- Series: Ikigami (Book 3)
- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: VIZ Media LLC (November 10, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781421526805
- ISBN-13: 978-1421526805
- ASIN: 1421526808
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.7 x 5.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,060,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit, Vol. 3 Paperback – November 10, 2009
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About the Author
Motoro Mase was born in Aichi in Japan in 1969 and is also the artist of Kyoichi and, with Keigo Higashino, HEDS, which, like Ikigami, was serialized in Young Sunday. In 1998, Mase's AREA was nominated for Shogakukan's 43rd grand prize for a comic by a new artist.
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The manga series focuses on the character of Fujimoto who works for the government and his job is to notify people with an "Ikigami" notice that they will die within 24 hours.
The premise of the story is that when a citizen enters elementary school and receives their immunization shots, the National Welfare Immunization is given. Among the immunization shots given to children, 0.01 percent of the shots contain a special nano-capsule. About 1 in 1,000 citizens are injected with the capsule and when they are between 18-24 years old, the capsule ruptures on a predetermined date and they person will automatically die.
The Japanese government believes that because citizens never know who has been injected with the capsule, they all grow up wondering if they will be the one that dies and so, this forces the individual to take life more seriously and become socially productive.
Since the law for the National Welfare Immunization was passed, crime and suicides in Japan have fallen and the Japanese concern of birth rates have increased (note: In reality, Japan is concerned that their population is shrinking as many couples are not wanting to produce offspring and worry that Japan will not be productive in the future unless this is changed now. Also, the crime and suicide problems of Japan have steadily grown).
In the nature that someone does die, their family of the deceased is paid a pension but if by any chance, the person who commits a crime after receiving their Ikigami, the family will be denied the pension but also will be liable financially towards the crime committed by the deceased and in effect, will be ostracized by the community and will be forced to relocate.
Also, if anyone voices their disdain publicly about the National Welfare Immunization, they will also be dealt with and will be injected with the capsule.
"IKIGAMI - THE ULTIMATE LIMIT" vol. 3 is another excellent volume in the series.
These two stories are well-written and the first story dealing with child neglect and having terrible parents was handled quite well in this storyline. While, the second story was quite interesting because Fujimoto crosses over the line and breaking rules because of the mess he put on a family (and an important surgery) due to him delivering an ikigami. If anything, his role as an employee and delivering ikigami is starting to take its toll and you wonder if Fujimoto is descending into something that can really cause problems for him in the future as he starts to question his job more and more.
As for the manga series, from Mase's character designs and artwork to the overall storyline, "Ikigami - The Ultimate Limit" is definitely a manga series that is worth recommending. It's a serious manga series but just so captivating to see how people deal with death. Again, with four volumes I don't know if the series will continue to present two stories and Fujimoto's conscience of delivering the ikigami's because I wonder if there is any conclusion to this manga series.
At first I wondered if Fujimoto's conscience would help him try to stop the National Welfare Immunization but seeing his position and also, he's not exactly the strongest of characters nor is he in a leadership role. I guess we"ll see where Motoro Mase will be taking the story in upcoming volumes but so far, the first four volumes are quite involving and just a gripping series.
"Ikigami - The Ultimate Limit" is highly recommended!
As always for each of these volumes one can just jump in and read any volume and doesnt necessarily have to start at chapter one. This third volume features excellent artwork for the facial designs and even the environments.
I would definitely check it out. I enjoyed it. Also, it was a page turner so it can be read within an hour.
-Read in the traditional style, from right to left
-Great cover design
-Fresh concept for a manga series
-Modern-English sounding translation
-Excellent art design in panels helps to add life to the stories and enhances the reader/story connection
-No bonuses (previews, afterword, etc)