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Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit, Vol. 1 (v. 1) Paperback – May 12, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
Book 1 of 10 in the Ikigami Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Ikigami (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC (May 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1421526786
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421526782
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.9 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,008,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Tristan A. Hayes VINE VOICE on May 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit is one of the newest series released by Viz Media. Revolving around the idea of an "Ikigami" a notification that is delivered to someone to tell them that they shall die in about 24 hours, Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit explores the ideology behind such an idea and the various responses that people may have when they receive this notification. The concept is initially mind blowing but in each of the two stories the suspense and anticipation for the clock to reach 0 hours makes the book a huge page turning event.

In more detail, the manga is split into two episodes, with each episode focusing on a different recipient of a Ikigami. The first episode presents the details of what the Ikigami is, the reasoning why the government chose to use them, and finally the method in which they are delivered. The additional storyline in this section follows the memories and final hours of a boy who could be considered a tormented failure. For the sake of not ruining the story, the next episode will be discussed. The second episode follows the main character along as he takes a tour of the facility in which the "nanocapsule that causes the death at the prescribed time" is created and disbursed. The initial explanation is quite detailed and complex, however, a conversation that summarizes the process was a welcome addition. The additional storyline in this episode explores the end of a nice friendship between two aspiring musicians and how one of them feels like he needs more chances to make it big. Deep down he has feelings of regret over splitting up with his friend. Needless to say one of them receives an Ikigami and the way in which he lives his final 24 hours is explored.
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By Sandra on October 12, 2016
Format: Paperback
Ikigami is a manga (for an adult audience) that really get you to think. I’ve asked myself plenty of times while reading these stories just what will I do if I knew that I only have 24 hours left to live. I still don’t have an answer but it affirms my belief to live in the moment (while planning for the future) and don’t waste time doing things I will regret.

The premise is that the government believes that in order for its citizens to value life, a portion of the population should be killed. All children are given vaccines upon entering elementary school but 1 in 1,000 children are injected with a nano-capsule that will eventually kill them between the ages of 18 and 24. The story follows Fujimoto as he embarks on a career as a messenger of death. You will see his struggles and attempts to justify what he does.

Every volume includes two episodes; each follow the last 24 hours of a person’s life. What captured my interest is that Motoro Mase explores people’s reactions upon receiving the death papers and actions following that until death. Every character has different personality, background, and dreams that will no longer be fulfilled.

In their last moments, some people really rise above and become the best they can be while others decide they’ve got nothing to lose and commit crimes and seek revenge. I have become a huge fan of this series and have read 5 of the 10 volumes. To be honest, I cried reading some of the stories…
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Format: Paperback
Ikigami feels like another overused plot line. But to my enjoyment it comes off as very different.

The main character actually takes a back seat to the event of the work - he mearly the catalyst that begins each story. The stories that unfold are very real and depict and interesting look into the human mind. The main focus is simply what would you do if you had 24 hours to live? A frightening question that may be easily answered as you sit at the computer reading this.

This isn't to say that the main character is completely off screen or has not character development. The events that he is invovled with behind the scenes are chilling. The whole government killing off its citizen a la Battle Royale vibe.

The art realistically drawn. A far cry from the standard cutesy art form that so many manga have. Plus Viz has offered the book is a larger format allowing you to fully view the small background details.

Viz has shown that it is coming back from it's eariler years when the Pulp line was still around. Ikigami is a gritty fresh manga from the standard shounen/shojo fanfare.
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Format: Paperback
The series revolves around a character who has the distasteful job delivering 'Ikigami'. Modern society injects random citizens with a capsule that causes death at a certain date and time. The people who have the capsule are unaware since they are randomly distributed during mandatory vaccinations. The end result is so that citizens 'appreciate' life and live life to it's fullest. In reality it is a form of behavioral control since 'miscreants' and social 'outcasts' are 'corrected' by being injected with a capsule immediately. All it takes is a formal citizen complaint of non-compliance to start a brief investigation resulting in the person's death.

It's a system that is completely unrealistic - but the stories contained in the manga are what really shine. Each person is given 24 hours notice via 'Ikigami' in order to spend the last hours with family or finishing up projects, tying up loose ends, etc... The family is then given a stipend from the government after the victim does their duty and does not descend to criminal acts in the last day. The first story arc is a story about such an individual seeking revenge on those who bullied him in his past.

The individual stories are great - but it's the art that really pulls everything together. Mase-san using shading VERY well. The use of contrast works very well. The entire series has a lot of dark areas which lend to the overall mood and theme.

Overall I give the series a five star rating - it has been a very interesting read. I highly recommend checking out this great manga.
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