Children of the Whales: Volume 6 manga review
By Leroy Douresseaux
Sep 18, 2018 - 15:08

Viz Media
Writer(s): Abi Umeda, JN Productions
Artist(s): Abi Umeda
Letterer(s): Annaliese Christman
ISBN: 978-1-4215-9727-0
$12.99 U.S., $17.99 CAN, £8.99 UK, 200pp, B&W, paperback
Rating: T+ (Teen Plus)

Children of the Whale Graphic Novel Volume 6 cover image

Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”

It is year 93 of the Sand Exile for the denizens of the “Mud Whale.” This is an island city of clay and magic floating atop an endless sea of sand.  On that island, an isolated community of exiled criminals clings to life.  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. 6 (Chapters 21 to 24) opens, Chakuro learns the history of “the unmarked” and “the marked” (those that can wield the power of “thymia”), and also the story of a secret arrangement made 100 years ago.  But sometimes secrets are hard to keep, and some of the marked are beginning to believe they should control their fate.  Plus, Chakuro and troublesome newcomer, Rochalizo, visit “The Tower of Time.”

[This volume includes an afterword, “The Journeys of the Children of the Whales” and “A Note on Names.”]

THE LOWDOWN:  The Children of the Whales manga is one of the best manga and graphic novel series of 2018, just as it was one of the best debuts of last year.  I personally would like to see this imaginative series gain a larger readership.

Children of the Whales Graphic Novel Volume 6 is yet another fine volume in the series.  Sometimes, I have a difficult time articulating how magical this narrative feels, but I can describe something else I have noticed about the series.

I wish that VIZ Media published Children of the Whales as a full-color graphic novel series printed on enamel paper with computer coloring and color separations.  Abi Umeda's illustrations and graphical storytelling make excellent use of textures and subtle gradation in character drawings, costumes, and environment.  Umeda depicts the casting of magic (thymia) with special effects, and her portrayal of energy and memory as ethereal things deserves the color treatment.  I assume that the original manga publication of this series is in black and white, but Children of the Whales would look so very good in a color presentation.

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

9 out of 10

Rating: 9/10

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