27 Oct / Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit (vol. 2) by Motoro Mase, translated by John Werry, English adaptation by Kristina Blachere
I have volumes 3 and 4 of Ikigami already pre-ordered (although not coming soon enough, I might add) so that ought to tell you I’m clearly hooked on this series. I also wish they were longer, too, but that’s a groupie talking …
So what would you do if you found out your exact moment of death, but you only have 24 hours left to live from when you find out? In the first of two episodes contained in this latest volume, a young film director-wannabe finally gets his big break and must choose between his career and his lover when he finds out his girlfriend just got served an ikigami (the official death paper). Expect a surprise ending – but no spoilers here!
In the volume’s ending episode, a clumsy young man working in a senior home saves the life of an old woman still mourning her husband’s death which happened decades ago during World War II when he sacrificed everything for his country’s honor. The young man’s ikigami arrives tragically, just when he is making important progress in his otherwise haphazard young life.
Being an official messenger of death, civil servant Fujimoto realizes, is not good for personal relationships as he gets dumped once again. He begins to harden his unsure heart, even returning a late video rental on the way to his next delivery, reasoning a few minutes won’t make much difference. But when he witnesses the final heart-wrenching moments of the young man’s life as he saves the debilitated older woman, the system’s Machiavellian “end justifies the means” becomes that much more disturbing. Let’s hope our young messenger can reconnect with his humanity …
Readers: Young Adult, Adult
Published: 2009 (United States)
Ikigami 2 © Motoro Mase
Original Japanese edition published by Shogakukan Inc.