Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit, vol. 1

Story and Art by Motoro Mase
Published in the US by Viz

Slugline: Worst Government Health Plan Ever!

Fijimoto has started a job with a government ministry as a messenger of Ikigami. This government has decided so that the citizens will live to their fullest, some have to die. All citizens receive immunizations and in those immunizations some receive a capsule that will kill them at a predetermined date and time between the age of 18 to 24. Their only warning is that 24 hours before their death, the victims receive an Ikigami with their death information. Fujimoto questions the ethics of this, but not too loudly since social malcontents also receive a capsule. He delivers two Ikigami in this volume, one to victim of bullying who now has to wonder how to get revenge and the other to a street musician that has sold out in order to be a success that he will now never enjoy.

This series acts more along the lines of an anthology, with Fujimoto only being involved in the beginning of each story as the background of the Ikigami and the world that permits it is touched upon. The rest of the stories are about the last days of the victim and how they chose to use their death. These are character studies, as the victims have just a day forcing them to pare their goals and themselves down to fit that day. Despite the implicit questioning of Ikigami by the characters, on how there is no need for it to be used to bind the society together, in the two cases here the final acts of the victims are to help others, thus undercutting the argument against them. The strength of the title is in the character examinations rather than the overarching story which has too much useless infodumps.

Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

No comments: