2009’s Volume 1 of Dainana Joshikai Houkou collects the first twelve chapters of Tsubana’s hard(ish) SF slice-of life-manga.
High school pals Takagi and Kanemura live perfectly normal lives in the utterly mundane Japan. Well, Japan of Sometime Next Week.
Japan of just barely tomorrow provides its inhabitants with a diverse array of cutting-edge technology intended to make lives better … well, at least different . The easily swayed Takagi rarely encounters an innovation that she isn’t willing to adopt without stopping to consider possible consequences. It falls to sensible Kanemura, whom a test has assigned as BFF to Takagi, to retrieve her chum whenever she flounders. Which is often. Food flavoured gum turns out to have no nutrient value; dead friends preserved in cyberspace prove reluctant to return CDs ; and sleep-inducing devices do not always work as described.
If that were not enough, future Japan has a bountiful supply of diverting events, from time travellers to horrifying kaiju.
The girls take it all in stride. These things are simply a natural part of living in Japan… of tomorrow!
Takagi may not be bright… she may well be the opposite of bright… but she has one skill that keeps her alive: guilting long-suffering Kanemura into having her back. Kanemura is far too soft hearted to drop Takagi, who would naturally revert to the ignored outsider that she was before the school assigned the pair to each other as friends.
Aside from the square-cube law issues presented by kaiju (which are probably the fault of those darned time travellers), Tsubana plays reasonably fair with the consequences of her new technology. Thus, the hard-sf appellation.
This is an enormously good-natured manga collection. In these twelve weird vignettes, nothing bad happens to either girl. (Their neighbours may not be as lucky, but we never see any bodies.) Tsubana seems to have written quite a number of these manga, so it’s a pity that there does not seem to be an authorized English language edition (at least one that I could find).
1: Not so much because the simulated dead are inconsiderate but because it’s quite challenging for someone who is software running on a mainframe somewhere to hand over a physical object.