Doubt Book 1

Since I’ve been reading one “kill them off one by one” video-game-in-real-world title, I figured I’d try another. Doubt has the appeal of depending more on suspense, less on gory decadence.

I’ve actually played a card game similar to the premise here, although in the manga, it’s done with cell phones for that modern touch. It’s called “Rabbit Doubt”. The setup is that there’s a group of “rabbits”, only one of them is secretly a wolf. The wolf kills the rabbits, one by one. The game is to figure out who the wolf is before all the rabbits are picked off. The rather disturbing twist here is that the rabbits might kill an innocent if they wrongly think he’s the wolf.

A group of players decide to meet up in person, recognizing each other by their cell phone rabbit charms. There’s Yuu, the normal guy; Mitsuki, his schoolgirl friend (who hasn’t played the game before); Eiji, the older tough guy; Haruka, the outgoing flirt; the absent Hajime; and Rei, who’s in a wheelchair and used to be TV’s Hypno-Girl. After a night of karoke, the group wakes up to find that they’re trapped in a warehouse and each has been barcode-tattooed.

The double-sized format is a great idea, since the story is a real page-turner. It’s full of twists and revelations, and I sped through it, wanting to find out what happened next. The art and storytelling is clear and easy to move through, although you might want to linger over some of the creepier images, including a scarred rabbit head that appears on some characters.

The next volume, recently released, is the final one, so there’s not much commitment to finding out what’s really going on. If you’d like to explore a chilling story of paranoia, try Doubt. (The publisher provided a review copy.)


  1. I really liked volume 1 but found volume 2’s inane twists to be just be way over the top, even given that fantastical buy-in required from a reader in volume 1. I don’t really want to give anything away, but to call the motivations and characters…malleable doesn’t really seem to capture just how much it seems like the author is making stuff up as they go rather than working with a defined plot path.

    maybe the book was more popular than expected and the author decided to stretch it out to capitalize? I can’t say. If this weren’t presented in two volumes, I’d have dropped it at the 3/4 point.

    I’m curious enough to check out at least the first volume of the similarly themed Judge coming from the same author later this year, but I will be far quicker to drop it.

  2. I haven’t had a chance to read V2 yet, so thanks for not spoiling — although I’m sorry to hear you found it disappointing. But as you point out, at least it’s only two books.

  3. […] author of Doubt, Yoshiki Tonogai, returns with another series about kids wearing animal heads trapped in a […]

  4. […] recommend reading this second and concluding volume to Doubt Book 1 close to finishing the first volume. If you don’t, you might have forgotten who’s who […]

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