Your Forma Builds a World You’d Look at From Afar Before Deciding to Join

Your Forma Volume 1 is a science fiction manga set in an alternate world where technology and people merge. Think iPhone but within your body. At once, the idea sounds daunting and tempting. Your Forma's technology also records people's feelings and perceptions. Thinking about the possible limits humanity could surpass teases the mind.

But with these capabilities come dangers. The perils of technology now reside within the brain. When serious crimes occur, Interpol tasks Echika—an Electronic Investigator—to resolve them. Your Forma's impressive worldbuilding and chemistry between Echika and Harold makes you think of The X-files' Mulder and Scully.

Careful What You Think

Your Forma, created by Yoshinori Kisaragi with the original story by Marcho Kikuishi and character design by Tsubata Nozaki, gives a quick breakdown of Your Forma. It's a smart thread placed in the brain via laser surgery. It may sound unbelievable, but so do many technologies people take for granted now.

Shopping online, calling to chat with someone's hologram, monitoring health, and more are all done with a thought. Right off, Your Forma, serialized in English from Yen Press, with translations by Roman Lampert and lettering by Arbash Mughal, makes you think about the ramifications, small and large.

A Buddy-Partner Story

Her job considers Echika one of the best. A genius. But she can't hold onto a partner. It's not even her withdrawn attitude that causes strife. Echika is a “diver.” She dives into people's Mnemosynes—their memories and emotions to solve crimes. Those with Your Forma have ports on the nape of their necks.

It's like diving into a vast drop with no bottom. So her partner, the “belayer,” monitors and ensures that she doesn't go too deep. It's their job to pull her out once she has the info. But her processing speed is fast. So what happens when a belayer connected to her can't keep up? Her natural speed fries their brain.

After hospitalizing her latest belayer at the start of Your Forma Volume 1, Echika waits for her new aide. A car, driven by an Amicus, picks her up. Amicus are robots with A.I. When Echika realizes this driver, Harold Lucraft, is her new partner; she is displeased. But for all her irritation, he brings out her personality. There's a great contrast between her cold demeanor when she works with her previous partner and her emotional, lively responses working with Amicus Harold Lucraft as the volume progresses.

Mystery That Opens The World Of Your Forma

Their first case is the one that fried her previous partner. About a dozen people have a virus infiltrating their Your Forma, leading to hospitalization. It spreads through contact with others. Again like a computer, Your Formas get hacked and infected.

But imagine having your brain infected like a computer. The mind's perception leads to a physical reaction. So despite being in a hospital, the victim's bodies exhibit signs of hypothermia. As though, in their mind, they are in a blizzard. Staff had to disable the victims' Your Formas so they would not die.

Through the course of their case, the world opens bit by bit. A few people live on society's outskirts because they refuse the Your Forma thread. Within those groups, tech people hack Your Formas for different purposes. In the case of Your Forma Volume 1, Clara Lie does so to elevate her skill as a ballerina. The broader subject of non-conforming people relegated as outsiders springs to mind a Black Mirror episode, “Nosedive,” or a real-life instance of internment and segregation.

Amicus Pinches Echika's Nerves

While working together, Echika repeatedly states that Amicus have no real emotions because they are not people. But her assertion seems more a reminder to herself. She does not want to believe their feelings, particularly Harold's, are genuine. As Echika dives into others' memories with Harold as her belayer, she encounters counter-currents for the first time.

Counter-currents show her memories. Though Harold cannot see them, it does disorient her. Oddly enough, those disconcerting counter-currents prove Harold is her match, able to keep up with her.

Flashbacks from Echika's past show there's a reason she dislikes Amicus. But it does not provide full details. It sets up future volumes to delve into Echika's past. Still, Echika's responses to Harold, blushing and yelling, show she's not immune to his charms. However much she might wish it.

Harold is not ugly either, so imagine someone attractive who looks like a person. How long before you forget they are not? Despite their case, there's hilarious banter between the two because of how hard she tries to remain stone-faced.

Your Forma Volume 1 builds an engrossing story thanks to the main characters and technologically-advanced world. It has familiar tropes like the partners who do not get along learning to trust each other, with an environment similar to our world, yet more advanced.

The volume has many questions and a few mysteries to keep readers wondering what happens next. Your Forma Volume 1 is top-tier science fiction, with comical leads that feel more human despite one being a robot. The Mulder and Scully of it all is too enticing to ignore.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.