Manic Manga: Usotsuki Mi-kun to Kowareta Ma-chan – Totteoki no Uso

Usotsuki Mi-kun to Kowareta Ma-chan – Totteoki no Uso

Title: Usotsuki Mi-kun to Kowareta Ma-chan – Totteoki no Uso
Alternate Titles: 嘘つきみーくんと壊れたまーちゃん, 說謊的男孩與壞掉的女孩, Lying Mii-kun and Broken Maa-chan – Precious Lies
Author & Artist: Iruma Hitoma & Satou Atsunori
Year: 2010
Genre: Mystery, Psychological, Romance, Seinen, Slice of Life, Tragedy
Volumes: 01 (Complete)
Rating:  ★☆☆☆☆

Description:
The setting is a rural city in which kidnapping and series of murders are happening simultaneously. Eight years ago, a boy and a girl were kidnapped and suffered through the hands of their perpetrator. The victims, the compulsive liar “Mii-kun” (the narrator), and “Maa-chan” (Misono Mayu) reunite and start living together, despite the fact that the recently reported missing children were… All information come from Manga Updates.This blog post will contain spoilers please read after the cut if you’ve already read the manga.

I’m not quite sure where to start off with this manga. First of all, I didn’t like it. The art was nice but that’s probably one of the nicest things I’m going to say about this.

I’m going to be honest with you, when I first read the description, I thought I was going to read something actually interesting and of substance. Maybe this will be a one shot about how the victims of kidnappings are handled in Japan, or at least a critical look at their mental health system.

But it wasn’t.

Honestly, I wasn’t even sure what was even going on with the manga itself. Okay, the gist that I’ve understood — eight years ago, prior to the story, there was a kidnapping. They kidnapped Mayu and a little boy, presumably the person calling himself “Mii-kun”. Afterwards, she kidnapped two children, a brother and sister, and keeps them in her closet.

There’s these murders that’s happening around the city. Okay, I got that too.

How do these two connect?

They… really don’t. They kept making it seem that “Mii-kun” was the one who’s doing the murders because all we see is the hooded figure walk away ominously with a bloodied knife and who do we know that has a hoodie…?

And then there’s these adults – a doctor that seems to have a deeper connection to “Mii-kun” than she lets on (and someone who Maya calls a liar) and there’s a detective who’s just there just to fill in the character count.

It turns out that the killer was actually the real Mii-kun who was kidnapped (the narrator just happened to be the kidnapper’s son and who happened to be there) along with Maya and Maya had killed her parents and the kidnappers (the narrator’s parents) and that messed her up, big time.

  • How did the narrator know the real Mii-kun the killer? We’re supposed to be following this guy everywhere, since he’s the narrator, but he’s like “Oh, yeah, I totally knew it was him all along.” Couldn’t you drop a hint or two there, friend? I get this is a oneshot but still – how did you figure that out?
  • Why did Maya kidnap the brother and sister? There was literally no point to this at all other than an excuse for the narrator to “save” her – he had no intention of saving the kids. There was no rhyme or reason for her to do that other than, “Oh, she was kidnapped before. Her mind is broken.” Okay, and? She must have had some purpose for them.
  • Who is this doctor and what is her connection to the narrator? Seriously, what’s going on between them? You can’t really just slap that on and go, “Oh, what a mystery!” Context clues! Hints!
  • Why bother with a detective at this point? She was only there, really, to kill time I guess because there really was not much use for her.
  • What happened to the kids after they got away from the real Mii-kun? Seriously, they kept showing us them each chapter and they kept saying how they were abused by their parents. Okay, but…. did they get away safely? What happened to them? Shouldn’t the detective be worried about their safety as much as the narrator’s or any other characters?
  • Why did the real Mii-kun start killing? They made it a point that, while he and Maya are in the same class together, it’s clear that the both of them don’t remember fully what happened all those years ago. Okay, but why did he start killing then? It would have been nice to get at least his perspective to make this an interesting story so we could at least sympathize with him or understand him better. Why did he pick those victims in particular? If you’re going to have a theme of mental illness, try to delve in deeper than just “selective memory”.
  • Why couldn’t they show the real Mii-kun more often?  They only showed him mostly in the beginning and then at the end, in the big reveal. You could barely see him in between and when the big reveal was shown, it was just very underwhelming. Who was he and why should we be surprised it was him?
  • What was the point of the narrator being with Maya and trying to “save her”? He owes her nothing and he didn’t even really seem to love her. If anything, he seemed only to check up on her since he knew she’s rich and used her as a free place to crash. In the beginning, he seemed to be stalking her but for what? Why? Again, explain yourselves! Why do these characters do anything?

I wouldn’t say that this manga offended me as much as I’m making it sound — if anything, it’s just making me question a lot more. There’s not much mystery. There’s not a lot of romance (mostly because I don’t think the narrator was that much interested in Maya anyway beyond a free meal and housing). There’s not much of anything. There was not neither enough showing or telling. It felt really bland and it felt very run of the mill.

Apparently, this manga was based off of a novel by the same name but I can’t imagine reading something like this in print if the manga adaption irritated me this much. I don’t know. There was hardly any mystery about anything.

I really wouldn’t recommend this if you’re looking for a mystery, or really anything, manga. This isn’t very good and, as interesting as the premise sounds, I have to warn you – it will disappoint.

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