Having recently been turned into a 12-episode anime by J.C. Staff, Abi Umeda’s Children of the Whales has now also garnered a Western manga release courtesy of Viz Media. The fantasy manga follows a boy named Chakuro, who works as an archivist on the Mud Whale, a gigantic floating island with a city on it that sails across a seemingly endless sea of sand. Chakuro is also one of the ‘Marked’ – someone who can wield a psychokinetic power known ‘thymia’, albeit at the expense of a shortened lifespan.
When the Mud Whale encounters another drifting island, Chakuro discovers that its sole inhabitant is a mysterious, wounded girl. Although she makes a spirited attempt to stab him, Chakuro takes the injured girl – whom he dubs ‘Lykos’ – back to his island. Oddly enough, the seemingly-emotionless Lykos appears to recognise the sand-surfing city already; knowledge that becomes important when the Mud Whale is assailed by a mysterious group of people.
The most intriguing element of Children of the Whales so far is its setting – an island city sailing across an endless desert is certainly eye-catching. The mysterious thymia power also adds to the story, even if our protagonist Chakuro’s powers are weak compared to others on the Mud Whale. All-in-all, this is a promising start to an imaginative series. Reviewed by Ian Wolf
Credits: Abi Umeda
Publisher: Viz Media
Release Date: Out Now
© 2013 Abi Umeda