Liar Game

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  • Score: 8.4 (scored by 7,446 users)
  • Ranked: #377
  • Popularity: #175
  • Watchers: 13,013

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Completed
amrita828
47 people found this review helpful
Apr 14, 2011
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10
Liar Game is an amazing drama.

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.

Highly recommended.

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Completed
Goyang
17 people found this review helpful
Sep 21, 2012
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
I have completed over 80 dramas, and have tried/started over 100. Out of the myriad of dramas that I've watched, Liar Game is by far the most original and ingenious dramas out there. Normally, I don't watch Japanese dramas because of the poor acting and slow storyline, but Liar Game is one of few exceptions.

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. :(

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Completed
SeRose
12 people found this review helpful
Mar 5, 2013
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
Well I finally got around to watching this classic. Having heard much about it and its cast, I was no ends of hyped up and ready to go, and this highly marathonable drama was a treat to behold, but while it's addicting, it's not perfect. Intriguing, though somewhat lacking.

The Cool Part:
The games themselves are a logician’s masterwork. No twist is foreseeable, and no puzzle unsolvable to the brilliantly minded Akiyama-san. If you like sitting for half an hour – or two - in complete suspense wondering how on earth they will ever manage to win each round through sheer guile, biting your fingernails in anticipation of victory – well that might explain why it’s so highly marathonable. Matsuda Shota plays his part to perfection as the ultimate silent type: an analyst of humans, ever noting the depths of lies and secrets, and calculating every possible move ages before it happens. You’ll find yourself sitting in absolutely stillness waiting for his manipulations to become clear and work their magic.


The Boring Part:
You get the feeling after a while that Akiyama-san will always be there to save the day. And then, the suspense becomes merely repetitive. Having watched half the drama, the pattern for each match firmly memorized, and my brain starting to unravel to keep up with each game’s rules and intricacies, I found myself spacing out. Fortunately, the drama anticipates just such an outcome. Get lost trying to understand the all the players’ plots and maneuverings? No sweat! Before the game ends, there’ll be at least a 20 minute step by step account of how everything happened, and why.

The Real Crux of the Matter:
Games and plotting aside, there’s something very unique about Liar Game’s premise. The story isn’t merely about forcing poor innocent, indebted people to play a game, practically to the death, financial death. Liar Game instead strives to uncover the heart of human nature itself. As the game’s masterful creator intones: “Humans are willing to betray each other in order to survive. Therefore, what’s wrong with deceiving others from the start or living faithfully for your own desires? That’s being human.”

The world he paints in one of black and white, where the black-hearted will always win, and the weak and pitiful will always lose. It’s the cunning versus the trusting, and the pack against the loner, not necessarily evil versus good. To reach the top, humans should or will be capable of stepping on anyone and anything; survival of the smartest, when the risk is losing everything. You lie or you lose.

In Kanzaki Nao, we not only have the most gullible and trusting character ever written; she is an allegory of trust and honesty, absolutely incapable of lying. To the exasperation of the Liar Game Tournament office (or perhaps to their increasing interest), Nao refuses to adhere to their rules. She tries again and again to prove that with teamwork, everyone can win and advance to the next round, maybe not with a profit, but at least debt free. The catch is, if Nao wins, it will disprove everything our Liar Game creator believes in. But for how long Nao can keep the players working together is the only true unknown. It’s a question not even solved by the end of season 1.

Conclusion
It’s hard to fault Liar Game for any real plot holes, especially when it’s obvious that the entire story has purpose beyond plain entertainment, fun, games or romance. Are all the concepts expertly done? Not always. Is it a little cheesy and overly moralistic at times? Absolutely. Will this be my favorite drama of all times, or will I ever rewatch it? No, and most likely not.

But the characters are generally good, and well acted for their roles. Matsuda Shota is fantastic to watch, especially when he gets his game face on. I’d like to say that Erika Toda didn’t overly impress me with her acting, but when her character is an allegory, and mostly unrealistic – that’s something I just can’t make a case out of disliking. Did it detract a little bit from my enjoyment overall? Sure, but then it was a fun ride and eventually I will continue the story, and finish the game another day.

