14 Aug / Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit (vol. 6) by Motoro Mase, translated by John Werry, English adaptation by Kristina Blachere
Federal employee Fujimoto delivers ikigami – death notices from the National Welfare Program, which insists that its arbitrary system of randomly killing one in every 1,000 citizens will teach people to value life. Fujimoto has been in doubtful turmoil about the death-system, although he knows that being a social miscreant will only lead to his own downfall and imprisonment … so he continues to deliver …
His first victim in this latest volume doesn’t have a fixed address. Yamazaki Kazuma is a “freeter,” a “freelance/underemployed worker,” who left his abusive home six years ago and been moving ever since. He sleeps in all-night internet cafés, in “a booth with a recliner,” and is thankful to survive each day. He follows AkaneBlog, written by a girl barely getting by, living in similar deprived circumstances;, she thinks about entering the sex trade as a final resort, even while she dreams about someday becoming a lawyer so she can “help people in need.” Once he receives his death decree, Yamazaki gets to enjoy life for the first time ever in his young years, but he’s betrayed once again, and plans final revenge …
In the second story, a young man decides to take desperate action against his unjust death sentence. Tomonori Ichijo, the motherless son of a once-famous investigative journalist father, barricades himself in the ward office with none other that Fujimoto as hostage. He demands to a live television broadcast so he can reveal to the rest of the world just how unfairly insane the National Welfare Program is: “This country is using fear of death … to turn us into slaves!!” He certainly has a point … will Fujimoto survive to the next volume?
While we wait, be sure to check out the previous volumes to see how just how Fujimoto ended up with a knife at his throat! Each volume provides heart-thumping adventures … while posing difficult questions about the true value of life. What would you do with just 24 hours left to live …?
Readers: Young Adult, Adult
Published: 2010 (United States)
Ikigami 6 © Motoro Mase
Original Japanese edition published by Shogakukan Inc.