As this one is hidden gem of manga, the story is quite unique, taking the the story of moral in modern , near future. The story is episodic, with each chapter independent with each other, only linked by the scientia tower.
The story is the manifestation of the hidden desire of each MC regarding their. Here we could see how they're struggling for their life, yet not found any meaning in it, and they found it in drugs, body swapping, etc. The end always bring the moral of Consequences of everything they had done in their life during this time.
The art is quite good, as it
could bring out the story better.
As it is episodic chapter , the character, though short, could be better and rich of emotion that needed for the plot to progress. Quite enjoyable manga.
When we think of dystopian literature we commonly think of novels such as The Hunger Games and 1984. Manga does not really come to mind when we think of this genre. However after reading Scientia I must applaud it in its feats within this genre.
Scientia is a single volume, 7 chapter manga written by Seiji Toda. It basically details a futuristic society and how human morals are violated by the actions they perform and how it effects different people's lives.
Each chapter of this manga focuses on a new character and covers a new ethical issue. This manga has some
very cool concepts and there is an interesting look at human morality and condition present in the writing. The story telling is quite good despite this manga being episodic and the episodes having nothing to do with each other despite the fact the setting is the same in each episode. Another attribute I liked is that as well as illustrating the seemingly positives and convenience in living in a technologically dependent society but also sheds light on the negatives and how it isn't all fun and games.
The characters are quite interesting considering that they only appear for 1 chapter each but they still have some great detail put into them and their dialogue was well written. One gripe I had though was that the character art was rehashed several times and a lot of the characters ended up looking extremely similar as a result. Also while the setting was awesome and the concept of a goddess if science was intriguing, I feel that a little more background detail would have been better so that we would be able to know more about the core of the society.
In conclusion Scientia is a very underrated manga and a gem for fans of science fiction. If you want a fascinating anaylisis of ethical issues in a dystopian society with good characters and storytelling, check this one out.
Many times I’ve seen Scientia being praised as a manga that shows the good, hopeful side of scientific progress, but now that I’ve read it I think that it's more of a competently done cautiously feel-good manga that evangelizes antidepressants.
Most of the stories in Scientia are centered on using artificial means to battle depression, so you can genuinely use it if you need to persuade someone to take the drugs they need but refuse. Some points are fair too: not everyone is eligible, there’re risks, you still are responsible for your life and actions and you’ll have to learn to stand on your own later,
but sometimes you need to accept that you need a push.
Another thing that is hard to not to praise about Scientia is that the author genuinely wishes well to people – you are overwhelmed by the call for happiness that lies in the heart of this manga. It’s an emotional rollercoaster with enough opportunities to cry.
Actually there is a good chance that you'll actually cry, since the manga is well written and the art is very cinematographic. The drawings themselves may not be the best in genre, pages may be too busy sometimes, and faces are very samey (there aren’t many features and we essentially see the same two people over and over), but the cinematography is top-notch – the frames are expressive, display a very good use of contrast and chain in a good movie-like flow. I couldn’t help but tear up or become tense in fear for the characters, even when I didn’t agree with some things.
Speaking about that... While wishes may mean good, they are the reflection of the personality of their source and lie within their vision of the world and of the “good” in it, with both of which you may not fully agree.
I wouldn’t honestly call Scientia sci-fi – it focuses on personal stories, specifically on the “that can make this person happy” moment, but it doesn’t study the impact of the new things on society or, sometimes, even on the same people in the long run, which is normally the point of science fiction. (Though Scientia retains the moralistic side of the classic sci-fi.)
Maybe it is also because of how low-key the “science” is here. Even though Scientia began to publish in 2008 it feels very 90-s to me, with this slightly sad feeling that you’re at the start of a long curve of development, that boils down to doing slightly better and more accessible things from plastic, of things going to a great point but too slowly. The world in Scientia is pre-digital and advances steadily. It’s definitely a different quantum string from 2017, when 0-s an 1-s kill and people wage wars because of twitter. And even then, curiously, most of the “science” this manga introduces is either illegal or experimental. I wonder if you would call drug testing in a back alley clinic "science".
Additionally the concept is very Japanese, with the lives the heroes strive to lead being working for a big company to death (quite literally). I am far from condemning self actulization through work and I fully agree with the mangaka in that leading a “simple” life is actually difficult and even unachievable for many, but spending all you life at a job isn’t an ideal I would stand for, especially since in Scientia it isn’t a work FOR something, it’s jobbing like everyone else. So the "happiness" this manga proposes is also debatable.
However there is some sense of unease in Scientia too, and while its source isn’t very clear in the manga itself – it tries to look forward to the future – its world feels like it’s on a tipping scale, as if it knows the reality rejects its vision. This captivating feeling is best expressed in the first few pages and the titular Scientia itself. Scientia is a giant statue of the goddess of science that stands on the tallest building in the city where the events of the manga take place. Her hands are folded in prayer, she looks at the people below with a worried expression – as if asking “Are my children using my gifts well? Will they be ok?”. She is a powerful presence and a guidelight for the characters.
This manga is a work worth exploring. It’s obviously that a lot of thought and of heart went into it. The author tried to send a message and had talent to make his work and art function on the emotional level. Plus with the postapocalypse being the commonly held vision of the future we honestly need more works with a more hopeful picture. But in terms of ideas this manga is questionable.
The building Scientia stands on is corporate, she is a boulder of (most likely artificial) stone and there wasn’t such a goddess in the Greek pantheon. But what’s most curious is that she is surrounded by smaller boulders that look like eggs. That’s probably to underline her role as a mother, but eggs hatch birds, and her concern turns into the guarded expression of a mother bird, which just happened to lay eggs on a conveniently tall structure. It's not human or futuristic, there’s not much brain involved in this process. I bet the statue is also hollow inside to endanger the offices below less.