Doubt

The cast of Doubt

The cast of Doubt

Doubt (ダウト dauto) is a 20 chapter long manga written and illustrated by Tonagai Yoshiko who is probably most famous illustrating Himatsubushi-hen, one of the manga adaptations of When the Cicadas Cry.

The manga manages to combine three of my absolutely favourite genres: mystery, horror, and psychological thriller, so I was excited about beginning to read.

Plot

Rabbit Doubt, a virtual mobile phone game of murder and deception, has become popular among youths. The concept of the game is rather simple:

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A group of players, who frequently play Rabbit Doubt with each other, decide to meet up in real life and hang out together. While having fun at a karaoke place, all the players are one by one knocked unconscious by a mysterious person wearing a rabbit head ‘mask’ and brought and confined to a mental hospital.

Early on, they find one of their companions dead with a message on the wall written in blood: “The liar must die!“, the phrase associated with Rabbit Doubt. It is here they realise that they are playing Rabbit Doubt for real and that their only way to survive and escape is to figure out the identity of the wolf before the wolf kills them all…

Opinion

The mystery was extremely well written, to the point that even though I had actually figured out the criminal’s identity before cracking open the first volume, the flow and progress of the story made me seriously doubt (no pun intended) my initial suspicion and I ended up changing my mind about the killer’s identity 2-3 times.

To me, that is the mark of a good mystery; that even though you can be so sure of the killer’s identity, the progress story makes you stop, reflect, cast doubt on what you once believed was true, and in that way keep you guessing, but without breaking the flow of the story.

The setting to me was like Liar Game (deception) meets Saw II (people mysteriously connected trapped in a freaky building), but it really worked for the story and had my pulse rising whenever someone turned another dark corner of the hallway or went to investigate something on their own.

People who know the film Cry Wolf would probably find that one to be the most similar, especially since the main characters play the same type of game (Mafia) and the overall plot is similar.

By the last 5-6 chapters, I caught myself speed reading several times because I just HAD to know the killer’s identity and motivation. By the time I finally got to the ending, I began having mixed feelings though. It was at the same time very exciting, but also rather stereotypical and a bit over the top. Overall, however, I felt that it was fitting considering the plot, so I guess I’m pretty happy with it.

So in conclusion, I highly recommend this manga if you love psychological thrillers and aren’t too squeamish about dead bodies in manga.

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