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Archive for May 22nd, 2012

After managing to get out of the Liar Game, Nao Kanzaki is once again persuaded to enter the Final Stage of the game when it appears that Akiyama needs her help. The game is held on an empty island and it is titled The Garden Of Eden. Along with Kanzaki and Akiyama are 9 other players. One of them is very familiar to Liar Game fans – Fukunaga aka Mushroom Head. The game is simple and all the players need to do is vote by apples into a voting box. There are 3 kinds of apples: gold, silver and a normal red one. Depending on how many players vote with certain apples determines how many millions of yen they win but in certain scenarios a wrong vote could land a player deep into debt of 5 billion and out of the game permanently. If everybody helps each other out, it’s a game in which everybody could win and leave with plenty of money but this is the Liar Game after all. So will Akiyama and Kanzaki be able to overcome their latest challenge or will a mysterious player known as Person X scupper their chances of victory?

I was a big fan of The Liar Game drama over the course of it’s 2 seasons and this movie is a fitting send off for Akiyama and Kanzaki’s journey together. All the traits that we associate with the series is here – backstabbings, red herrings and brilliant twists and turns. Sides are drawn, flimsy alliances are formed and the fun for the viewer is trying to guess who the traitor(s) with a hidden agenda is. Nao Kanzaki is as stupidly honest as she has been in the past. You would think that by now she would have learnt her lesson not to trust anybody but the girl has a heart of gold who sees the good in everybody. Thankfully over the course of the movie we see Kanzaki finally beginning to play the game just like the rest of them. There’s only so much of seeing Kanzaki screwed over that it’s becomes tiresome and repetitive. What I like most about The Liar Game is it’s like a game of chess. You cannot stay on your laurels and you need to be several steps ahead of your fellow players and use various means to find out who is lying and use that information to your advantage. It also highlights a person’s tendency for greed and putting their self-interests first before everybody else.

Shota Matsuda exudes the same cool exterior as Akiyama just like he did in the series. This is a person who knows his character inside out having played him for several years. Even after a 2 years gap between the 2nd season and the movie, he slipped into character easily and so did Erika Toda as Nao Kanzaki. She showed maturity in her portrayal of Kanzaki and we can see how much she has grown into being her character. The two characters complement each other nicely and don’t overact like the rest of the players even though I liked the OTT maniacal laughing of the devious and sly Fukunaga. He’s such a great character. He just can’t help but betray Akiyama and Kanzaki and then when things go wrong begs for their forgiveness!

A brilliant closure to the series or is it? In March, the movie Liar Game Reborn was released in Japanese cinemas. Gone was Erika Toda as Nao Kanzaki but Shota Matsuda as Akiyama returned along with other familiar characters to ensure some continuity. Little Mana Ashida had a role in the movie and also in a one-off drama called Alice in Liar Game. Something tells me we haven’t seen the end of Liar Game and that it’ll be back in the future. I for one can’t wait.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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