"I don't want to die!"
-->If you are unfamiliar with the prequel and were wondering if you need to read it beforehand, worry not, I will answer all your questions.
As the Gods Will is a manga about tests of courage, intelligence, strength, teamwork, and friendship.
One day, all high school students around the world were given certain tests and games by a mystery man in order for him to single out "god's children". Most of these tests were simple childhood games like red light/green light, left hand/right hand, or hopscotch, but with deadly stakes.
Unlike it's prequel, the kids in this story never made it to school
when the "darumas" started the deadly games due to many reasons like sickness or skipping school, but their goal is the same: survive.
Like it's prequel, the story adds many elements of horror and gore to keep the reader engaged in a guessing game on which character will survive and who will not, and it's real life similarity feels fresh when kids face life or death choices "should I risk my life for a stranger? "should I risk my life for my friends?" "should I risk my life for love?"
Teamwork and unselfishness are put to the test and many kids' true nature will come out when their life is against the wall.
The character development is superb. Everyone gets a backstory and you will definitely get attached to some characters, which isn't always a good thing with survival genres...
It was even comical in some parts, to understand a character's ideology and determination just to see their dreams come crashing down when their luck runs out.
The art definitely makes you feel a certain degree of empathy with the aggressiveness of their facial expressions. The character designs fit their personalities, and the antagonists are complex and very creative.
This manga has it all, from romance to comedy, from mystery to supernatural. It's shounen elements are very noticeable, and the ridiculous outcomes, character relationships, and the witty, eccentric, and bizarre character personalities make this underrated manga an enjoyable ride.
-->You "don't have to" read the prequel, but it's recommended to do so in order to understand and recognize many characters and plot developments that crossover to this story.
Still, this sequel falls a bit short of it's predecesor with it's lack of character resolve and plot fluidity.