Reflection: Doubt vol. 1

Doubt volume 1

I never heard of Doubt before I spotted it in a bookstore while on holiday in England last week. The description on the back sounded pretty good so I decided I would pick it up.

The story begins with a group of five teenagers meeting for the first time after meeting playing an online game. For the most part everyone is getting along grand, with exemption of a few small scrapes. The group decides to go to Karaoke where they continue to get to know each other.

However, everything turns when the main character Yuu goes to the bathroom. Whilst in the bathroom he is met by a person wearing rabbit mask who knocks him unconscious. When Yuu comes through he finds himself in a dark room with another of the teens he had met through the game. After a little looking around they discover the body of one of the girls he met hanging from a wall. Once regrouped with all of his friend, they realise they are locked in a building with no escape route a forced to play the game ‘Doubt’ which they had all met through. The game requires the group to interrogate each other to discover who the murderer in the group is. They have to kill their suspect and if they are wrong one of them will be killed again.

The story is a very interesting read. Immediately after I started reading I was trying to solve the mystery myself. It forces the reader into the story to try and figure out who the ‘wolf’ is among them.  The story is complemented very well with absolutely fantastic artwork. The illustrations are very graphic and detailed.

While reading I am reminded a lot of Btooom!, which has a fairly similar idea behind it. Both stories deal with people being forced into playing a real life version of an online video game. Although Doubt takes place on a far smaller scale and is more of a mental game opposed to a strategy game like Btooom!. I don’t think I can say that I like one over the other because although they sound quite similar, they are actually very different.

There’s only two volumes in the series, both being fairly large volumes. If you enjoy series similar to Btooom or Battle Royale I would recommend this to you, and although the volumes are a little more expensive than other series, there is only two so it won’t break the bank to own the series.  

Turtle

Check out Doubt for yourself: http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9780316245302/?a_aid=turtlemanga

Advertisements

Reflection: Maoh: Juvenile Remix, vol. 4

Maoh Juvenile Remix is one of maybe eight series I’m reading right now, and as I work my way through them I can’t believe how fast my waiting list is growing. Hoping to put in a new order for some manga soon, but that will hardly make a dent in the list of what I want to read.

 

Synopsis:

                Volume four of Maoh: Juvenile Remix kicks off with Ando being dragged off by bartender to watch Inukai make a speech to all the Grasshoppers. His speech is broadcast on the internet and watched by people all over the city. Inukai again identifies the Mayor and the Anderson Groups plans for the new urban centre as destroying their city. He calls on all his supporters to unite together and put an end to the development once and for all. Ando attempts to use his ventriloquism to stop Inukai and the grasshoppers, and briefly it looks like he may succeed. However, once he realises just how well his speech has been received, we see that it isn’t going to be that simple.

                Volume four also sees the return of Semi, an assassin who had previously appeared to kill Ando. After Inukai’s speech, the mayor had become a target for murder and as a result Semi was hired to serve as his body guard. Simply a body guard is a very boring role for Semi to play as he is told not to kill anyone who is not a professional killer. Some of the scenes where he finds people sneaking around to get the mayor are entertaining, but very tame compared to what we have already seen he can do.

                Another target following the speech in Ando’s new friend Anderson, who is the son of the President of the Anderson Group. Anderson repeatedly gets attacked at school, even by some of the other students he had befriended just in the previous volume. Again Ando attempts to use his ventriloquism to protect Anderson, but he ends up straining himself and starts to feel the side effects of his ability. Anderson, however, refuses to back down and hide from his attackers, and vows to continue going to school until everyone recognises the differences between him and his father.

 

My Opinion:

Two points I think I’ll like to talk about with this volume. First off, I really like the contrast between the two targets of the Grasshoppers in this volume. The mayor living in fear that someone is after him and constantly hiding behind his bodyguard. While on the other hand Anderson faces up to the enemy and accepts his fate, refusing to back down or to accept help. I really like some of the things that Anderson says in this volumes, about not running away when he did nothing wrong and how he is different from his father. Anderson is a very philosophical character in the series since he appeared and I just really like him.

                The second point I want to address is the issue of what is going on with Junya? Ando repeatedly mentions in his side dialogue that he will tell his brother everything that’s going on, but still hasn’t. However, while everyone else at their school and the majority of the city’s population is under the influence of Inukai, Junya never pays any heed to it. I really want to know why he isn’t joining with the rest of the Grasshoppers. Does he feel the same as his brother about Inukai and also recognises something’s wrong? Or is it that he just doesn’t care? In the four volumes I can’t think of a single time that Junya actually mentions Inukai or the Grasshoppers. Just the odd point of ‘Did you see what happened on the news?’ In my opinion, I think that Junya knows everything, about Inukai, the Grasshoppers, the Anderson Group, and Ando’s ventriloquism. He’s just trying to remain low and support his brother without being in the way. That’s just my thought though, I don’t really know to be honest.

 

Rating:

Check out the series. It portrays the struggle between modernisation and traditions quite good as well as addressing whether or not violence can be justified. It is still a shonen Manga, so the story remains a little simple and to be honest I would like to see a version aimed at a more mature audience which would go deeper and be a lot darker. However, as it stands, Maoh: Juvenile Remix is a very enjoyable Read.

 

Turtle