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Reviews Comments: Like Death Note, But Actually Good! Liar Game whole series review by Talen Lee

When Liar Game was first brought to my attention, it was under the auspice of 'Like Death Note, but with Con Men.' This was a surprising approach, to me, because I may have intimated to a few people in my circle of friends, readers of several blogs, wiki viewers, and anyone who walked past while I bellowed it from the rooftops that I think Death Note was a very bad series. I tried it nonetheless, and was pleased and am pleased to report that Liar Game differs from Death Note, but actually good.

What Spice And Wolf did for economics, Liar Game does for game theory. It's a very information-dense series, currently incomplete, and goes through a large number of game theory problems. If you're prone to analysing your environment and daily dealings with people, it might just be a bit too Paranoia Fuel for you.

Because the story works by building tension and resolving it, rather than by a never-ending series of one-upped gambits, there's no need to keep track of an ever-expanding ring of second-guesses. Bonus? This means that even if the ending does turn out to be an unimpressive bust, it doesn't diminish the cleverness leading up to it. There aren't any rabbit-out-of-a-hat moments in the games; the rules are explicitly stated up front.

So, if you read Death Note, and figured that all it needed to be a good, enjoyable series was the addition of likeable characters, sensible constraints, an interesting moral compass, plot and a transvestite, then Liar Game is for you.


  • 24th Feb 10
Well, this review got me to read Liar Game, so I'll congratulate you on creating a successful review. Unfortunately, I didn't like it anywhere near as much as you seem to. So I'll be putting up my own review.
  • TalenLee
  • 24th Feb 10
Hey, if you liked Death Note, chances are you're not going to agree with me on most anything that's even vaguely like Death Note.
  • maninahat
  • 25th Feb 10
Seems that way. Any review of the series will wind up comparing it to Death Note somehow. I thought Death Note was only alright, but I still ended up liking it over Liar Game.
  • TalenLee
  • 25th Feb 10
Whereas I thought Death Note was so bad I spent about nine pages talking about how bad it was. Pretty much every criticism your review levels against Liar Game seems as though it might as well be in Martian.
  • Yuen
  • 28th Feb 10
I love Death Note, and I love Liar Game. They each have their own merits and flaws.
  • TalenLee
  • 2nd Mar 10
They do! They really do. People weigh merits and flaws differently - for example, some people will avoid any reference to things they find squicky, and therefore completely eschew a series they'd otherwise love based on a bad scene in an opening. In turn, some merits can be overweighted too - need we look at Fetish Fuel.

My problem is that the things that are merits to Death Note are things that I simply do not think compensate for the things I see as its flaws. Liar Game, on the other hand, eschews the problems I have with Death Note, while maintaining a similar, high-information, think-about-it style. So, while I think Death Note is the strange brown stuff you have to scrub out of public toilets and Liar Game is a wonderfun cake of joy and glee, it doesn't mean that anyone else need think so.

But if you did like Death Note, don't bother with my reviews of stuff like Death Note. Clearly, the things I like, the reasons I have for liking the things I like, are not in the same sphere as yourself.

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