The Bottom Line
Umi and Sora look like ordinary teens, but they’re anything but – the two boys have a connection with the sea because they raised by dugongs. When Ruka meets Umi and Sora, she finds herself drawn to the pair, and discovers that they have something in common: They’ve all seen a phenomenon they call “the Ghost of the Sea.”
It takes a bit for Children of the Sea to get going, but once it does, this mesmerizing manga will immerse you in its uncommon beauty and enthrall you with its magical realism. A refreshing reminder that great manga can be artistic, thought-provoking and entertaining at the same time.
- An utterly mesmerizing mystery story that sucks readers in from the very first chapter
- Vibrant, detailed artwork that takes its inspiration from nature, real people and real places
- Features uncommonly nuanced and fascinating characters that don’t rely on manga clichés
- Lyrical, gracefully-paced graphic storytelling that builds suspense with style
- A beautifully presented book with oversized pages and some gorgeous color spreads
- Starts a bit slowly at first, but picks up the pace after a few chapters
- Good for teens but has a few surreal scenes that might disturb very young readers
- Original Title: Kaiju no Kodomo (Japan)
- Author & Artist: Daisuke Igarashi
- ISBN: 978-1421529141
- Cover Price: $14.99 US / $17.50 CANADA
- Age Rating:
OT – Older Teens, Age 16+
for some minor, stylized nudity
More about content ratings.
- Manga Genres:
- Seinen (Men's) Manga
- Animals / Pets
- Mystery / Suspense
- Slice of Life / Reality-Based
- US Publication Date: July 2009
Japan Publication Date: July 2007
- Book Description: 320 pages, black and white illustrations, 8 color pages
Guide Review - Children of the Sea Volume 1
The trouble with reading a lot of comics is that after a while, you get these flashes of deja vu. "Didn't I read something similar to this a little while ago?" or "This character reminds me of... [insert other series here]." Generic, androgynous and interchangeable characters and predictable, derivative plots are all too common in manga today -- but that's exactly why Children of the Sea by Daisuke Igarashi is so refreshing and rave-worthy.
Instead of mimicking other manga artists, Igarashi-sensei takes a different approach: he draws real people, real animals and real places and weaves in magically surreal circumstances. The result is an uncommonly mesmerizing and memorable manga that rises above the rest.
When you first encounter them, the "children" in Children of the Sea seem ordinary enough. Ruka is a rough and ready tomboy who’s spending the summer at the aquarium with her oceanographer father. It’s there that she meets Umi and Sora, two boys who have a strong affinity for the ocean, mostly because they were raised in the wild by sea mammals.
Umi and Sora’s aquatic upbringing has made them especially attuned to the sea -- they seem to hear and see things that others can't. Ruka finds herself immersed in the boys’ world, and soon discovers that she has something in common with Umi and Sora: they’ve all experienced a phenomenon they call “The Ghost of the Sea.” As mysterious incidents involving ocean creatures begin occurring with greater frequency, the trio begin to wonder if these events are somehow connected to the strange lights they see under the sea.
Igarashi’s characters feature the large eyes that readers expect from manga, but his drawings have a vibrant, energetic quality that comes from his attention to drawing real people, real sea creatures and real places. It’s refreshing to see an artist drawing nature and people of all ages, ethnicities and body types instead of mimicking the conventions of other manga artists.
The story of Children of the Sea is utterly hypnotic. Igarashi lets the suspense build slowly, leisurely dropping hints of mysterious events and dramatic twists to come. It takes a bit to get started, but once it does, Children of the Sea will have you hooked. It's a memorable must-read that you’ll recommend to everyone you meet. It’s that darn good.