Qualia The Purple is a SciFi romance manga written by Ueo Hisamitsu and drawn by Tsunashima Shirou.
The following pages should be read from right to left.
Marii Yukari sees the world differently. She sees living beings as robots. This gives her an uncanny ability to fix machines and even upgrade humans as if they were machines.
To help understand how Marii Yukari feels, her friend Hatou Manabu studies principals of qualia and quantum physics.
The girls attempt to discern whether humans really have souls or are just complex machines that imitate characteristics.
This is a really meta concept, seeing as a comic is just a 2D abstraction of reality populated by characters imitating human characteristics to such a perfect degree that they elicit emotion from the reader.
Qualia The Purple starts off as a wacky slice-of-life comedy that evolves into a disturbing SciFi thriller.
When a shady American agency known as JAUNT abducts Marii Yukari to use her special sight, it’s up to Hatou Manabu to save her–even if she has to break reality to do it.
Through a bizarre set of circumstances, Hatou Manabu has her left arm replaced with a cell phone. With this hand-phone she is able to contact other versions of herself from parallel worlds.
Hatou Manabu is the most complicated character I’ve ever encountered in fiction.
As Hatou struggles with her own sexuality, the line between love and perverse obsession gets blurred. I wanted to see Hatou succeed in her mission to save Marii, but I was appalled by the amount of blood she was willing to spill to achieve it.
When she says that she wants to “act in imitation of light,” you can anticipate that she is going down that same path as Light Yagami from Death Note.
The creators utilize the multiple versions of Hatou Manabu in mind-bending ways. Through multiple realities, Hatou becomes a spy, a messiah, and even a magical girl.
The storytelling power behind Qualia The Purple is the creators’ ability to ground high concept quantum mechanics and philosophy in grounded, believable human emotion.
Ultimately, I don’t know if Hatou Manabu is a good or bad person. Perhaps only the versions of herself that perpetrate the violence are bad.
This is a manga that deserves more attention and is ripe for an Anime adaptation.