Have you heard of the Squid Game, a Netflix movie that became famous last year? This is a survival drama from Korea, and in terms of story genre, it is classified as a death game. In this blog, I’d like to introduce you to some Japanese manga that you might enjoy if you like squid games.
The first manga I will introduce is Kaiji. The official name of this book is Kaiji Gambling Apocalypse and the author is Nobuyuki Fukumoto.
The story of this manga is about the protagonist, Kaiji Ito, who has been living a self-defeating life without working properly. When he becomes a guarantor for his friend and is burdened with a large amount of liability, he is told by Endo, a corrupt financier, to play the ultimate game with his life. This manga was made into a movie by Touya Sato in 2009, and three more movies were released in 2011 and 2019. This is a manga that is famous for its dialogues and other aspects that Japanese people have heard at least once.
The second one I’d like to introduce you to is As the God Will. As the God Will is a Japanese manga written by Sung-Yu Kaneshiro and drawn by Hizi Fujimura.
The main character in this manga is Shun Takahata. He is 16 years old and has been living a quiet and peaceful life as a normal high school student. One day, however, a Daruma doll emerges from the teacher’s head in Shun and his friends’ classroom. And so, begins a deadly death game. This manga was also made into a movie in 2014. This is a manga where each character is unique and can be enjoyed until the end.
The last manga I will introduce is GANTZ. The author of GANTZ is Hiroya Oku.
One day, two high school freshmen, Kei Genno and Masaru Kato, lose their lives while trying to save a drunk who fell onto the tracks. When they came to, they found themselves in a room of an apartment building, where people who were supposed to be dead as well were gathered. In the center of the room is a large, mysterious black sphere called Gantz, which sends them orders without knowing why, and they are forcibly transported to another location while they work on their mission. This manga is so popular that it has spawned numerous related works.
Death game comics and dramas are not only interesting for a while, but also every year. I have my own ideas as to why. I think there are three reasons why death games are so interesting
The first is an enclosed space. This can give us a thrill by making it impossible to escape. Secondly, there is a time limit. The time limit creates a sense of urgency among the characters, which in turn improves the tempo of the story. The third is the dramatic exit of the characters. This is a very touching way of showing how they died, and it can resonate with the emotions of the people watching. These are the things I think are necessary for a death game.