Scattered Thoughts on 7Seeds and Basara

This is for Movable Manga Feast: Yumi Tamura

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I’m way behind on my 7Seeds reading! This is in spite of the fact that it’s being published in a language I can read (繁體中文) at a price of less than 4 USD per volume. How did this happen!

Well, I guess I’m saving the volumes up for a sweet, sweet 7Seeds marathon. Yeah, that’s the plan…

What’s more, I don’t have any of my 7Seeds volumes on hand … so all of this is based on my memory, and might not be completely accurate.

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Yumi Tamura recycles the same character designs over and over again, so much that when I’m think about 7Seeds characters, I sometimes refer to their ‘Basara’ name instead of their ‘7Seeds’ name. For example, I sometimes call Hana in 7Seeds ‘Sarasa’.

Of course, Hana and Sarasa don’t just look alike, they practically have the same personality. You could say that Sarasa is the reincarnation of Hana (though Basara is older than 7Seeds, technically the events of Basara happen after 7Seeds, so Sarasa would be Hana re-incarnated, not the other way around).

Then there is Shuri/Arashi.

Arashi (7Seeds) and Shuri (Basara) also look identical. They also happen to be Hana/Sarasa’s boyfriend. Therefore, at first, I also mistook them for being the same character.

But Arashi and Shuri’s personalities are totally different.

Arashi is kind, gentle, listens to others, is willing to support the underdog, and has no ambition. Shuri is selfish, arrogant, proud, and wants to take over Japan.

Arashi has little emotional fortitude, so when he faces a difficult situation, he just wants to give up. Shuri is, psychologically, much tougher.

Of course, it’s not just the character designs which are recycled. It’s also the plot.

Both stories are set in post-apocalyptic Japan.

Both stories feature a death race, though the death race is much more prominent in 7Seeds.

There are some changes. For example, whereas Shuri is the prince/king in Basara, Hana is the ‘princess’ of Japan in 7Seeds (if you know the stories of 7Seeds, you can figure out what I mean by that).

Both stories feature an isolated underground community.

The examples go on and on.

This is why I prefer to think of Yumi Tamura’s long-form manga (Basara, 7Seeds, Tomoe ga yuku!) as being variations upon each other rather than being separate works. There are just so many parallels and connections between them.

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I think the most important issue facing humanity today is the coming ecological transformation. It might be climate change, if it’s not climate change, it might be ocean acidification, and if it’s not ocean acidification, it might be peak oil, and if it’s not peak oil, it might be the slew of various chemicals we are spreading everywhere. The era of industrialization is unsustainable, and anything which is unsustainable will not be sustained.

How humanity will deal with this is a very important question.

While I think the specific scenario presented in 7Seeds is unlikely, I don’t think that matters. It explores the question of how humanity will cope with a sudden end to the ‘modern’ world. The central conflict of the story is whether or not the human race will go extinct which is a really dramatic conflict. I know many people who think the ending of 7Seeds will be human extinction. Strangely, I actually think the human race will pull through in 7Seeds, but as I said above, I haven’t read the most recent volumes.

I really don’t know if the human race will pull through the upcoming ecological transformation.

Anyhow, props to Yumi Tamura for exploring the most important issue of our time.

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One thought on “Scattered Thoughts on 7Seeds and Basara

  1. Pingback: Tamura MMF: Link Round-Up (3) | Tokyo Jupiter

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