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Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit, Vol. 1 (v. 1) Paperback – May 12, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
The government is randomly selecting one person a day to die so that citizens will value life more. The victims are told 24 hours ahead of time with an ikigami, a œdeath paper. Fujimoto, the main character, is tasked with delivering these messages, a job which brings him into contact with various lives and causes him to question the plan. The art is clear, gritty and direct, presenting the disturbing stories plausibly. Shadowing makes the expressions, often aimed directly at the reader, more powerful. Ikigami recipient Yosuke was abused as a kid by his peers, which made him resentful. At first glance, he seems like no loss, but how much of his lack of potential is his fault? Who made him a victim, and shouldn't they be the ones to die? Is revenge any comfort? The question of how you'd live your last day if you knew ahead of time is a powerful one; to put the question within the context of building a more obedient, productive society is devilishly clever. This must-read manga is especially recommended for fans of Death Note ready to move on to a less fantastic exploration of the idea of predicting one's demise.Â (May)
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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. The musician story is as equally suspenseful as the first one, however it has more of an unpredictable feeling to it.
The artwork is one of the highlights to Ikigami. For the serious nature of this story, the attention to detail in the design of the character's faces must be applauded. Facial expressions look quite realistic at times with wrinkles, facial muscles, and other marks present. Also, for the scenes in which the people receive their Ikigami, the full double page affairs are excellent. The method of shading works to heavily emphasize the feeling and nearly works to make the reader imagine if they, themselves, were receiving the Ikigami. I believe it works excellently to enhance the seriousness of each moment.
Ultimately, Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit is one of the newest series to be brought to the English Viz Media line and it will be worthwhile to see the future volumes. The story is a fresh concept for a manga series. Not only that, but it is also one of the most thoughtful and compelling stories that people will be acquainted with. Check it out and I hope you like it.
-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)
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…
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Motoro Mase's `IKIGAMI - THE ULTIMATE LIMIT' definitely gives us a unique...Read more