I’ve already talked about what the game of this arc is so if you’ve missed that or want a refresh of the rules you can find that here. In that post I talk more about how to make a really interesting game from a very basic concept and why it works so well, I don’t talk at all about the actual arc from liar game. So I’m going to talk about it now!
First of all I want to say that this arc was brilliant, it was very tense and didn’t have any terrible reveals that feel cheap like in previous arcs. It was fairly simple to follow along and work out what was happening, and the strategies were always interesting.
It’s sort of unavoidable to notice it at this point in the series but you can be very sure of Akiyama’s victory when we are at the finale watching it from the other teams perspective. The idea is that the writer wants the ending to be a surprise reveal and something you don’t see coming. But that sadly creates a feeling of security that we shouldn’t really have. I don’t really know how to get around it though.
The biggest problem with the arc in my opinion was Harimoto who made up the third team in the musical chairs competition. He has a great set up after defeating fukunawa and then nothing really happens with that.
Harimoto doesn’t do a lot for the whole run and comes across as more of a Fukunawa instead of Akiyama. He has no major strategy and is just ignored for the whole time. And this is a problem because for the longest time there was no real plan for that team. Yokoya instigated the alliance and Harimoto worked it out to try and nullify the advantage it gave to Yokoya. The best thing he did was the cult stuff.
Here’s the reason why it’s especially bad that Harimoto had no special plan going on. There was a string of leader elections where Harimoto’s group had three options and at least three times in a row those choices were Harimoto’s chair, Akiyama’s chair or a chair belonging to no one. All of these times they chose the random chair and it’s such a coincidence that I thought there must be a way that they knew what the chairs were. This didn’t happen so it was a huge coincidence.
But that was the worst thing in an otherwise great series. There were 3 teams but a sudden reveal that there were actually four, only to show again that it was actually three and that led to great things. It was such a good idea.
The twist reveal of how the team won is also great as I didn’t see it coming and had a different way of how it would happen. It would mean Akiyama’s group would win the leaders elections and play the chairs in such a way that both teams lost at the same time meaning no one would win and the winner would be decided by a winners elections, causing the guy most beneficial to Akiyama’s team to win.
It did not happen this way, and in fact the way it really happened was so much better than that!
While at first I was worried this musical chairs game would be just running around and trying to steal other chairs it didn’t turn out that way and later the chairs were ignored completely in favor of strategy. The chairs were still important but the emphasis of running to them was not really shown, which was great.
Here’s the thing that I don’t get, why didn’t the extra’s (gaya) chase after the people running for their chairs so that they could get their chair number? It doesn’t make sense that the extra’s didn’t do this as it would have given you so much extra power.
Having this idea would have been difficult to keep track of and would have probably made worse but it sucks that there isn’t a reason why this couldn’t be possible.
In fact I imagined people not hiding their chairs at all. What if you put tape covering the number and just carried it around with you? Nobody can use violence to take it off you (until the end where the 100 million yen downside might be worth it) and you will always have a chair. I would have liked to see that more, either that or a sort of base where everyone had their chair in the same place. It would have been useless but I like that idea of a base of chairs where the number of them slowly dwindles.
Despite all of this the musical chairs arc is probably my favorite so I highly recommend it!