Monday, June 6, 2016

My First Manga: Dimension W by Yuji Iwahara

Title: Dimension W, Vol. 1, Author: Yuji Iwahara  I only began reading comics and graphic novels in earnest a few years ago. The launch of the DC New 52 is what initially pulled me into the world of comics. Eventually I branched out beyond DC and superheroes, but the manga section of the bookstore remained off limits. One of the reasons it took me so long to get into comics is because I didn't know where to start. With its right-to-left format, manga was even more intimidating and confusing. But with a little help from the website Panels and the beginning of a new cartoon series, I decided it was finally time to give manga a try.

I first came across Dimension W in anime form and really liked it. A post on taught me about the relationship between anime and manga, namely that anime cartoons are adapted from manga. I wondered if that meant Dimension W had a textual counterpart and finding that it did, decided it was time to read my first manga.

Dimension W takes place in the year of 2072. The world's energy problems have been solved with the invention of coils. The power behind coils comes from Dimension W, a recently discovered fourth dimension beyond X, Y, and Z. (I have to admit it took seeing a drawing of a Cartesian coordinate system with its X, Y, and Z axis before I fully grasped the concept of a fourth W dimension.) Kyouma Mabuchi makes a living as a Collector, retrieving illegal coils that can be dangerous. While on his latest retrieval job he comes across Mira, a very human-like robot. Their meeting starts them on a journey to learning some of the secrets behind coils, their inventor, and much more.

A little bit of mystery and heap of science fiction made Dimension W a really fun read. The characters are funny and complex, especially Kyouma who clings to old technology while making a living chasing down old versions of new technology, and Mira who seems to feel human emotions even though she's more steel than flesh. I already knew the story from having watched the anime but reading it was still great. The only thing I wish was different were the black-and white drawings. There were a few color pages and they popped off the page. I wish the whole book was in color. Overall I'd say my first attempt at manga was pretty successful.

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