Liar Game

Christina and I just finished watching a Japanese TV series called “Liar Game.” It was very interesting. I’d like to write a summary and explain the ties to Christianity. At the end, I will also report some encouraging news.

The show centered around a young woman named Nao Kanzaki who goes home to find the equivalent of $1 million dollars sitting on her doorstep. The note attached reads: “if you open this, then you agree to participate in the ‘Liar Game.’” Being an extremely honest girl, she promptly takes the money to the police who tell her that they can do nothing since it was a gift. She then discovers her instructions are to steal the $1 million from her elementary school teacher.

***Warning: Spoilers below this point***

Seeing that she has no choice, she approaches her teacher for advice, who offers to “take care of her money” until the time is up to return it to the game officials. Bringing him a thank-you gift (super-common here in Japan), she overhears him on the phone explaining that he’s stolen her money and will be twice the richer when the round has ended. Perplexed, she searches for help in the form of a former swindler, Shinichi Akiyama. He makes this show very entertaining.

He agrees to help her for one-half of her $1 million prize money. He comes up with a brilliant plan to take both her money and the teacher’s, and successfully wins the round. However, when she realizes that her teacher must pay $1 million to the game officials, Kanzaki takes her half of the winnings and gives it to the teacher who tried (and succeeded) to deceive her. Seeing her kindness, the swindler does the same. Thus leaving them with no wins or losses. However, in order to withdraw, they must pay the officials $500,000. Not having any money left, she is forced to continue the game, the second round being much different from the first.

The show continues on like this, with Akiyama trying to discover what the true motive is behind such a game. When we saw the conclusion tonight, we learned that the creator of the game was solely interested in this innocently honest girls reaction to greed, money, and deception. He believed that everyone was bad at heart. However, she consistently proved him wrong. In the end the games creator, who had done many bad things, was overjoyed with the thought that someone could remain pure through such temptation and trials.

I believe this is the true desire of the Japanese heart. They want to believe that such a person can exist. They want to believe in a savior. It was so interesting to see the relationship to Christianity that I had to write about it. I encourage anyone interested to watch this show. If you need help getting it, email me.

So the good news is that in our Thursday evening college meeting, one of the students told me this week that he wants to study the Bible. I was blown away by such a remark, but very excited. Please pray for this young man. His name is Kota. And also, please pray for me as I try to meet with him and share the Word. I am so excited by this opportunity!

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