Where lies become salvation in Itsuwaribito

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: TSUWARIBITO PUBLISHED BY VIZ MEDIA
Viz Media's Itsuwaribito will have readers seeing the power of lies in a different light after getting a taste of this story

Can you save a life with a lie? How about a hundred? A thousand?

For the manga Itsuwaribito, these are the questions that will be answered.

An interesting tale of lies versus lies, this manga will leave readers seeing that the power of falsities can be used to save those in need of rescue.

Taking place in an era reminiscent to an older Japan, there exist those who have achieved mastery in the foulest of evils. Stealing, beating, tricking and murdering, these people dubbed “Itsuwaribito”, know how to enact the cruelest of deeds, all with a finesse rivaling the brushstrokes of a master painter.

And the main character of the tale is one of them.

Utsuho Azako, a youth whose truthful nature caused a catastrophe, lies to show that honesty is for fouls. Growing up in a village of orphans, he would cause trouble for those around him with his mischievous pranks, especially for the monk running the village. But one day the monk inspires Utsuho to help people. But even then, he still decides that living honestly is foolish. Instead, he is going to save lives his way, with lies!

When beginning to read, you would not think that a tale of telling lies, would be that interesting or that filled with fight scenes. Lies are just words, right? However, deception is definitely more than a game of words in Itsuwaribito.

Manipulation moves the plot forward with unexpected fight scenes of confrontations between Utsuho and the “Itsuwaribito” he goes against. The intricate web of deceptions is complex and intriguing and range from the simplest charlatan tricks to creating a fake cult. Each battle of wits shows how meticulous the author planned out the lies of the characters to be used against the other and find out whose deceits will come out on top. And even though a lot of text fill some of the pages it is interesting and riveting to read as Utsuho explains the mechanisms behind his lies. Or maybe it's just the way he lies. It is very compelling and even you, as the reader, may be fooled by what he says and does.

Utsuho's charm is found in his incredible wits, genius inventions, and comedic nature. His use of inventions is quite fascinating to read. There are daring uses of weapons like bombs and poisons but used in a way made comedic half the time since Utsuho's goal is never to kill, just scare the wits out of his opponents.

He always seems to have a perpetual smirk on his face. Knowing all the ins-and-outs to outwitting his opponents make him seem untouchable and unbeatable. But as you read, you grow to learn there is much more to this character than his wits. You will find that he is not infallible, he can make mistakes. He will get hurt. However, this doesn't make his character any less powerful, it makes him seem even stronger, more relatable as a person.

The heartwarming aspects of the manga come from the interactions he has with the companions he makes along his journey. What starts out as strangers only sticking together for a common cause, turns into a makeshift family, where acceptance is found even though they didn't even know they were looking for it.

In Itsuwaribito, to get to the truth you must use lies. To save someone, you must use deception and Utsuho is willing to prove it...

Or is everything just a lie?