Selasa, 20 Desember 2011

Liar Game

Name:     Liar Game
Alternate Name:     Liar Game
Year of Release:     2005
Status:     Ongoing
Author:     Kaitani Shinobu
Artist:    Kaitani Shinobu
Reading Direction:     Right to Left
Genre:     Drama, Mystery, Seinen

Liar Game (ライアーゲーム Raiā Gēmu?) is a Japanese manga series originally written and illustrated by Shinobu Kaitani. The manga was first serialized in 2005 in the Japanese manga magazine Weekly Young Jump, published by Shueisha. It was later adapted into a TV series, which started airing on April 14, 2007 on Fuji TV, achieving a 11.4 viewership rating in Japan's Kantō region. It was adapted into a live action film in 2010 - Liar Game: The Final Stage - and it will be adapted into a new live action film in 2012.

The manga has also been translated into Chinese[citation needed] and into Dutch. In Italy the series is licensed by Planeta DeAgostini.[citation needed].


At the start of the manga, the lead protagonist - a scrupulously honest college student named Nao Kanzaki - receives a package containing 100 million yen (about 1 million dollars) and a note that she is now a contestant in the Liar Game Tournament. In this fictional tournament, contestants are encouraged to cheat and lie to obtain other contestants' money; those who lose have to bear a 100-million-yen debt. When Nao's first opponent - a trusted friend and teacher - steals her money,
she seeks assistance from a con man named Shin'ichi Akiyama. Though they manage to defeat the teacher, Nao and Akiyama decide to buy out his debt and advance through different rounds of the Liar Game Tournament against merciless contestants, while at the same time attempting to free their opponents from debt and to defeat the Liar Game organization from within.

First Round: Liar Game
Rules: In the first round, two players are given 100,000,000 yen ($1,000,000) each and the name of the other player, who is their opponent. They then have 30 days to steal as much money from their opponent as possible. At the end of the 30 days, a representative from the Liar Game offices will reclaim the original 100,000,000 yen. Any extra money a player has stolen from their opponent is theirs to keep. But if the player has lost money and the original 100,000,000 yen cannot be returned, he or she will go into debt to the Liar Game offices by that amount.

Story: Nao Kanzaki enlists the help of a convicted swindler, Shinichi Akiyama, after her opponent, an old middle school teacher, steals her 100,000,000 yen under the pretense of helping her escape the Liar Game. Akiyama tricks her teacher by giving him a fake postcard from the Liar Game offices and changing the time when the money will be picked up. He then poses as the representative from the Liar Game offices and takes the money back for Kanzaki, who is declared the winner. Kanzaki gives half of her promised winnings to Akiyama, then gives her 50,000,000 yen back to her old teacher to help him pay his debts. Seeing this, Akiyama also gives his share of the money back to her teacher. However, when Kanzaki returns home, she sees another card from the Liar Game offices with directions to the second round of the Liar Game or an option to repay half of her winnings and drop out. Since Kanzaki has already given away her winnings, she must continue on to the second round.

Second Round: Minority Rule Game
Rules: In the second round of the Liar Game, 22 players who continued to the second round take part in the Minority Rule Game. Each player is given a nameplate with a jewel worth 100,000,000 yen. In each voting round, a player is chosen at random to ask a “yes” or “no” question to the other members. The players then have six hours to vote “yes” or “no.” All of the votes are counted, and the players who are in the minority are declared winners and continue to the next voting round. The players who voted with the majority are declared losers and must return their nameplate and take on 100,000,000 yen in debt. In the case of a tie, the remaining players must revote. The last person (or two people) at the end of the game receives the entire 2.2 billion yen as their winnings.

Story: Kanzaki must continue to the second round in order to avoid going into debt with the Liar Game offices and follows the directions to the second round to a mansion. Twenty-two players also continue to the second round. Akiyama also joins, having come to the second round location to stop Nao from getting deeper into the game. But Akiyama comes across a young woman who came to return her winnings to the Liar Game offices and drop out, but was tricked into giving the money to a mysterious “Mr. X”, who posed as a Liar Game representative. Akiyama takes her place to find Mr. X and return her winnings.

