As I was checking out some manga deals on Amazon the other day, I made the fantastic discovery of Dimension W, the manga. If you guys have checked out what anime I’m watching this winter, you’ll know that Dimension W is one of two favorites that I’m following pretty faithfully. Slightly scared but also very curious, I decided to place the book in my cart and it now has a place in my home.
Before I even start talking about the manga, I’d like to mention that this cover looks awesome! Just the way it’s designed made me instantly want to read it. And now that I own this I can say it’s not only aesthetically pleasing but also feels really nice! It’s mostly smooth but the texture changes in certain areas, like around the coil on Mira’s chest and around the title. I probably spent unnecessary time just admiring the cover and running my fingers all around it
In the future, a fourth plane with an endless supply of energy has been discovered and named Dimension W. Taking advantage of this resource, we created coils, which pull energy from this new dimension for everyday use. Few cars still run on gas, making gas prices skyrocket, and even robots have been added to the population. And like all things, there will also be the illegal use of coils, which is where Kyoma Mabuchi comes into the picture.
Kyoma is a coil bounty hunter, and on his latest assignment he bumps heads with a robot girl who claims that her ‘Father’ needs the illegal coils Kyoma is supposed to bring in. Hating coils and anything related to them, Kyoma doesn’t believe the girl (who we later learn is named Mira) and tries to stop her escape only to later end up stuck with her.
As the story begins the reader is thrown into three different scenarios. The first has Kyoma on the job as he’s found his target and explains he’s a Collector. The second scene spans a few pages and explains how the world is currently working, what coils are, and some important people in our history. And lastly, we’re thrown into the present where we meet Kyoma properly as he’s working in his garage. Getting a phone call from Mary, he’s scheduled to meet with her for his next job.
When he’s briefed, the next job appears to be easy – find some thugs and confiscate the illegal coils they’ve acquired. Of course, when he actually arrives at the location he realizes things aren’t as easy as he supposed when a girl is brought into the room by one of his targets. Making his presence known, he emphasizes that he’s not there to save the girl and later also mentions that he could care less what happens to her. Angered by such a disrespectful and uncaring attitude, the girl reveals that she’s not exactly human as she throws a couch and thug across the room, then slaps Kyoma, rendering him unconscious.
In terms of the story, the manga follows the anime (or really the other way around) pretty faithfully, however, there are little scenes that I wish would have been added to the anime. For example, there’s the part where Kyoma remembers that Mira took the illegal coils before he succumbs to unconsciousness. He remembers she has tears in her eyes and asks if robots could cry, to which Mary replies in confusion. And that’s all we have in the anime, however, in the manga there’re more details that could have been so useful in alluding to his past and hatred for coils! (not that it was too hard to guess)
In the manga there’s a shadow of another woman in his memory as he remembers Mira crying. Also, instead of Mary saying “Why are you asking that out of the blue?” we get something else. Kyoma stays quiet and Mary says, “Old flame on your mind, Kyouma?” which then leads to a talk of cybernetics. I feel like if this had been added to the anime the reason for Kyoma’s hatred of coils would have been more connected to the story. I don’t know about you guys but when that episode of Kyoma’s past came out I was slightly confused. It just felt like the show had been put on pause as we were given the whole explanation.
Another scene that really made the manga so entertaining was at the very beginning when Kyoma answers Mary’s phone call. In the anime we see him having to walk all the way outside and away from his garage to answer the phone. After the call he spots a couple of kids on the other side of the wall where he has all his old cars in a pile. They all kind of stare at each other before the kids run away saying “Stupid!”
In the manga it’s different. We actually have Kyoma yelling at the kids and saying, “And don’t come back!” It may seem like something small but it really changes the mood and the character. It gives Kyoma more presence and sass, compared to the anime where he’s kind of just there. Other scenes that show this difference in attitude are when he talks with Mary (“Stick to being just big-bodied not big-voiced too…”) and banters with Mira (“‘cos robots faking sighs don’t sit well with me”).
Other things I loved about the manga were the different expressions that the characters had (Kyoma had so many reactions but the one I love the most was when Mira slapped him!), the art in general in fighting scenes and just casual scenes, and the interaction between Mira and Kyoma. While Kyoma still treats her like a robot/hunk of junk, he also talks with her more and banters. Not to mention that there are color pages! This is one of the few books I own that have color pages at the beginning and middle
Overall, I’m really excited to read more of this, however, the second volume doesn’t come out until May and the third volume until August. While the anime by itself already impresses me, I won’t deny that there’s something really fun about the manga that the anime doesn’t posses and for that I definitely recommend reading the manga!
If I had to complain about something then I would say that I really miss the voices combined with the music and explosive destruction, especially during the scene that Mira’s father uses the double coil. In the manga everything happens in one page, which was disappointing. Of course, it’s impossible to transfer over the audio to the manga but I just wish there’d been a way to pass over that emotion. I mean, I got goosebumps in that scene even after re-watching it!
Dimension W manga is licensed by Yen Press and written by Iwahara Yuji. Translation is by Amanda Haley. In Japan there are currently 9 volumes published and the series is still ongoing.