Doubt, Vol. 1

Yoshiki Tonogai. Yen, $18.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-31624-530-2
Tonogai’s first work as both artist and writer follows six Japanese teenagers involved in an online mobile-phone game meeting for the first time. The game they love, Rabbit Doubt, consists of characters playing “rabbits” that must find out who among them is the “wolf.” The new friends get along famously for one night of fun until they wake up the next day to find themselves prisoners in a warehouse and tattooed with barcodes. What follows is one part Saw and one part Cube with a dash of Battle Royale style as the characters are picked off one by one while trying to figure out who among them is the “wolf.” Unfortunately, while the conceit is full of potential, the actual story does not deliver the punch required to be satisfying. The characters are hard to root for and the mystery is not layered enough to warrant the page count. The art is enthusiastic and stylistically enjoyable but some of the storytelling is awkward and the miniscule word balloon tails make it particularly hard to tell who is talking at any given time. For such a massive tome, the cliffhanger ending is a letdown, though it’s not an unusual trope in this genre. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/13/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
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