Akiyama devises a no-fail plan to win the Minority Game. He and Kanzaki must find six other players to create a voting team. With each round, the team will split their vote in half, guaranteeing that at least half of their team will vote with the minority and continue to the next round. With eight players, their team can guarantee their survival for the full game (i.e. Round #1: 12 votes to 10 votes, Round #2: 6 votes to 4 votes, Round #3: 3 votes to 1 vote), at which point the team can split the winnings and guarantee a profit of about 40,000,000 yen. However, Akiyama warns Kanzaki that their group cannot include Mr. X. Since Mr. X has already stolen 100,000,000 yen, he can repay his debt and drop out of the game without penalty, which may give him incentive to betray the team to win more money. Mr. X was described as being a young man, so Akiyama and Kanzaki recruit five other female players and an old man to their team. To prevent any betrayal, each member signs their name to a contract promising to split any winnings equally with the other team members. The game continues according to Akiyama’s plan, but he senses that something is wrong, and Kanzaki suspects a young man in sunglasses of being Mr. X.

In the last voting round, with only four players remaining, and two votes already been counted, Ms. Hitomi, a member of Akiyama and Kanzaki’s team, reveals himself to be Mr. X, able to hide himself because he is a transvestite pretending to be a woman. His real name is Fukunaga Yuji and entered the second round by stealing the entry from his roommate. In order to make himself the winner, Fukunaga created three teams of eight people with himself as a member of each team, and every team utilizing Akiyama’s strategy. Because of this, whichever way that Fukunaga voted was guaranteed to be the minority. And since Fukunaga signed the contracts with a fake name, he is not obligated to give any of his team members any money. However, Akiyama sees through this plan, and votes the same way as Fukunaga in the last round, necessitating a revote. Despite his words to his team, Akiyama knew that the only way for his strategy to fail is if several teams were utilizing the same strategy. He also notices that all of the losers were unusually calm when they lost, even though it meant taking on astronomical debt, leading him to suspect that the other players also have a no-fail strategy. The last piece of evidence was when Kanzaki calls Akiyama and mentioned that another losing player had returned to the mansion. Akiyama reasons that the other player comes back to check on his team member to make sure the victor doesn’t run off with the winnings. In the revote, Akiyama shows his vote to the other players before placing it into the ballot box. The other players must then decide whether to vote opposite of Akiyama, which will give Akiyama the victory if all three players vote opposite of him, or vote the same way as Akiyama, which guarantees that player cannot win. Unable to resolve the situation, the three players agree to cause a revote to give themselves more time to reach an agreement. The young man in the sunglasses take all of the votes to the ballot box together to prevent any betrayal. But when the votes are counted, Akiyama is declared the winner. Akiyama, having seen through Fukunaga’s plan, had revealed his secret to the young man in sunglasses, and the two of them had made an alliance to make Akiyama the winner. Akiyama demands the stolen money back from Fukunaga, who returns it. However, because of the alliance with the other team, Akiyama does not have enough money to drop out of the game, which would require returning half of his winnings. In order to pay off the debt of his team and the team of the young man in sunglasses, Akiyama must continue to the next round.

Revival Round: Downsizing Game
Rules: This game is for the losers of the previous round of the Liar Game to earn the right to rejoin the Liar Game and potentially earn money. Participants are allowed to bring personal items to the game, with the exception of illegal items such as weapons and drugs. Each group contains nine players, who are given 100,000,000 yen in funds and a checkbook of “M Tickets” to distribute those funds. The funds can be used to purchase anything, but each transaction must be recorded on an M Ticket and approved by an on-site attendant from the Liar Game offices. Failing to deliver the agreed-upon item results in a penalty of 100,000,000 yen. Only eight of the nine players win the right to advance to the next round. The losing player is “downsized” and is out of the game, incurring a 100,000,000 yen debt, which is divided equally among the remaining eight players. The winning and losing players are determined by voting. Each player is given an “L Ticket” on which they can cast five votes for the person or people they wish to “win” or advance to the third round. Players must write five names and can vote for the same person up to five times, but they cannot vote for themselves or write the name of a non-existent player. The voting continues for ten rounds, with each player casting five votes for each round, with time intervals of three hours before the first round of voting and one hour intervals for every round after that. After ten rounds, the player with the least amount of votes loses the game.

