Home > Manga Reviews, Reviews > From the New World, Vol. 7

From the New World, Vol. 7

Welcome to my slightly belated midweek manga review of From the New World, Vol. 7! Living in the North East these past few weeks have meant being buried under snow, between the shoveling, raking and classes I’ve fallen a little behind my intended Monday/Wednesday posting schedule, but at least I’m still getting two out a week. At any rate, before we get the main event, enjoy these few news items…

And now onto this weeks review of From the New World, Vol. 7!

Cover for From the New World, Vol. 7From the New World, Vol. 7
Story by Yusuke Kishi, Art by Toru Oikawa
Vertical Comics, 212 pp
Rating: Teen (16 +)

From the New World, Vol. 7 is the final volume of Toru Oikawa’s adaption oh Yusuke Kishi’s award winning novel. Like many of the current Kodansha and Vertical Comics titles, this was originally serialized in Bessatsu Shonen Magazine, alongside the fan favorite Attack on Titan and the critical darling Flowers of Evil. Set in a post apocalyptic world populated by psychic humans and mutant animals, From the New World, Vol. 7 brings an end to the trials and tribulations of Saki and Satoru as they engage in their final showdown with the Squealer, the Morph Rat leading the revolt against the human population.

Starting off with the the final volume of a series is always an odd experience. It’s hard to say how well it wraps up the story, or how satisfying it is or isn’t. What I can say is that the themes present in From the New World, Vol. 7 hint at subjects such as classism and the dehumanization of the other to a point where the other is.. well, literally dehumanized. It seems like a rather fascinating and cautionary tale to say the least. The characters, on the other hand, just didn’t stand out at all here. Most of the volume is focused on a final showdown which seems to have been long in the coming, and while it’s certainly interesting to watch play out none of the characters during the showdown or afterwards really grabbed me or had me wanting to find out more about them. Instead it was the world in general that most interested me. The idea of genetically altering large swaths of the population so that you could use them and kill them and replace them however you want is just fascinating. Also, despite not being Japanese and not privy to the ins and outs of Japanese society, this theme resonated with me and I couldn’t help but see a reflection of many situations plaguing us in here in the U.S. These range from the demonizing of lower classes to the dehumanization of our enemies on the battlefield. Not to mention how those in the story going so far as to advocate disposing of potentially dangerous children and replacing them with more obedient genetic duplicates, something I couldn’t help but feel echoed issues of over medicating children for one reason or another.

Page from "From the New World, Vol. 7"

My favorite page from “From the New World, Vol. 7”

Toru Oikawa’s artwork was serviceable but unspectacular. It’s perfectly serviceable and there wasn’t any situation where panel to panel transitions or actions were unclear. While there were some impressive splash pages here and there, including a very striking one of The Fiend in a caver, overall Toru Oikawa’s art failed to really wow me. Splash page aside, the big climatic showdown lacked the visual oomph to really pull me in or make it exciting. Admittedly, some of that was surely due to coming into the tale with the final chapter, but I felt the visuals could have done a better job at imparting the tension and danger Satoru and Saki were facing. The character designs seem to be an interesting mashup of contemporary clothing, fantasy gear and futuristic accoutrements. The animal people are a nice touch and they make a certain amount of sense given some of the themes and revelations in this volume, but they often looked a tad too goofy and cartoony for my tastes, something I felt undercut the threat they were meant to be. This is particularly true when it came to the primary antagonists, the Morph Rats. They’re a weird cross between rats and pigs, and they’re certainly not pretty, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that they were made out of felt and that just off panel was a Japanese guy with his hand up their butts making them move and talk.

Coming in at the last volume of a series is always a little awkward, but if it’s a good series and a good conclusion it will leave you wanting to find out more. More about how they got there, what the conflict was, more about the characters involved and just more in general. When it comes to From the New World, Vol. 7 I was left curious, but not really compelled or driven to discover more.

From the New World, Vol. 7 is available now from Vertical Comics. Review copy provided by the publisher.

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  1. February 6, 2015 at 3:18 pm
  2. February 13, 2015 at 4:57 pm

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