An astronomer discovers a black cloud approaching the earth threatening to wipe out all life, but no one will believe him, because all world governments are too busy waging war. Meanwhile, the boy detective Kenichi, the young Rock Holmes, Shunsaku Ban (Mustachio) and others discover the Fumoon, a race of tiny, telikinetic humanoids who evolved in Australia, and have their own plans for dealing with the impending apocalypse.
From the man who brought us Astro Boy, Buddha, and many other acclaimed works, Tezuka Osamu brings us Kitarubeki Sekai, or better known as NextWorld. Nextworld is a story about the epidemic crisis of the Earth coming to an end. Threatened by an unknown substance our heroes Kenichi, Rock, Dr. Mustache, and many other faces try to save the world and prepare for the worse, as they face tribulations of war, greed, fear, and other obstacles along the way in this 1951 tale by Tezuka.
The story is told in a series of non-linear events, where the world is soon coming to an end, and
being invaded by aliens. Human nature displays its gruesome nature, as fear and greed causes the nations to go at war with each other. In the meantime our cast of characters all find themselves in different situations as they try to do what they can to survive this epidemic. Tezuka uses a non-linear style to tell his story. At times the un-parallel events come together greatly, but at other times the fluidity of the story runs amok. The transitions between certain events is executed poorly, but it doesn’t take away from the overall style of the story.
The cartoonish style that Tekuza uses in his story adds to the light humor of this Sci-fi story. The looney events that he has when he displays the chaos depicted in his story really brings out the best of his characters and surrounding settings. At times though, the cartoon-like style does overwhelm his panels as there is too much going on in such a small panel. Although at times the cluster of events in one panel would overwhelm it, there were multiple moments where the art would definitely shine at depicting the great fantasy world that Tezuka had built for this story.
Nextworld is definitely one of his more vibrant works. Full of overlying dialogue and at times spontaneous events. A manga full of cartoonish and non-linear ingenuity, which displays a fun and adventurous story waiting to be read.
Nextworld is a manga written by the famous Tezuka Osamu in 1951. As said in the after notes, Tezuka removed over 400 pages for the release, originally being 1000 pages long. The artwork is influenced by old western cartoons, as usual.
Note: Tezuka did not intend for this to be an "imitation" or a "rip-off" of the HG Wells film 'Things to Come', as he found the film boring. Anyway, Dark Horse Comics release this manga along with several of his other works.
Story: The concept of the story is pretty interesting, as you can see from the synopsis above, but is driven down my aimless writing.
I simply can't imagine reading the unabridged version, Tezuka simply spends too many panels with useless dribble. Considering the amount of text on each page, this should have been about a volume long, but like I said, it's driven down by way too much useless content. Sometimes it's even hard to follow, apparently this is because of the removed pages, which I can understand. Overall the story is pretty rough...kind of like this poor excuse of a review.
Art: Inspired by Disney, obviously, I'm not really fond of it. The panels are way too small for their own good, probably limiting Tezuka's artistic talent.
There are a few 2 page illustrations and Tezuka crams quite a few of his characters in them. There's also a bunch of reoccurring character designs, which slightly bothered me.... Pretty decent overall, though.
Character: Racial stereotypes to the max! Not only are they outdated and crude, they're also amusing! There's also a few reoccurring characters like Rock, Mustachio, and Kenichi! The characters are usually quite comedic, even during serious scenes. Not much I can say about characters that lack depth, though.
Enjoyment: Nice ideas, poor execution. I hope to see some of these ideas used properly in his newer works, which I will start reading quite soon.
Read this if you're looking for a nice and rough piece of copper.
Suggestions: Any other Tezuka work, Captain Harlock, and Queen Millennia.