Story: Feeling guilty over Akiyama’s continued participation in the Liar Game, Kanzaki accepts an offer to rejoin the Liar Game to try to earn enough money to free Akiyama. She also learns about Akiyama’s past and how he became a genius “con man” in order to bankrupt the multi-level marketing company which had swindled his mother, driving her to suicide. Kanzaki shows up at the site of the Revival Round, held in a vacant bowling alley. Nine players are participating in the Revival Round, including Fukunaga, who had nearly won the second round. When the game begins, Kanzaki notices all players in an unusual state of calm. Another player, named Miura, explains to Kanzaki that the other eight players were all on the same team in the second round, and they had all already decided to downsize Fukunaga, who had betrayed them all in the previous round. Since three hours remain until the first voting round, Fukunaga suggest they have a group chat, explaining that since she is already going to lose, they should try to determine who should win the game, by listening to everyone’s reasons why they should the winner. Kanzaki is the last person to speak, and Fukunaga gets Kanzaki to reveal that she has no debt in the game, having made 40,000,000 yen in the second round. This turns the mood of the group against Kanzaki. Having isolated Kanzaki from the group, Fukunaga approaches her with an offer for an alliance, explaining that she has a no-fail strategy for the two of them to win the game. Since there are 450 votes available in the game (9 players with 5 votes each for 10 rounds), having 50 votes ensures that a player is safe from being downsized. Fukunaga explains that all she and Kanzaki have to do is vote for each other for the entire 10 rounds, and they will be guaranteed to win. Kanzaki readily agrees and casts all five of her votes for Fukunaga in the first round. However, Fukunaga betrays her and exchanges her votes with another player, giving her 10 votes and the lead in the first round. Believing that she is guaranteed to lose, all of the other players refuse to talk to Kanzaki, except for Miura, who explains that Fukunaga revealed her alliance with Kanzaki and offered to betray Kanzaki for a price of 5,000,000 yen and one vote from each player. Fukunaga told the other players that without this betrayal, one of the other seven players would be guaranteed to lose because Kanzaki would use her 40,000,000 yen winnings from the previous round to bribe another player. The other players agreed, giving 5,000,000 to Fukunaga through the M Tickets, and exchanging votes with each round. After five rounds, Kanzaki is in last place with zero votes.

Fukunaga approaches Kanzaki with an offer to play a card game. If Fukunaga wins, Kanzaki must pay her 30,000,000 yen using her M ticket. If Kanzaki wins, Fukunaga will transfer 30 of her votes to Kanzaki. Believing she has no chance to win the Revival Round otherwise, Kanzaki agrees to play. In this game, Fukunaga puts two cards – a joker and a double-sided blank card – into a bag. Fukunaga asks Kanzaki whether she preferred the light or the dark, and Kanzaki chose “light.” Fukunaga then assigns her the joker, which was the lighter of the two cards. In the game, Kanzaki draws one of the cards face down, then turns the card over. If the card is a joker, Kanzaki wins the round. If the card is the blank, Fukunaga wins the round. Fukunaga explains that the first person to reach 10 points wins and each of them has an equal chance of winning the game. However, Kanzaki loses the game and is forced to pay Fukunaga 30,000,000 yen. Crying just outside the locker room, Kanzaki is interrupted by Akiyama, who followed her to the Revival Round after contacting the Liar Game offices. After hearing what transpired in the Revival Round, Akiyama explains to Kanzaki that she was tricked by Fukunaga. Kanzaki believed that she had an equal chance of winning the card game, but Akiyama tells her that the double-sided card was almost guaranteed to win. Akiyama asks her what happens if the joker card was drawn face-up first. Kanzaki explains that the joker was returned to the bag, since it wasn’t a contest if they already knew what the card was. Akiyama explains that there are four outcomes in the game. Fukunaga would win if one side of double-sided card was pulled out first, then flipped over, and also if the second side was pulled out first, then flipped over. Kanzaki would win if the joker is pulled out face-down, then turned over, but if she pulls the joker out face-up, it is returned to the bag for a redo. Since there are two situations where Fukunaga would win, and only one situation where Kanzaki would win, her chances of winning are only 33%. Over a 10-round game, her chances of winning are only 6%. With this information, Kanzaki challenges Fukunaga again to the game. Fukunaga is reluctant at first, but agrees after Kanzaki lowers her price to 10 votes and offers Fukunaga 50,000,000 yen if she wins. Fukunaga states that the rules of the game must be the same as last time, meaning that Kanzaki has the joker and Fukunaga has the double-sided card. In the game, Kanzaki falls behind early and Fukunaga is only one point from victory when Kanzaki flips the joker over four straight times to win the game and Fukunaga’s 30 votes. Akiyama had instructed Kanzaki to mark the double-sided card with her fingernail so that she could pull out the joker card at will. He also told her to let Fukunaga take a lead in points at 9 to 6, so that even if Fukunaga became suspicious, it would be too late for her to discover how Kanzaki is winning the game. At the end of the sixth round, Fukunaga’s 10 votes are transferred to Kanzaki, much to the surprise of the other players.

