Mar 6, 2012
Moral questions I couldn't instantly find the answer to present themselves again and again in this manga. And each one is more disturbing than the one before it.
Starting from the creepy masks right down to the reason why they all find themselves in that room. It all seems like a twisted game, and to be honest - that is exactly what it is.
Added to that is the question of the 'crimes' these people have committed. Given the hero's crime, it isn't exactly sure what kind of a 'Judge' selected these people.
The story seems to focus more on the interactions between the characters. Everyone reacts the way strangers who wake up in an unknown room would, that is until the judging begins.
Caught in a survival game, a group of strangers are forced to 'Judge' each other in a manner making the group seem more like a jury where everyone is on trial. And these decisions, as expected tend to follow the pattern of 'I want to survive, so what should I do?'
Lies, deceit, betrayal and twisted thinking follow as everyone tries to find out ways to survive, and this includes forming groups among themselves. But even then, the question of whether everyone in the group is loyal or not, remains uncertain. This manga tends to make you question every decision, and at points I found myself staring into the pages and screaming, 'No! Don't do that! It's obviously a trick!'
The one thing I learned from this manga was that it was foolish to trust anyone, and I mean just about anyone in this story. I tend to find myself cocking my eyebrows at the lead himself sometimes. But in so far, it has been played spectacularly. The author does a good job of showing everyone's desperation, and the lead's plea to try and save everyone is a breath of fresh air in a story where everyone seems hell bent on their own survival.
Being the sequel to the manga 'Doubt', I sometimes wonder how the two will match up with each other, or if at all. The art style is similar to 'Doubt's' and for those that haven't read either - The art style is good. I would give it a 7/10. And the author does a brilliant job of expressing everyone's emotions. At times, it makes me honestly feel for the characters.
The sense of isolation, the desire to survive along with the knowledge that your life depends on a stranger who probably cares for nothing more then their own survival; plot twists that make you question what which character knows and has kept hidden - and the overriding question of their crimes. The range of the characters is vast - you find the typical hero trying to save everyone, an overtly 'bad guy' character, the sneaky one, a school girl, a glasses character, the apparently 'good' character among others. In essence, it tends to bring together all the stereotypes and plays them against each other spectacularly.
The characterization is nothing I can particularly speak about at this point. Not all the characters have been dealt with in depth, and some of them seem far too obvious. I hope this will change as the manga continues. One part I find somewhat interesting is the way the lead himself is ever so slowly changing, though how far that will go I cannot say yet.
If you're a fan of horror/gore and like to keep guessing - this is a manga you should definitely try out. Though the most gripping part in this manga is the moral dilemma which every character faces. Exactly what is the right thing to do? And who should get to decide and why?
At this point, I'm up to chapter 15 in the manga, and honestly I'm impressed. Though I have to say that certain things could have been played better - like maybe humanizing some of the characters that seem to exist just to create tension. What really gripped me to this tale was the part which got me thinking of what I would do if I were a character in the game. I wasn't really happy with the answer I got, and that kept me reading.
Go on, what would you do?
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