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Liar Game (ライアーゲーム Raiā Gēmu?) is a Japanese manga series originally written and illustrated by Shinobu Kaitani, who was inspired to write this after visiting a local beer pub in Kagoshima. The manga was first serialized in 2005 in the Japanese manga magazine Weekly Young Jump, published by Shueisha. It was later adapted into a drama series, which started airing on April 14, 2007 on Fuji TV, achieving a 11.4 viewership rating in the Kantō region.

Plot

Nao Kanzaki, an honest and naive college student, receives 100 million yen (about $1,000,000) and an invitation to participate in the "Liar Game Tournament". The aim of the game is to trick the other players out of their hundred million yen. At the end, the winner gets the hundred million and the loser is a hundred million yen in debt. She discovered her opponent was her elementary school teacher, Mr. Fujisawa. When Nao was easily tricked into giving her opponent the 100 million yen, she finds a lawyer that suggests she asks Shinichi Akiyama, an ex-convict and genius who recently got out of jail, for help. Taking the lawyer's advice, she finds Shinichi Akiyama and explains her problem to him. Though Akiyama was reluctant at first, he agrees to help on the condition that he takes half of the prize money Nao receives as his reward. Akiyama succeeds in taking all the money and winning the game for Nao. However, Nao and Akiyama's success at the Liar Game is far from over as they get dragged back in the game each time. Though initially unwilling participants, the pair choose to continue in the game in order to discover the true nature of the organization involved and to try and free other participants from the Liar Game.

Characters

Protagonists

Nao Kanzaki (神崎 直 Kanzaki Nao?): A "foolishly honest" college student, who, by chance and accident, begins to play the Liar Game. She is known for her extreme honesty and initially, her naivete - as she believes everyone else is honest as well. For instance, she waits over a day in the same spot for Akiyama when he says "I'll be right back". Due to her honesty and naivety, she appears less intelligent at times; she was also known to be rather emotional. Before Round III, she had a tendency to cry a lot, a trait which Akiyama often snapped at her for. However, her soft and demure appearance plays an advantage by allowing her to learn more about the people she talks to, whose guard is often lowered as they interpret her as "weak and helpless" and thus little threat. Her only known family is her father, who resides in a hospital with a long-term illness. Her mother died when she was only one year old. Though she is weak and naive, Nao is often able to make profound insights concerning the Liar Game and "human nature". Thanks to Akiyama's efforts, she has obtained multiple opportunities to leave the Liar Game; however, she continues initially due to the LGT's manipulation, and later because she wishes to save the other players of the Liar Game who have fallen into debt.

Shinichi Akiyama (秋山 深一 Akiyama Shin'ichi?): Formerly a graduate student majoring in psychology, he is a "genius swindler" who took down a giant corporation MLM in a scam to avenge his mother. He chooses to help Nao in the Liar Game when he sees her honest nature, reminding him of his mother. Although he is not formally invited into the Liar Game, he enters by substituting for another player in Round II. By Round III he is respected (and feared) enough by the other Liar Game players to become the unofficial leader of the Southern Country, though he tries to keep things equal in the group and actually recognizes Nao as the group's true leader. Yokoya, however, knows Akiyama had been manipulating his teammates and mocks him for it. Akiyama's motivation for continuing in the Liar Game is to destroy the entire LGT organization. He graduated from Teito University with a master's degree in psychology.

Antagonists

Kazuo Fujisawa (藤沢 和雄 Fujisawa Kazuo?): Nao's former teacher and opponent in Round I, he used to be a kind man geniunely concerned about students, but after a series of events turns into an angry, hateful person unwilling to trust anyone. Nao is shocked when he outright tells her he didn't care if she gets into debt and lose contact with her family. This behaviour however only solidifies Akiyama's decision to help Nao, and at the end of the game Akiyama steals all 100 million yen, forcing him into debt. The forgiving Nao however helps him pay the debt, and he is last seen bowing to her in gratitude as he realizes that not everyone in the world is cruel.

Yuji Fukunaga (福永 ユウジ Fukunaga Yuuji?): A transsexual who first appears in Round II, where she poses as a woman named Hitomi (Hitomi is her friend for whom she substitutes as player No. 3). Sly and calculating and also a 5th degree black belt, Fukunaga is a skilled manipulator whose greatest weakness appears to be her desire for money and her bad temper. She greatly hinders Nao and Akiyama during Round II and the Revival Round, but has never been able to outwit Akiyama. However, Fukunaga cooperates with them well during Round III and even when she finishes the round debt-free, she chooses to continue in the tournament. During Revival Round II, she dresses as a woman again. To avoid revealing her skills during the mock simulation, she sends Nao in her place, matching Solario's expectations. Though Fukunaga seems fond of Nao in her own way, she doesn't think of her as competent. It is implied that she may have a crush on Akiyama, as Nao herself observes.