Kanzaki fails to see how 10 votes will help her, but Akiyama assures her those 10 votes have paved the way to victory. The next three rounds continue in the same way. But before the ninth round, Kanzaki approaches another player and buys 10 of his votes for 70 million. The player, Kikuzawa, is initially reluctant, but Kanzaki explains that Fukunaga will have an overwhelming advantage in the next round and she believes Kikuzawa can defeat him. Kanzaki also says that she needs the extra votes because she is guaranteed to lose this round, but she may win the spot from another round, who had one participant drop out. Kikuzawa agrees and Kanzaki completes the transaction with an M Ticket. After the 9th voting round, the standings remain the same, but after the transfer of votes is added in, Kanzaki is in first place with 80 votes. She had bought ten votes from each of the players, giving them the same story, putting her in a commanding lead. Since she only needs 50 votes to move to the next round, Akiyama announces that the other 30 votes will be sold to the highest bidder. The players question how Akiyama could have joined the game, but he explains that he is acting as another of Kanzaki’s belongings, which she is allowed to bring under the rules of the game. Fukunaga argues that Kanzaki doesn’t have enough money to pay all of the players 70,000,000 won, but according to the M Ticket Kanzaki signed, she only has to pay the players before the start of the 10th round, giving her one hour to sell the rest of the votes. Since all of the players need the votes to avoid elimination, Akiyama quickly collects all of the money in the game, selling a small amount of votes to the highest bidder. The only votes remaining are Kanzaki’s last five votes, and Akiyama says that she can vote any way that she wants. The other players plead with Kanzaki for her votes, but she says that she’s already made her decision and casts her ballot. After the last round, the all of the players are saved except Muira, the player who had helped Kanzaki in the beginning of the game. Muira asks why he was made to lose if he had helped her. Kanzaki explains that since the loser’s debt in this game would be divided among the winners, the Liar Game offices were actually losing 100,000,000 yen in this game. This money, Kanzaki says, could be used to save one of the players. Kanzaki chose to save Muira, who had been honest with her in the beginning, and gives him a check to repay all of his debt to the Liar Game offices. The rest of the winnings, she redistributes to the other players, so that none of them will have any additional debt from the Revival Round as they continue to the third round.

Nao Kanzaki (神崎 直 Kanzaki Nao?): Nao Kanzaki is a "foolishly honest" college student, who is coerced into playing the Liar Game. She is extremely honest and, initially, naïve, but these attributes allow her to win the trust of fellow contestants in the Liar Game. Nao is often able to make profound insights concerning the Liar Game and human nature and gradually learns to question others while maintaining her ability to trust her allies, while becoming more mature and considerate with each round played. Although Nao has had several opportunities to leave the Liar Game, she continues to play wishing to save the other players who have fallen into debt. Nao's only known surviving family member is her father, who is in the hospital with terminal cancer.

Shinichi Akiyama (秋山 深一 Akiyama Shin'ichi?): Akiyama is a graduate of Teito University with a master's degree in psychology, who became a "genius" con man in order to take down the Multi-level marketing corporation that swindled his mother and drove her to suicide. In Volume 1 he has just been released from prison and agrees to help Nao in the Liar Game because her honest nature reminds him of his mother. Akiyama enters the Liar Game himself in Round 2 by substituting for another player, and by Round 3 is a respected, and feared, unofficial leader among the Liar Game's contestants, although he recognizes Nao as the group's true leader. Akiyama's motivation for continuing in the Liar Game is to find the real motives behind the Liar Game Tournament organization and bring it down.

Kazuo Fujisawa (藤沢 和雄 Fujisawa Kazuo?): Nao's former teacher and opponent in Round 1, who was originally a kind man concerned about the welfare of his students. After a series of misfortunes, Fujisawa has become angry, hateful, and mistrustful. Nao is shocked when he outright tells her he doesn't care if she goes into debt or is forced into prostitution to pay it back. Fujisawa's behavior, however, only solidifies Akiyama's decision to help Nao. At the end of Round 1 when Akiyama outsmarts Fujisawa but Nao gives Fujisawa her winnings to that he can repay his debt, Fujisawa is last seen bowing to her in gratitude.

Yuji Fukunaga (福永 ユウジ Fukunaga Yuuji?): A male-to-female transvestite who first appears in Round 2, where she poses as a woman named Hitomi. Sly, calculating, and a 5th degree black belt, Fukunaga is a skilled manipulator whose weaknesses appear to be her desire for money and her temper. During Round 3, Fukunaga learns to cooperate with Nao and Akiyama, and even when Fukunaga finishes the round debt-free, she chooses to continue in the tournament to aid them. In later chapters, Fukunaga recognizes Nao's improvement and starts to get fond of her, although still believes her incompetent. Nao also observes that Fukunaga may have a crush on Akiyama. After Fukunaga's transvestite identity is revealed, the Japanese text deliberately avoids referring to "her" by gender. (In the live version this character is still male, but with a vaguely homosexual overtone).

