Manga: Kamisama ga Uso wo Tsuku. (The Gods Lie)
Genre: Drama, Romance, School, Slice of Life, Seinen
Authors: Ozaki, Kaori (Story & Art)
Background: Kamisama ga Uso wo Tsuku. was published in English as The Gods Lie by Vertical Inc. under the Vertical Comics imprint on April 19, 2016. The series was also published in Spanish by Milky Way Ediciones on November 25, 2014 and in Brazilian Portuguese by Panini Comics on December 17, 2016.
Eleven-year-old Natsuru Nanao is the ace of the soccer team, yet has trouble speaking to girls because of a certain event following his transfer to his current school. Due to his father dying long ago, he lives only with his mother but doesn’t let this distract him from his passion for soccer, as he hopes to become a professional player. One day, a female classmate named Rio Suzumura approaches Natsuru, a meeting which signals a huge turning point in his life.
Upon talking with Rio, Natsuru immediately becomes interested in her. After he saves an abandoned cat, he runs into the girl and her younger brother Yuuta on their way to the supermarket and asks if they can take care of it, to which they agree. But when Natsuru arrives at their home, he is shocked to discover that the siblings have been living alone in a dirty house, a secret which Rio absolutely wants to keep. As Natsuru spends more time with them, their circumstances and reason for secrecy are slowly brought to light.
I actually bought this manga (mainly) because the wonderful Akidearest over on Youtube recommended it. You can check out that video down below:
But I am so very glad I did. This story might have been short (in a standard manga sense) but boy oh boy did it deliver! This story was heartfelt, and deep, and meaningful beyond belief. It also has a very dark underlying tone within it as well. You get to that later on in the chapters (but it is foreshadowed in some of the earlier panels).
I don’t do reviews very often, (mainly because I feel like everyone already does them), but mostly because I like people to form their own opinions about certain things (movies, music, anime, manga, books/comics etc). I like people who “think for themselves” so to speak. That isn’t to say reviews aren’t helpful (because they totally are) but I feel like you should read them primarily for a different perspective. Do your research after you have already plunged in head first.
The main characters of our story here, (Natsuru and Rio), seem to fill their roles as “adults” more so then their parents do. Natsuru’s Mother seems a bit childish at first but still fits the role of a caring mother. Rio’s father ends up being out of the picture for quite some time (3 months is what I recall) leaving her and her younger brother, Yuuta, all alone in their household. I guess you could call them “removed” family members. You know the typical “parents are too busy or gone from their children for a period of time” in anime cliche that we always see.
So you have Rio who does everything herself (cooking, shopping, cleaning, taking care of her younger brother) who is growing up quickly and Natsuru who relies on his mother for pretty much everything (because Natsuru’s father passed at a young age). Both of these characters are missing that key “father role-model” in their lives. Which in a way brings them together in this story. They can relate to one another because of this similarity.
I felt like the author tried to pack a big punch with this story in the shortest amount of words possible. While a lot of readers were hoping this story was more on the “romantic side” side of the spectrum, I came to the conclusion that it was more of a “coming of age story” with heavy themes of “drama/darkness.” This story was more relatable to real life more than anything.
As the story progressed the plot seemingly got more complicated than the previous chapter before it. As the reader got more of the background on Rio and Yuuta, we learned what harsh realities really lie with the real world. This story in a sense tries to sympathize with the problems children face growing up and the cruelties of society surrounding us. It tries to convey the struggles to survive in a dysfunctional family, the burden when you are forced to grow up too fast, children facing the truth of mortality of humans and also the will to still carry on despite all the obstacles.
These characters are pretty simple, but yet in the long run they are much more realistic than a lot of other characters in other things. I would like to believe that Rio’s height (because she is oddly tall for an elementary student) symbolizes strength. She is tall. She seems strong and independent and capable. Yet, in reality, she is just a young girl trying to provide for herself and her younger brother. She wants to be loved and nurtured for.
Rio has made the most significant and lasting impact as a character for me in the shortest time. She is not gorgeous, yet she is breathtaking. She is plain, yet she is beautiful. We can easily relate to the Natsuru’s clear dialogue and understand why he is so attracted to such a girl. Rio makes herself endearing to the narrator and to the reader. Rio is the character you are most intrigued by (in my opinion anyway). Natsuru is cute and fun but Rio steals the show of this manga.
I loved the artwork! I think it is absolutely STUNNING. My eyes were drawn to it the very moment I saw the cover. I would recommend this manga on the visuals alone. The characters make it that much more beautiful. This manga is clean, it has amazing panels, and it contains deep meaningful dialogue.
My favorite part is towards the end of the story in chapter 5. It ties in the title of the manga (and I am a sucker for anything that ties in the name/title). It is a scene of young Natsuru and his dying father. His father tells him, “If you’re a good boy, and listen to your mother the gods will see, and I’ll get better.” “So wait for me and be good, okay?”
And then the manga cuts back to Natsuru’s dialogue which says, “But he died…So I must not have been good enough. Sometimes even the gods lie to us. Why? It’s because they love you very much. The gods lie. They lie because it’s the best they can do.” “So I’m okay now. I know. We reach out for their lies and we keep on living.”
THAT RIGHT THERE! Just…OMG all over my feels. My heart was breaking into a million pieces at this scene. I didn’t know if I should cry or be thankful or flip the table upside down. SO MANY EMOTIONS TO FEEL!
If I were to rate this manga I would give it a 9 out of 10. I ENJOYED it that much! I definitely need to add more manga to my reading list. I think the next one I am going to get is Totsukuni no Shoujo (The Girl From the Other Side). I am also trying to purchase the manga of Wolf Children. I love the movie oh so much so I might as well get the manga and add it to my collection. Also if you guys have any manga to recommend then leave me some recommendations in the comments down below! It would be greatly appreciated ❤
Disclaimer: All imagery and photos come from searching for them on the internet. I have no claim or right to them.