Norihiko Yokoya (横谷 憲彦 Yokoya Norihiko?): Yokoya first appears in Round III, and is obsessed with domination. He is a calm, dark-haired man with no eyebrows who is fond of carrying mice on his person. Nearco accurately describes him as Akiyama's greatest rival, and Nao senses something odd about him early in the game. According to Akagi, Yokoya substituted for another player in their Revival Round. The 8 other players agreed to give each other their votes to ensure Yokoya would lose, but for the first two rounds Yokoya bribed everyone's votes and got all 80 of them. He then sold his extra 29 votes to get everyone else's money. Except for the person most loyal to Yokoya, everyone was put in a 200 million debt to Yokoya. Yokoya let the loyal follower drop out of the Liar Game, and continues to control his teammates in Round III, setting up a dictatorship in the Northern Country. Although he plans to drop out with his winnings after Round III, Nao antagonizes him into proceeding to Round IV.

Takashi Harimoto (ハリモト タカシ Harimoto Takashi?): Harimoto first appears in Round IV. He wears long robes, like his nickname implies, and a straw hat. He has deep wrinkles, hinting that he may be the oldest character introduced so far. He was the founder of the Peaceful Paradise cult, along with Mikamoto Mika, Kimura Kei and Abe Yukiko. He managed to get them to follow him unconditionally, a very good advantage in the Liar Game. He managed to get himself and his three followers past all the rounds of Liar Game, including the Qualifier, at the expense of Fukunaga Yuji. In Round IV, he played well to get Abe to win the first practice round, and managed to scam Akiyama Shinichi into giving the information that all the winners' maps were the same. He showed great leadership by being able to get his team moving to get the three chairs they were told of within 30 Seconds of starting the preliminary round, as opposed to Yokoya Norihiko, who needed 4 minutes to do the same.

LGT Office

Teruo Tanimura (谷村 光男 Tanimura Teruo?): A fake lawyer that Nao first consulted when she gets involved in the LGT. He gives her the idea of using a scam artist to win the game, and is the one to direct Nao to look up Akiyama. It isn't revealed until later that he is actually part of the LGT working to make sure players don't unexpectedly give the money from Round I to the police. After Round II, he shows up at Nao's home to tell her about Akiyama's past, and to manipulate her to return to the LGT in Revival Round. He is often seen lurking around Nao right before a Round starts, to tell her about what is to come, as well as to tease her. He is the person-in-charge of Nao.

Leronira (レロニラ Reronira?): One of the hosts of the Liar Game. He wears a suit, has dark hair, and an ornate mask covers his face. He hosts Round II in person, hosts via a television in Revival Round, and hosts Round III with Nearco. Though he admires Akiyama and Fukunaga for their brains, he admits in being most interested in how Nao plays the games. He also appear in Round IV along with Nearco, Solario and Forli, they are viewing the surveillance camera instead of hosting as the host is Alsab.

Nearco (ネアルコ Nearuko?): One of the hosts of the Liar Game. He looks exactly the same as Leronira, but has a different mask. He first appears in Round III, which he co-hosts with Leronira. He admires Yokoya, describing him as a fearsome individual, and can not understand Leronira's interest in Nao. By the end of Round III he, too, is curious at how she will play. His mask has a long moustache. He also appear in Round IV along with Leronira, Solario and Forli, they are viewing the surveillance camera instead of hosting as the host is Alsab.

Solario (ソラリオ Sorario?): One of the hosts of the Liar Game. He looks similar to the previous hosts, except his mask has a sun on his right eye. He hosts Revival Round II via a television, and seems to already know the backgrounds of players he hasn't seen before. Unlike Nearco, he is quickly interested in Nao when she realizes the objective of Revival Round II before he expected. He also appear in Round IV along with Leronira, Nearco and Forli, they are viewing the surveillance camera instead of hosting as the host is Alsab.

