Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit Volume 1 by Motoro Mase YP FIC MASE

“Congratulations! You have been randomly selected by the government…to die in 24 hours!” In the near future, Japan has come up with a solution to apathy: randomly killing one citizen every day by a time released poison administered in grade school. Everyone knows they could die at any moment so they work hard to live full and productive lives. When Fujimoto starts his new job delivering the ikigami or death notices he starts to question if all these deaths can really be for the greater good.

This is a chilling and dark look at how a government or society can control our fates. The idea of a nation so devoted to productivity that it murders its own citizens is a great allegory for the excesses of a consumer society. The even bigger hook is the idea that every victim is notified 24 hours before they die. “What would you do if you had just one day left to live?” is an old question, but Ikigami looks at in a very fresh way. I can’t wait for more books to see how the different people react and if Fujimoto will defy the system. The art is done in a cool realistic style and adds to the overall creepiness of the story. I think Death Note fans will especially like this one.

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