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Liar Game (2007)
Name ライアーゲーム / Liar Game
Country Japan
Director Hiroaki Matsuyama, Ayako Oki, Yasushi Ueda
Writer Shinobu Kaitani (manga), Osho Furuya
Transmitted 14th April 2007 to 23rd June 2014
Cast Toda Erika, Matsuda Shota, Suzuke Kosuke
Details 11 episodes
Themes Swindling, debt, trust
Links Asian Wiki
Based on a Japanese manga about a naive college student who gets enmeshed into a mysterious game where the players lie and cheat each other for large sums of money. Compared with the Korean remake this version is more mythic and archetypal, a battle between good and evil, a battle between trust and distrust. The acting may be over-acting but it fits the production, the melodrama.

The series wins on a number of levels. There is the swindling and lying and cheating and gambling itself, with the arrogant hero saving the heroine perpetually in peril. There is an open subtext about trust, the risks of trusting, and what distrust and disbelief do. The visual impact (perhaps from the manga itself?) is high.

The weak point is episodes 9 and 10 which recap a lot of the previous material while giving the background to the Liar Game.

Overall I loved this!