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Manhua / Neo Era

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Welcome to a new world...
The latest manhua series by Singaporean artist Wee Tian Beng, after the conclusion of The Celestial Zone X-2 in 2018, with two volumes released to date, and it is the first non-TCZ related series to be done by Wee Tian Beng in nearly two decades. The story of Neo Era takes place at an unspecified point in the far future, long After the End. Humanity has gone extinct, and the Earth of the future has since been repopulated by a new generation of humanoids dubbed "Neo-Humans" - who basically resemble Space Elves with Psychic Powers.

The Neo-Humans lived a peaceful and harmonious coexistence with their fellows and with nature, and life on this future Earth was generally tranquil and idyllic until three years before the beginning of the series, Killer Robots left behind by the ancient human civilisation began to reawaken and launch a series of unprovoked attacks on Neo-Humans. The story follows the adventures of three Neo-Humans Xiao Ai, Xiao Jie and Stoney, fighting off the encroaching robot army while racing to uncover the mystery behind what became of the ancient humans, and why did their robot army reawaken?


Neo Era provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Precursors: The ancient humans were basically being seen as this by the Neo-Humans, at least based on what little they currently knew about them.
  • Action Girl: Xiao Ai.
  • Advanced Ancient Humans: From the perspective of the Neo-Humans, the old-world humans are basically these. And they're also seen as a bunch of jerks, too.
  • After the End: The story takes place in the distant future, long after humans have gone extinct.
  • Apocalypse How: From the looks of it, at some point the Earth underwent a Class 3 apocalypse; humanity as a species has gone extinct - but the Earth remains teeming with life, and the Neo-Humans have since emerged as the new dominant species of the planet.
  • The Big Guy: Stoney, of the Pint-Sized Powerhouse variant fills this role for the protagonist group.
  • Bishōnen Line: Can be observed in the robot army, who are grouped into four classes in ascending order of combat effectiveness.
    • Class D fighters are basically hulking bipeds with gun arms and missile launchers, that the protagonists seem to dispatch with minimal difficulty.
    • Class C fighters are smaller and more streamlined with a more humanoid silhoutte, but are nevertheless obviously robotic in appearance. They're also considerably stronger than the Class D fighters - two of them were able to give Stoney a rough time.
    • Class A fighters made a brief appearance at the end of Vol. 2, and are shown to look no different from humans - and according to Xiao Jie, the most powerful of the machines.
  • Blow You Away: Xiao Ai's power set revolves around manipulation of wind, such as being able to generate blasts of Razor Wind, or controlling gusts of wind to act as a crude form of telekinesis.
  • Bookends: Wee Tian Beng's latest manhua series is a dramatic Genre Shift from his usual Wuxia/Fantasy themed works in the form of The Celestial Zone, with Neo Era a sci-fi work - which is a radical departure from what most of us are familiar with. But those who've followed Wee Tian Beng's works might recall that very early in his career his first works were also sci-fi series, namely Astronautics and New Frontier. As such, Neo Era marks a return to his roots rather than being something entirely new.
  • Everyone is a Super: Regular humans as we know it have gone extinct in this setting, and in their place we have on one hand Space Elves with a variety of Psychic Powers and on the other hand, Killer Robots left behind by old-world humanity - both of them would be by our present-day standards, superhuman - albeit in different flavours.
  • Flesh Versus Steel: The conflict between the Neo-Humans and the Mecha-Mooks left behind by the Precursors.
  • Ghibli Hills: What the future Earth has become long after the disappearance of the old-world humans and their civilisation. As far as we've seen, the planet is now covered with pristine forests teeming with life, rolling plains and beautiful, pollution-free oceans.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Only the Class D Mecha-Mooks make extensive use of guns, and they're the most easy to dispatch. While the Class C fighters also have ranged weapons in the form of blasters built into their forearms, they don't seem to use them nearly as much as their Class D counterparts, instead preferring to fight the heroes using their fists and feet.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: In the Two Guys and a Girl Power Trio of Xiao Jie, Stoney and Xiao Ai; the former two are seen smashing the Mecha-Mooks with Super Strength punches and kicks and generally employing a more in-your-face style of fighting, while Xiao Ai tends to employ more acrobatic evasions and take them down beyond arm's reach with a barrage of Razor Wind, or using gusts of wind to slam her enemies into one another.
  • Killer Robot: The main enemy the Neo-Humans face in the series, and one of the only remaining legacies of the Precursors besides ruined cities.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Stoney; he may be the smallest of the three protagonists, but he can certainly hang with the best of them.
  • Power Trio: Of Xiao Jie, Xiao Ai and Stoney, who appear to be a Balance, Speed, Strength Trio.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: The Class A robot fighters who are briefly introduced at the end of Vol 2 look and act perfectly human, and on top of that it was even lampshaded by Xiao Jie that they are even designed to imitate the anatomy of humans.
  • Science Marches On: As mentioned below, the nine Class A robot fighters were collectively referred to as "The Nine Planets" after the planets of the Solar System. Except that Pluto is no longer classified as a planet since 2006, some twelve years before Neo Era began.
  • Space Elves: The Neo-Humans are essentially of the Enlightened Mystic Race variety, being born with Psychic Powers and generally possessing a more enlightened outlook on life.
  • Theme Naming: There are only nine Class A robot fighters in existence, and they were named after the planets of the Solar System.