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Children of the Sea , Vol. 1 Paperback – July 21, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Children of the Sea (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC (July 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1421529149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421529141
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #908,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As a young girl, Ruka sees a fish turn into light and disappear at the aquarium where her father works, but no one believes her. Years later, the mystery of the ghost of the sea unfolds before Ruka and a pair of mysterious young boys, Umi and Sora. Both boys were raised in the ocean by dugongs and can hear the same strange calls from the sea that Ruka does. After being suspended from her handball team, Ruka becomes caught up in the boys' world, which seems to ease her feelings of loneliness. This gentle tale of oceanic adventure reveals itself slowly, building upon the inherent mystery of the sea, as the kids become involved in the worldwide mystery of disappearing fish. Igarashi creates characters that are interesting on multiple levels and relatable for both young and adult readers. The art style is simplistic and almost delicate, but it's fitting for the overall feel of the story. Igarashi is an award-winning mangaka whose work is much in the mood of Miyazaki, and this nature-centered tale shows why. (June)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* When she was little, Ruka saw a ghost at the aquarium—a fish that disappeared in a wave of light—but no one would believe her. Now that she is a teen, fish are disappearing from aquariums all over the world and mysterious children are found living in the oceans. Together with two such children, Umi and Sora, Ruka begins to wonder how all of the clues are connected. Just what is the sea trying to tell them? This oversize manga mostly sets the scene for the series, but that doesn’t make it any less striking. Ruka is a strong main character, caught between being a child and becoming a woman, and between a father who loves her but left her anyway and a mother who isn’t cut out for parenthood. Igarashi’s storytelling is quiet, thoughtful, and thought provoking, but it is his drawings that make this manga so amazing. Extremely detailed settings turn panels into mini-masterpieces, and the ocean scenes are so vivid that readers will feel that they are underwater themselves. VIZ’s handsome packaging does justice to Igarashi’s stunning work, making this a beautiful, must-have addition to any graphic-novel collection. Grades 7-12. --Snow Wildsmith

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Originally read 2009: A very intriguing fantastical story of the sea.
Nicola Mansfield
I already have the second book so if I ever want to figure out what is going on I'll have to read the next book.
B. Sanford
The underwater scenes are beautiful, with good lighting effects and detailed marine life.
Ellen W.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ellen W. VINE VOICE on July 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
When Ruka was young, she saw a fish in the aquarium disappear in a cloud of lights. Now a tomboyish young girl, she has mostly forgotten the incident. Then she meets Umi and Sora, two boys who were raised by dewgongs. Having spent their early life in the sea, Umi and Sora are different from most other kids. They're both incredible swimmers, and their bodies have adapted to living in the water. Most incredible of all, they can understand the messages of the sea, and they have seen Ruka's "ghost" fish before, too. It is happening more often, and fish from all over are flocking to the coast. As the three children investigate the phenomenon, Ruka begins to remember how to hear the voice of the sea.

The story in "Children of the Sea" has a surreal tone. The setting is a small but normal coastal community. The supernatural occurrences fit right into the natural world, and this lends them a sense of realism. It's the kind of magic you might expect to find in the real world, if you only knew where to look. The pacing is a little slow, but this is one case where it's appropriate. It reflects the lazy summer days of a small sea-side community, far removed from the bustle of modern life.

Igarashi's art is simple but beautiful with its thin, strait lines. It's a little rough in places, but the sketchy feel of it gives it a careless, natural feel. The environments are heavily atmospheric, and I love the way Igarashi depicts the small coastal town Ruka lives in. There are empty beaches alongside highways, showing nature and civilization existing side by side. The underwater scenes are beautiful, with good lighting effects and detailed marine life. I especially liked the rough, oldish feel of the town with its small wooden buildings and traditional shops.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dish it Like Lish on January 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
This manga is not your typical frilly pre teen manga. Its' a story that is well written and captivating. Surrounded by old sea folk lore, soaked in culture, and wonderful artwork makes this story come alive. The emotions of the characters are felt through the written words. I implore anyone who is slightly interested to look into this first volume and see for yourself!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary on August 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had learned about Children of the Sea at a comic store, just by picking it up. I'm really attracted to manga with good artwork, and this fit the bill. Daisuke Igarashi is not only a fabulous artist, but an incredible story teller. This book really is amazing and sets you up for the entire series. It has really great characters and the images show the beautiful sights of the waters around Japan. The book also hints of folk lore and stories about the sea from around the world. Unraveling the tale of Umi and Sora will really capture your imagination right away.
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As I read this graphic novel (my first), I realized that I am not a graphic novel person. Perhaps, if I had started reading graphic novels and manga earlier in my life the process might be more enjoyable.

I can appreciated the art and the story of "Children of the Sea" although I could not enjoy it the way it should be enjoyed and savored. As I was reading the book backwards, and reading the panels right to left, I'm sure that more than once I read the panels out of order. Silly me, but I really wanted to read it from left to right.

Plot: I am used to more words in the stories I read. I was too anxious to get to the story, to get answers, that I read as fast as I could. Not a great thing.

The first half of the book builds up the story-line. I prematurely gave it 3 stars. The last half was more interesting and so I gave it 4 stars.

--The last page of the book basically says that this story (part 1) was just to build up to the real story: in the next book! I already have the second book so if I ever want to figure out what is going on I'll have to read the next book.
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By Nicola Mansfield on August 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
Originally read 2009: A very intriguing fantastical story of the sea. Two children were raised in the sea by dugongs and now are living partially on land with a guardian who works with Ruko's father at an Aquarium. Ruko has just been kicked off the summer kickball team as she is too rough and she spends her time near the ocean. She meets Umi, one of the sea boys, and begins to find out about his mysterious life. At the same time, scientists are reporting the disappearance of certain common fish life from aquariums around the world. Ruko's father is studying this but one day Ruko sees it happen before her eyes in the aquarium. An extremely unique story that had me captivated from the beginning! The story is very well told, the characters are interesting and real and I am totally intrigued with the plot, which I haven't decided yet whether it is fantasy or science fiction. This is a Japanese book read back to front and the artwork is done realistically. At 316 pgs there is plenty of room to give a good background on the characters and proceeds well into the story up to a cliffhanger ending that makes one eager to read Vol. 2. The book is rated T (ages 16+ for disturbing images). I waited the whole book for this to show itself and near the end there was one image that was 'disturbing', though I'd just say weird. It is of a deformity. Other than that the book is totally clean and I, of a very conservative nature, have no problem recommending the book for 13+.

re-read Aug/2013: Upon my second reading of this book, I am a much more experienced manga reader than I was back in 2009. My initial observations this time around are the exquisite beauty of the detailed drawings, especially the backgrounds and the full two-page spreads. Gorgeous! A magnificent book.
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