Kominato Riku is a high school student who aims to be a game designer. The girl next door is his childhood friend Haju, is in love with him, but he has fallen head over heels for the school idol Riko. And lastly, there is the transfer student, Nodoka. With that all said you'd think this is the start of some love-comedy harem, but a rumor spreads that Nodoka's received a message that says, "you will die soon." Riku and the gang's fate will change in a major way. Who will live, and who will love?
A thousand times we die in one life. We crumble, break, and tear apart until the layers of illusion are burned away and all that's left, is the truth of who and what we really are. Is what you’re living for right now is worth dying for?
This manga undeniably will send chills down on your spine. I just though this is just some your average harem manga but seem like I mistakenly judged it. With completely dark side story brought in a new horror you will never expect. Don’t stop yet, because our nightmare is just a beginning. The true nature of this dark
side story really startled me. You want to ask, what does that mean? It's simple, no matter how awful it may seem, it is still the gore genre. It’s just defining the reality of our world face now. Our world is already messed up. Some people are depressed because don’t have an Iphone, while on the opposite, there people who cry because doesn’t have money to feed for their family. See the difference? Back to the main plot. The theme of this manga is “Survival of the fittest”. Little by little, one by one, consumed by their own selfishness, love, hatred and desire to live in this cruel world. Truth to be told, I’ve never seen manga so brutal. It even successfully defeated anime Elfen Lied in gore genre. This manga will leave you speechless. I have mixed feeling while I try to write this review but let put the emotion aside.
Let’s get to main story shall we?
The story revolves around daily life of a high school boy name Riku Kominatio. Riku harbors romantic feeling towards his classmate Riko Kissei who look like idol in the school. While Riku's childhood friend Haju is deeply in love with him. Suddenly, a new transfer name Nodoka, Kishin gets transferred to Riku's high school. Could this be a harem? It would be good if it goes like any harem story but sadly this is the starter of nightmare they will go through. Some weird rumor has been spread out of nowhere. It about a game called "Die Any Day". Riku and all girls will play one dead game. Riku can choose only one girl as his true love. The other girls will be a sacrificed to the true love girl. This game will just kept hunting them without no way out until the decision has been made. Who will Riku choose and save?
I must say, the art is really beautiful. It's just a fantastic! The scene, character and everything. All is pretty well done indeed. Nicely done!
Enjoyment and Overall 9/10
I’m not a fan of gore and such. I at least will avoid watching or reading anime and manga of those genres because I can’t stand this gore thing and stuff. Nevertheless, I gave this manga a shot to see how far this manga can go. Actually, I don’t know this manga is a gore genre first. I think I just read some normal harem manga but it goes wrong. Since I have already read it, why not reading until the end right? Regretful, I still think this manga is too violent. So if you can’t stand it, just avoid it. No need to suffer like myself now because I’m quite softhearted inside. Still, I can say I’m pretty enjoying the manga. It has a great plot line with the urge to show the darkness that buried in everybody heart. So I’m kind of enjoying it. Sure, I give you a recommendation to give it a shot. That is the end of my review. Thanks for taking your time to read it.
Up to the final end, this manga never failed to startle me. It's a shame, I still can feels the chills down to my spine even for the ending. Such a creepy way to end it. They say, ignorant is a bliss but the manga is really satisfying to read.
Story - 5: The story of "Seeking for Death" starts pretty good. It seems like when it comes to unconventional stories about romance (this one is actually anti-romance), they are usually mystery and science fiction and this manga is no exception. There are a lot of unexplained elements that really keep you on alert. The very fabric of reality seems to bend because of some videos that some person created. The characters must find out how to end everything by wading through a web of deceptions from all parties.
The best part of the
beginning of the manga is how even strangers become part of the escalating tension. Late into the story, it feels pretty good to learn that there was at least a tiny bit of reasoning behind why things happened.
This all would be good if the story was not filled with holes and ended on a far more meaningful note.
