Book Review: Judge Volume 2

November 24, 2013


Well, this is certainly surprising. As I said in the previous review, I recently got the last half of my order from Barnes & Noble. One, which has been out for almost two weeks, has been cover and one remains.

The thing that surprises me the most though is that I received the other title only a few days before it should have been released, according to Amazon.

Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called Judge Volume 2 by Yoshiki Tonogai.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.

The first judgment has now taken place and Hiroyuki thinks that things have gone according to plan.

However, things turn ugly when Hiroyuki discovers that not everyone voted for themselves and six of the remaining are trying to determine who to kill off next, as well as lure Hiroyuki to their side.

I am not too sure about this one. After the bit of disappointment that was the first volume, I cannot really think of much that would improve things, unless there was some kind of unique twist, which does seem to occur later on, but due to the fact that the fan translations are slow and it will be a while before the fourth volume, which is most likely where I left off, if the volumes contain five chapters each, comes, I cannot say what that twist would be. I did like how Hiroyuki was shown right then and there that people cannot be trusted so easily. It reminds me of how funny it is that the country I live in easily believed what it's current leader said for him to get elected and they now discover how bad things are. However, I think that is because much of the nation has become apathetic in much the same way the quote in the previous post says are the worst kind. Here, I could not see that much apathy being present in Hiroyuki. If anything, he seemed a bit naive, so this kind of betrayal is something that he needs to grow. I also liked how it was eluded that the executioner was among their group. While having a killer amongst a group of innocent people may not be original, it does give each of the characters a good reason to be suspicious of each other. After all, there does not seem like there would be a way that people could remotely kill them. This also makes things a bit more interesting to me, because even I do not know for sure who the executioner, though there is some suspicious activity in this volume. The thing that I liked the most though was that the TOC did not seem to interfere with the volume, like it did in the previous volume. Even though it is small, it is nice to know that things were improved things only one volume later, where Kodansha did not seem to listen to fans until after so many volumes of Negima! were released. This is what I want to see happen in the manga industry, whether it was Japan's fault or the American publisher's fault for the blunder in the first place. Outside of that, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked. The fact that the characters realize that a killer is among them and the fact that the main character realizes that not everyone went along with his plan did make, as well as the fact that the TOC did not interrupt the flow, this somewhat enjoyable.

Although I did find a few things I liked, there are certainly some issues. However, there was only only one thing that seemed to annoy me. The main character still seems to be too naive. True, unlike Doubt, none of the characters knew how this game works, so they would not know that there was a killer in their midst, but the main character should have been suspicious of everyone the entire time. Just because others helped a person out once does not mean that they deserve any trust. Maybe, if Hiroyuki were actually evil, things will look better, because it would probably be one of the few times in which the reader did not know the main character was evil. After all, in many other works I have read or watched, the most likely thing to occur was a main character was evil, not the main character, unless the audience knew their every thought action, like in Death Note. Still, because this is only the second volume, I guess the main character has some time to either get his act together or reveal his true role, if what the details I can find about this series turn out to be true. While the main character seems to still be naive, there does not seem to be anything to hurt the series too bad.

Despite the fact that things did seem to get a bit better, the fact that the main character is naive still makes this something to read just to kill time. I recommend only recommend this to fans of Judge, since two volumes is not enough to determine the overall mystery.

What are your thoughts on Judge Volume 2? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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