February 23rd, 20XX.
Looking for a job in the famous TV station at Odaiba, college senior Jin Mishima attended the recruitment orientation. Not far away from the station, Nanako Okano, a gothic lolita trying to attend a concert, found out that her friends tricked her about the concert ticket because of jealousy. The two bumped into each other and "reunited", they were junior high classmates, moments before an earthquake of Richter Scale 8.1 turned the island (the entire city, in fact) into ruins.
From here on, 51 Ways is a predictable but remarkably believable survival adventure. Based on a well-researched novel by Minoru Watanabe, the series paints a picture not quite as explicit and horrifying as ones in other apocalyptic fiction, but one that is frightening in it's detail.
Like many of Furuya's other works, we're also shown just how fragmented and superficial Japanese youth has become: gals, rock stars, Gothic Lolita's, otaku, salarymen, ganguro, and schoolgirls are all here in their self-imposed stereotypical, shallow glory. But while the ugliness of the fragmentation of Tokyo youth is striking - these people all come together in the face of disaster in a way that's ultimately hopeful. When you strip off the posing and expensive clothing: we're all the same.
In the end, 51 Ways is one of Furuya's most optimistic and mainstream works. It would make a lovely gateway drug for more timid independant comic readers or shoujo fans looking for something with a bit more bite.
(Source: ANN & Anime Online)