Comics / Manga

Children of the Whales: Volume 12 manga review

By Leroy Douresseaux
September 15, 2019 - 15:17

Children of the Whales Graphic Novel Volume 12 cover image

Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”

They are the denizens of the “Mud Whale.”  In year 93 of the Sand Exile, the Mud Whale is an island city of clay and magic floating atop an endless sea of sand.  On that island, an isolated community of exiled criminals, “the Fálaina,” clings to life.  Some of them are called “The Marked,” because of their ability to use a magic known as “thymia.”  Chakuro is the archivist for the Mud Whale, and he diligently chronicles the lives and deaths of his people, who are cut off from their own dark history.

As Children of the Whales, Vol. 12 (Chapters 49 to 52) opens, the struggle on Amonlogia continues.  Chakura and the powerful Ouni are leading a rescue mission into the capital city of Amonlogia to rescue the “Unmarked” (denizens of the Mud Whale who cannot use thymia).  They mayor of Mud Whale is finally found, and now, it is time for the marked and unmarked to reunite, return to the Mud Whale, and escape Amonlogia.

However, two long-expected confrontations must finally take place.  First, Orca of the Allied Empire battles Ouni, the Mud Whale's most powerful thymia user, and Orca is determined to make Ouni his captive.  Then, Liontari, Orca's sycophant, attacks Lykos, Orca's sister.  Liontari believes that if she can get rid of Lykos, then, she can take the sister's place next to the brother.  In the end, who among these players will end up captured?

[This volume includes bonus illustrated text, “Current fashion on the Mud Whale,” and “A Note on Names.”]

THE LOWDOWN:  The Children of the Whales manga sails on as a wonderfully imaginative fantasy manga.  It has been one of the best graphic novel series since its debut in 2017, and it rocked on through 2018 to 2019.

Children of the Whales Graphic Novel Volume 12 is one of the shorter recent entries.  It seems like an in-between entry, something in the middle of momentous larger books.  In the chapters contained in Vol. 12, creator Abi Umeda offers tense, very personal battles, but she leaves readers hanging as to the consequence of these struggles... mostly.

As usual, JN Productions excellent translation offers evocative dialogue that fits Umeda's beautiful, textured art.  Annaliese Christman's lettering and sound effects perfectly convey the sounds and fury of battles, large and small.  They want us to keep reading.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Readers looking for unique graphic novels for young adult readers and teens will want to ride on this VIZ Signature title, Children of the Whales.

8 out of 10

Rating: 8 /10

Last Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:25

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