Judge (2010)

Are you ready to be judged for your sins?

Source: judge-manga.wikia.com

Hi guys! Since today is Halloween, I thought I would share with you a manga with horror/mystery genre. Honestly, I’m not very fond of this genre, but I find this manga which I would share with you is very thrilling and interesting.

This manga is called Judge, written and illustrated by Tonogai Yoshiki, the same author who created Doubt in 2007 (I would make another review for it later). This manga told a story about 9 people who were kidnapped and confined in a room, where each of them wearing an animal mask. Their kidnapper informed them that it’s already time for them to be judged for their sins. They would have to judge one another as in every 12 hours, they had to choose one among them who would die until the ones who remained uncover the truth.

I find this story similar with Saw series especially where human psychology played a huge part for the story development, but without body-parts cutting scenes, which is a great relief. With only 17 chapters long, every bit of it was thrilling and interesting enough so you couldn’t stop until you finish the story. It is amazing how the author could create different characters close enough with reality so every judgment or decision they made on the manga was very realistic.

If in Doubt the characters were killed in random, it was more structural in Judge since the remaining characters were the ones to decide. So it was very intriguing to find out who will be killed next and what kind of reaction each of them would give. As someone who likes psychological play like me, this series was very satisfying. Though it would be more interesting if each character’s background was told in detail, it wasn’t a big deal. I’m still think that 17 chapters are great numbers.

Even though the idea is similar with the previous manga Doubt, this one is totally on a different level. When I read Doubt, I think it was quite easy to guess which one of them is the culprit. So basically I just reading the manga to find out how the crime was carried out and the motive behind the crime. But in Judge, the author did a good job to surprised me. The story was much more unpredictable and the biggest plot twist was put on the very end of the manga. When I finished it, I could say “Oh my that was amazing! I couldn’t see that coming at all!”.

For a Shounen manga, I think Judge has a very good art style. It was well drawn but still gave you the creeps, especially with those animal masks. From the manga cover, there’s already splotch of blood everywhere. Even so, the gore level for this manga is still far below Parasyte or Elfen Lied. So if you think you can’t really stand gore manga, this one is still safe. Even I don’t read Attack on Titan at all because I’m afraid it would be too much.

So, if you find a good reading for a mystery/horror manga, Judge probably would be perfect. It doesn’t take too long to finish the story, yet still giving you enough thrill and suspense.

Happy Halloween!

Donten ni Warau (2011)


Source: amazon.com

So I just finished reading a series of manga called Donten ni Warau or Laughing Under the Clouds in English. I wondered where were I that I didn’t find this amazing series sooner, because it’s been there since 2011 and I just found it recently. But I’m still grateful that I had the chance to stumble upon this manga, because if I wasn’t I’m sure I will regret it. Thanks to MangaRock for the recommendation!

This manga is set in the 11th year of the Meiji era, where Japan was slowly changing because of the western influence and carrying swords were forbidden. But there were plenty of people who disagreed and thus the crime rates increased. The government solution was to create a prison called Gokumonjo in the middle of Lake Biwa. The protagonists, three Kumou brothers were assigned to transport the criminal through the lake to the prison. But their main job was never only transporting criminals. They had duty to prevent the rebirth of the Orochi, the legendary snake who appeared every 300 years and said to bring calamity to humankind.

At first, I thought this manga was just a series of one shot, telling the daily life of our protagonists. But at later chapters, the pieces are coming in place to create the bigger picture of the story. When I got the idea of the story, I just couldn’t stop myself from reading it until I finished. And finishing it didn’t take a long time, since it’s only 29 chapters in total. In my opinion, those numbers are just perfect, the plot wasn’t dragged with unnecessary plot and not too short either so it didn’t feel rushed at all.

The main idea itself is quite simple, but with some plot twists here and there, the story become unexpected and full of emotions. I laughed at the jokes, but I was also surprised this kind of manga could make me cry once or twice while reading through the chapters. Those element of surprises in the manga is one of the reasons why I say the story is unexpectedly very real, totally different from the other shoujo manga with the same theme.

It also has a very fitting ending, even though it’s not the kind of ending where everyone is come together and live happily ever after, but still, this kind of happy ending is fine. The manga still maintained its realistic element until the end and that’s what makes the manga even more amazing. This manga is totally one of that makes you want to read it again and again in the future.

In addition, the art was also beautifully drawn by Karakara Kemuri sensei. Her style is become one of my favorite immediately. Not to mention that almost all of her male characters are handsome (insert heart emoji here hahaha).

By the way, this manga also came up with two other series. One is Donten ni Warau Gaiden, which consists of few side stories before and after what happened at Donten ni Warau. Another one is Rengoku ni Warau, a prequel manga set in 300 years before Donten ni Warau. Go check it out, another amazing works by Kemuri sensei ­čÖé

Score: 9/10


Kuzu no Honkai (2012)

They found comfort in each other, even if it’s just temporary.

Source: mangaupdates.com

I’ve been curious about this manga for quite some time until I decided to give it a go. I just started reading this manga when it had reached chapter 42, only few chapters left until the end.

This manga tells a story about 17 years old couple Yasuraoka Hanabi and Awaya Mugi. Both of them had hopeless unrequited love for another person. Mugi loved Minagawa Akane, a young teacher and used to be his home tutor while Hanabi loved her teacher who was also her childhood friend. Hanabi was cute and Mugi was popular, both of the seemed like a perfect couple, but no one knows they were going out just to soothe their loneliness from their unrequited love. As someone who shared the same feelings, they found comfort in each other and so it led to loneliness-driven physical intimacy.

Continue reading “Kuzu no Honkai (2012)”

Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan (2007)

In the midst of the darkest path of their life, they saved each other.

Source: mangaupdates.com

I stumbled upon this manga accidentally when I was looking at Manga Rock’s editorial collection about tragic heartbreak stories. There were 5 mangas on the list and this manga was number 4. I read this manga right away and can’t stop until I reached the end. Lucky this manga only had 8 chapters so it didn’t take a lot of time to finish.

Apparently this manga is an adaptation of a novel by South Korea’s most popular female novelist, Gong Ji-young. It tells a story of a woman and a man who had tried to kill themselves several times. The woman was a famous pianist but stopped at the age of 16. On the other hand, the man was a murderer of 3 innocents people and was sentenced to death. He had such a tragic past that led him to the murders. They ended up talking to each other every Thursday at 10AM for 30 minutes. The stories they shared to each other changed them and they who once had given up to live starting to had hope again.

Continue reading “Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan (2007)”