Manga Adventures: 7 Billion Needles by Nobuaki Tadano

In my reading the thing I’m pickiest about is manga. I think it’s because it’s where I first started in my early stages before I got back fully into comics so when I find a manga I like I’m not hesitant at all to tell people I like it. I just finished reading 7 Billion Needles by Nobuaki Tadano and it’s inspired by book by Hal Clement called Needle. The best way to put this book to you is you have this anti-social school girl named Hikaru who gets this entity of sorts inside her through means I won’t totally spoil for you named Horizon. Now what Horizon is after is a being named Malestrom. Best way to put Malestrom is it likes to kill. Oh man does it like to kill. When it possesses the body of one student and there’s a few images in the book itself that gave me the creeps. When I read some parts I couldn’t help but say, “Holy s-word!” and just keep going.

The character that you follow being Hikaru and her dealings with Horizon are funny to behold. She just things initially it’s just interference with her Mp3 player but heh heh..she wishes. Tadano has this great art style that is one that appeals to me in a book. It’s a very natural style which I absolutely love. What I mean is that the style isn’t the typical manga style so to speak. It’s a very real sort of world to me in the aspect of seeing this brutality that is to come in this title. It can go from fun school aspects and be great in just showing that aspect to this detailed battle and brutality of this. There’s also a reason why the book is called 7 billion needles but I’ll let you all read the book to get the idea of what that means. It’s pretty under the radar too I had remembered reading about it somewhere on the web and I couldn’t tell you how I stumbled upon the first mention but something about it interested me. I was at the bookstore late last night and saw the one copy and grabbed it. It’s published by Vertical Inc. and I love that they released this sort of book. For it being hard sci-fi it’s also fantastically brutal and fascinating in concept all at the same time. I mean yes possessed kids by different entities of course but the thing is the way it’s handled and how it works out is great. The last couple chapters alone are a thrill ride mixed in with great storytelling.

One other thing to mention too with Hikaru is she is extremely anti-social at one point where Horizon wants to figure out where Malestrom is in the school and in turn Horizon has her *gasp* TALK TO PEOPLE! It freaks her all the hell out. There’s hints that there’s more to her anti-social behaviors than meets the eye though. The way they handle it as it goes through and all the people talking around her and she’s just standing alone in the beginning parts of the book sort of show that talking is not an easy thing and connecting is worse. I can understand that sort of thing and as I was reading it reminded myself of situations in my own right. She’s just standing alone generally perfectly content with her mp3 and headphones yet there’s everyone else just chatting along and hanging together. No one is mean to her or anything of that sort she just is preferring to be alone. I like that the book goes in that direction with that rather than have everyone be mean and all that stupidity. I find that hilariously cliche. I just wanted to add that note in there.

To sum this up for you all. Definitely get this book. It is well worth your time. Bonus? It’s only four books long though I get the feeling I’ll probably want more by the time it’s all done.

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About Wesley Messer

columnist/reviewer at rhymeswithgeek.com, geek culture examiner at examiner.com and general jack of all trades in everything else.

Posted on October 22, 2010, in Graphic Novels, Manga and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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