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Liar Game [MG]

2011/06/12

I think it’s about time I talk about another MG.  I haven’t finished reading it and I think it’s not actually done, either (gasp).  I think Liar Game seems pretty popular even though I couldn’t be sure because fanart has yet to crop up on my dA radar.  Apparently there’s a related series that is finished, and that one’s the backstory, titled, “Roots of A,” or something.  I haven’t read a bit of that one, but a little birdie told me that there’s this thing called MangaFox that works not exactly like but basically the same as OM.  I am considering reading it but it might not be the best idea as I do have more productive duties than reading MG.

Summary:

This MG is Exactly What It Says On The Tin.

So I can’t remember their names for the life of me but there’s this Wide Eyed Idealist girl and she gets randomly entered into this thing called Liar Game Tournament.  The goal is basically to not lose any of the ominously large amount of money that the LGT office entrusts to players for, well, gameplay.  Losers go into serious debt .

Her first opponent is some friendly neighborhood uncle who tricks her into giving him her money.  She freaks out ’cause, duh, she’s in debt for a crapload that she, an Ordinary College Student, can’t afford.  She finds this sketch-looking lawyer guy who says she can’t do anything unless she gets a con artist to help her (you know, takes one to know one).  Children, do not try this at home. Lucky for her, prison just coughed up a brilliant ex-con who not only saves her but does it for free as they go one through more rounds in the tournament.

I don’t recall why the ex-con got into prison, especially as he’s clever enough to 1) not get caught in the first place and 2) lawyer himself out of it anyway [Fridge Logic here].  However, he’s clearly not a bad guy as his goal changes from saving the girl’s ass to taking down Nebulous Evil Organisation LGT.  And the rest of the gist is about his battle of wits against evil greedy players [Xanatos Speed Chess here] plus his ultimate goal of taking down the Big Bad.

However, tournament officials start taking interest in the girl as well, watching her go from moron Wide Eyed Idealist to Wide Eyed Plucky Girl.  Up to this point, LGT’s been pretty profitable, but throw in a Plucky Wide Eyed Idealist and you have a Spanner In The Works.  Explanation: if the LGT players follow their greed, the office profits, but if the players cooperate with open integrity, the office doesn’t get anything.  If she convinces the other players to cooperate with her, she can completely unhinge the tournament.

★★★★☆

I don’t exactly like the art.  It’s not bad, actually, it seems kind of fitting, but . . . for one, Asian girls are usually not that [ahem] well-endowed.  And what is with “the smaller the eyes, the less honourable” thing?

I like the whole psychological Xanatos Speed Chess thing.  I’m not that sharp of a person so I’m like, “Smart characters!  Cool!”  It’s not that original now that MGKs seem to come up with an infinity plus one ways to write a psych MG, but I still like it.

I’m under the impression that the game officials see her not as a threat but as a sort of intellectual challenge, so it’s entirely possible that the LGT is the brainchild/experiment of a psychologist with money to blow.  And s/he probably also has misanthropic tendencies.  I mean, wouldn’t it be lame if the LGT office were just a simple evil scam corporation?

I think the story and the concept are how it attracts readers.  What if you could become a millionaire at the cost of others?  Would you do it?  What happens when you throw in people who aren’t selfish and are also capable of challenging an entity like the LGT office?

–edit–

O.K., I reread part of it, had a question, then figured out the answer myself.  So there’s this sub-round where they’re playing poker, and it’s the ex-con versus some other guy.  The opposing player has a ridiculous visual acuity and can figure out where the Joker is.  He starts winning big.  The ex-con figures out that the dealer has a perfect shuffle and calculates how to set it up so he can have the only hand that can beat a hand with the joker.  So my question was: “If it’s a perfect shuffle, how did the Joker end up in different spots?”  But then I remembered that the dealer used a Hindu shuffle (no such thing as a perfect Hindu shuffle, I guess) until the ex-con requests switching to riffle shuffle and then employs different tricks to keep the opponent from realizing that the ex-con was exploiting the perfect shuffle.  Yeah.

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