
Characters: Meguru is our protagonist, with a noble means for the money. However we no little of our other characters and why they are there. This is what makes the manga a great read. We learn more about who these characters are, why they're playing the game the way they are, whether or not they care about the winnings to begin with. Even Muguru who seems endlessly optimistic at first finds himself falling into a rugged Hell.
This is what makes the manga really interesting. We don't know who these people are but as we learn, people who we thought were simple or good quickly show a dark undertones to them or motivations that aren't exactly pure hearted. It's simple in that sense, exploring the need for survival and darker human motivations, but it does it all too well. Sometimes the characters can't help themselves. Other times their dark side is of their own free will.
I adore all these characters, be they good guy or bad guy, as all of them are written quite well.
The art: The art in this could get quite cartoony at times and very over dramatic. It only did it at times during high stress character moments. Not much else to say. Think Panty and Stocking, only slightly heavier anime tones instead of western
The bad: This series really shoves it's morals down your throat. I understand it being as short as it is, it needs to get it in somewhere and somehow, but it never does it quietly or subtly. It always decided 'OH, here's a good moments to comment on life and humans.' It never really flowed naturally and really hurt how much I enjoyed the ending of the manga in particular.
Life is Money overall: If you want a survival manga, I more recommend Battle Royale or Liar Game. However, if you want a manga that focuses on characters and you can really enjoy unraveling the layers of a person, then this a manga for you.read more
Everyone who reads manga or watches anime has surely seen a scenario like this. Money on the line, lives on the table: a fight to the death. That's what happens in Life is Money...but it's not how you imagine it. There's no physical violence allowed - so how do you kill? The truth is more disturbing than you think.
Quite possibly one of the most under-appreciated manga out there, Life is Money is truly a psychological manga, yet retains many shounen elements. There's a hero, a villain, an intriguing story, and interesting characters. Let's hear a bit about the story:
Meguru Fukurokouji is in need of 100 million dollars for an urgent heart transplant for his beloved sister, who could die at any point. Taking out a life insurance policy, he decides to become a martyr so his sister can live on. But wait. At the end of his rope and about to say his final goodbye to the world, he is approached by a man who offers him 100 million dollars. All he has to do is win a game, although there's a chance he might die. Then again, it beats his chances of surviving a 5 story drop from a bridge.
Soon he finds himself among ten others who are just as expectant as him. Black Tapia (the black - man? - with horns) appears and tells the group of the rules of the game they must play. Each player must survive a grueling ten days inside a prison complex. Simple, right? There's entertainment, a fitness room, even a relaxing music room. Everything seems great until they discover the other rule. In this prison, each player's heart rate cannot exceed a limit, or they will be subject to a "mental prison", a horrifying form of death.
In addition, each day they must roll a dice to determine which of the five senses they possess will be "disabled" for the day. Roll a five? You're not allowed to hear. Roll a two? You can't taste. Roll a six? Everything resets. It's a painful and grueling ten days in what can be described as no less than hell.
Art is, in general, good. Backgrounds are nice, but not great. Characters are also sufficiently detailed. All in all though, I have to say that the art just doesn't go above and beyond the necessary. That's all right though, as the story covers for it.
Character development is great. You get to see Meguru meet and interact with the other nine people and learn about each. You see him go from depressed to wimp to badass to hopeful. The weakness here is that some other characters are not as well developed, some not at all. Whereas you learn a lot about Meguru and his friends, you fail to learn barely anything about Black Tapia and 2-3 of the players. Although this is not exactly necessary, it would've been helpful to many readers.
Overall, a great and fun read. Even though it's short, it definitely shouldn't be missed by anyone who enjoys a good story. It's very under-appreciated, and it needs more popularity. Don't hesistate to pick it up: it's short and there's little commitment. I'm sure you won't regret it. Thank for reading and I'll see you in my next review.read more
With the amount of survival manga out there such as Cage of Eden, this genre of manga has it tough to set itself apart from others especially with respect to the originality of the concept. That being said Life is Money does not have the most original idea, however the development within the idea surpasses many other survival manga and thrillers.
We all have something we want to save, in the case of Meguru its his dying sister, with his mother dying trying to obtain enough money to save her daughter, a myriad cost of one hundred million yen is needed. Meguru being scammed countless times, and working hard for a majority of his life even leaving school tries to obtain such money but simply cant. While being depressed at a bar a man shows up and offers a chance to be able to receive the money, with one catch, and that was his life itself was at grave danger. Reluctantly he accepts after seeing his sister become sick once again and hearing she doesn't have time. A survival game starts between ten people, only 5 can survive.
All ten characters are developed relatively well, however to the point of the current fourteen translated chapters about half of the characters still require some development and back story. Many of the characters follow the typical variety of personalities, with one being intelligent and amazing with words, others outgoing and more. The game itself is not with violence, in fact there are many accommodations such as a hotel room, library and much more. The beautiful thing about Life is Money is that it is a purely physiological driven manga, and the killing occurs by people being driven to insanity, and dying when a specific heart rate is achieved.
The art is done extremely well, in scenarios in which one shows true despair, the mangaka does a very nice job in conveying the conflicting emotions of the person.
All in all anyone who enjoys thrillers or just a break from typical stuff should love this, after reading many romances this was quite the refreshing twist.