Comics / Manga

Children of the Whales: Volume 14 manga review

By Leroy Douresseaux
January 22, 2020 - 14:29

Children of the Whales Graphic Novel Volume 14 cover image

Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”

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. 14 (Chapters 57 to 60) opens, Chakuro learns that Mayor Suou has not given up on rescuing Ouni and Lykos from the battleship, “Karcharias.”  She is launching a secret rescue mission with a small group of citizens of the Mud Whale.  They are planning to sail towards the battleship in a small boat, and Chakuro does not intend on being left behind.

Once there, they will learn that Commander Orca, Lykos's brother and now commander of the “Karcharias,” has declared himself separated from the Allied Empire.  Now, he has a crazy-ass plan for the world, and his plan requires that he kill the denizens of the “Mud Whale.”

[This volume includes bonus manga, “The Voyage of the Whale” map and “A Note on Names.”]

THE LOWDOWN:  The Children of the Whales manga continues to take readers on a sailing adventure through an amazing and imaginative world.  It will be one of the best graphic novel series of 2020, just as it was one of the best graphic novel series of 2018 and 2019, after being a top graphic novel debut in 2017.

Children of the Whales Graphic Novel Volume 14, like Vols. 12 and 13, has a short page count.  Still, there is awesome narrative power in its small size, and Vol. 14, like Vol. 13, is a hugely pivotal entry in the series.  Creator Abi Umeda finally reveals Orca's plan for changing the world.  It is some time-spanning, multiverse type of thing one would expect from Marvel and DC Comics titles.  Now is certainly no time to quit this fantastically imaginative series.

JN Productions excellent translation offers evocative dialogue that fits Umeda's beautiful, textured art and deftly conveys the philosophical conflicts in Vol. 14.  Annaliese Christman's lettering and sound effects normally convey the sounds and fury of battles, but this time, she captures an intimate performance of drama and conflict.

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

9 out of 10

Rating: 9 /10

Last Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:25

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