The weird thing is that the elements of mystery are done rather entertainingly and everything about the investigation is pretty thrilling. But in the end, it is still empty.
The weird thing is that the character's backstories are really good and really prevent this manga's plot from being utter crap.
One last negative thing to say is that characters will experience deadly situations without dying. Get a body part cut off? Stay in your room all day. She never goes to the hospital. Another time, everyone falls a far distance down onto a hard stone floor without being harmed in any way. What happens after that is more ridiculous and rushed, even if it is a slightly logical turn of events.
Art - 8: The art is amazing in how unique it is. Things like hair and feet seem disappointing at first, but there is a nice subliminal effect to that art that matches with the psychology basis of the story. Some things have a transparency aspect which adds to that more.
The shadowing is really vibrant and it makes the world feel colorful most of the time. There are a lot of dark scenes with a misty effect which must have taken a lot of skill.
The only art that really bothered me was when they were showing the insides of an old building and there were just unknown black marks on the stone tile and walls. Character art also suffered because of how the last main character looked. She looks too similar to the first girl we are introduced to and her design is just bland and stupid-looking.
Character - 3: The protagonist was hinted at being something interesting, but he is simply not attracted to anybody who is falling in love with him. Yet, stupidly enough, he is attracted to the girl named Riko, seemingly for no reason. At first, he goes from liking Riko to being attracted to a new girl. When she dies, he does not grieve the loss too much. He just focuses on the mysteries that killed her. Yet, he does not seem to be in love with anyone eventually. He values all of their lives simply because they are lives. Main character is pretty fake.
The women in the harem that develops are pretty much an expression of typically female negative relationship traits. They only want the main character because he will give them an advantage they feel is necessary to survive (for the most part). They want complete monogamy because they feel like life will be empty without the person they love and anybody else who gets involved will end up breaking them apart. If given one man to focus on, they would go after him competitively and violence escalates.
Two of them are completely chaotic and two are lawful.
What is good is that they approach the main character for very genuine reasons. They definitely feel like real people in their backstories, but these stories do not seem to apply to the actual characters. No logical path of character development is implemented. Despite having compelling backstories as a reason to have a sense of character, only the girls who die and have no real backstory had an actual personality. This is not saying that characters with empty emotions have no personality, it is just that even the empty emotions and possessiveness are not fixed personality traits on these characters. Once again, the characters seem fake.
Lastly, the villain has no real motive. Of course.
Enjoyment - 4: This manga is not fun to read. Large parts of this manga made me feel like I was just wasting my time, but the flashbacks and backstories and some of the psychological/philosophical ideas casually mentioned by minor characters were interesting enough for me to read the whole thing. It still did not feel like a good experience.
And, if you came looking for a Yandere, you will not likely be pleased. There is hardly enough psychological involvement in this manga. Characters are just thrown around without much meaning and no development. Therefore, the horror is pretty much a joke most of the time. And yes, the Yandere are somewhat terrifying in this manga, but it is hard to care if one kills another character. Plus, that only really happens in the first few chapters.
Overall - 4: If you are someone who wants mindless entertainment and are a sucker for first impressions, this manga is for you. Of course, you could read it for the few interesting ideas that it poses, but there are only two or three really interesting ideas in here.
tl;dr : Please don't do this to yourself. Please DON'T.
You may be thinking "eh, it's just 16 chapters. At worst I'll only waste some time" but DON'T. It's not even "so bad it's good" bad, it's just plain bad.
So now that this is out of the way, let's get on with the task of explaining why this manga sucks (I'm doing this in no particular order, this is my first review. It will suck, bear with me).
Okay so let's start with the only good point : the art (7). It's okay. Not excellent but it's pretty good at representing distressed people and is the only
way this manga manage to have some kind of atmosphere.
Now the story (4) : it's ... okay : some kids need to understand why and how someone is going to kill them after witnessing a video that show them how they'll die. Now this is not a bad idea per se, but in this manga it's really undermined by every thing else.
