Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Manga Review: Seven Seeds

Manga Review: Seven Seeds

Yumi Tamura is unfortunately one of those underrated not-very-well-known manga authors, which is a crime because she should be known wide and far. Her other works include Legend of Basara (which I should review later) and Chicago: Book of Justice.

What I love about her work is that it technically is considered shoujo (stories written with teenage girls in mind) but her protagonists and story lines are hard core, violent, amazing and brutal. She doesn’t mind putting the screws to her heroines and it makes for an astonishing change from the status quo of sparkly, fluffy Japanese shoujo.

Seven Seeds is the most recent of her work and I admit; it takes a while to really get into it. We start off with Natsu; a painfully shy, withdrawn young woman who wakes up on an island in the middle of a storm with no idea as to what is going on.

From there on we are drawn into a world ravaged by the apocalypse. She is part of a group that together makes the Seven Seeds; tiny pockets of humanity that had been cryogenically frozen only to be awakened when the world ended.

Well, it did – in the form of a meteorite.

As with Basara the story of Seven Seeds is very complex, told through the eyes of dozens of characters, with twists and turns and devastation and horror. The survivors of humanity must navigate a completely changed landscape that is harsh, poisonous and often deadly. And, maybe worse, they must survive each other.

Pros: a vivid, complex and intriguing post-apocalyptic story of survival. Amazing characters, flowing beautiful artwork, and plenty of imagination.

Cons: it’s often hard to keep track of who is who because there are so many characters and so many changing story lines. Eventually the parallel plots line up to intersect but it IS hard to keep track of what characters did what when there are twenty or so different ‘main’ characters.

Some people may not like the artist’s particular style, which is very unique but loose, with sometimes squiggly lines that look more like a sketch than a clean cut look.

All in all, a very worthy manga to read – if complex and sometimes hard to follow. I would recommend looking into anything by Yumi Tamura.

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