A Very Happy Valentines Day to Everyone! If you believe in that sort of thing, that is. At any rate, it’s a great excuse for moah AkiyamaxNao lurve!! ^__^ <3
Disclaimer: Very informal and almost rant-ish
I won’t lie; the thing I’m looking most forward to in Liar Game is the outcome of Akiyama and Nao’s relationship. I won’t call it romance just yet, but clearly Nao is crushing hard on our outstanding and oblivious hero.
Unfortunately, there are so many hurdles. Akiyama and Nao can’t be on the same team forever, because there can only be ONE Liar Game Champion. Which means either one of them or both of them will be hurt, especially seeing as how they’re willing to jump in front of a bus in order to save the other. And it’s so hard to say anything for sure—Akiyama has an advantage because he’s—well, a genius. On other hand, Nao understands Akiyama’s heart better than he does himself. Even though Akiyama is a master of Psychology, it’s only in matters of “mind” and not “heart” (cheesy I know, but there’s a reason “Love” is considered a taboo word in Psychology). Besides, if Fukunaga became so indiscernible to Akiyama because of a little crush, think about how much trouble Akiyama will have with Nao. Sometimes I find myself wondering if the reason Nao will be able to hold her own against Akiyama in the future is not only because she’s becoming smarter, but because her growing love for Akiyama makes her actions harder and harder to read. (Especially to Akiyama himself, who is a total idiot in these matters. Just how far is she willing to go to sacrifice herself?) Once again, I know it sounded cheesy, but I’m just going to continue pointing my finger at Fukunaga.
(Possible situation: Akiyama vs. Nao + Fukunaga – Akiyama loses, meaning Nao vs. Fukunaga? And then Fukunaga realizes Akiyama’s undying love for Nao and sacrifices himself??)
Okay, so this brings me to hurdle number two: This isn’t Shoujo. Even though Kaitani’s previous work One Outs had a happy and satisfying ending, it wasn’t nearly as bleak or serious in tone to begin with anyway. You know from the beginning the protagonist is going to succeed, the question is just how. In the Liar Game, there are so many forces pushing the story forward (known and unknown), it’s hard to tell what curveball will be thrown when. It’s going to take something huge for both Akiyama and Nao to leave the game unscathed, because I don’t see how it works otherwise (that is, unless Kaitani has no respect for the integrity of his story and characters).
However, even though a happy ending is last thing this story promises, it’s not completely impossible. And I say that because Akiyama and Nao together is just such a heartwarming and inspirational pair! I look at Akiyama and Nao in the beginning chapters, and it’s almost nostalgic—they used to be such different people. Perhaps the reason that we, the readers, know them so well is because they’ve changed right in front of us. Akiyama is beginning to believe in himself more, because Nao believes in him so much. That, to him, is invaluable. Nao becomes a strong and reliable person, because Akiyama was there when she needed him. That, to her, is invaluable. Their relationship is undeniably positive and supportive, and there’s so much trust between them that I don’t see anywhere else in the game. In fact, I’m surprised none of the LGT employees said anything about that yet, unless they’re all very cynical to the max OR Kaitani doesn’t want to make it too obvious.
This is pretty much the biggest reason I love Akiyama x Nao: They’re two people united by dire circumstances, really, but they keep defying the odds and pulling through. They’re emotionally loyal (as opposed to being loyal to ‘money’ or ‘power’), which should have been a “weakness” by anyone’s account. But the kindness Akiyama showed to Nao on a personal level has become a strength instead and vice versa.
Finally: I DEMAND A KISS BY THE END OF THIS MANGA ! @_@