The Parallel World Pharmacy manga is an adaptation of an original light novel series. The story starts out with Kanji Yakutani, a revered medical researcher who keeps himself insanely busy with work, and who is haunted that nothing could be done to save his younger sister from dying from a brain tumor. Yakutani works so hard, in fact, that he works himself to death in his thirties. He awakens as a 10-year-old boy named Farma living in a medieval-esque fantasy world.
The boy Farma had been struck by lightning, and somehow this seems to have rushed Yakutani’s spirit in the boy’s body. It’s not really clear if it’s reincarnation or possession, but at any rate, he’s Farma now.
The medieval-type world is something of a hodgepodge of European history in medieval period and early modern period, along with having magical, made-up stuff. They practice their own polytheistic religion, and Farma soon discovers he has magical powers. At the same time, he’s a scientist at heart, and it’s cringey for him to watch superstition get used in the place of medical knowledge. He decides he’s going to have to start making his own pharmaceutical drugs in this world as well.
Farma has a busty private tutor, a happy and helpful maid named Charlotte, and a new little sister. While the majority of the manga is serious, it’s not grim, and it has that nice, escapist feel to it. It also has moments of humor, which the artist does a good job of expressing. There are some moderately sexy scenes, aimed more for a male audience. The artwork is clean, smooth and fits the story well.
Yakutani, or Farma, is a good main character because he is smart and wants to help others. It bothers him when something is unfair, like when some people aren’t able to access medical treatment because they’re not esteemed by their society. Parallel World Pharmacy has also been turned into an anime, so any fans of the anime ought to have fun checking out the manga. This is also a solid work for fans of isekai, fantasy and medieval-esque stories.
The first volume of the Parallel World Pharmacy manga will be available from One Peace Books on May 30.
Manga: Sei Takano
Original Story: Liz Takayama
Publisher: One Peace Books
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.