Random Manga Theatre 57: What A Wonderful World

Hit the “Random” button and see what comes up! In this feature, we take a look at whatever manga the Random Number God decides to throw at us and find out if it’s worth your time.

This time: Subarashii Sekai, by Inio Asano

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For what reason do we live? What keeps us going? What holds us back? What a Wonderful World is a beautiful statement about the human condition in this new generation. This is not your typical narrative. Instead of a singular plotline, the story is dragged across character after character, constantly exposing us to ordinary people unsatisfied with their ordinary lives. In one, previously secondary characters get their own story. In others, main characters return to provide an outside look at their experience.

This constantly shifting viewpoint beautifully captures the idea of this manga, this is not What a Wonderful Life, it’s What a Wonderful World. You feel connected to this town and its people, because, while they may have their separate lives, they are still together as part of the world. One would be excused from thinking the title as tongue-in-cheek. Many of these stories are depressingly realistic, and things like broken relationships and attempted suicides are common. It’s hard to see what’s so wonderful about it when things go wrong. However, at the end of every story there is still a glimmer of hope for everyone’s situation. No matter how hard things get, we should still fight to live, and it’s the small victories and bits of happiness from everyday happenings that can resonate with us the most.

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Verdict: Bleak, but interesting.
I said these words to Zigg while I was reading it, and they held true the whole way through. For us twenty-somethings, these stories have a powerful message about coming to terms with existing in this disappointing, broken world. As the Glorio Crew would know, I almost had a breakdown with the thoughts and realizations this brought back into my mind. Don’t let that be a discouragement, there are time where we need to think about our place in life. We may not realize our dreams, we may not find ourselves where we thought we would, but what’s important is that we try to live without regrets. A lofty goal to be sure, but that’s why the characters are never satisfied with their lot in life.

2 thoughts on “Random Manga Theatre 57: What A Wonderful World

    • Heh, Space Bros is definitely a bit more idealistic than What a Wonderful World, but I definitely see what you mean with this music.

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