In order to be a “Projectionist,” you must be able to create worlds and objects using only your imagination and a magical lantern. It is a unique talent that very few possess, but those that can do it well can become famous and make a fortune out of “projecting” in front of a paying audience.
But you gotta learn how to do it first, so students hone their craft in the Projectionist Department at their regular high schools. The World I Create is a series of short stories about these type of magical high school students. They find love and friendship with each other while still trying their best to make the grade and pass their classes.
The World I Create is a one-volume shonen title out of the CMX / Flex Comic partnership, and it is the first work of artist Ayami Kazayama to be released here in America. And while one might be expecting a whimsical tale about the magic of these projections, all we get is a sappy and overly-generic romantic snoozer instead.
The first thing you will notice about this series is that it is very cute. You can tell that Kazayama was going for a moé approach in her art and character designs. Even though the setting takes place in a high school, all of the characters look far younger, which adds a very playful tone to the story.
I also really enjoyed the narrative structure of this one-shot volume. We basically have four completely separate stories that take place in the same school but center around a different pair of characters each time. While every chapter remains completely independent from the previous one, we see the old characters make cameo appearances later on to update the reader on what happened to them after their story ended. Then the volume ends with a bonus episode that features characters from all four stories goofing off together at the beach. It is a great way to maintain continuity within a series of short works.
But even with cute art and a unique narrative, the problem that ultimately kills this series is that none of these four stories are particularly all that interesting. They all basically go like this: A boy meets a girl, one of them develops a crush on the other, the other one reciprocates the love, and then they all live happily ever after. That is it. It is as generic and boring as you can get in manga.
You would think that the wonderment and excitement of the “projectionist” magic would somehow spice up this tale, but it only plays a bit part in setting up a reason for the couples to meet. Instead of getting deep and beautiful visions created from the students and their imagination, we get a ton of corny and sappy romantic moments. While the art screams moé shonen, the story is pure generic shojo.
And not even good shojo at that!
* * * * *
The Good: Adorable artwork and interesting narrative structure between each chapter.
The Bad: Mundane stories and sappy romance.
Final Verdict: The World I Create is cute, but unfortunately, it just doesn’t have enough there to make it stand out as manga worth reading. Skip it.
Review copy provided by CMX Manga.