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Completed
nancydrew
9 people found this review helpful
Apr 19, 2011
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
This drama was really good. The plot was excellent and it kept you constantly on your toes. Each episode had its own surprise, so what you anticipated would be the outcome, would really just be the beginning (I know that's vague, but once you watch it, you'll understand). Anywhoo...if you're looking for a mind game type of drama, with suspense, that's still pretty funny, I suggest you watch this. The acting is slightly overdone, but it works with the theme. Its definitely worth the watch.
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Completed
Jeaniessi
8 people found this review helpful
Oct 31, 2011
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
Watching Liar Game felt as if I was sitting in an old time theatre, observing the characters through a strangely colored glass. It has this dream-like feel to it with weird camera angles and almost optical illusion like colors and patterns. Within the framework of the plot and the other worldly truth of being sucked into a long messed up game of mind, this strange moving picture quality seemed to fit as the viewer watches all the mind games unfold.

The writing is what actually hooked me because anyone who has the mind to think up those twisty games and work out the puzzle of solving them is pretty clever...and then place those different game solving methods into the minds and mouths of their characters. Sometimes I was sitting back thinking...Who thinks up this stuff? 1 + 1 = 2...that's all I know! Crazy smart.

The other thing that is great about Liar game? It is a twisty, mind bendy fun ride. The set up of the games and the way the characters not only puzzle them out but the way personalities are revealed is highly entertaining to watch; especially the subtle growth in trust and dependency of the two main leads.

There is a certain quality to the way Nao and Akiyama relate to each other; the way his attraction to the true honesty in her manifests itself in his own personality. That is all I'm going to say about those two...When you watch you will understand and if you decide to move on to Liar Game 2 and finish with the movie...this element becomes even clearer.

The side characters are over the top and almost cartoonish in their portrayals. I do not use the word 'cartoonish' as a negative word. They are important to the plot and are very entertaining in their own ways.

To simplify...Liar Game is fun! Fun Fun Fun! I did not expect that when it was over, I would be so eager to watch Liar Game 2...but I was and before I knew it I was finished with the movie. Watch and Puzzle and Enjoy.

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Completed
tiitek
17 people found this review helpful
May 9, 2012
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
This drama tries to show us the values of which modern man long forgotten or... worse, does not want to remember.

Acting was good, definitely my favorite character was Mr. Akiyama. The one character which had some backup story-line. I know that drama is a manga adaptation , but why nearly everyone had to be so much overwritten, seriously crazy laugh come on - it's pathetic. Too much is too much!

Music was very nice, one thing that annoyed me in it was "surprise theme" tatadadam.... geez! every time, "something unexpected" happened all character was showed one by one, with the same sound. And that happened a lot... a mean a lot!Sorry I needed to say it out loud :P

Overall drama is good, story is interesting, acting not so poor, and even sometimes funny.

Drama shows that humans are creatures, and among them is a little silly cute angel who tries to save them. Will she succeed ?

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Completed
clearlywatching
11 people found this review helpful
Jul 30, 2012
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
My goodness..this show was fantastic. I really didn’t like the main girl..as she’s kind of annoying and squeaky. But that literally the only downside to this drama, everyone acts so well. This drama is full of deception and betrayal, strength and morals, revenge and love. I was hooked by the first episode so easily. This drama was based on the manga, I didn’t even bother reading that. This show was just fanstatic. The music was well played and right on. Characters were well created and deceptive.

The puzzles…oh the puzzles..mind bending, confusing and loveable. Literrally watched this entire show in a day. The show just gets to you, hooks you and reels you in. Must Watch. And I will watch again.

