You're sitting there, phone in hand and scrolling through your social network, following people, adding people, commenting on things, your general everyday thing (facebook, twitter, etc).
Suddenly, you're teleported into cyberspace, into a room with people you've never met before.
Pretty cool right? yeah.
You are then greeted by the social network mascot. He then announces that you and the people that were using the social network at that time, are to play social network games. "Heh, I can do that", is what you're thinking. The mascot then continues to tell you that these games you will be playing is for your life. He proceeds
to tell the whole world that you must have people following you.
If you have no followers, you die.
If you fail the mini-game, you and your followers die.
Ask yourself this. How many people will really put their life on the line for you?
Watch how far we humans will sink to grasp onto survival.
The person next to you. Will you exploit them for your own survival? How far will YOU go to survive?
What do others truly think of others?
Though this manga is new and only has 15 chapters so far, it is absolutely gripping. Read as a twin, after losing 99% of his followers, rise from his tears, wills himself to live and fight to win, use his brain to save others, not just himself.
The story really gets you thinking, would I have done that? But most importantly, How far will I get in this scenario?!
At first when I started readin the manga, I thought— ‘What the hell! Is this another versiomln of SAO except that it has nothing to do with swords?’ But 3 chapters into the manga and I was proven wrong. It does not revolve around a single game, it is a social trap. REAL ACCOUNT is a social networking site where having followers is a must.
Just so you all are not confused, I would like to tell you that the manga has 2 volumes right now. Volume 1 has 10 chapters and the protagonist is Kashiwagi Ataru. Volume 2 has
5 chapter (still publishing) and the protagonist is Mukai Yuuma. They are related and stuck in RealAcc but I won't tell you anything else. Lets start the review~
The art work is well done. Detailing is impressive but basic level. There is no problem in differentiating between different characters. Each have their own characteristic way.
Superb story! I loved the concept of getting caught in a Social networking site rather than in a game (which is quite common). They play different games inside the RealAcc and the different, unique quizzes and dares make you see yourself in place of them.
Normal characters. The type with whom one can relate. They think not differently than us normal people do. Nothing extra ordinary about them (except for being cute) :P
The manga is filled with excitement. You can't put it down unless you read it till the end. The games played to survive are both psychological and social. The whole world watches as the characters play to save their lives. No followers means you are dead. If you loose a game, then also you are dead— added that all your followers die to.
If you're like me then you know that the people you hang out with in real life and make an effort to be around are your true friends. This means that when you get sucked into a sadistic video game that kills you when you run out of followers you know that you will have at least a few people that have your back. Yet these people that had 2000 followers act surprised when people don't want to risk their lives for you. All you did was click to accept a friend request dude. If we haven't at least run from cops together I'm not
risking my life for you.
Now that they're in the death game the story revolves around showing off the true depth of its characters while being put into life or death situations. Now it is a strange mixture of talented story telling mixed with mediocre characters. If it continued that way then the story would be somewhat enjoyable but not living up to its true potential.
Then I can only imagine a thought appeared in the creator's head. "Jeez I can do way better than this!" The story then takes on a game of thrones style and switches viewpoints. The new cast appeal beats the old cast appeal like Batman against street thugs. Poor old cast never stood a chance.
However while the story does manage to do things right it also has its shares of faults. One is it has one of the biggest plot holes I've ever seen. You could see it from the freaking moon without squinting. I'm talking Harry Potter Time Turner could solve every problem plot hole. While it didn't ruin the series for me it has hampered it greatly. I don't want to spoil it for anyone so I won't reveal it but ask questions to yourself and you'll find it quick. A second is that the author doesn't really have a mastery of foreshadowing. Plot developments come quick and from nowhere. Last there have been characters that rapidly shift in personality which would be great, IF IT WAS FORESHADOWED. Hidden Depths only work it there was some indication that something was hidden.
As it is the series isn't bad but with a few tweaks and edits could've been great.
The outcome of a manga can almost be more important than the journey - but in this case, I couldn't even muster through the journey. Everything began quite clever - but ultimately turned into ridiculous plot twists, unanswered questions, and so much fan service that I had to double-check that this manga wasn't labeled "ecchi" (and frankly - I really should be sending an e-mail to "MangaPanda" and "MyAnimeList" to add "ecchi" as a genre). In fact, I'm surprised it's labeled "shounen" instead of "seinin" for this same reason.
If you want me to elaborate (spoiler-free) - see below.
Art - 8
The art style isn't bad. It's
not super-realistic, but it's also not super-cartoony. The artist knows what they're doing, and the art style used for the manga seems fairly mainstream and likeable.
Story - 5
Enjoyment - 3
Character - 3
(all explained below)
I would've given the story a lower score - but I'm trying to keep in mind that the series did BEGIN very clever. Many people being dragged into a dangerous game of life or death because of a social media app - it sounds cliche, but the writer managed to pull it off and make it fairly interesting and entertaining. The sections of the game were very well-written and strategic. It seemed genius, like the game was nothing but a battle of wits and the author was not afraid to do what he had to do to make it work. Could it have taken a place in my top-5 favorites? Perhaps not - but nonetheless it was clever, entertaining, and interesting.
However - it does not take long for the reader to get the sense that the author doesn't seem to care anymore. As other reviewers have said, characters seem to randomly disappear without another mention of their existence, and the whole tone of the manga changes. This also is very abrupt, so you'll know it's happening when you get there. To me, it felt as though the author was getting bored of writing the same characters over and over again, and so he made up an excuse to get them out of the picture and somehow replace them. It was to the point where I'm going through the pages waiting with baited breath for some characters to reappear (because of an unresolved cliffhanger) - and even after 30 chapters (each chapter is about 40 - 60 pages long, mind you), I'm still wondering if the author entirely forgot about them.
On top of that major flaw (which in itself was almost enough to make me stop caring about the story), things go from being based on intelligence to seemingly being based on a lot of action - and as I mentioned above, the amount of fanservice shoots through the roof. In the beginning there may have been some things here and there that were a bit suggestive or inappropriate, but it was not too much more than the amount shown in other shounen manga. However, eventually it seems like they try to find more and more excuses to insert suggestive (and more than suggestive - outright visible) scenes with girls' bodies - and keep in mind, I'm talking about NAKED. I recently read a scene where two female characters "had to" get naked, in order to carry out a plan that was actually physically impossible in reality (yet it works anyway), just as an excuse to add naked girls. Recently it has felt common-place to see girls in skimpy bikini's, underwear, or just flat-out naked (and it seems they can only keep the 'shounen' tag because the important areas are simply not colored in, which makes it a bit less detailed.)
While once or twice might be forgivable, it feels constant now - and that isn't what I came for. That was about the point that I dropped the manga, because it went from a psychological/shounen to an action/ecchi/seinin (with characters that are randomly gone and plot-twists that are ridiculous and make me care even less about the characters) - which I did not sign up for.
Overall - I'm giving it a 3.
It could've been lower had it not been for the beginning chapters which were fairly well-written. In the beginning it was very intelligent, and there was one twist in particular that I found extremely clever and interesting - but it doesn't matter, because after a while, the manga practically acts like the beginning never happened.
This manga heavily disappointed me. But if you like action and ecchi - this might be your manga once you get past the part where the author drops characters out of existence and changes the tone of the story.