Title: Dimension W Vol. 2
Author: Yuji Iwahara
Publisher: Yen Press
Page Count: 192
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action
Publication Date: May 24, 2016
The second volume of Dimension W is broken up into two major story arcs with the first being the conclusion of an arc we were left with at the end of volume one. Loser was in the process of performing an art heist as he looked to steal the Angel of Black and White Wings statues. Loser and Kyouma end up meeting and it seems that Loser knows a lot of information on Kyouma – which I will touch upon in the characters section of the review. It is also here that we are introduced to The Numbers: special coils that have a specific number assigned to them. At this point, we don’t know much about them, but we do know that Loser wants them in order to enact his revenge.
The second story arc involves Mira becoming an official collector and needing a place to stay so Kyouma sets her up with a trailer on his property. We are also introduced to four children: Claire, Jin, Hamu, and Shota. These kids end up harassing Kyouma by trespassing on his property, but what seems like normal childhood antics turns out to be a much deeper look into how society operates in the world of Dimension W. Apparently everyone has a score and if you misbehave or commit any sort of crimes, it will impact your score and that will affect you for the rest of your life. Talk about having it rough!
While this story arc gives a look into society, it also gives us an idea of how people can manipulate the system using coils. In this case, Jin becomes the victim of a scam which affects his parents, who are wealthy business owners, all thanks to a loophole in the system being exploited by con artists. I really love this aspect of Dimension W because not only does it bring an amazing sci-fi element to the series, but it also keeps itself grounded by reminding us that there’s people out there that will take this technology and bend it to their own will. No matter how technology changes the world for the better, there are still those who will abuse it. It’s no different than the way it is in today’s real world society.
Kyouma and Loser end up getting some development in this volume and it is accomplished with their interactions with each other. What is nice about their development is that Iwahara-san only gives you a nibble of information here. He plants a lot of seeds and questions into your mind that makes their backgrounds seem really interesting, but he also makes you want to know more at the same time. It is a great example of a slow burn process and with the series still ongoing in Japan, we know we’re in it for the long haul!
What little is revealed is that Loser knows who Kyouma is. He knows about his past and how he was part of a military unit called Grendel. Kyouma’s shock by this information confirms that is, indeed, true and it is a past he’d soon rather forget. Obviously, this raises questions such as “Why is Kyouma annoyed about Loser mentioning his past?” “How does Loser know about Kyouma’s past and does Loser’s true identity intertwine with it somehow?” It’s just great character building all around!
Loser himself gets a bit of visual backstory. He ends up removing his mask to show Kyouma his face and what lies underneath is pretty nightmarish. It looked as if Loser was a burn victim, only worse. This visual is a great way to show that Loser also has a deep and interesting history without spelling it out with any sort of dialogue. Definitely a nice touch by the author.
In the second story arc, as aforementioned, we get introduced to four children while the most notable character being Jin Shirokawa. Jin is the son of the Shirokawa family and ends up pestering Kyouma by trespassing on his property and causing mischief with his friends Hamu, Claire, and Shota. While the other three friends are simply background characters that are all but tossed away, they all come from wealthy families, which is a common tie-in with Jin.
The reason why they bug Kyouma is because their score monitoring bracelets don’t work near Kyouma’s house, but once we’re introduced to Suzukiyama, we begin to understand why. Suzukiyama is the family butler and Jin’s guardian. He has a calm and caring personality on the outside, but inside there is something darker. I wouldn’t get attached to these characters too much, though. They are just there for this arc of the story and once the story arc ends, it seems that they are all but forgotten in favor of moving on to a different story all together.
Mira gets some character development as well. Here, Iwahara-san tries to introduce us to her human tendencies despite the fact that she is a robot. Mira says she needs a place to sleep because the nanomachines in her body act like her blood and her cells. They’re constantly repairing her and she needs to power down from time to time for them to be at their peak performance. She also needs a toilet in order to flush the liquid coolant produced by her nanomachines. I guess you could call this her version of peeing. Coupled with her human-like emotions, Iwahara-san is really trying to blur the line between human and robot with Mira. At first I found her annoying, but I’m actually warming up to her thanks to these kinds of developments.
The second volume of Dimension W is a great entry for the series. We get action, plot advancement, world building and character development all wrapped up into one nice little package. The volume will leave you with more questions than answers, but that’s a good thing for a series that is just starting out. You want to give your readers and incentive to come back and read the next volume and Dimension W does just that with this entry.
If you’re into science fiction with a bit of mystery set in a city-like world with a seedy underground, then Dimension W is going to be a series you most definitely want to add to your list of manga to read. The second volume definitely delivers and I give it my recommendation!
This item was provided for review by Yen Press.