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Children of the Sea, Volume 1 (book review) Daisuke Igarashi

(Children of the Sea #1)

230915: possibly the most beautiful art i have seen in graphic work. in extensive depiction of the seas, the waves, the surf, the rain, the typhoon, the vast cloudless sky, the turbulent stormy sky, this is radically other than graphics set in urban worlds. there is some plot in flashbacks, some testimonies of varied ocean mysteries, some marine sciences, but philosophical insistence we humans know only a fraction of all reality...

there are beautiful images of the aquatic depths, of shadowed fish, of humans, all the varied flora and fauna, from coral reef, deep sea vents, to angelfish, dugongs, sharks, manta rays, dolphins, and especially whales- a sense of this other world, a sense of what even the most careful human examination misses in this experiential knowing, those worlds of myth, of tales, of science from seas to space to cosmological speculations. there are several plots, there is much fantastical marking of characters as receptive or special, at the same time an apocalyptic fear of fish disappearing from the oceans...

there is a great section showing destruction of a typhoon, of wind, rain, lightning- but then also a rational explanation of all the good such destruction brings. there is some talk of why Mars and Venus have no oceans- but by sheer number of other worlds there must be other oceans. there is maybe the distraction that everybody has huge eyes, but that is style. you get used to it. that it is hard to tell sometimes who is male and who is female, this is not important. more significant is weirdness of the two boys, but this becomes background and only really strong in the last volume... then the story is told almost entirely in images... great images...

this is the art: the refraction patterns underwater, the leafy shadows from the surface forests, sandy beaches, the wavy sense of movement, the rain streaks, the rippling puddles or rain impacts, the snapping sails, the drumming waves on the boats... all of this creates a world much more... 'tactile', sensual in all ways, than most graphics set more in human worlds, almost like you can feel the heat, feel the seabeeze, taste the saltwater, absorb the red amniotic womb and passage of birth... this world is to me much more effective than usual architecture, monsters, mechanical creations, huge explosions and so on. i can see why this was critically lauded, if not bestseller. this is a manga unlike i have ever read before...

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