The Fandom Post

Anime, Movies, Comics, Entertainment & More

7 Billion Needles Vol. #04 Manga Review

4 min read

In the end, love and friendship remains the most important thing. But will it be enough to save the world?

Creative Staff
Story: Nobuaki Tadano
Art: Nobuaki Tadano
Translation/Adaptation: Glen Isip

What They Say
Should life on earth just start over from its primordial methanogen form? For a high school girl, that all depends on whether she can connect to her classmates. But what does oneness mean? This concluding volume also include the short comic “Hikikomori Headphone Girl,” the series’ precursor.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
So here it is, the conclusion to the consistently interesting, well drawn, and philosophical sci-fi series 7 Billion Needles. Picking up right where volume 3 left off, all of Earth species are being consumed and altered to justify the moderator’s evolution. Hikaru, with Horizon and Maelstrom, are attempting to halt this process and return everything to how they should be. These scenes are very powerful. Tadano’s artwork is still so stunning and has the ability to change from hyper realistic, to super detailed abstractions without the reader noticing the change. The panels during this scene were a big point of interest to me. The panels depict the de-construction of the evolution sphere that is threatening all life on earth. However, the individual panels, when taken separately from the whole, provided to me a more abstract concept. Each panel seems like a metaphor relaying Tadano’s underlying message but as a whole proceed the plot. That’s one aspect I have loved about this series from the beginning, the ability to tell an involving science fiction story with many underlying tones that can be taken at face value or as an abstract to elevate intellectual stimuli.

Once the threat appears to be subsided, danger returns. Chika is out of control and absorbing all species on Earth to form a collective whole so that she will never be alone. These events really strike a personal chord with Hikaru as her friends, the people who helped her remove her solitary shell, who gave her hope and a willingness to live her life, are now in immediate danger. The series also gets pretty fantastic at this point with Hikaru transforming into a giant bird, the subspecies avian introduced in the last volume, so that she can attempt to not only save her friends, the earth, but also Chika.

The story ends like a lot of anime and manga series: with a huge bang that appears cataclysmic but really ends with nothing more than a whimper. The ending was great! Highly appropriate to finish the storyline started with Hikaru’s death and her habitation by Horizon. Some might complain that the ending is a cop out (trust me, I know people that think any sort of ‘happy’ ending is a cop out and that the only true ending is ultimate death and destruction) but if you think about the overarching personal themes the story has set, there could be no other ending. Plus, there is a small surprise at the end that doesn’t really beg for a sequel but adds a nice humorous touch, a sweet note if you will, to cap the story.

While a science fiction story at the onset, 7 Billion Needles has really been a personal journey about Hikaru. To emphasize that point even more, an extra in this volume is the one shot ‘Hikikomori Headphone Girl’, Tadano’s precursor to 7 Billion Needles and the obvious influence on Hikaru’s character. This story is alright; it isn’t bad by any means though. I liked this short story because it took an interesting approach in placing the readers in the mind of a Hikikomori, how she perceives the world, and how she wishes to see it. I just wish it was a little longer to flesh out the rehabilitation theory brought up at the end. The rehab theory is discussed very briefly and while the methods are clear the theory behind how the methods are supposed to work are a little vague. I’m only saying an extra page or two, not a whole series, would’ve greatly improved this story but what a pleasant surprise to have it included and a great read as well. Taking this story into account though one can really get a fuller idea of what Tadano’s motives were when he decided to adapt 7 Billion Needles into manga form.

In Summary
Overall this series has been thoroughly enjoyable to no extent. It is by no stretch a ‘fun’ series but it is of top quality. The artwork, the characterizations, the underlying themes and the general tone of the series has all added up into something that shouldn’t be missed. If you weren’t too keen on the first volume, then the second volume won’t sell you. The last two volumes however, contain the strongest arc and do a really nice job of tying up threads and putting the series in the direction it needed to go to stand out from the pack. I was hooked from book one and the investment paid off. What more can one ask for in a series? Highly Recommended!!

Content Grade: A +
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: A+
Text/Translation Grade: A

Age Rating:
Released By: Vertical Inc.
Release Date: 4/26/2011
MSRP: $10.95

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.