“Controlling information at will… gives you control of humans.” – Land Lock
In today’s information society with globalization, digitization and robotic systems, where these systems are constantly increasing their tasks, information access and at the same time their power – what kind of effects will this have on society? Can “systems” or “robots” become so powerful and technology go so far that having control over these systems means to have full authorization over human’s life, to the point that even killing people and erasing them completely from society without anyone noticing is possible? Through 37 short chapters Land Lock tries to address some of these, and
similar, issues – but the problem are just that – there are only 37 short chapters, and it may seem that the story is very rushed towards the end, leaving big plot holes, unanswered questions and little to no room for character development and backstories.
The story is neither very unique nor really unoriginal, but it’s a pretty standard survival story about a high school student who gets death penalty for a crime he didn’t commit, but who’s plane to a prison crash-lands in a frozen wasteland instead. With his grandfather being a hunter, he utilizes the survival skills his grandfather taught him to do his best to find out the circumstances of his situation – and survive.
Despite the fact that some characters are slightly interesting and unique, most of the characters are either generic, boring and uninteresting or completely insane and twisted. Most characters are inconsistent to how they firstly are described, and it is difficult to relate to any of the characters because they are very unrealistic. At the same time, it seems that many of the characters are just in the story because “more characters are needed”, which makes it so that many of the characters do not add anything to the story at all.
The art is consistent and coherent and overall looks pretty good. It’s a bit dark-themed which fits the mood for the manga pretty well.
Even though the story is pretty cliché (being a plane-crash survival story) and there are clearly a lot of big faults with the characters and the plot, I personally had a great time reading this manga, the mystery element combined with drama and action keeps you hooked and makes you want to read more to connect the dots and find out exactly what is happening.
Although the manga clearly is rushed, the pacing is a bit off and the manga doesn’t give close to enough room for the characters to be described and developed, I still believe Land Lock is successful in conveying its message – in today’s information society it is, more so than ever, important to be cautious and critical of full trust in and dependence on technology, the internet and the systemization of society.
I’d definitely recommend this manga to anyone who likes mystery or survival-oriented mangas, because this is kind of a mix between those two. Still I’d actually recommend this to everyone in general because of its’ unique and interesting viewpoint on digitization and systemization of society, which to be honest is the major reason I’m giving it a this high rating.