Forli (フォオリ Foori?): One of the hosts of the Liar Game. he appears much as the other round dealers, with a suit and bowtie. His clothes are a bit scraggly-looking, and his mask resembles the facepaint of a clown in the Renaissance, with long, oval markings on each of his masks' eyes and its mouth. His hair also stands out quite a bit. He hosts the Round IV Qualifier for Akiyama and Nao's side. He also appear in Round IV along with Leronira, Nearco and Solario, they are viewing the surveillance camera instead of hosting as the host is Alsab. He roots for Akiyama and Nao. He tends to fall completely for all of Akiyama's plans, even though he's not involved in them and he knows all the rules of the game. He also gives the rules with a bit more style and flair than some of the other Round Officers. Compared to the other, more stoic hosts, Forli is more "goofy," responding "even I was fooled" when he realizes that Akiyama's Ushriki circuit is a lie.

Kurifuji (栗藤 Kurifuji?): She first appears just before the Round IV Qualifier to inform Yokoya on the whereabouts of Round IV. She has long dark hair, but instead of a mask, she wears sunglasses and some bandages around her mouth to cover her face. She watches both Round IV Qualifiers for Akiyama's side and Round IV itself from surveillance cameras. She is the person-in-charge of Yokoya.

Alsab (アルサブ Alsab?): One of the hosts of the Liar Game. He hosts the Round IV Qualifier for Fukunaga's side and Round IV. His mask has a ying-yang symbol on the forehead; ☵ (water) i ching symbol left cheek of mask; and ☲ (fire) i ching symbol right cheek of the mask.

Media

Manga

Liar Game started serialization in 2005 in Shueisha's Weekly Young Jump.[1] As of October 2009, the series is still on-going with 9 tankōbon released, the first on September 16, 2005 and the latest on August 19, 2009.[1][2] A short story "Roots of A" has been published as the title piece of a Shinobu Kaitani's anthology released on July 18, 2008.[3] The manga has been officially translated into Chinese.[citation needed] In Europe the series is licensed by Planeta DeAgostini in Italy.[citation needed]

<tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF"><th style="width: 4%;">No.</th><th style="width: 48%;">Release date</th><th style="width: 48%;"> ISBN</th></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol01">01</td></td><td> September 16, 2005[1]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-08-876855-7</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; "><td colspan="3">
  • 001. "The Legendary Swindler" (伝説の詐欺師 "densetsu no sagishi"?)
  • 002. "Flaw"
  • 003. "Declaration of War"
  • 004. "Intimidating the Enemy" (ゆさぶり "yusaburi"?)
  • 005. "Dissonance" (不協和 "fukyōwa"?)
  • 006. "Game Over"
  • 007. "Game II"
  • </td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Nao Kanzaki, a young woman honest to a fault, receives a package containing 100 million yen and is forced to participate in the first round of the elusive "Liar Game", where she must protect the sum she received for a period of one month with the risk of suffering a large debt is she fails. However, she is tricked by her opponent who manages to steal the entire money from her. With the help of Shinichi Akiyama, a famous swindler who recently was released from jail, she manages to get the money back, but by showing mercy to the same man who deceived her, she is forced to participate in the next round of the Liar Game.</td></tr>

    <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol02">02</td></td><td> January 19, 2006[4]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-08-877024-6</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; "><td colspan="3">
    • 008. "Commence Battle"
    • 009. "Impatience"
    • 010. "Hope"
    • 011. "Alliance"
    • 012. "Catastrophy"
  • 013. "Light vs Dark"
  • 014. "Scheme"
  • 015. "Upper Hand"
  • 016. "Foresight"
  • 017. "Trap"
  • </td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Forced to keep participating in the Liar Game, Nao and the other contestants of the second round are reunited into a mansion to take part into the tricky "minority game", where each round a question with two options is presented, and those who voted with the majority are eliminated. Nao is relieved to know that Akiyama exchanged places with a contestant to infiltrate the game and help her, but they must also be careful with a mysterious player who also did the same trick with the intention to win the entire prize money for his/herself.</td></tr>

    <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol03">03</td></td><td> October 19, 2006[5]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-08-877151-9</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; "><td colspan="3">
    • 018. "Revival Round"
    • 019. "Downsizing Game"
    • 020. "Incitement"
    • 021. "Scapegoat"
    • 022. "Battle Plan"
    • 023. "Light vs Dark"
  • 024. "Retribution"
  • 025. "Comeback"
  • 026. "Control"
  • 027. "Inflation"
  • 028. "Salvation"
  • </td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Despite being relieved from the Liar Game thanks to Akiyama, Nao decides to participate in the Revival Round where losers from the second round are given another chance to continue in the game. In a game called "Downsizing" where all players must cast votes on other ones and the least voted one is eliminated, she is put in a dire situation when she is tricked by Yuji Fukunaga, the same dangerous player they faced in the second round and she must count with Akiyama's help to escape his trap.</td></tr>

