“World Map Room” is a manga by Yuichi Yokoyama. Three individuals visit a city and go to an airport so that they can watch the planes take off and land. They then take a ship in order to cross the river. They meet up with somebody in order to conduct an appointment. Afterwards, they watch cars getting built and sail on an artificial lake so they can look at a sunken boat. A person tells them about the boat’s history. Along the way, they deal with rude city residents, look through books and have an afternoon drink.
The artwork is great and has a unique style that suits the genre it’s in. However, the main problem with “World Map Room” is actually one that plagues both Japanese and American independent comics; the art is empathized at the story’s expense. Now it is possible to have a very good story that focuses on the everyday actions of the characters as much as it does on the main plot. But the story’s very sparse style works against it. To be fair, the author explicitly says that it’s the first part of a four book series. But some readers may be put out by the rather underwhelming first part and decide not to read the rest of the series. This may hurt the story in the long run as some stories have a very good build off that makes reading through the slow pace worth it. Hopefully, the author will be able to improve his storytelling skills so that it’ll be as compelling as his art. Due to the rather bland nature of the story, Honolulu independent manga fans should at least take a look to see if they may like it. Those who want an interesting story along with good artwork may want to read something else.
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