R to L (Japanese Style)
Congratulations! You have been randomly selected by the government…to DIE in 24 hours! Please enjoy your final day and take pride in the fact that your death will inspire others to live life to the fullest! Welcome to the world of Ikigami, the Death Notice, where to keep citizens on the straight and narrow path of productivity and prosperity, each day a different citizen is selected for termination! View the last 24 hours through the very eyes of the people slated to die for their country with no hope of reprieve! What people do when they have no hope of survival will shock you to your core in this frightening, dark series of stories!
Dear Citizen: You’ve no doubt noticed that the world is a troubled place. People are apathetic, lazy, unmotivated. You’ve probably asked yourself: Why isn’t anything being done to stop this systematic decline? Well, you’ll be happy to know measures are being taken. We, your government, have decided society needs a wake-up call. So beginning today, we will randomly select a different citizen who will be killed within 24 hours of notification. We believe this will help remind all people how precious life is, and how important it is to be productive, active members of society. Thank you for your attention and your cooperation and participation in this new program.
From Publishers Weekly
The government is randomly selecting one person a day to die so that citizens will value life more. The victims are told 24 hours ahead of time with an ikigami, a odeath paper.? Fujimoto, the main character, is tasked with delivering these messages, a job which brings him into contact with various lives and causes him to question the plan. The art is clear, gritty and direct, presenting the disturbing stories plausibly. Shadowing makes the expressions, often aimed directly at the reader, more powerful. Ikigami recipient Yosuke was abused as a kid by his peers, which made him resentful. At first glance, he seems like no loss, but how much of his lack of potential is his fault? Who made him a victim, and shouldn't they be the ones to die? Is revenge any comfort? The question of how you'd live your last day if you knew ahead of time is a powerful one; to put the question within the context of building a more obedient, productive society is devilishly clever. This must-read manga is especially recommended for fans of Death Note ready to move on to a less fantastic exploration of the idea of predicting one's demise.
About the Author
Motoro Mase was born in Aichi in Japan in 1969 and is also the artist of /Kyoichi/ and, with Keigo Higashino, /HEDS/, which, like /Ikigami/, was serialized in /Young Sunday/. In 1998, Mase’s /AREA/ was nominated for Shogakukan’s 43rd grand prize for a comic by a new artist.