Nao Kanzaki is a relatively ordinary college student in Japan. Her mother has passed away some time ago and her father is in the hospital with terminal cancer. She wishes nothing but for her father's life to go out without any worries about her. The most defining character trait of hers is that she is honest to a fault and also quite naive. The example to make that point is that she brings even a trivial sum of money she found on the street to the next police station.
One day she receives a package with a card from an ominous "Liar Game Tournament". The card notifies her that she was entered into that tournament with a warning about the box in fine print which she promptly overlooks. She opens the package finding 100 million yen and another card. The second card informs her that now that she has opened the box, she can no longer withdraw from the game. It also explains the rules of it. The objective of the game is to somehow obtain the money given by the Liar Game company to the opponent. Whoever has more of the allotted money than the opponent when the game ends, wins. When the game ends the company will come collect the 100 million yen from the box originally received. If you won the game, you can keep the rest, the money you stole from your opponent. If you lost you are in debt for the money you lost to your opponent.
Kanzaki is later informed by another letter that her opponent is her former middle school teacher and that the game ends 30 days from that notice. Foolish as she is, she contacts him and they seem to come to an agreement that both would put the money they got for the Liar Game into a save deposit box. Kanzaki doesn't even think that her former teacher is tricking her until she gets notified by another card that she is currently losing the game by the full amount. She goes to the teachers house only to overhear him on the phone, bragging to the person on the other end how he got 100 million yen by screwing over a former student. Kanzaki now realizes that she is in deep trouble and attempts to hire a scam artist to help her out of this mess.
Liar Game is an interesting manga I've recently started reading. It is kind of like a detective fiction with several tricks and mysteries as in how to resolve the situation at hand. It also has a bit of drama and of course suspense in it. The art however is in my opinion a bit substandard. It very strongly reminded me of the art in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei when Kumeta is drawing non-main characters who only give a slight remark on the side. While in that case it is rather intentional for the sake of stylization and differentiation between certain kinds of characters, here it seems rather like showing the lack of experience by the artist. The faces only have very few lines and little depth to them and Shinobu Kaitani, the artist of Liar game, uses very little shading overall which makes the art look rather two dimensional. I've also seen a few strange perspective changes that didn't look quite right, e.g. two characters appearing to be standing face to face with each other in one panel, and being across the street from each other in the next with no indication of the characters having moved. This page
shows both of my complaints. However, the art appears to improve later on.
Regardless, I think it's a very interesting series and I was wondering if anybody else was reading it. The series started in 2005, is still ongoing and not yet licensed in english (or german for that matter) and thus scanlations are unfortunately the only only option to read it at the moment for anybody not fluent in japanese. However, with the recent crackdown on scanlation aggregator sites, this isn't a safe bet either and never was. MangaFox
still has it. The series was also adapted into two seasons of a drama series, though I haven't seen it.