Kanzaki Nao is an honest college student who receives a hundred million yen one day, along with a card saying she has been chosen to take part in the "Liar Game". The aim of the game is to trick the other players out of their hundred million dollars. At the end, the winner gets the hundred million and the loser is a hundred million yen in debt. The next day, she receives notification that her opponent is her former teacher, Fujisawa Kazuo. She goes to him, seeking help, but ends up getting tricked into handing her money over. Desperate, she approaches the police for help, but they are unable to do anything. However, she is told of a mastermind swindler, Akiyama Shinichi, who is to be released from jail the next day. Desperate, she goes to him for help.
Cast & Credits
It's clever, thought-provoking, surprising and entertaining. It engrosses the viewer from the very beginning, accompanying one through a journey which is at the same time thrilling and disquieting.
The direction seems to have the quality of a dream in mind, what with the dark colours mixed with splashed of blood red, shiny yellow and electric blue. The acting follows the same pattern, constantly over the lines, like a classic theatrical piece, with exaggerated costumes and close-up shoots of frozen expressions.
Characterization is strong too. The main characters and the recurring secondary ones are vivid, clear cut, each one growing and yet remaining the same in substance.
Liar Game is a perfectly staged metaphor of life, with honesty vs. gain at the centre of it.
The music is perfectly chosen, building up when required by the scene, retiring to the background when more attention from the viewer is needed.
Rewatching is almost necessary, to pick up on elements overlooked on first viewing and to concentrate on the overall atmosphere and acting of the show.
The story is fresh, innovative, clever, and meticulously planned out. I have never encountered something like the "Liar Game" before, and just the concept of it makes me excited about this drama. The game's description sounds fun in itself, and I can't help but watch it. The several challenges/activities that the people go through are also ingenious. During the whole drama, I felt stupid whenever I couldn't figure out one of the puzzles. The puzzles take brain work to solve and it was extremely fun following along. Seeing the results was interesting. Because Liar Game was full of so many great and original ideas (completely steers away from all drama-centered stereotypes), I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sometimes, Nao's naivete seems annoying, but you get over it.
And, as a random ending note, Fukunaga is hilarious. Maybe it's because of bad acting, maybe it's not, but Fukunaga is awesome and I find his evil laugh amusing.
I put a rewatch value of 7 because, although rewatching Liar Game /can/ be fun, I lose my excitement the second time around since I already know the results and can't relive the enjoyment of trying to figure out all of the puzzles and stuff. :(