Manga Opinion: Flat Earth/Exchange Volume #1

Another new title to try from CMX
I’m still saddened by the fact CMX is really shutting down here soon :(
At least Flat Earth/Exchange was finished and all of the volumes are still available (as of this date)
CMX, you will be missed
(esp because you were bringing Polyphonica over to the states D:)

Title: Flat Earth/Exchange vol #1
Manga-ka: Toshimi Nigoshi

Summary on the back:

In a world where humans and androids co-exist, the human population is rapidly declining. As part of a plan to help preserve the species, high school student Kotaro Shiga is placed into a state of suspended animation. Waking up a century later, he finds a very changed world where androids are in charge and humans are very scarce.

The androids, whose memories only extend back 22 years, have rewritten history and believe it is they who created humans. With the help of an exiled human prince and an android distressed by his own limited memory, Kotaro is out to awaken his fellow “sleepers” and teach the world its true history.

Kotaro is a young boy living in a set of ruins called “Sanctuary.” He makes his living by selling “information” from the past. One day, he meets up with an individual named Ree. Ree is surprised by how much Kotaro resembles an acquaintance of his from the past. Before the two can get too chummy, someone shoots Kotaro and kidnaps him!

This person, Wil, is after the secrets Kotaro holds. Wil is a human like Kotaro. Wil explains humans are now the minority while androids are the majority. The androids think they made humans to serve as memory holders because for some reason the androids lose their memories every 22 years.

Kotaro himself is a mystery because he is actually from the distant past. He was put into a state of suspended animation for unknown reasons and awoke to find himself here in the presen.

Until Kotaro recovers, he’s staying with Wil. But Ree is looking for him. Why is that?

Since I liked Jihai, I figured I might as well get the other series by this manga-ka released in the states: Flat Earth/Exchange.

First thing: the cover tricks you. The cover art looks awesome but when I looked inside, I noticed the art was COMPLETELY different. Everyone had round chins and old school eyes. I stopped to look back at the cover then inside (turns out this series is old but was never finished – the magazine it was being serialized in went boom. Years later the manga-ka was given the opportunity to complete Flat Earth/Exchange. The old volumes were released with new updated covers – thus the reason the art looks so different).

It took awhile to get over the old-school art (I’ve found I’m not into old school bishis xD). I’m so used to Jihai’s art, where everything is good looking xD

As with Jihai, Flat Earth/Exchange is filled with dark moments and funny fuzzies :3 I’m surprised there is a female character in this volume (though she reminds me of that girl in vol #2 of Jihai).

I’m still a little confused with the whole robots taking over thing. This volumes serves more to establish the world of Flat Earth/Exchange than explain it.

I wonder how the androids work? Because Wil said they are pretty much like humans except they don’t age, reproduce, or keep their memories after 22 years.

I’m hoping future volumes will explain more. Even though the art is strange for me, I’m still hooked to read.

I really think this manga-ka likes having man hugs. Guys hug a lot in her series ^^

Satisfied or Unsatisfied: Satisfied
Feelings: What will happen to Kobato!? Damn it all that I didn’t buy the second volume yet!

2 thoughts on “Manga Opinion: Flat Earth/Exchange Volume #1

  1. (esp because you were bringing Polyphonica over to the states D:)
    I KNOW! D’: I was looking forward to it the most of any of their new series (well…Shisshou Holiday by Otsuichi looked really good too).

    I haven’t read this series, so I haven’t seen the art, but I definitely agree…in most cases I’m not a huge fan of old-school art. I like some older series, but way old-school is just not my thing. :[

    • I was hoping that since the novels of Polyphonica have nil chance of coming statewise, at least I could be content with the manga
      But now that idea got shot in the crotch ><
      And there were so many other titles too!
      *despair*

      I'm guilty of not liking old school art so you're not alone :3
      (I tend to stay away from serious ancient old school stuff – shame on me I know but if I don't like it visually then it'll bother me to no end)

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