A box with 100,000,000 yen is delivered to your house along with a cryptic note informing you that you have been selected to participate in a “Liar Game”. Congratulations! Such is the situation that naïve and innocent Kanzaki Nao, the protagonist of Liar Game, finds herself in.
Reading the note, she discovers that her task is to protect the hundred million she currently has while at the same time attempting to steal 100 million from her assigned opponent. When the game ends, the Liar Game officials will be there to collect the money. If she has lost her 100 million yen to her opponent, then the Liar Game Tournament Office will leave her with a staggering 100 million yen debt. If she somehow manages to coerce her opponent out of their hundred million, she can keep it as profit.
Confused and unwilling to play, she seeks legal counsel and tries to escape the game, but finds that she cannot. Tricked by her opponent, a past teacher whom she trusted, into losing her money, she begins to despair. Finally, she calls upon the services of an Akiyama Shinichi, ex-convict. Through a combination of psychological pressure and clever schemes, the two of them try to win the game. After the first game, the Liar Game Tournament continues, with more rounds, more players, and much higher risks. As the storyline progresses, the sinister Liar Game company reveals its ultimate goal of finding the “King” of liars.
As the tournament continues, Kanzaki’s honesty, naiveté, and willingness to trust others proves vital to their success, counterintuitive though it might be. Akiyama also begins to regain faith in the idea that humans are not completely selfish and greed-driven.
Liar Game has also been adapted to a TV drama and two live-action films. Another related series, Roots of A, is a oneshot by the same author that reveals more of Akiyama’s past and personality as a college student, set prior to when he committed his crime. The idealism and naiveté of past Akiyama displays how he has completely changed in the years between Roots of A and Liar Game, losing all his faith in humanity.
Gripping, thrilling, and dramatic, I would definitely recommend Liar Game to all those who enjoy psychological manga.