Wait no, I should have said it like that : the PREMISE is 7, the actual STORY is 2. Because while it COULD have been good, it's not. The charcaters kill the story and the ending is horrible.
The characters (2). Aaaah the characters. I can't remember the last time I actually wanted to punch every single character in a manga. None of these characters are relatable and their (re)actions make no sense. Now if you intend to read this thing (and if I didn't make myself clear enough already DON'T), please don't expect any kind of rationality to happen. As always in this kind of work the police is nonexistent, adults are incompetent and the family of the kids must be on the other side of the planet as they have ZERO impact on the story (except for that one chick whose parents were murdered ten years ago. THAT's the extent of family involvement).
So as for the characters themselve we have :
- the dense harem MC. He's dense, he's meek, everyone fall for him because he's kind, he should die in a fire.
- the shy chidhood friend. She's shy, she loves the MC and anything else is spoiler.
- the manipulative bitch. You CANNOT like her. Seriously I tried, she's not made for that. No character in this story is likeable.
- the student council president. Except this one I guess. She's bland but compared to the rest she's a 11/10 character.
- some other girl who can't make her damn mind. And is actually an understandable character (not relatable mind you).
- the adults. Useless. Because of course when 5 people have disappeared while checking the server's room the police don't care, that's not important. FFS this manga.
Oh my god you can rate the "enjoyment" part. Ahahahahahah, they should really put something like "this manga made me angry and actually ruined my mood". I'm using this review to vent but seriously I hope you won't read this thing.
Overall : 2. This is not the worst manga ever, but it's trash. I simply can't understand how anybody could have rated this thing higher than 5. This is a waste of time and it will make you feel bad.
Eh, I should have put that in the tl;dr
You're a few pages in on the first chapter, the art is cute and charming and you've been introduced to a few of the main characters in a very happy slice-of-life fantasy way. You quickly learn a basic summary of these characters, and as each new character appears, you start to get the feeling that they're all pretty generic archetypes. The sweet childhood best friend, the beautiful and popular school idol who is somehow friends with the male protag, the cool and responsible student council president... Oh man, are you wrong.
The one thing that really stood out to me about Mousugu Shinu Hito was the
creation, development, and especially the portrayal of the characters. We have Haju Yonesaka, a classic, sweet maiden who is in love with her childhood friend. But as the story develops, she learns of the gruesome deaths that potentially await her and her friends. She witnesses the betrayal of her best friend who suddenly went from supporting Haju's love to becoming a fearsome rival, all in the span of less than one day. And, much to my surprise, Haju did not take this well. She snaps. And Haju is not the only one. All the main characters, even our male protagonist Riku Kominato, goes through dynamic changes. Some changes are more subtle than others, but it's there, and it's so satisfying when you notice the change and connect 2+2 with the story. The characters in this manga deserve a solid 10/10.
Characters aside, the story is smooth and consistent, and the ending was well finished. It wasn't rushed or messy with many new characters or mysteries added in. Mousugu Shinu Hito made sure to only focus on the main characters and solidify who exactly are the main characters, cleverly utilizing minor characters or key items to advance the story. There is no sudden, "I'm actually the REAL mastermind!" or "The real mastermind is actually this new character who has never even been hinted at before!" plot twist. It's all carefully laid out and well stitched together, from start to finish. There are a few unsolved mysteries here and there, but for the most part, they're quite minor and do not interfere with the overall plot.
Despite using a very moe moe kyun kyun art style, the artist manages to convey the horrors of this story well. It can be quite disturbing seeing a cute, smiling face with disorderly eyes, covered in blood. Hiroki Haruse does not go lightly on the blood and gore, and I truly commend them for sticking strong and with a consistent art style throughout.
Like many psychological-horrors, Mousugu Shinu Hito plays a lot on human emotions and the human mind. If you're able to handle a darker genre, do give Mousugu Shinu Hito a try, and I do hope that you'll enjoy this manga as much (if not more) as I did.