Confession (Kaiji KAWAGUCHI) - Reviews

Alt title: Kokuhaku (Kaiji KAWAGUCHI)

Confession (Kaiji KAWAGUCHI)
Yakoz's avatar
Apr 20, 2017

Asai and Ishikura are expert mountain climbers and also old-time friends. Unfortunately Ishikura severely injures his leg during a climb and cannot move anymore. As the weather gets worse and worse, Ishikura can't continue anymore and asks Asai to leave him behind. For the fear of death, an hopeless Ishikura decides to confess the terrible truth to his friend.. But Asai finds at last an old cabin that translates in their safety! Does Ishikura regret revealing the truth now?

Plus/minus consideration:

  • STORY: this is how a thriller should be like. Events, revelations, climax and, of course, the urge to never stop reading it. In all its simplicity, Confession has everything this manga needed. Some of the scenes inside the house are emphasized a bit too much, making it a bit unrealistic. Still awesome story. (+++)
  • ART: judging by the cover I wouldn't have given this manga too much credit. Boy, I was wrong. I must say that this is not the prettiest of the manga, but the art style works really well and you get used to it fast. (++)
  • CHARACTERS: three characters is all Confession needed to create a great manga. Nothing more. 11 chapters of thrilling experience where you can feel the anxiety and the psychological changes Ishikura and Asai go through. (+++)

I know, this is a short review/commentary, but I feel like this manga is capable of telling you everything it's needed to be said. Unless you don't like the genre, I doubt you will dislike Confession. Happy to have found through our own mangathon (DMMA) this hidden gem. A must read for sure.

9/10 story
8/10 art
10/10 characters
9/10 overall
nathandouglasdavis's avatar
Jul 26, 2022

I'd say that this is a good manga. It's a quick, enjoyable read--a decently engrossing thriller with a minimalist set-up and a few narrative twists and turns along the way. That said, the artwork is not of the highest quality and the internal monologues can feel a little too on the nose and written (in the sense that the purpose they serve narratively can be so obvious that it pulls readers out of any immersion they'd had in the story).

The first half is a lot of internal worrying and paranoia. It's almost entirely told from Asai's perspective, which allows the reader to wonder whether Asai is accurately reading Ishikura's state of mind or not (at least until Ishikura's state of mind is definitively revealed in chapter 4). The second half is basically a deadly game of hide-and-seek, but with one person being crippled and the other being almost blind. Those two impediments made this section way more tense and exciting than it would've been if either of the characters had been in top form. As an example, just look at the intensity of the scene with Ishikura crawling down the stairs in chapter 8. The second half also has some battle of wits elements, which helps the entire manga come across as primarily a psychological thriller with the main action occurring inside the characters' minds.

8/10 story
6/10 art
6/10 characters
7/10 overall
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KR999's avatar
Aug 25, 2016

A taut, tense thriller with an excellent setup and payoff that I would recommend to virtually anyone as it can be read in about half an hour. The characters are nuanced and the tension never lets up until the end when the mixture of suspense and paranoia reaches its climax and all questions are answered. Reading this really gave me the felling of watching a well-written novella or low-budget movie. One small nitpick would be that considering the story some of the facial expressions are overly comic and cartoony in that they do not match the overall tone.


When I first began reading I had two main problems: firstly that the antagonist was clearly the bad guy due to his facial design in contrast with the protagonist. Secondly when the antagonist makes his confession I found it strange that the protagonist revealed afterwards in his thought bubble that he genuinely had no intention of informing the authorities for apparently no reason...that is until I realised towards the end that he too had something to hide! This final twist also served to remedy my initial problem: the antagonist was intentionally made ugly to deflect suspicion from our protagonist who is more of a villain. Masterfully done, Kawaguchi/Fukumoto-san, you got me.

10/10 story
7/10 art
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
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