Saturday, December 19, 2015

Secret (manga, vol. 1) by Yoshiki Tonogai, translated by Alexis Eckerman

In Secret, an entire class was in a bus accident that killed all but six students. Their post-accident counselor calls them in for one last session, in which he says that there are three murderers among the six students. Those three have one week to find a way to answer for their crimes, and then he, Mitomo, will take his evidence to the police. The students all become afraid, and one even attacks another, Odzu, who admits he saw a student standing among all the accident victims after the crash. Another student blackmails that student, telling him to kill Mitomo, but he ends up getting caught. He admits to killing one of the students on the bus due to feelings of shame about a crush and then jumps off a building.

Well, the premise is kind of dumb, unless Mitomo has something he's hiding. I wish I had written down his exact wording, because now I'm wondering if maybe he's one of the three murderers. Otherwise, I can't think of a good reason for him to announce to people who have killed before that he knows what they've done and has evidence, and that they could always kill him if they decide they don't want to atone and don't want to get caught. Also, I'm just generally disgusted at Mitomo's complete disregard for ethics and for the safety of the students he was, in theory, supposed to be helping.

This could have at least been tense and suspenseful fun, despite the problems with the premise, except that the execution was incredibly boring. Also, the artwork made it too hard to tell the students apart. Instead of sitting back and enjoying the story, I kept having to flip back and forth through the volume in an effort to figure out which characters were which.

One thing I wondered: what was up with all the rabbit masks? Sanada had one, as did Shuma. The cover art indicates that they're going to be important, but so far there isn't any info on why certain students have them and what they mean.

At the moment, I have no plans to continue reading this series.

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