The Manga Day 23: Crunchyroll Introduces “Darwin’s Incident” with Unique Storyline
On September 16th, manga fans will flock to their trusted comic bookshops and bookstores to indulge in new manga previews. The Manga Day 23, taking place this year, offers a collection of excellent short stories from various publishers, catering to a wide range of genres, including fantasy, crime, comedy, and romance. As gaming and manga industry experts, we at gamernoize had the privilege of getting a sneak peek into different manga previews. For this event, Crunchyroll is launching four other manga titles: “Choujin X,” “Misery Loves Company,” “Mooning Over You,” and “Darwin’s Incident” by Shun Umezawa, which initially presents itself as a typical high school story with an unusual protagonist.
© Crunchyroll / 2020 by Shun Umezawa / Kodansha
However, right from the beginning, readers are thrown into an action-packed scene as the Animal Liberation Alliance (ALA) storms a research lab in California. The organization’s members set all the animals free, including a visibly pregnant chimpanzee. They decide to rescue her and provide her with a safe haven. A few weeks later, the baby is born, revealing itself as a “Humanzee,” a hybrid of chimpanzee and human.
The story then jumps 15 years into the future, where the now-named Charlie has been adopted and raised by a young couple. Charlie has become world-famous, but still has to attend a regular high school. However, his first day doesn’t go as planned. He faces whispers, secret photos, and is treated differently due to his appearance. The situation escalates when Charlie saves Lucy from falling off a tree while trying to rescue a cat. Lucy is the only one who genuinely wants to befriend him and repeatedly comes to his rescue in various school situations. While Charlie was once seen as adorable and cute, he now endures daily hostility from his classmates.
As Charlie tries to navigate school life, a bomb explodes in a New York steakhouse. The ALA, which once fought for animal welfare, has become radicalized and instills fear in the country. They predominantly target people who consume meat, viewing them as superior to animals. When the topic of Charlie’s vegan lifestyle arises, a dispute breaks out at school. Charlie’s classmates blame him for the death of a child who was among the victims of the New York bombing. Since then, Charlie has been placed under police protection, with the ALA targeting him specifically. They aim to recruit the boy they saved 15 years ago for their “vegan terrorism.”
“Darwin’s Incident” introduces an intriguing concept, shedding light on current issues within its storyline. The discussion surrounding animal welfare and the consumption of animal products is a topic that hasn’t been explored as intensely in manga before. The manga preview ends with a cliffhanger, adding a mysterious element to the story. Certain events have occurred that should remain hidden from the public. Five volumes have been released in Japan thus far, with the first volume set to debut on October 6th internationally.