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Subarashii Sekai  
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Being his first series, What a Wonderful World remains Asano's most representative and successful work to date.

Composed of vignettes from the daily lives of a group of people inhabiting an ordinary neighborhood somewhere in Tokyo, the series is actually a comment about modern life itself and how we can survive in it despite all its rigors.

Amusing, melancholic, funny, strange, thought-provoking - Asano effortlessly shifts from one mood to another, creating stories and characters that are profoundly human and thus always involving. It's a shame that not everyone will find the subjects the author describes equally appealing since some of them are distinctly Japanese. But overall, it's a great collection that any discerning manga reader should check out.


Related Series

Associated Names
What a Wonderful World
What a Wonderful World!

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.2 c.14-19 (end) by Illuminati-Manga over 7 years ago
v.2 c.13 by Illuminati-Manga over 7 years ago
v.2 c.12 by Illuminati-Manga over 8 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
2 Volumes (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 8.2 / 10.0 (351 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.06 / 10.0
 21% (73 votes)
 20% (69 votes)
 32% (113 votes)
 16% (55 votes)
 6% (22 votes)
 2% (8 votes)
 2% (8 votes)
 0% (0 votes)
 0% (1 votes)
 1% (2 votes)

Last Updated
January 7th 2018, 1:59am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Sunday GX (Shogakukan)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Viz (2 Volumes - Complete)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #584 increased(+198)
Monthly Pos #1275 increased(+373)
3 Month Pos #2241 increased(+827)
6 Month Pos #3790 increased(+6)
Year Pos #3947 increased(+729)

List Stats
On 308 reading lists
On 637 wish lists
On 786 completed lists
On 38 unfinished lists
On 214 custom lists

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User Comments [ Order by time added ]

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Super flavorful   
Rating: N/A
by vkoi
August 31st, 2009, 10:05pm
Great writing, stories that are realistic while still being engaging (this coming from a sucker for a fantasy twist). As a twenty something who's been hammered on a bit by life, I think these stories are pretty universal; I didn't find the themes distinctly Japanese. I found myself nodding through the stories, "Yep, know what that's like." The art style was also great. The characters aren't beauties - they're ugly or real looking, no eye candy here, but Inio Asano's clean lines have a lot of life in them. The stories completely escape the cliches so common in manga. Each is really unique and creative.

I have only one negative thing to say about Subarashii Sekai. The theme "Life's difficult but you have to look at reality and not run away from it and deal with it in your own way," just got pounded too explicitly. Phrases like, "Look at life as it really is," and "You can't run away from reality," show up in every story. It's true, yeah, but maybe it could have been more subtle. Well, the stories approach this theme from many angles, so I don't mind too much. Each story offers further insight.

I think this is a must read for any slice-of-life fans. I highly recommend it to any fans of fine storytelling.
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Subarashii Sekkai   
Rating: N/A
by Yper
August 28th, 2011, 8:32am
Asano Inio's first published manga. Small, distinctively japanese slice of life stories somewhat linked to each other. The topics covered are as follows: otakus, hikkikomoris, misunderstood teenagers, baitos (part-time jobs), freeters (someone living off part-time jobs), the national exam for higher education, ronins (someone who has failed this national exam and is waiting until the next one), yobikous (special schools which prepare the ronins for the next exam), school bullying, bullies and bullied characters, young couples, love between young couples, virginity, lost of virginity, masturbating, sense of purpose, meaning of life, boring japanese daily life, the beginning of a new day. All of this coupled with daily random ramblings and some witty, clichéed phrases about the meaning of life.

You're not japanese and want to get into Asano Inio? I don't recommend this manga for a first try. If you try to read this, you'll simply read it up just for the sake of reading it. Yes, it will be boring and maybe annoying, but you will continue just for completing the series and thus placing it in the "Complete list" and then utterly forgetting about it. Instead, I recommend Solanin, Nijighara Holograph (may need two to three readings), Oyasumi Punpun (Asano Inio's masterpiece) and Sekai no Owari to Yoakemae.

To boost it up, the art is a pale comparisong of the aforementioned four and his easily trademarked style is still in embryonic form.

