The Japanese government has launched a brand new law: because of the laziness and apathy of Japan’s people it was decided that someone, daily and randomly, will be chosen and killed with a poison’s capsule in order to “bring to life again” and wake up the others.
The person elected will be warned with an ikigami (or death’s notice) and after this he/she will have only 24 hours left to live.
What those condemned will think and do during this short time?
The story is very similar to Death Note and Battle Royale. But this time, there’s nothing supernatural or sci-fi here. The story takes place in our present time and only change here is that there’s the presence of that law. The main character is Fujimoto Kengo, who is a government worker and the one who hands out the death notice or “ikigami” to the person, who’s going to die within 24 hours. Of course, being the “messenger of death” caused him to question the morality of this new system and how his job affects those around him, including those who were about to die. Of course, he’s just doing his job and there’s nothing he can do to help those people because, if he did, the government will go “Big Brother” on him. But most of the stories revolved on the point of view of those receivers of the ikigami. And, obviously, they’re not taking this lightly. Just imagine that you’re just having a normal day and then, a civil servant comes to you and tells you that you’re going to die within 24 hours. Yeah, that really sucks.
Anyway, three chapters are considered to be “one episode” and focuses on the ikigami receiver. It may be a bit slow and episodic. But as you read along, you’ll discover that there’s something really wrong with this law and expect that there are people out there who are against this law. This is a very interesting story but you’ll need a lot of patience here. BTW, the art and character design is very realistic. Fujimoto is a very interesting character here. I just hope the mangaka would develop his character more. There are also some recurring characters such as Ishii, who is Fujimoto’s boss, and Dr. Nanako Kubo, a clinical psychologist whom Fujimoto has a crush on her.
There’s also a live-action movie made last 2008. But it only covers the three stories. Oh, since the manga is about to end, I hope I’ll get a chance to read the rest of the story. I don’t know if this manga will also have an anime adaptation but I bet a lot of people will complain that it’s going to end up like Jigoku Shoujo.