Terrarium: first impressions of the new Hikari seinen

“In the end this too is destined to disappear”

Terrariuma title that not by chance takes up that set of plants and soil contained within a container, leads us with mastery into a very distant and mysterious future, where no one has more memory of our time.
The manga, written and illustrated by Yuuna Hirasawahas a total of 4 volumes.

Hundreds of years have passed since the creation of what they call arcology: people live in this gigantic, completely self-sufficient structure, made up of countless areas all connected to each other. In this artificial paradise, which seems to be on the verge of collapse, a girl in the company of her brother begins a long journey in search of a solution, or perhaps the two just want to find their mother, who has long since disappeared, who seems to be the key to revive the fortunes of their world.

Reading can immediately make us pleasantly immerse yourself in a new and old world at the same time, manages to distract us from the most important doubts forgotten by everyone for centuries: why was such a structure created? How has the world become in these centuries? The people who live in these structures have never seen the light of the sun, the beauty of creation; since their birth, they have spent their entire existence locked up in something, hidden, possible survivors of some cataclysm or something else, no one seems to know. After all, the only information we have is all filtered by the protagonist’s memory and eyes; the reality that the reader perceives may deliberately differ greatly from the actual one, and the surprise is just around the corner.

We learn about a new profession, that of technologists, which combines the medical profession with that of the mechanical engineer, as humans and robots are treated and treated in the same way. Chico, following in the footsteps of her mother, is an esteemed and appreciated technologist. The newcomers Kino and Hermes of Kino’s Journey they travel to unnatural places for us; in search of a clue they enter areas abandoned for centuries, visiting completely ruined landscapes and fascinating at the same time, but what is a distant past for them is a distant future for us.

“So it is too dated to function properly or is its human inability to accept death working too well?”

Those we encounter while exploring these suggestive places are very human robots, beings free from the concept of time, unlike the human beings with whom they collaborated. They were entrusted with the most disparate activities which they conducted with what we could call pride and passion; as some human beings hate the idea of ​​retirement, they want to see themselves as useful… in other words, they seem to want to be considered alive.

The protagonist, apparently childish, demonstrates sagacity in managing various problems that she will have to face, and will be capable of interesting and profound reflections on what she observes. Chico is a girl who loves life, she wants to have fun, she wants to rest, she wants to enjoy the adventure, she knows how important that trip is but she doesn’t want to give up finding something beautiful in those places that could usually be considered scary.
Some pages contain insights left by the author who explain us, even if in a summary line, useful facts to understand the context in which everything takes place.

An interesting narrative system that we are witnessingdivided into two narrative times: an unspecified but recent past, the one in which we see the memories of Chico, who interacts with other human beings in many but brief flashbacks, and that of the present, where we meet survivors in these distant lands and live with the protagonists of their stories, many small stories within a big story.
That past, full of things not yet said, makes the reader think and leads him to fantasize about all possible solutions, especially about one of the greatest mysteries of the book: his brother.


The drawings do justice to the poetry of the pages, the line is clean, the features well defined. Each robot has a peculiar shape, Chico’s face is a riot of emotions. There are many landscapes of her, and a veil of melancholy is the background to the girl’s thoughts, to her smiles; everything is hinted at without ever being heavy.

Isaac Asimov he stated, in his robotics laws, that a robot cannot harm a human being and that it must obey the orders given by him. Coexistence with automata could be our future, but, unlike the ideas of Asimovthere is also the possibility of a world where robots are considered living and free beings like us.

The edition that presents us Hikari is well cared for in detail, dust jacket that hides a small gem, paperback, 13x18cm format, 176 pages both in color and in b / w, at the price of 7 euros. The entire series consists of four volumes.
Terrarium is a pleasant and fairytale-like reading seasoned with mysterious elements, where the reader will be able to combine those small pieces made of images and phrases, to answer the first important doubts that history creeps into your head. If the continuation of the work were to remain on these levels, it could be a small pearl.


Terrarium 1

In a ruined world recaptured by nature, Chico and his little brother Pino wander through the crumbling colonies where the robots continue their tasks as if nothing had happened. The two explorers try to accompany them in their last will, but when is the end approaching? And what happens at that moment?

Opera: Terrarium
Publisher: 001 Editions
Nationality: Italy

Publication date: 06/16/2022
Price: € 7.00

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Terrarium: first impressions of the new Hikari seinen