Book Review | The Gods Lie

Natsuru is a soccer jock who just moved in a new town. He is living with his mom, who struggles to write light novels for a job. He lost his father to cancer when he was little. Circumstances bring Natsuru to discover that Suzumura, his classmate, lives only with her younger brother Yuuta, and she alots Y1000 daily for their needs after their father left to go fish for crab in Alaska three months earlier. He learns that for such a young age, Suzumura knows a lot of things about living, as she is doing all the housework and takes care of her brother alone. Natsuru decided to live with them instead of going to soccer camp because after all, he’s having issues with the new coach. He feels happy that he gets along well with the siblings, and as he got to know them better, he develops positive emotions for Suzumura. Everything came crashing down when in the course of living with them, Natsuru discovers Suzumura’s horrible secret. He tries to help Suzumura conceal it, no matter how it has been bothering him even after summer break. The secret gets discovered eventually and they get separated by circumstances they cannot control.

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The Gods Lie is one mediocre coming-of-age story. What amazes me most about it is how it covers issues of poverty, abandonment and single-parenthood packed in a fast-paced standalone manga, which makes it all the more heart-wrenching besides the horrible turn of events. I expected a darker tone to come later in the story because of the title, but the transition went too quick that I literally gasped upon learning what the twist actually was. One more chapter added before that twist could have made a smooth transition. It’s no big deal, though. Anyway, it’s enraging to think about what Suzumura had to go through, and how she is going to carry those experiences as she grows up. What’s more maddening is that in real life, there are kids who suffer from burden of equal intensity because of irresponsible adults.

The hopeful ending was enough resolution for a short one-shot manga. It weighs heavy in the heart at some point but the ending was overall satisfying. I actually think The Gods Lie would make an amazing anime movie.

(The Gods Lie is available at Eiwa Manga Store.)

My Rating: ★★★★

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