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Completed
addicted2dramas
5 people found this review helpful
Sep 12, 2012
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
First of all, this drama reminded me of what fiction actually means. The whole setting, idea and premise of its events were highly imaginary. It would be very stupid to try to imagine these scenarios in reality because none of it would fit in our real world. So, by keeping that in mind almost all of its flaws can be overlooked.

The story is a masterpiece. It is highly unique and original. I have probably never come across such a story before. It was something I have never imagined or read about. So, it quickly drew me in because I wanted to know what would happen. Until episode 6, the drama is fast paced and never bores you, but around those episodes it got a bit dull. I couldn't take in the fact that someone could be duped so many times aka the main character Kanzaki Nao. She is portrayed as an idiotically honest person who refuses to believe in anything bad or let herself do a bad deed be it as simple as lying. And because of her morals, she always gets deceived and has to participate in Liar Game's subsequent rounds. While this trait comes off as hard to believe, this is what the whole plot is based on. The writer's idea was to create a stark contrast between goodness and all the hateful and deceitful things happening in this world. I found this aspect simply brilliant. There was a good message regarding that in the ending episode.

While the plot is so good, the characters are overly dramatic. But Nao is a stagnant character and we never really see any sides to her. So that means no character growth because basically, she is supposedly 'perfect'. As I said, the story is too fictional to digest so you just have to accept a few facts and go on with the flow. Apart from this, Akiyama's character was the best. He had more depth and excitement than Nao had to offer. They have entirely different personalities, but what I loved was how he was always there to help her. While there are no romantic hints between them, it could have been explored too. Plus, all other characters were people I never cared about except the game master because his identity was not known.

While this drama has been written well with tricky situations and smart solutions, the direction was rather lacking. The settings of the show weren't too impressive and there was very less lighting. That kind of spoiled the environment instead of improving it. But its background score was pretty catchy.

Apart from all this, I think it deserves full rating in terms of entertainment. It has its less awesome moments too, but the last few episodes saved it. I particularly loved it after episode 8. Those episodes were highly daring and I loved that they didn't leave many loose threads. However, I can see why they decided to make a second season for this because a lot more can be explored. So this is one drama to just sit back and enjoy without overthinking it. Because trust me, I was thinking too much while watching and that ruined a couple of episodes for me. But its rewatch value is good if you are fond of rewatching it, even if I am not. Highly recommended drama!

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Completed
sakurahain
5 people found this review helpful
May 29, 2012
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
This drama really made me think about my morales. I loved that it showed how greedy and deicitful humans can be. But also how trusting and innocent they can be. It did have some lame parts, but they weren't that bad. I enjoyed the twists and turns they put in. Akiyama was the best character by far, he's very sharp. The thing I loved the most about this show is that it really made me wonder about what was going to happen next, I couldn't predict a thing. I recommend this show to anyone who loves a good puzzle.
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Completed
clykmii
5 people found this review helpful
Dec 31, 2011
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 10
I have rewatched this drama and its sequal and the movie 3x each because of its captivating plot. once i finished the first episode i was hooked ,to be honest, the first episode towards the beg. seemed slow but once i finished the episode i was amazed and intriged with the characters and the story. i was left in awe of the intellectual depth of the story, for i had never seen a drama with ,not just a single character, but the "liar game" as a whole have a well calculated plot with unsuspecting twists and complications; which as it progressed became greater and greater. I thoroughly enjoyed this series and out of all the hundreds of dramas and movies i've seen, this to me, ranks number 1.

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Completed
thepinkvoyager
5 people found this review helpful
Jul 31, 2013
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 5.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
An intellectual, mindblowing series that unfortunately grated on my nerves with its over-the-top acting.

THE GOOD
Two reasons:
1.) The mind games
I loved how this drama stimulated my mind. I loved the mathematical formulas, theories and solutions to the problems in every round. It was quite thrilling and impressive to watch. I've often wondered just how hard the writer of the manga and the staff of the dorama must have worked in researching about mathematical principles every day to keep things going. It's not easy to come up with new tricks in every episode, and in very creative ways at that!

