From the New World Vol. 1 (Vertical)


Rating: 5/5 – This is Everything I’ve Ever Wanted in a Manga

From the New World, like many manga, existed first in light novel format, and was then turned into an anime. For this manga adaptation, they’ve brought in “rookie comics artist Toru Oikawa” (their words, not mine). I’m calling it right now, people…if Toru Oikawa is what the manga world considers a rookie, we all need to pack up our pens and pencils and call it a day. The artwork in this book will positively astound you.

In a future where children know magic, five friends embark on a journey to learn more about the world outside the tiny enclave that has been their home for most of their natural lives. And the feel-good vibes stop right about there, because underneath this seemingly innocent voyage of discovery there’s a growing sense that the adults don’t necessarily have their children’s best interests at heart. That truth, and many others, lie in wait for the children as they venture out into this strange new world that they may not be completely prepared to experience.

This is everything that I buy manga for. A world, built on what I’m guessing are the ashes of our own, where everything down to what people have for meals has been meticulously thought out and planned by the series creator. Jaw-dropping artwork that belongs on a larger paper size (my only real criticism of this book) that you could spend hours feasting on with your eyes. Characters you actually give a damn about…where every life is precious and you’re highly emotional when tragedy strikes, either to the group or an individual.

The book carries a 16+ rating, for good reason. The world in From the New World is quite violent, sinister, and not at all what it seems. In addition, there’s a romantic relationship going on between two female characters that gets fairly graphic. Most of you have already stopped reading this review and have gone to put it on your review list after that last sentence, but let me take a moment to point out that what you’re getting is a bit beyond mere fanservice. Yes, there’s nudity. Heck, there’s out and out sex going on…but for a reason. While these graphic images may titillate some readers, they actually play a role in developing the story.

Rarely does any book, manga or otherwise, deliver everything I’m asking a comic to give me. From the New World – at least this first volume – has done it.

Reviewed by: Al Sparrow – Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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