Review: Harmony by Project Itoh
by Project Itoh
Published by VIZ Media July 20, 2010
In the future, Utopia has finally been achieved thanks to medical nanotechnology and a powerful ethic of social welfare and mutual consideration. This perfect world isn’t that perfect though, and three young girls stand up to totalitarian kindness and super-medicine by attempting suicide via starvation. It doesn’t work, but one of the girls—Tuan Kirie—grows up to be a member of the World Health Organization. As a crisis threatens the harmony of the new world, Tuan rediscovers another member of her suicide pact, and together they must help save the planet…from itself.
This is truly an amazing book. It’s a full book, plenty of action, great characters, and a unique style. It’s written as though you’re experiencing it from a computer in that it is full of HTML and it uses that to its advantage. The reader is given emotions and insight through the tags and this helps to really bring the book to life. I’m sorry I put it off on my TBR pile for so long.
In more ways than one, this book makes a lot of valid points about our society and where its potential lies. It is not hard to see the potential of the WHO of Tuan’s world coming to a reality in our not so distant future. I feel I would be like Tuan and break out of society’s mold, putting myself out there into potentially dangerous situations for the possibility of securing alcohol or tobacco, vices we take for granted today, just to feel different.
But there is also a part of me that desires what the WHO offers, a way to maintain your existence without having to make all the decisions yourself. The computers tell you what to eat, monitor your vitals, never getting sick, and while that can be good for a while, I wonder if people could really exist like that for any long term period of time. Perhaps if, as Tuan’s predecessors experienced, something extremely horrible happens and it is the way found to prevent it happening again.
I suggest you pick this up if you enjoy a good dystopian novel. It is truly amazing and I was looking forward to reading more of the author’s work when I finished. Alas, when I read the small blurb at the end about the author, I learned that he passed away a few years ago, and that this was the only book. If nothing else it is a book to read and savor as there will be no more to come. And if that’s not enough of a selling point for you, it has received rave reviews and won a number of awards. It’s just that good.