cornerofmadness (cornerofmadness) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Book 44

Livingstone 1Livingstone 1 by Jinsei Kataoka

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one is a strange one probably more a 3.5 than 4 but the art is very good and the story interesting so rounding up it is.

This one, at the moment, is episodic fic with no overriding story arc. Sakuri is a rather uptight, mission-oriented, dress suited agent for Livingstone, an organization that monitors 'psycholiths,' the soul stone. They find souls in danger of straying from their set paths and try to set them right. They also clean up 'stains' left behind by tragedy. These stains can soak a soul and pull it down into the darkness.

Sakuri is capable of unraveling himself so he can read a soul (he also has a computer that has the life plots of everyone in it). He is heavily affected by the emotions he reads. He tries hard to help people.

His partner is Amano, who looks more like a kid. The back cover blurb describes him as a 'free spirit.' However, I got from him more of a sociopathic lack of empathy. Amano wants to kill them all, stop them now to save their soul and let the next life sort it out.

There is at least two attempted suicides and one accidental death in all of this. This has the potential to be a morally challenging book. Is it better to commit suicide than to live with the guilt of what you did and let it destroy your soul and its chance at the next life? Will removing the stains help? The last and longest arc has a questionable solution brought on not by the person holding the soul now but by how wonderful and old this soul is and their desire not to see it tainted.

I'm certainly going to try a little more of this, though I think it might be a challenge to pull off well. It reminds me a lot of Nightmare Inspector which had the advantage of being about dreams which could be as weird as the mangaka wanted them to be. Real life might be a tad more limiting.

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Tags: manga, urban fantasy

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