Children of the Sea, Vol. 2 by Daisuke Igarashi (Canada) -(US)
Children of the Sea series
Pages: 316 pages
Finished: Feb. 26, 2010
First Published: Dec. 15, 2009
Genre: manga, YA
Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.
Summary: This incredibly unique story picks up where Vol. 1 left off and after reading the book I'm still left without any evidence on whether to call it fantasy of science fiction at this point. The fish continue to disappear but that aspect of the story fades to the background as this volume both takes a closer look at certain characters and propels Umi and Sora's plot forward. We are taken into the past and shown Jim's backstory which explains why he is the boys' guardian. A new character, Anglade, appears on the scene who promises answers to Sora. Sora's disappearance leaves Umi depressed and physically ill and Ruka helps him on his search to find Sora.
A few exciting reveals are given in this volume adding more mystery to the nature of the boys' existence. The shocking ending is unexpected and will make for a major change in plot for the next volume, if all is as it seems to be. I love the science presented in this manga, the information on marine life and specific to this volume the tsunami's natural place in the ecosystem. I really enjoy the artwork, a lot of attention is paid to the background scenery in many frames and the characters are nicely drawn. One thing that did irritate me though was the new character Anglade. So far in this book, the men have been drawn to look like men, something I appreciated and had come to expect from the series. But along comes Anglade who is obviously an attractive female and referred to by name only at first then all of a sudden Anglade is referred to as he and him all the time.
Otherwise, I'm finding this series incredibly intriguing and unique. The science setting of the aquarium, the involvement of marine biologists keep the possible science fiction angle open while the fantastical events are happening all around them. At over 300 pages these volumes include a lot of characterization and I've grown attachments to certain characters and found a few I'm not fond of as well. After the system jarring ending I'm really looking forward to the next volume due out this summer (2010).