December 19, 2014
Motoro Mase – Viz – 2010 – 10 volumes
For the holiday weekend (Thanksgiving, in case I post this later), I grabbed a big handful of Viz Signature/Ikki manga to read. Since Ikigami 6-7 were on the shelf together, I assumed I had helped myself out and shelved the TBR together. That was not the case, and I’m going to have to dig through my stacks for volume 5 (and apparently 8 as well).
For Ikigami though, reading 6 ahead of 5 is fine, since each volume is two stand-alone stories.
There’s a slight story arc in the framing device of the man that delivers the death warrants. He decides to be a patriot and an informer, and deals with that decision.
But mostly, the first story is about a relatively optimistic homeless youth, formerly a battered child, who is served an Ikigami. He lives it up (an Ikigami can be used as currency in most stores/restaurants/hotels/etc), and it’s sad, but then he later decides to reconcile with his guardians. Turns out, his uncle is still a jerk, and the nearly departed decides to implicate them as enemies of the state so they don’t get his Ikigami benefits/death cash. There’s some commentary about the homeless youth, and an unusually happy ending, given the nature of this series.
The second one is about a young man who loses his mother to illness, and is disillusioned with his father, who has given up his journalistic fight with the government. He is secretly part of an anti-government movement (strictly forbidden), and when he is served his Ikigami, he causes a scene with our friendly neighborhood Ikigami Messenger in order to disgrace his father.
This series is a real downer, which would explain why it’s taken me so long to pick up another volume. I am going to read 7 this weekend though, which will tell me how “fast” the regular plot is moving, and I’ll probably check out 5 within the next week or so in order to fill in the hole. I’m happy the series is over at 10 volumes… but reading the last 3 after this is a depressing prospect. The stories are always really good… but they don’t make me wanna celebrate life and/or rebel against the government. They make me want to read something less depressing.