Underwhelmed with "Children of the Sea" by Daisuke Igarashi

children of the seaChildren of the Sea (vol.1) by Daisuke Igarashi and published by Viz Media, US $14.99, 320 pgs. Rated T for older teens.

“There are demons in the sea.”

What can I say, the cover was arresting and the story sounded promising but after reading this graphic novel I was left.. underwhelmed. I would add on bafflement and utter boredom, too.

The story alludes that there are children who live in the sea. The first encounter of this comes from a underwater cameraman in the Philippines who declares that there are “demons” who live in the sea. Then Ruka, the story’s narrator, sees what she calls a “ghost” in the aquarium where her dad works. The “ghost of the sea” as she terms it, is fully illuminated before it disappears.

Ruka is a tomboy. She loves to play handball but gets kicked off the team due to a scuffle with her teammate. Disappointed and hurt with nothing to do, she ends up befriending a young boy name Umi. Umi is different. Umi along with his brother Sora, were raised in the ocean.

Meanwhile, the mystery of the ocean takes center stage. I guess that’s the best part of the story is the ocean’s vastness and mystery. I mean, how many humans do you know of who were raised in the sea? Umi is not a mermaid. He is human but suffers from dry skin. He and his brother can’t stay out of the water for long periods of time so they wear long robes to protect their skin. That’s because their bodies have adapted to the ocean.

Sorry to say but “Children of the Sea” was underwhelming. I kept reading and reading hoping to finally get hooked but alas, that didn’t happen until after more than a few chapters in. New story + slow build-up didn’t work for me. Everything was just so bizarre and I can’t go on reading stuff that doesn’t explain itself within a reasonable amount of time. Am hesitant to read more because the plot is slow going.

There are little segments here or there that are supposed to be seen as “true accounts” or “testimonies” from three people who’ve witnessed weird phenomena. I was especially moved by the story about a little boy who shows up to help out some fisherman on the harbor. The boy’s strength and hard work makes him memorable but what really stood out was that the fisherman didn’t think the kid acted “normal.” Sure enough his theory or suspicions are proven true from the boy’s physical appearance.

All I have to say is interesting concept, start of the story set the eerie tone or mood just right and the artwork was fantastic but I was left underwhelmed by the story overall. The novel opens with about 9 pages of color. Truly beautiful work. This is a story that is some of shades of familiar, about kids who are outsiders who are caught up in an important search for the “ghost of the sea.”

If you enjoy stories about myths and legends or enjoy mysteries of the unknown, you may want to give Children of the Sea a try. C. But you have to be patient for the story to take off, though. Children of the Sea has been reviewed here as well if you want a more positive take on the story.

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