    <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol04">04</td></td><td> May 18, 2007[6]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-08-877273-8</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; "><td colspan="3">
    • 029. "Game III"
    • 030. "Contraband"
    • 031. "Head Start"
    • 032. "Chicken"
    • 033. "Yokoya"
  • 034. "Clairvoyance"
  • 035. "Confrontation"
  • 036. "Division"
  • 037. "Discovered"
  • 038. "Confession"
  • </td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Nao, Akiyama and the seven remaining players from the revival round must participate in the third round as a team in a game entitled "Contraband" where the team who manages to smuggle more money through the other team's vigilance wins. But the opposing team is commanded by the mysterious Norihiko Yokoya who claims to have Clairvoyance powers, and easily obtain a headstart upon them.</td></tr>

    <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol05">05</td></td><td> September 19, 2007[7]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-08-877328-5</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; "><td colspan="3">
    • 039. "Recollection"
    • 040. "Counterattack"
    • 041. "Unrest"
    • 042. "Experiment"
    • 043. "Strategy"
    • 044. "Miscalculation"
  • 045. "Pressure"
  • 046. "Confusion"
  • 047. "Reign"
  • 048. "Preparation"
  • 049. "Tip-Off"
  • </td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Akiyama devises a scheme to turn the tables against Yokoya but the team is put into serious danger when he uses the same strategy on them first. Running out of time, he decides to use Yokoya's tyrannical rule over his teammates against him by convincing some of them to join his side in a last try to make a comeback.</td></tr>

    <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol06">06</td></td><td> December 19, 2007[8]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-08-877369-8</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; "><td colspan="3">
    • 050. "Interrogation"
    • 051. "Confession"
    • 052. "Scheme"
    • 053. "Caution"
    • 054. "Completion"
  • 055. "Disturbance"
  • 056. "Blunder"
  • 057. "Solidarity"
  • 058. "Discrepancy"
  • 059. "Provocation"
  • </td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Yokoya manages to see through Akiyama's plan to secure their team's victory, or so he thought as the results are announced and he finds that he fell into their trap. Nao, Akiyama and Fukunaga decide to continue the game, determined to free all other players, but when Yokoya is about to retire from the game, ruining various players in the process, Nao confronts him and convinces him to keep playing.</td></tr>

    <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol07">07</td></td><td> September 19, 2008[9]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-08-877509-8</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; "><td colspan="3">
    • 060. "No Way Out"
    • 061. "Simulation"
    • 062. "Reload"
    • 063. "Shoot"
    • 064. "Pitfall"
    • 065. "Insight"
  • 066. "Avarice"
  • 067. "Agitation"
  • 068. "Centerfield"
  • 069. "Natural Talent"
  • 070. "Enticement"
  • </td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Having not enough money to advance directly to the fourth round, Nao, Akiyama and Fukunaga take part in a series of one on one matches against another trio in another revival round. In the first match, a harmless variation of the "Russian roulette", Nao convinces Fukunaga to force a draw in order to ensure that the game would be extended to the third match. But Akiyama's opponent in the second match, a game of poker with different rules, may be more than he could handle. To complicate matters, Nao realizes that the real opponent in this round are not the opposite team, but the LGT itself.</td></tr>

    <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol08">08</td></td><td> January 19, 2009[10]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-08-877581-4</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; "><td colspan="3">
    • 071. "Divine Sight"
    • 072. "Counterattack"
    • 073. "Intuition"
    • 074. "Request"
    • 075. "Luck"
    • 076. "Ruse"
    • 077. "General"
  • 078. "Coercion"
  • 079. "Falter"
  • 080. "Secret Maneuver"
  • 081. "Distrust"
  • 082. "Surrender"
  • 083. "Ambition"
  • </td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Akiyama manages to see through his opponent's plan and wins the second round. In the third match, a game called the "statutory roulette" where one player must guess which number the other chose. Nao tries to convince her opponent to cooperate with her in order to save their team, but she refuses. However, Fukunaga tricks her into believing that Nao can give away when she is lying through her expression and is easily defeated. With their victory assured, Nao and co. sink further into debt by paying for their opponents' freedom, but advance to the fourth match where Yokoya is eagerly waiting to have his revenge against them.</td></tr>

