Your Forma Vol 1 [Manga] Review - You Can Not Stop The Future
Mangaka : Kikuishi Mareho (Original Story), Kisaragi Yoshinori (Art)
Publisher : Yen Press
Genre : Action, Mystery, Drama, Seinen, Sci-Fi
Published : January 2022
A timely response to the cyberpunk future that's barrelling down upon humanity whether we like it or not, Your Forma is a love letter to the seminal anime Psycho-Pass and legendary sci-fi works like William Gibson's Neuromancer and Isaac Asimov's I, Robot.
Based on the light novels of the same name, Your Forma's first manga volume explodes onto the pages with complex worldbuilding and thought-provoking commentary about the dangers of invasive technology.
Join us today on Honey's Anime as we review Your Forma [Manga], Volume 1!
In the near-distant future, the majority of humanity has a "Your Forma"--an augmented reality device implanted in their brains. From updating social media to online shopping, and even calling loved ones, "Your Forma" does everything, and is installed for practically free. The only downside is bearing witness to heavy mixed-reality advertising forced upon you by its developers, Rig City, and the uneasy knowledge that "Your Forma" is recording every thought you have.
Enter Interpol's cybersecurity division, the "Electrocrime Investigations Bureau, Brain Diving Division." As this impressive name suggests, its genius detectives--working in a pair of "diver" and "belayer"--solve crimes by tapping into other people's "Your Formas" and reading their memories.
Our main character, Echika Hieda, is a genius diver with Interpol, tasked with identifying a self-replicating virus spreading via "Your Formas." The virus takes advantage of specific functions in the AR device, tricking its victims into believing they're stuck in the midst of a fierce blizzard--and triggering real-world hypothermic responses that can kill.
Echika is partnered with Harold, a new-generation type of android known as an "Amicus." With a nod to Isaac Asimov's famous Laws of Robotics, Harold is a charming android with a brilliant (and frightening) capacity to psychoanalyze human emotions, while being bound to protect humans at all costs. He also makes an expert aide to Echika--but Echika's long-standing hatred of androids makes their working relationship thorny, to say the least.
Mangaka Kisaragi has done an incredible job stepping away from her usual josei works, leveraging her skills from the Arcana series to realize a cyberpunk society that's unsettlingly close to our current future. The worldbuilding in Your Forma is complex, but this first volume does an admirable job of pacing, with equal amounts of character development and exposition that know exactly when to take a back seat to fast-paced action.
1. Welcome to Night City
Your Forma preys on the (arguably realistic) fear of technology invading our lives in a way we cannot stop. In the past two decades alone, our world has already changed immeasurably thanks to smartphones and ubiquitous internet access, in a way that has governments scrambling to combat corporate overreach.
Your Forma takes that to the next logical level, standing on the shoulders of the 1980s' best sci-fi authors, but enhanced with the knowledge of modern technology. Taken at its most literal, Your Forma is an attack on brain-machine interfaces such as Elon Musk's Neuralink, and a strong warning against invasive technology.
This is definitely one series that will leave you thinking long after the final pages.
2. Left In The Dark
Surprisingly, Your Forma's worldbuilding gives careful thought and consideration to indigenous populations, who are already struggling with the rapid advancement of civilization upon their culture in our own times.
In Your Forma, indigenous populations have been forced off-grid to preserve their history and people, working as back-alley doctors and surviving in remote corners of the world just to keep their way of life.
It's just another layer of worldbuilding that Your Forma effortlessly succeeds at creating, drawing the reader deeper into a dystopian future that feels all too real.
The cyberpunk genre is ever-evolving, but since its beginnings in the 80s, there's been one overriding message--corporate technology and human freedom are deeply incompatible. Your Forma is a terrifying look at the dangers that invasive technology could bring, despite its all purported benefits.
With excellent worldbuilding, enjoyable main characters, and plenty to think about long after the final pages, Your Forma, Vol 1 is a brilliant manga and perfect for readers starved for a decent cyberpunk sci-fi.
Are you going to read Your Forma [Manga], Volume 1? Let us know in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading!
Author: Brett Michael Orr
I'm a writer, gamer, and reviewer of manga & light novels, from Melbourne, Australia. When I'm not creating a new world, I'll be absorbed in a good JRPG, watching some anime, or reading up a storm!
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