The One’s Within
- Naka no Hito Genome [Jikkyouchuu] (2015-)
- by Osora
The story is about the disappearance of many young boys and girls in Japan. All children were kidnapped after they have played the game: The One’s Within. The same happens to a boy named Akatsuki, who suddenly awakens in an unknown forest. A mysterious man covered with an alpaca mask tells him the following: He has to play for his life and the goal (and way-out) is to get 100 million viewers. This is the beginning of the adventure where Akatsuki along with other gamers have to play real life games.
Osora, the mangaka, came up with a fascinating plot for a manga series. All characters are so-called “Let’s Player”: gamers who upload videos with a self-documentary throughout the games. In her story, these gamers have to play such games in real life and are filmed. They have to solve riddles and many other interesting and more or less dangerous tasks. Clearly, the goal is to win these games and to reach at the end hundred million viewers. The variety of the games they have to do are entertaining but also very funny. We also like the appearance of an unusual “antagonist” with an alpaca mask (whose real face/identity is not revealed). On the other side, it is also somehow impossible to take him serious for the reader but also for the characters in the book themselves.
Many suspenses and questions come up while reading the manga: Who is Paka (man with the alpaca mask)? What is the purpose for the gamers to be there? Will they ever reach the goal and if, will they really get out? During the reading, some characters are getting more and more suspicious: Are some gamers there on purpose? Moreover, the manga is also filled with many fantasy but also supernatural elements. For example, the appearance of a (very) big panda bear in volume 1 is hilarious. Other supernatural aspects are the including of demons, zombie girls and a dead demon girl who somehow wants to befriend with the main protagonist Akatsuki.
We have to mention here that ‘The One’s Within’ has many characters where everyone plays a significant role in the story. Indeed, it contains 5 boys (Akatsuki, Anya, Zakuro, Kaikoku and Makino) and 3 girls (Karin, Yuzu and Himiko). All characters have different personalities, strength and weaknesses. We prefer the male characters over the female ones because we think they have more characters depths and are more interesting to follow. Additionally, each character has a different and good background story which is mostly the reason why they are chosen for this real life game. With the wide range of characters, you easily fall in love with at least one of them. A brief aside and interesting fact: almost every character wears a “mask” such as a face mask, a helmet, an ‘oni’ mask, pilot goggles or a gas mask. Moreover, the manga has a good introduction of the characters. Even the development of a friendship between them is very well shown and easy to follow.
Zakuro is very good in playing so-called ‘Stealth’ games. Indeed, he is very sceptical and so he does not trust everyone. One of his weaknesses is talking with girls, therefore he seems to be a bit reserved. He always wears a face mask; the reason will be released later in the manga.
Kaikoku has a reserved personality and does not like teamwork. His strength is the playing of Sengoku games and traditional Japanese games. He is very traditional in terms of food and clothes. In fact, he always wears a kimono and ‘geta’ (kind of sandal made of wood). He is a good friend of Zakuro.
Anya likes to play ‘Beat ‘em up’ games which also more or less reflects his attitude. He easily loses his temper, is very irritable and speaks in an insulting way. In fact, he suffers from sleeping problems which might be the reason of his quick-tempered personality. However, he considers Akatsuki as his (only) friend.
Akatsuki is the main protagonist in the manga series and is very good in escape games. He is good-nature and very nice to everybody even to Paka. He likes helping others with their problems. However, he also seems to be unwary. He has a very cute appearance because of his eyes and (funny) cowlick.
One of the main aspects in the manga is the comedy. Many funny interactions and conversations occur between the characters. For instance, Zakura and Anya seem to dislike each other which cause them to fight all the time. A further character who entertains the readers is Kaikoku because he is neither interested in cooperating with his fellow players nor in participating in games. In addition, the action of teasing others is a further funny element. Especially Paka and Yuzu like to tease the others. For instance, Yuzu shows too much love for Karin just to gain more viewers but Karin hates it. One of the most funny chapter is the one about the ‘ugly panda girl’. SPOILER ALERT: The task was to think of how beautiful the baby girl (in the egg) should be. However, Akatsuki kinda thought too much about his affection to pandas which causes the girl to look like a panda. A further funny chapter is the one in the onsen, which brings many laughter.
Finally, the animation and art of the manga is really good. We love the different colors of the covers and the colored pictures included in the books are fascinating. Osora made a very well job by drawing the characters. In fact, this post reviews only the mangas from volume 1 until volume 5. We really like “‘The One’s within’ and we totally recommend it, because it is one of the best manga series we have read so far.