Modern day Japan is the stage for a new form of hard science-fiction, as author Nobuaki Tadano revisits one of the genre’s Grand Masters, Hal Clement, in his debut work 7 Billion Needles. Loosely inspired by Clement’s golden age title Needle, 7 Billion Needles follows the life of a teenage girl whose quiet boring days are dramatically changed when her body is possessed by an alien life form caught up in an intergalactic manhunt.
In this second volume of 7 Billion Needles, Hikaru is briefly lulled into a sense of normalcy. As strange as “normal” might seem to her now, “happy days” are much more welcomed than the surreal days she experienced with Celistial. Having wasted Maelstrom in a massive battle she has been freed from the voices in her head(-phones) and is now moving on with her life with new found resolve.
So when she gets an opportunity to formally exorcise her personal demons, which come in the form of painful memories of her deceased father, Hikaru takes the first ferry to the Izu Islands to pay her final respects. When she and her friends arrive and make their way around Hikaru’s ancestral home, they all quickly realize that they were not alone making this trip. Not only is Maelstrom still around and possibly more determined than ever to defeat Celestial, but Celestial was never in Hikaru’s headphones at all… He was in her blood all this time! Making her bond to him almost as deep as her connection to her family…
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Nobuaki Tadano made his comics debut with the short story Headphone Wearing Shut-in Girl for Media Factory’s monthly sci-fi and fantasy comic anthology Comic Flapper. The short’s success earned him the honor of winning Media Factory’s Comic Flapper New Artist Award.
7 Billion Needles is Tadano’s first feature length series and his first title translated into English.