Home > Manga Reviews, Reviews > 7 Billion Needles, Vol. 1

7 Billion Needles, Vol. 1

by Nobuaki Tadano
Vertical, 180 pp.

Created by Nobuaki Tadana and based upon the Hal Clement sci-fi novel Needle,
7 Billion Needles finds school girl Hikaru Takabe trapped in a struggle between alien life forms that may decide the fate of humanity.

Not having read the novel this is based upon I don’t really have much to say with regards to how it holds up or handles the themes from the original novel. But coming at it with a newcomers perspective I can safely say that it’s an incredibly enjoyable read. The basic set up will be familiar to fans of Parasyte. An alien life form known as Horizon falls from the sky and bonds with a teen, the two must then co-exist while attempting to out maneuver and defeat another hostile alien critter known only as Maelstrom. Along the way we get some ruminations on the nature of mankind, humanity, society and more. The story is flipped however, as Takabe is reluctant to get involved with the situation and has to be poked and prodded into taking action by her alien companion. In fact the first volume is as much about Takabe overcoming her strong antisocial and introverted ways and learning to reconnect with humanity, as it is about the chess game between the two super powered aliens. It’s a very well done bit of growth too and I definitely found myself warming up to her as the story progressed.

Tadano’s artwork is fantastic. It’s crisp, clean and incredibly easy to follow and a treat to look at. There’s a nice amount of detail given to the backgrounds, which helps to give the book a nice of time and place, unlike many manga which seem to occur in a void of toning and white. Tadano also handles the quiet moments just as well as the more explosive action scenes and has a knack for conveying personality and emotion through body language without going overboard. His creature designs are a bit hit or miss though. The initial visual form of Maelstrom is almost comedic, but his second “Feeding” form is fairly horrific with some wonderfully disturbing details.

If the first volume is anything to go by, then 7 Billion Needles is going to be a fantastic read. The similarities to Parasyte are undeniable and any fans of that series should absolutely give this a look. With an engaging story, interesting characters and strong artwork this looks to be fine addition to anyones reading list.

7 Billion Needles, Vol. 1 is available now from Vertical, Inc.

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  1. November 8, 2010 at 8:01 am
  2. November 8, 2010 at 3:21 pm

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