The earth has died. A mysterious master of clockwork, known simply as Y, reconstructed the planet with a mix of technology and gears. Clockwork Planet takes place in this reborn world 1,000 years after the efforts of Y.
Naoto Miura is a young student infatuated by technology. His obsession with gears marks him as an outsider. After being bullied in school, Naoto returns home to continue the construction of an automation. Automations are essentially androids, robots who appear human. Naoto has spent the past 3 years working on his very own, but has yet to complete his creation. While resting after a hard days work, a container bursts into Naoto’s home. Upon inspection, he discovers a beautiful automation inside. He discovers that this attractive intruder is non-functional and quickly begins to remedy the situation. Naoto pays close attention and is able to hear and locate the malfunctioning component.
The automation comes online and introduces herself as Ryuzu Yourslave, unit 1 of initial Y series. Ryuzu quickly surveys the danger of the collapsing home and saves Naoto from certain injury and death. After Naoto regains consciousness, Ryuzu proclaims her gratitude and requests the young man to be her master. Naoto emphatically accepts the offer.
The Meister Guild is an organization sworn to maintain and protect the mechanisms of the planet. It is imperative that when a fault arises in a core tower that this organization step in and repair the malfunction. Meister Marie is leading a team to investigate an issue with the core tower in Kyoto. Normally the Armed Forces make jobs like this unbearable for the Meisters, but for some reason there is hardly any military around for such a serious situation.
Marie and her automation Halter soon learn that the Armed forces already known about the fault for some time. They plan on allowing the tower to fall to cause a “purge.” Marie is summoned by Meister HQ and told to stop her crusade to save the tower, but refuses to do so. She is relieved from her position and begins her quest to save the people of Kyoto. While leaving HQ, Marie comes across Ryuzu who she has been looking for since her disappearance. She is shocked to see Ryuzu up and running as she spent substantial time trying to repair her.
Clockwork Planet is another interpretation of a world gone awry. Rather than a dystopian take however, the manga focuses on the technological breakthroughs that saved the human race. The strengths of the series is in character development and cultivating a sense of intrigue and corruption. It is a very quick and fun read. The somewhat neo-steampunk vibe is interesting and allows for fun art and character designs.
As with many manga/anime, the fan service is blatant. Ryuzu’s last name is Yourslave… could you pick a more submissive surname? Ryuzu goes so far as to suck on Naoto’s fingers to symbolize him becoming her master. This manga does not need to really on common tropes to succeed. Naoto’s introduction is very much like so many others. He’s a nerdy kid who gets picked on and then becomes awesome somehow. That origin is very played out. Meister Marie however has a very intriuging personality which will continue to expand as the series progresses. Volume 1 was enjoyable, but not much happened. There was a lot of setup without any big confrontation or event. Hopefully volume 2 will capitalizes on the groundwork laid out here. If you’d like to read this manga click right here! Be on the lookout for my review of volume 2 coming soon!
Note: Kodansha Comics provided us with a digital copy of this manga in exchange for an honest review