... Last updated on August 28th, 2011, 8:42am
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Rating: N/A
by fictionalscience
June 8th, 2008, 10:46am
Well, besides the more obvious fact that each of the stories is named after a song ("Subarashii Sekai" - either Lunkhead or Eastern Youth, "Sunday People" - Supercar, "Mini Grammer" - Number Girl, etc), the whole volume 1 strikes me as similarly organized as a concept album: all the stories are different, but all the same (at least overall they tell one big story). Also, I especially like how the mangaka uses almost surreal-looking images, like the bear costume in "What a Wonderful World" and the turtle in "Like Greased Lightning". My personal favorites, though, have to be "Like Greased Lightning" and "Wandervogel", because of my bias towards music scene-related stuff.
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by G-17
January 23rd, 2008, 9:35am
It's Inio Asano....Nuff said.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. A good publisher should pick up his work. They'll do themselves and the rest of the world outside Japan a huge service.

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aaaah very nice read   
Rating: N/A
by elalendi
October 21st, 2009, 2:41pm
It's the kind of manga that makes you sigh happily after reading it. His art is beautiful, his storytelling really touching, light, sad, funny, you name it. One of my favorites by him. I also thought it was really cool that each story (and they could have served as stand-alone oneshots) was connected to the next through the characters. Like one story turns out to have a minor character whose sister is featured in the next. I loved that.

... Last updated on October 21st, 2009, 2:47pm
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Superb anthology.   
Rating: 9.3 / 10.0
by Crenshinibon
January 15th, 2009, 7:48pm
Asano Inio never fails. Ever. Interesting little glances into daily life ranging from humorous to dramatic to almost surreal, all tied to together with some of the most astonishing artwork in the world of manga (although admittedly this isn't Asano's best artistic work). Truth be told, this is probably my least-favorite of his titles, but I still enjoy it immensely and hold it in an extremely high regard. This admittedly isn't a collection for everyone, but if you've enjoyed other works of a similar nature (glances at Japanese daily life with some veiled criticisms), then you'll have a good time with this one.
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Quite good   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by panos
June 9th, 2013, 6:35pm
As a whole it was a good manga, some stories are better than the others. It depicts the problems and feelings of everyday people about their life (job, relationships, dreams etc) in a realistic and graphic way. It was also nice the way some stories connected with each other which made me go back and find the original story, as well as the ending scene of a story is the beginning of another. Last 2 chapters were really sad though and that's what mostly drove me to comment for this manga. I was googling a lot about any discussion about the ending and those 2 chapters in particular but I couldn't find anything, at least from the English written forums or blogs. To sum up I suggest you give it a read if you like slice of life stories. You won't be disappointed.

... Last updated on June 9th, 2013, 7:30pm
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He's got something...   
Rating: 6.0 / 10.0
by MightyMaeve
June 7th, 2011, 1:45pm
I didn't like anyone in this anthology. And I didn't care enough about anyone to find theor stories compelling. I am attracted to stories focusing on character development, character struggle with self and society, so I picked this title up. There wasn't much inner life reflected beneath these disaffected people.

Alas, the writer seemed  to be trying to say something really, really hard, and say it cleverly, losing his impact in abstraction.  I'd be willing to give this mangaka another try--his art and panel use are energetic and at times that was all that kept me reading. Perhaps a longer story would be a better reflection of his story telling ability? This is, after all, my first time trying Asano-sensei's work.

... Last updated on June 7th, 2011, 1:49pm
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goes well with jrock playing on the background   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by yui-kun
November 30th, 2007, 10:48am
I must admit that I decided to read this manga because it had chapter titles that had music references. Volume 1 really blew me away. I like the way the vignettes were connected to each other; the way the ending scene of the story is the opening scenario to the next one. It's also best read with Number Girl playing in the background (lol). My favorite chapters would be "A Hilly Neighborhood" (which reminds me a lot of the NG song Trampoline Girl) and "Syrup." Nice and touching. Highly recommended to fans of the genre.

... Last updated on December 23rd, 2007, 8:38am
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Hmm, not sure what to think…   
Rating: N/A
by yaiko
September 11th, 2007, 6:12am
I honestly didn't get What a Wonderful World. I read the first few chapters of the first volume and skimmed the rest of the 'series', which is simply a collection of unrelated vignettes. Both the stories and the art are very subtle, and at the same time melancholic with a hint of nostalgia.

As the summary indicates, the settings and issues explored are very Japanese, or at the very least, I think this is simply a work you get or you don't. Unfortunately, I wasn't a person who really got this manga. None of the stories really struck a chord for me, but for some reason, this work really gave me a really strong sense of nostalgia, weird…

... Last updated on September 11th, 2007, 7:33am
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