Not all manga need long, mulit-volume stories to be great. In fact, some stories are better when they are left short and sweet, allowing you to take in the full emotional weight of its story in one go. The Gods Lie is exactly that type of manga, and even though it is only one volume long it is perhaps the single best volume I have read this year. No joke, it perfectly told its story in just 5 chapters leaving me with all kinds of emotions. Easily one of the best single volumes of manga from this year.
Published By: Vertical Comics
Story and Art By: Kaori Ozaki
The Gods Lie follows the story of Natsuru Nanao and Rio Suzumura as they bond together over summer vacation. Both are 6th graders who have had a pretty rough life. Natsuru currently lives alone with his mother, his father had passed away when he was younger. Rio lives alone with her younger brother while they wait for their father to come home from crab fishing in Alaska. Perhaps its this mutual understanding of loss that allows both of them to connect on such an emotional level, but its not the only thing that drives their friendship.
The story doesn’t really dive too deep into themes of loss in the opening chapters of the volume, but instead works on developing the relationship between Natsuru and Rio. I found these early chapters to be quite enjoyable, often putting a smile on my face as I read through them. Seeing their relationships grow over the coarse of their short summer vacation was satisfying to see in a medium that is often contempt with dragging out a romance. Its a young, pure romance that really warms the heart as you read it.
The pure joy and peacefulness of the early chapters soon transition into deeper, and darker emotions. As the truth as to why the two kids are alone comes to light you start to feel incredibly pitiful for them. It is hinted in early chapters that something is not right, in a quite heavy handed way honestly (Natsuru complains of a funny smell around the house at one point). Though the big discovery did not necessarily shock me because of these hints, it was still disturbing to see when it happened.
All in all I found The Gods Lie quite an amazing read. It’s hard to go into detail about such a short series without trying to spoil anything, but I hope I was at least able to convey some of the feelings I had as I read through it. Perhaps a more in depth (and spoilery) discussion is at hand in the future… For now though, just know that The Gods Lie is certainly worth the read.
Reccomendation: Read It