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A New World

7 Seeds

By Yumi Tamura 

12 Feb, 2020

Translation

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Yumi Tamura’s post-apocalyptic manga 7 Seeds was serialized in Shogakukan’s Bessatsu Shōjo Comic magazine from 2001 to 2002, then in Flowers magazine. Its run concluded in May 2017. The full run fills thirty-five bound volumes.

Natsu Iwashimizu goes to sleep in her familiar bedroom. She wakes on a sinking ship, which she narrowly escapes. When she and the other three survivors reach the coast, they find a world transformed.



Semimaru Asai and Arashi Aota are young, like Natsu. Like Natsu, the delinquent and the hard-working student have no idea how they ended up on the ship. Botan Saotome is older. She’s a former policewoman and unlike the kids, she knows exactly what’s going on. For reasons that are unclear, she withholds her knowledge until the teens have experienced their new world. 

The end of the world was predicted, all too accurately. Giant meteors would smash into the Earth. Most life would die in the immediate aftermath. Most of what was left would die in the ensuing ice age. The world’s governments intended to try to divert the meteors. They also made contingency plans for failure. Natsu and her companions were chosen to be part of one such plan.

Each nation cryogenically preserved designated survivors. These groups would wake once conditions on post-impact Earth improved to the point that humans could once again survive. Japan froze Teams Summer A and B, Team Autumn, Team Winter, and Team Spring, each made up of a few teens and one adult mentor. Natsu and company belong to Summer B.

The world is greatly transformed. Many species familiar to us are nowhere to be seen. Species that did make it through the calamity are much changed. This is a world with giant insects and enormous carnivorous plants. Rodent species once harmless rodents now come in two varieties: harmless and carnivorous. 

It’s a world still recovering from calamity. Species diversity is still rebounding from mass extinction. It may not be sufficiently recovered that humans can survive.

~oOo~


I don’t seem to be having much luck in my selection of manga. I didn’t like the art in this series. I didn’t find the storyline plausible. Why would the Japanese government send poorly briefed teens into the future, under the command of an adult no reasonable person would put in charge. IMHO, it would have been better to properly train all the kids and refrain from choosing violent bullies as team leaders.

At least the Japanese strategy seems to have produced some survivors. Whatever the other nations did does not seem to have had any such effect. Of course, Japan could have been spared the worst of the meteors. Or its teams could have woken up first. .

The star of the series is Tamura’s imaginative post-apocalyptic world. Familiar plants and animals are gone or struggling to survive; bizarre new species rule. The manga reminded me a little of Mark Schultz’s old Xenozoic Tales . Well, except that Schultz was going for pure awesome; Tamura is more interested in exploring a plausible post-apocalypse world. I was fascinated by that aspect of the manga. That wasn’t enough of a plus that I could forgive the art and the idiot plotting. Your mileage may, of course, vary.

I couldn’t find a North American edition of this for sale online.