YMMV: Liar Game

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Nao is tricked, in more than a few occasions, by someone who immediately turns on their heel and highlights just how much of a jerk they are. Nao, when she tricks someone, is an angel descending from heaven with the keys to economic freedom in one hand and the great chain in the other. This is perhaps best noted as part of the game's Gray and Gray Morality.
    • The difference is; The ones who tricks Nao usually will happily gloat about it to the point of making the listener sick, while Nao, even after tricks people, will always be honest with her ''real'' intention: to save everyone. Oh, and Nao is indeed cute - so it seems that the core of it isn't 'lying is bad' as much as 'don't be a douche.'
    • Further, the people that Nao tricks never suffer any ill effects - Nao and Akiyama always pay off all their debts afterward. Unless the subject was greedy and looking to turn a profit, being tricked by Nao gives them exactly what they wanted in the first place.
    • The moral is not that tricking people or lying to them is inherently bad. The moral is that acting in a purely selfish manner is a losing strategy in the long run, even if it seems rational in the short run. There's no dissonance given that basically every single game demonstrates that moral. In fact, when the bad guys 'win', it's because they worked as a group (even if due to coercion or effectively, brainwashing). No one wins purely on their own merits.
  • Anvilicious: Not that this is bad.
  • Broken Base: The ending. Some readers think that resorting to a Government Conspiracy as the reason behind the creation of the Liar Game was lazy and cliche, and that having that same conspiracy immediately censor the game footage worldwide made everything a Shaggy Dog Story (or a very hastily-done Sequel Hook). Others think that it added an interesting dimension of humanity and ideological complexity to the people behind the Liar Game, and are hoping for a sequel where Akiyama and Nao work to take down said Government Conspiracy.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Fukunaga
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: In the drama, the Capsule song "Flash Back" starts up every time Akiyama ends up turning the tables. The movie covering the finals of the tournament may get another one with its theme song, "Love or Lies."
  • Freud Was Right: The fact that Akiyama is so attached to Nao due to her being incredibly similar to his mother - both in looks, and personality. Yikes.
  • Magnificent Bastard: The whole story is Sorting Algorithm Of Magnificent Bastard.
  • Narm: Yokoya screaming in agony at the Season 1 finale of the J-Drama. The many over-the-top facial expressions in the manga are rather hard to take seriously as well.
  • Moe: Nao can be a far more subtler example of this as the series continues, particularly during the Second Revival Round.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Raise your hand if you found Nao annoying before the Contraband Game. Then raise your leg if Character Development made you respect her. And sorry, we don't have analgesics for you.
  • Schedule Slip: The manga went on a hiatus for about a year and a half.
    • Then it came back, took frequent breaks, and went on hiatus again.
  • Tear Jerker: Fukunaga's Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Villain Decay: Definitely averted so far.
  • What an Idiot: Nao, in almost everything she does at first. Fukunaga comments on this at the end of the first period in the fourth round.
    • "This girl really is...a flaming idiot."
      • Subverted and eventually averted. Subverted in that Nao is actually extremely intelligent, but she allows her tendency to believe the best in people cloud her judgement and never seems to get particularly angry when she falls for traps. Averted later in the manga when she becomes one of the best players in the liar game.
  • The Woobie: Abe. Beaten by her stepfather and told right to her face by her own mother that she shouldn't have been born.