By Leroy Douresseaux
December 26, 2010 - 10:49
|Children of the Sea Volume 4 cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.|
Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
Ruka Akumi is a tomboy with a quick temper, and she uses her fists to settle disputes. However, Ruka has always felt at home at Enokura Aquarium, where her father works and where she meets and befriends Umi and his older brother, Sora. They are two mysterious boys who were raised by dugongs (a member of the manatee family) during the early years of their lives. Soon, Ruka is hearing the same strange calls from the sea that the brothers hear – the first of many signs that her changing life is part of a worldwide mystery centered in the planet’s oceans.
In Children of the Sea, Vol. 4, the narrative largely focuses on prior incidents and past chapters that lead up to the main narrative. Of particular interest is a story that takes place in the Antarctic. It stars Sora, Umi, marine biologist Jim Cusack (who is also Umi’s guardian), and Anglade, a gifted young marine biologist who was Jim’s partner before he became his arrival. Mysterious creatures abound.
THE LOWDOWN: Part mystical and part scientifically curious, Children of the Sea is like a narrative that discovers a secret about science. Science is what we use to stumble about during our investigation of the miraculous and the unknown (or maybe unknowable). This way of searching is also how creator Daisuke Igarashi approaches his reader. Igarashi obviously wants to tell his readers a particular kind of comic book story. Igarashi also drops clues and constantly introduces ambiguity to encourage us and to engage us. It is as if Igarashi is saying, “Go beyond the surface, beyond what you see on this page.” Sure. I’m game.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers looking for the best in comics will still find it in Children of the Sea, which is simply an enchanting ecological mystery.