    <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol09">09</td></td><td> August 19, 2009[2]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-08-877703-0</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; "><td colspan="3">
    • 084. "Game IV"
    • 085. "Pandemic"
    • 086. "Agree"
    • 087. "Virus Outbreak"
    • 088. "Confirmation"
    • 089. "Conspire"
  • 090. "Stalemate"
  • 091. "Doubt"
  • 092. "Anxiety"
  • 093. "Differentiate"
  • 094. "Setup"
  • </td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Akiyama and Nao arrive at the site of the fourth round just to find that the competitors are split into two groups whose members must compete among themselves in a preliminary round first, and to complicate matters, they must face Yokoya without Fukunaga's help. In the game called "Pandemic" where "normal" players must make contact with other normal players in order to produce vaccines to protect them from "infected" ones, Both Nao and Akiyama try their best to obtain cooperation from the other players, but their efforts so far are being countered by Yokoya's schemes to manipulate them.</td></tr>

    <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol10">10</td></td><td> November 4, 2009[11]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-08-877769-6</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; "><td colspan="3">
    • 095. "Overturn"
    • 096. "Split"
    • 097. "Trust"
    • 098. "Selflessness"
    • 099. "Check"
    • 100. "Lookout"
  • 101. "Bribery"
  • 102. "Closure"
  • 103. "Contest"
  • 104. "Musical Chairs"
  • 105. "Strategy"
  • </td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Yokoya plans to take revenge at Akiyama by having Nao as the only eliminated player in the preliminary round, but once again his efforts to obtain victory by corrupting the other players are thwarted by the duo and he is forced to cooperate with them. Qualified for the fourth round, a modified version of the "Musical Chairs" game, Nao and Akiyama find that Fukunaga is among the players who failed to qualify, and the only advice he can give to them is that one of their opponents is an old man who can become a threat even more serious than Yokoya himself.</td></tr>

    <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol11">11</td></td><td> February 19, 2010[12]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-08-877805-1</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="3">
    • 106. "Deception"
    • 107. "Maneuver"
    • 108. "Friendship"
    • 109. "Medals"
    • 110. "Foundation"
    • 111. "Bonds"
  • 112. "Union"
  • 113. "Recapture"
  • 114. "Surprise Attack"
  • 115. "Abstaining"
  • 116. "Cause"
  • </td></tr>

    <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol12">12</td></td><td> May 19, 2010[13]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-08-877851-8</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF;"><td colspan="3">
    • 117. "Breach"
    • 118. "Ambush"
    • 119. "Alliance"
    • 120. "Puppeteer"
    • 121. "Dummy"
    • 122. "Logical Reasoning"
  • 123. "Turn Around"
  • 124. "Chance"
  • 125. "Demons"
  • 126. "Heartless"
  • 127. "Betrayal"
  • </td></tr> </table>

    Chapters not yet in tankōbon format

    • 128. "Prediction"
    • 129. "Rift"
    • 130. "Negotiations"
    • 131. "Make & Break"
    • 132. "Trickster"
    • 133. "Under Control"
    • 134. "Counterattack"
    • 135. "Shorn"
    • 136. "Overwhelming"
    • 137. "Unity"

    TV Drama

    Liar Game was adapted into a live action series directed by Hiroaki Matsuyama, Ayako Taiboku, and began airing in Japan on April 14, 2007. It featured Erika Toda as Nao Kanzaki, and Shota Matsuda as Shinichi Akiyama, and showed up to the third game. Liar Game was overall 11 episodes long, with its finale 3 hours long, which is a first for a drama series.[14] It has also gained the second highest viewer satisfaction rating, for the season, in an Oricon survey.[14] In April 2009, a second season of the drama adaptation and a live action movie were announced.[15] The second season began airing in November 2009 and concluded on January 19, 2010. The movie debuted on March 6, 2010.

    References

    1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Script error
    2. 2.0 2.1 Script error
    3. Script error
    4. Script error
    5. Script error
    6. Script error
    7. Script error
    8. Script error
    9. Script error
    10. Script error
    11. Script error
    12. Script error
    13. Script error
    14. 14.0 14.1 "'LIAR GAME' drama gets 3-hour finale". May 29, 2007. Retrieved October 2, 2009. 
    15. "Liar Game Manga Made into 2nd TV Drama Season, Film". Anime News Network. April 23, 2009. Retrieved October 2, 2009. 

    External links

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