While the death game genre of manga has taken a bit of a backseat, thanks to the explosion of isekai, these stories do still occasionally get licensed. Today I’m here to look at the new series Your Turn to Die: Majority Vote Death Game from Yen Press to find out if it offers an exciting read.
Our story follows Sara Chidouin and her friend Joe Tazuna, who might be the most selfless person Sara has ever met. He even gave up on a date just to help a stray cat find a new owner! Sara’s life is relatively carefree, but lately, she’s noticed someone stalking her. If she were to tell Joe this, would he help her?
Well, Sara is about to find out just how much she can trust Joe when the two are attacked one night on their way home from school. The two wake up strapped to tables and tasked with freeing themselves with a single key which once used won’t work on the other’s restraints. Whoever doesn’t get free is faced with dying a gruesome death unless another path to freedom can be found.
By thinking outside the box, Joe manages to save himself and Sara and, once safe, they discover that others are being held captive like they were (a group of eleven in all). Together, the cast must solve more puzzles if they wish to gain their freedom and those who fail will be killed.
The next task is to find pieces of a doll, which they then need to assemble. However, there are plenty of traps waiting for them and even beyond that, can everyone be trusted? The culprit behind their imprisonment could be here among them.
So far so generic in terms of Your Turn to Die’s set-up. Throwing a bunch of characters together, most of whom have never met is nothing new for the death game genre and within this first volume, we don’t truly get to know anyone except for Sara and Joe. This does the manga no favours in terms of getting us attached to the cast, but that’s not the only problem with them either.
Perhaps because the series is based on a mobile game, all of the characters have outlandish designs and flat personalities. You have the nervous girl, the muscle guy, the policeman and the eccentric one. Because the first volume does little in developing them, it becomes even easier to stereotype them, which is a shame.
Even Joe and Sara, who we spend the most time with, are fairly two-dimensional. It’s never explained why Joe is such a good-natured guy, and Sara’s reasoning for being so close to him is also quite shallow. It just isn’t convincing enough, which is a shame for a series like this where you need to care about the cast for it to work.
Your Turn to Die is adapted to manga form by Tatsuya Ikegami (who has one other work to their name in Japanese). As far as the artwork goes, I do like Ikegami’s work which successfully conveys the drama and tension of the situation the cast find themselves in. While there can be quite a lot of small panels filled with dialogue, the most important shots almost always make use of a full page. If I liked the cast more then I would certainly be happy to stick with the manga, based on the capable artwork on show here.
Your Turn to Die: Majority Vote Death Game Volume 1 comes to the West thanks to Yen Press and has been translated by Jason Moses. The translation reads well with no problems to note. The series is ongoing in Japan at two volumes, but Yen hasn’t scheduled the second book in English yet. This release includes colour pages at the beginning, which makes for a nice reference for remembering who all the characters are but doesn’t help the feeling that the cast has ridiculous designs.
Overall, Your Turn to Die takes the generic death game setup and does little of note with it. Perhaps if you’re familiar with the game it’s based on (which isn’t available in English) you’d have a better time with it, but for me, the whole thing just feels very flat. There are much better offerings in this genre you could be reading!