- Mangaka : Ryotaro Ueda
- Publisher : Yen Press
- Genre : Comedy, Slice of Life
- Published : April 2021
In terms of creativity, a child has the wackiest stories simply because they have the wildest of imaginations. A child's adventures can indeed be reckless and without care for their well-being, but it is also true that they can make the most mundane of experiences sound like the stuff from our nightmares. Because of this, it’s always enlightening seeing the world from the point of view of a child. Pro tip: just take every childs tale with a grain of salt.
This one-volume manga follows the story of the titular child, Hana-chan. Along with her Picasso-esque cat, they go about their day as a typical child should – dilly-dallying and playing with their friends. It is during these times, however, when she experiences the greatest of adventures. Be it surging a tsunami, being turned into a monster, or simply being entangled in a hammock, Hana doesn’t disappoint when it comes to bemusing while amusing the readers at the same time.
1. Reminds Us of Childhood
Childhood is that time in life where we only have two problems: what to do and when will we grow up. What’s great about it is that our friends usually help us solve the first problem. For Hana, however, the first problem just doesn’t exist. She’s almost always sure of what she wants to do, and she does that without fail. This often leads to drastic occurrences like being in the eye of a storm and being turned into a monster. The best part is that she always gets out of it unscathed, which makes us reminisce all the stupid shenanigans we’ve done back in the day but also live and tell the tale.
2. Is It Real?
Hana’s adventures are in no way ordinary. Just parts of her adventures are braving the streets during one of the recorded storm surges and running away from a field that’s being burned. Nevertheless, she, her cat, and her friends always manage to veer from the danger. This makes us ask, “Where is the line between reality and her imagination?” Sure enough, she can’t turn into a monster, then turn back after being doused by the river’s water? More interesting is that the series of tales never really indicates where the line between the two is, leaving us readers wondering and deciding for ourselves. For us, that’s part of the fun.
3. Simple But Entertaining
From the art to the story, there’s nothing complicated about Hana-chan and the Shape of the World. Hana goes about her day without worry, and we can clearly grasp what’s happening to her and around her without any grandiose design. More so, the style matches the story’s melancholy. It’s basically like when the lyrics and melody jive together and create a great song. In this case, it creates a great one-volume manga.
Hana-chan and the Shape of the World may not rise above its peers, but it’s also not something that should just be left in the dust. It shows an interesting way of looking at the world, which makes its readers mind-boggled. That being said, do give the fanciful tales a try, then tell us what you think about it.