Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit Volume 1
Author: Motoro Mase
Release Date: May 12, 2009
ICv2 rating: 3 out of 5 stars
In a peaceful society, the fear of death is used to motivate citizens to be the best they can be. Random citizens are selected to die within a 24-hour period and the Ikigami is the note telling them of their selection. For one young man who distributes the Ikigami, the pressures of the job are beginning to wear on him, forcing him to rethink the ethical aspects of the law. But the government does not tolerate dissent in any form.
Mase tells the story of two recipients of the Ikigami, one who reacts with horrifying results and one who chooses the path that he had previously closed. The graphic violence of the first tale is still effective in its discussion of the effects of bullying, though none of the characters are at all sympathetic. The second story is more heartwarming, but just enough to show that the Ikigami can have good effects also. Mase’s art has a stark reality to it, fitting for the stories he tells. Mature readers should be intrigued by the premise, though this first volume is clearly still just a set-up for where the series will go in the future.
-- Snow Wildsmith