Thursday, May 9, 2019

Manga Mini-Reviews: Tohyo Game: One Black Ballot to You by G.O., Chihiro, and Tatsuhiko

Shuusuke Takayama starts at a new class where Kazuto Satou creates a popularity concert targeting the girls. While it's just a joke, people start dying due to mysterious circumstances. The vote is at fault and the stakes keep getting higher and higher while the class size shrinks.

* Tohyo Game 1

Tohyo Game feels familiar, combining elements of The Ring, Battle Royale, and Final Destination. The concept of a popularity based fatal vote is interesting, but comes off as exploitative of one side. The popularity contest is bad already but on top of that, invasive photos of the girls in states of undress are posted alongside their names. This veers into disgusting territory that isn't really addressed. This and random nudity serve no purpose other than fan service that just annoyed me. In addition, Kazuto is only seen as a well meaning joker even though he invaded these girl's privacy and subjected them to humiliating public scrutiny. I couldn't help but roll my eyes at this boys will be boys crap. The girls are seen as to blame for the second poll even though they were victims of bullying, harassment, and exploitation in the first poll. The boys are not given near the same treatment and it's pretty misogynistic.

The characters are paper thin with little introduction  and even less development. I wasn't attached to them at all when they died. The story didn't have much substance at all beyond interesting kills. The only positives are the detailed, gruesome deaths with some unique methods and the mystery. Every prediction they made was wrong and it was pretty fun to see total failure over and over from awful characters. I'm not impressed with this at all, but I bought all three volumes at the same time, so I may as well finish.

My rating: 2/5 fishmuffins

* Tohyo Game 2

In the second installment, the rules are finally cemented, but they are a bit numerous to remember without flipping back to it. On the bright side, the action starts right away. The group debates about sacrifices to minimize the deaths. Marina is the only one with a flippant attitude and completely willing to murder people to win. The method of voting gets more and more specific and varied, leading to loopholes, and unexpected revelations.

Unfortunately, there are way more things that bothered me. Suddenly, one of the classmates, Shougo, is the grossest character ever. His exploitation and rape of a vulnerable classmate are graphically portrayed for no real reason and persists through most of the story. I don't remember him at all from the first book. When he seemed like a clear choice to kill, others would say that no one deserved to be killed after they just picked a sacrifice that was an innocent girl. Their sudden change of heart had me rolling my eyes. There are moments of nudity and Marina in her bra for no reason. It's just gross. Parts of the story improved like the pacing, but the misogynistic parts are magnified.

My rating: 1.5/5 fishmuffins

* Tohyo Game 3

In the last installment, events are at their most extreme. There is so much insane weirdness smashed between the covers of this book, it's ridiculous. It begins with the boys delivering their million yen to the girls as their vote. Then, the girls have to have sex with the boy they vote for. This is disgusting on so many levels. First, the boys have to get around $8,000 which is no small feat, but the girls have to either have sex with one of the five boys chosen or die. And they still might die if that person has the lowest amount of votes. It really goes off the rails after this with reveals about the previous games, incest, and escalating to murder and dismemberment. Cops finally get involved, but they essentially do nothing besides filling in some exposition. Otherwise, they were useless when there are dead bodies popping up at that school all the time. One reveal at the end was unexpected, but the rest was a mess of offensive and poorly thought out. At the very end, a meaning to be humorous cartoon compares all the high school students' breasts in the most objectifying, dehumanizing way. I won't be reading anything else by these creators.

My rating: 0.5/5 fishmuffins

No comments: