This is by far 1 of if not the most bizarre manga I have read, as far as the designs go.
The story is about a group of girls who can jump to different universes using these santa look a like hats. They must only wear them when they are on duty. Their purpose? Well quite frankly it is too jump from universe to universe stopping these creatures from using the kids of that universe for feed. There are 600 universes, but not all they are suppose to go to. Just the assigned by their teacher. The goal of the creatures for is to "lock" each universe with the children of that universe to create a grand universe.
The characters are under developed girls both mentally and physically whom's parents are no where to be found. They fight each day to save each universe from these creatures and their plan for a grand universe. They are looked after and taught by both a teacher and a doctor who give them the knowledge to handle the task for each universe given.
That is the mainframe of this manga. However, the underlining themes are the true story. What Hitoshi was trying to create here was a series centered around themes such as responsibility, individual growth, accountability, equality and coming of age. Hitoshi used his styled art to try to tell the story through symbolism and simple character dialogue, but failed miserably with overexerted flash scenery, nonsensical fight scenes, and just flat out weird designs. Although I do like his designs, but he took it bit too far here.
The main problem with this title, he never set up the story in the beginning and tried to jump in a 1/4th of the way through with his symbolic art style and simple dialogue. Not to say that the story never kicked off, but the structure was never fully built up and fell flat a lot of the times due to the weird scenery and designs. If he had simply stuck to developing the symbolism and characterization the story would have been much better. A lot of the times it felt like he got trigger happy with the scenery.
What Hitoshi tried to do here in the end was recreate the magic he had in Alien Nine. The story and themes are replicable, but far in between as far as quality goes. Which proves that over indulging leads to bad habits and a less then stellar outcome.
Enjoyment 7 (it is bloody fun if you're a horror fan or love monster designs)
I recommend the far superior Alien Nine. But don't read Emulators. It is basically the same thing except rushed and pointless. Also, the OVA is good, but only covers volume 1. read more