Norihiko Yokoya (横谷 憲彦 Yokoya Norihiko?): A character obsessed with domination, Yokoya first appears in Round 3. He is a calm, dark-haired man, who is often shown carrying mice. Nearco describes Yokoya as Akiyama's greatest rival, and Nao senses something odd about him early in the game. Yokoya comes from a wealthy family, and his strategy is frequently to bribe other contestants into becoming his pawns. His team is depicted as a dictatorship, as opposed to Nao's cooperative team. Although Yokoya initially plans to drop out of the Liar Game with his Round 3 winnings, Nao tricks him into proceeding to the next round, and Yokoya sworns to bring down Nao and Akiyama in revenge. After losing Round 4 to them, Yokoya decides to keep playing to the end, ainimg to become the ultimate winner of the Liar Game.

Takashi Harimoto (ハリモト タカシ Harimoto Takashi?): Harimoto wears long robes and a straw hat. He has deep wrinkles, which hints that he may be the oldest character introduced so far. Unlike Akiyama and Yokoya, who both excel at psychological and mental manipulation, Harimoto's strength lies in taking advantage of a person's emotional state. He first appears in Round 4, as the founder of the Peaceful Paradise cult. Three female members of his cult - Mika Mikamoto, Kei Kimura, and Yukiko Abe - are also contestants in the Liar Game and follow him unconditionally, giving him a strong advantage. He controls his cult members by telling them that all mankind descends from humans and demons as well, claiming that his mission is to gather those like him with few demonic blood under his guidance.

Liar Game Tournament (LGT) Office
The name of the organization that runs the Liar Game Tournament and its purpose have not yet been revealed in the manga. Rather, a number of employees of the LGT Office have been shown, who manage the rounds of the game. Two types of employees have been shown so far: "handlers" who manage individual contestants and provide information on upcoming rounds, and "hosts" who carry out the actual rounds of the Liar Game and observe the contestants.

Teruo Tanimura (谷村 光男 Tanimura Teruo?): A man who posed as a lawyer (a policeman in the live-action) and whom Nao first consults when she gets involved in the Liar Game Tournament. It isn't revealed until later that he is actually part of the Liar Game Tournament working to make sure players can't escape the game by going to the authorities. Tanimura is the Liar Game representative assigned to Nao. It was Tanimura who initially gives Nao the idea of using a scam artist to win the game (in the live-action adaptation, this was deliberately done in order to bait Akiyama into participating in the game).

Leronira (レロニラ Reronira?): One of the hosts of the Liar Game, he wears a suit and an ornate mask over his face. Although he admires Akiyama and Fukunaga for their intelligence, he admits to being most interested in how Nao plays the games. In the live-action adaptation, he is the masked figure who gives players instructions via recorded videos or through a monitor.

Nearco (ネアルコ Nearuko?): A co-host of the Liar Game with Leronira who looks exactly like him but with a different mask, one with a long moustache. First appearing in Round 3, Nearco admires Yokoya, describing him as a fearsome individual, and cannot understand Leronira's interest in Nao.

Solario (ソラリオ Sorario?): A third host of the Liar Game, he looks similar to the previous hosts, except his mask has a sun on the right eye. Solario becomes quickly interested in Nao when she realizes the objective of Revival Round 2 before he expected her to.

Forli (フォオリ Foori?): A fourth host of the Liar Game who appears similar to the other round dealers, but with a suit and bowtie. His clothes are a bit scraggly-looking, his hair stands out, and his mask resembles the face-paint of a clown in the Renaissance with long, oval markings on each of where his eyes and mouth should be. He hosts the Round 4 Qualifier for Akiyama and Nao's side, rooting for them and tending to fall completely for all of Akiyama's plans, even though he's not involved and knows all the rules of the game. Forli is more "goofy" than the other hosts.

Kurifuji (栗藤 Kurifuji?): A woman long dark hair, who wears sunglasses and a surgical mask across her mouth to cover her face. Kurifuji is assigned to Yokoya and often advocates his skills above other Liar Game contestants.

Alsab (アルサブ Arusabu?): A fifth host of the Liar Game, who hosts Round 4 and its Qualifier for Fukunaga's side. His mask has a ying-yang symbol on the forehead; ☵ (water) i-ching symbol on the left cheek of mask; and ☲ (fire) i-ching symbol on the right cheek in a manner somewhat reminiscent of the South Korean flag.

Volume 13          

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