Hikaru Takabe may not be the most social of teens. Always sporting her headphones, she gives off an aloof aura that rubs her classmates the wrong way. But her not being part of the crowd takes on a different dimension when she becomes involved in an intergalactic game of cat and mouse.
Inspired by Needle, the Golden Age sci-fi classic by the late Hal Clement, Nobuaki Tadano's debut work brings a unique take on alien invasion up to date and into the maelstrom that is the Japanese high school girl.
Volume 4: Hikikomori Headphone Girl (pilot)
70 Oku no Hari was inspired by the 1950 science-fiction novel Needle by Hal Clement.
The series was published in English as 7 Billion Needles by Vertical Inc. from September 28, 2010 to April 26, 2011, in Polish as 7 miliardów igieł by Japonica Polonica Fantastica in 2013 as part of Mega Manga series and in Spain as 7 mil millones de agujas by Milky Way Ediciones in 2016.
If you've read any of my reviews, you know that I put a lot of stock into story concepts. The concept of immortality, reincarnation, lucid dreams, and basically any concepts that I, as a reader, find interesting. The concept this time is evolution, and boy did they mess this one up.
We'll start with characters, because they were almost as disappointing as the story itself. All in all we have three main characters, and a handful of side characters. Some characters develop(not all), but they do so very artificially. We don't see the development slowly happening over time, or through actions. Instead, the characters that develop pretty much just say "Wow, I think I changed and here's how" but we never really see that change. Also, a lot of those changes don't make sense. In one instance, we have a character who shows up and is never explained very well. Already a strike against him. Then he completely 360s his opinion and thinks the exact opposite of what he was dead set on for no apparent reason. As a third strike, quite a few characters do the exact same thing. The characters are just sloppy and not relatable, or even believable.
The story itself was decently interesting, if not a bit generic, until the start of volume three. I had found myself cursing how generic and lackluster the series was, but about halfway through volume three I wished I could take it back. The story goes from generic to borderline nonsense, and basically everything stops making sense. I'd take generic over whatever the hell that was any day.
The art was pretty good, all things considered. There were a lot of animal drawings, and they looked very nice and realistic for the most part. The character designs were plain, but not terrible. The background panels were also decent, so I'll give Tadano Nobuaki a pass on his art. I just hope he works on his storytelling.
If I were to rate this on its first two volumes, I'd give it a 5. It wasn't anything special, but it wasn't bad either. Sadly, there are two volumes following those, and they were rather horrendous. I do not recommend this to anybody, and advise to spend your time on something else. Hopefully Tadano takes heed of her interest in evolution to evolve her storytelling skills.read more