Apparently, Judge is a poor substitute for the original, Doubt, which may explain why the library was weeding this particular manga from it’s shelves. I haven’t read Doubt, so I had nothing to compare it to.
Here’s the back cover copy of the volume I have:
“Envy, Lust, Sloth, Wrath, Gluttony, Pride, Greed. A group of sinners who bear the guilt of the deadly sins has been gathered in an old courthouse to face judgement. To leave this place alive, thy must offer up a sacrifice–one of their number. As the trial begins, who will the gavel fall on first?”
Interestingly, Baka-Updates has something completely different:
“A young man, driven by jealousy over love, tells a lie that accidentally results in the death of his older brother. Some time later, Hiro is kidnapped and confined to a room with eight other people, each wearing a grotesque animal mask. Their kidnapper informs them that their time has come to be judged for their “sins”–and that they will have to judge one another. Every twelve hours, the captives must choose who among them will die…and only four will remain alive when all is through…”
Between the two of these, you have a pretty good idea of the plot.
I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of this kind of set-up–the sort of Hunger Games, you’re all trapped somewhere and are forced to fight to the death, thing. Maybe it’s the whole teenagers killing each other thing that bugs me, or, perhaps, I just don’t care for how bleak the situation is.
I’m not a huge horror fan, in general. I do prefer psychological horror to slashers, which, I guess, from having read a summary of the whole series, this is both.
I do like the clever addition of the relationship to each of the deadly sins (though it drove both Mason and I absolutely spare that there are seven sins, but NINE people on the cover. If you look closely, you’ll see there are seven distinct masks.) There is some fun trying to guess who is guilty of which sin based on their behavior and their masks, but… I dunno. I guess the best I can say is that this didn’t quite grab me, alas.
Apparently, it was well-received enough in Japan, that there’s a live-action film:
There’s nothing wrong with it, per se. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right headspace for it, but I think, if I were you and you wanted to try out this mangaka’s work, I might check out Doubt, instead… which my library did keep.
This one is going out in the little free library. Someone will like it, I’m sure.