2.) Akiyama Shinichi
I just loved how brilliant he was! His tactics were meticulously thought out. Definitely one of the most intelligent characters ever. There were a lot of instances when I'd think that their team would face an inevitable defeat because of a "winning" strategy by the opposing team...only to see him reveal a genius plan that would have Einstein make a run for his money in the end. It also helped that Matsuda Shota looked really hot and good-looking LOL. It's pretty heartwarming to see that he's always so protective of Nao, considering how jaded and detached he is from people. I personally think that they would make a great couple because they balance each other out. But most importantly, they transform each other for the better through mutual trust and support. This is one of those OTP's which I liked who had never been romantic nor will they ever be in the future. I have to admit though...as much as I tried to be understanding of Nao's savior-complex and honest-to-a-fault personality because I knew that she would become stronger and wiser as the story progressed, my irritation with her remained. I guess it's because I often found her tendency to trust idiotic and dangerous. I mean, she's involved in a cynical and sadistic game where people MUST cheat and lie in order to survive. As a result, she becomes a favorite target in the game because she's just so easy to fool. I guess every drama with this theme needs a moral compass right? However, I do think that her pure heart does have its benefits. Her ability to win the trust of her fellow contestants contributed to their team's victory at times. The objective of the Liar Game was to prove the innate edacity and selfishness of the human heart. But Nao's character was made to counteract this belief...and for that, she made a huge impact on people corrupted by greed (Fukunaga) and bitterness (Akiyama).


THE BAD
Like I said, the acting grated on my nerves. I guess this is the problem I have with live action dramas of mangas (except HYD). The acting performance is over the top, to the extent that it gets irritating. The performances of the actors were forced, most notably by the actors who played Fukunaga Yuji (this guy!) and Kanzaki Nao (Toda Erika). I knew it was a live adaptation of a manga so I was trying my best to be forgiving. Unfortunately, there were just so many instances in which their exaggerated expressions grated on my nerves that it was no longer possible for me to fully enjoy the show. The characters over the entire series and movie, apart from Nao and Akiyama, were stereotypical, one-dimensional and suffered meager character growth although this might not be the case in the manga, I don't know, I haven't read anything beyond the first chapter.

The movie, Liar Game: The Final Stage

It was fun. I enjoyed it more than the series actually. Nao finally grew up, the game ironically taught them all the importance of trust and the dialogue between her and Akiyama in the final scene satisfied me.

Would I recommended it? Well, yes, to anyone looking for a mentally-stimulating show. In that aspect, Liar Game exceeds expectations with all those mind games, twists, and psychological battles.

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Completed
Loffu
6 people found this review helpful
Jul 23, 2012
11 of 11 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
I just love this drama!

When I first started watching it, I wasn´t so sure if it was a good idea. The theme is mystery and it´s not something for me....I thought. But this drama is done so well that I didn´t even want to think about quitting after the 1st episode.

It´s a mystery and psychological drama about a game which leads easily to debt. It´s about a honest girl who gets to join a game called liar game, which is a game all about lying, betraying each other, stealing things - all for money. But as the game goes on you´ll see that it´s not only a game of luck..

[off topic - there was a big spider in my room..scary!!!!]

But the drama was interesting every hour, minute and second I watched it. Absolutely no regrets! I enjoyed it and after every episode I was surprised that I wanted to see another and another.

You, who you are reading this now and thinking if you should watch it. It´s nothing more harder to say it: YOU HAVE TO WATCH IT. It´s definitely (I don´t hesitate at all) the most INTERESTING, the most DIFFERENT and catchy thing I have ever seen. If you watch it, you won´t regret.

The story is just so good, you´re gonna enjoy the actors there (they´re perfect and do their job just so well), I loved everything. That´s why I watched 5 episodes a day. 5x45 minutes = 3,5 hours a day. I JUST LOVED IT.

I swear you won´t regret it. Watch the drama now. I am confident that you all would love it ?

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