Friday, March 5, 2010

Liar Game: Where You have to Cheat to Win

What if you find 100 million yen right at your doorstep? Sweet deal, right? Normally it would be, but logic would tell you that 100 million don't just appear out of nowhere. There has to be a catch, and in this case, there is.

Nao Kanzaki was one of the lucky/unlucky few (depends on how you see it) to be selected to join the Liar Game, the moment she opened the box of 100 million yen. The rules are that she has a competitor who also has 100 million yen. If she manages to steal that, she will own 200 million yen total. On the other hand, if the competitor steals her money, she will have a 100 million yen debt.

For a normal person, this would normally be hard, but for Nao you'd think she is the unluckiest person in the planet to be victim of such a game. This is because the thing about Nao is that she is very honest and she is likely to trust anybody. A game called the Liar Game that entails you to lie is definitely not suited for her.

In any case, Nao thinks it's a joke but doesn't know what to do with the money or how to deal with the situation. She tries to return the money to the police but they say that it is her possession and they would only take into account misplaced items. While pondering about her options, she finds out that her competition is her teacher. Feeling like luck has finally smiled down at her, she goes to her teacher. Her teacher was all kind and sympathetic and adviced her to give the money to him for safe keeping. Nao agrees and happily went home thinking nothing more of it. That was until she received a note from the Liar Game admin that wrote she had just lost a balance of 100 million yen. She was confused by this so she decided to go back to her teacher just to make sure. He reassured her but right after she overheard him talking to someone about fooling a very guallible student out of 100 million. She didn't know what to do at that point when someone adviced her to get help from a genius swindler by the name of Shinichi Akiyama

Shinichi Akiyama  is a former Psychology student turned criminal mastermind for swindling a major corporation bankrupt that tricked her mother out of money that caused her to commit suicide. He has then served his sentence and is finally set free when Nao called his attention. As Nao would not leave him alone, he decided to trick her saying that he will come back at this spot. Nao agreed and while Shinichi thought that she would leave after a while, she stayed in her position rain or shine. Shinichi then thought that she was a very interesting girl and was reminded very much of his own mother that was easily fooled. This was what made Shinichi decide to help Nao. If he was not able to do anything to save his mother, perhaps he can at least save this girl from suffering the same fate. 

They then go through level after level further into the twisted world of the Liar Game. They are placed in scenarios that would require them to lie to other players in order to survive and back out of the game free from debt. These are a series of really interesting games that will require you to think outside the box and use deep logic and common sense to prevail. Sadly, this was not something that Nao naturally had, so she had to continually rely on Shinichi. 

They actually already had a lot of chances to back out of the game, but Nao and Shinichi soon developed a new insight, thinking that they would be able to save more people from debt by continuing to play. Using their winnings, they would buy other palyer's freedom apart from their own, which means that they are carrying a heavy burden of debt. Others cannot understand why they are sacrificing themselves and was wondering how a seemingly naive girl like Nao could have such profound insights about human nature and how she believed in everyone even if many have betrayed her before. It would seem that she is exactly what the game needs to rid people of their greedy ways, but not everyone is sold in her ideology. 

It's a fast paced, action packed Manga that will keep you reading until the break of dawn. The scenarios are well thought of and full amazing surprises. It will make you think of ways to get out of the situation and the author seems to be able to provide the best one in the end. The Manga has a bunch of lovable but also a lot of irritatingly evil characters to balance it out. There is good character development and you would even be noticing Nao's progress and how she slowly worked her way up to lying, not crying, and think on her own.   You would simply fall in love with Shinichi as he is intelligent, witty, and keeps his cool. 

You would be forever guessing the outcome and what are the true intentions of the Liar Game. Surely it is not money as they seem to be giving it away. The theory now is that they are testing the extremes of human nature and how they are inherently inclined to do evil when placed in dire situations that involved money. 

I didn't think I would like this comic as I am more into romance themes, but Shounen and Shoujo lovers alike will love this. I do wish though that there would be some type of development between Nao and Shinichi, they would make a very complimentary couple. Shinichi would be the brains, while Nao will be the heart. 
Live Action Drama Series
The Liar game has been turned into a live action series with Toda Erika of Ryusei No Kizuna as Nao and Matsuda Shota of Hana Yori Dango as Shinichi. The series stays true to the Manga, but tends to prolong scenes a bit to reach one full episode which can be dragging. Of course, with 11 episodes, I don't know why they had to do this as they had more than enough material to fill the time with. In any case, you would expect that it would be cut short the moment it has turned interesting, and you would then have to rely on the Manga for the continuation as with other Mangas turned into TV show. 


  1. Do you know where I can get a copy of this? It sounds really interesting but have not seen it around.

  2. I am so glad that I found somebody else that has an interest in this. I was just as you said. I couldn't put it down all night and just wanted to stay up until I finished. It is amazing how a good writer can really show the limits of humanity


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