(Update: Added THL’s review)
This book club series is where people who like to read manga collaborate and make a short insight or essay about the week’s featured manga.
The featured manga will totally be random. A member (or you) will suggest a manga every other week, other members would then post his/her insight.
The essays will be posted every other week on Thursdays (JST) and collaborators would need to limit their writing to about 300 words or less. (Subject to change)
This week, we’re looking into 7 Billion Needles (MAL) a sci-fi and seinen manga that has 24 chapters.
Since this is a seinen manga, the club expected the plot to have a complex and mature story. We reviewed the manga based on the complexity of its plot and the fun factor of the sci-fi theme.
This was recommended by THL. He said he got it from /r/manga.
Synopsis: Accepting only the comfort of her headphones, high school student Hikaru Takabe spends her time isolated from her classmates. However, her life takes a new turn when she meets a powerful intergalactic being named Horizon. As a result of the surreal incident leading to their encounter, Horizon must stay within Hikaru’s body, much to her chagrin.
Now armed with Horizon’s powers of spatial manipulation, Hikaru is dragged into the mission that brought it to Earth: to destroy Maelstrom, a lifeform whose instinctive purpose is to kill every living being on whatever planet it finds itself on. For Hikaru, this not only involves partaking in an evolutionary game of cat and mouse, but also taking the first steps out of her shell.
Yungju (Previously Shirowolf)
7 billion needles is a sci-fi manga and quite a short read but really worth it.
It starts off with our MC that isolated herself from society by using headphones as an outlet to ignore everything that surrounds her. She preferred to be alone all the time and wanted no one to be a part of her life.
It all changed when she met 2 beings named Maelstrom and Horizon, heavenly beings that balance the world.
First, I never thought that this manga would go that far in terms of explaining the things that are happening through the course of events that our characters faces.
It was a bit of a roller coaster ride for me to read, every volume introduced a certain problem that our mc must resolve. Compared to other types of story progression that gets repetitive over time, this one is a bit different.
What I liked about 7 Billion Needles is the interconnection with each other. This helps in strengthening the development of the main plot.
The character development of 7 Billion Needle’s heroine Hikaru, made me read up to the end. She started from being a loner to a friend that cares about others and willing to risk it all just to save her loved ones.
I also learned a bit of life lesson myself cause I can really sympathize with Hikaru throughout the story and I’m impressed how realistic her character was made.
I think 7 Billion Needles lacked depth in some of its storyline.
This manga is about evolution. Other planetary beings have crashed into Earth and our main protagonist got killed from the start.
The planetary being (Horizon) landed on Hikaru and remade her as an immortal. This gave her powers, so basically it’s an “alien inside you ” story. It’s like the anime Parasyte.
But despite that power, the main storyline never used that concept to produce complex plots on the story. It was simple and kind of generic but the main point of the series was well-conceived and there was never a dull moment on any part of the series.
A journey of a high school girl overcoming her shut-in attitude and learning to become a proper and loving human being.
The “convenience” of some situations leading to the friendship our main characters was too simplistic for me. Things that were not supposed to matter, mattered.
The coming-of-age type of storyline was great, but I never truly understood how things suddenly got resolved and why the sudden change of attitude from the MC.
The ending was kind of like Akira, and that for me was cool. Her best friend mutated out of control, and an infinite amount of matter gushed around the world. It ate up everything on its path and forced living creatures to mutate out of control.
In the end, our MC has achieved the highest form of self-realization, this was for the better, and it was a good ending.
7 Billion Needles is in the middle for me. As a sci-fi themed manga, it accomplishes the genre well. The different concepts that this manga presented truly fit the genre “Sci-fi”
But on the seinen part, the story was never too intriguing. I guess if more chapters were there, a perfect storyline could have been made.
The manga deserved some praise.
First, it manages to actually show the horror of having some kind of parasitic being inside your body. The art style fits perfectly to the body horror that the manga is trying to portray, and the character’s facial expression is believable. It felt real.
Second, the manga manages to write a good story about coming-of-age. We have a girl (main character Hikaru) who struggles to interact with her surrounding after the death of her parents.
She resorted to having to wear headphones all the time, shutting herself from the world. As the story progresses, she slowly opened up and managed to come into terms about the death of her parents. At the end of the story, she also managed to open up to her foster family (aunt) and new found friends.
Lastly, the narrative of the story felt refreshing compared to other manga. The story is short but concise. It tells us about a teenage girl who somehow stumbled upon an alien being named Horizon all the while said girl is having her own problems.
This manages to tells a story about an alien being learning what it is to be a human. In which at the very end, Horizon defended Hikaru’s way of living to the moderator which shows us that Horizon managed to sympathize on human beings.
Here comes the ‘bad’ part about the manga.
While the art style fits perfectly to the horrors that Hikaru faced, the character design was VERY lacking. Every character looks the same, the only difference is probably the clothes they wear or the hairstyle.
The ending felt weak to me. It just somehow ends with horizon and maelstrom needing to leave earth as some sort of ‘That’s just how it is’. While this may be true to the sci-fi part of the manga but for the coming-of-age story, the show ended absolutely well.
We generally liked 7 Billion Needles. The sci-fi vibes combined with the coming-of-age storyline was well blended throughout the series.
Phi thinks that the character development could’ve been better, but the other members are giving a big yes to this series.
A definite must-read for everyone.
We would like to hear your thoughts! Feel free to comment down below on what you think of this manga.
Next week will be about Last Game by Shinobu Amano. We will be posting again on February 14 for the Valentines Day special.
If you’re interested in joining our book club series, send me a DM on Twitter or email me directly at theanimeathena(@)animeathena.com
The book club members are looking forward to your recommendations! Comment them below if you like reading our thoughts on your favorite manga.
Freelance writer and game developer writing for Anime Athena