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Children of the Sea, Vol. 4 Paperback – December 21, 2010
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About the Author
Daisuke Igarashi is an award-winning manga creator who began his career in 1993. His series Majo received the Excellence Prize at the 2004 Japan Media Arts Festival and was nominated for the Fauve d'Or Best Comic Book Prize at the 2007 Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d'Angoulême. Little Forest was nominated for the 2006 Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize. His current series Children of the Sea is the winner of the 38th Japan Cartoonist Award and runs in IKKI magazine.
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This is the stage of a manga series where it gets difficult to give a plot summary without giving away what has happened so far. Possibly cryptic generalities include Ruka's mother finally becoming a main character involved in the plot, flashbacks to her past, flashbacks to Anglade's past and even Dehdeh's past. Thus we are filled in on a lot of backstory as to why these people are all joined together in this bizarre marine story. A new theme is approached, that of birth and death, which engulfs the whole story from a metaphysical point of view. The act of birth is the main theme, with death closely tied to it. Things are both becoming clearer and more confusing at the same time. This volume is one that gets deep into the "whys and wherefores" of the plot without too much actually happening to further it along. The artwork in this series, as usual, is absolutely gorgeous. An intense ending leaves one eager for the following volume. This is one of the more unique manga series I've read and while this volume isn't the best of the lot so far, it is a needed one, story-wise, and I anticipate reading vol. 5 greatly .
Re-Read Aug/2012: My original review for this volume gave a rating of 3/5 but I am certainly raisong that up to 4/5 this time. It makes a lot more sense reading the books back to back than it did originally waiting 7 months between reads! My original review pretty much covers everything except I am not confused as I was then; I actually am piecing things together; absolutely love the life/birth references and am hoping the finale will bring that all together with a birth.