Light in the Darkness and Children of the Sea

from the first pages of Children of the Sea

The ocean is like a starlit night sky… 


Ok, let’s take first things first. Some days ago I finished all 4 volumes that are out till now of Children of the Sea by Daisuke Igurashi. This manga is an awarded one, not without reason.Whoever has read his Witches already knows what a magnifiscent storyteller he is and how seducing and enchanting his style of drawing is (it resembles a bit Mushishi‘s style)- he really has the ability to make the readers ‘live’ what they read. Here’s a summary:

When Ruka was younger, she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi (=sea) and Sora (=sky). They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea as she does.

Sora begins investigating their strange connection to the sea. But the current research is too slow for Sora, who is lured away by with the promise of answers. This leaves Umi severely depressed, and it is up to Ruka to help her new friend find his brother. But time is quickly running out…
You can find more information and some free chapters to read on Ikki‘s homepage. Igarashi-sensei’s interview is also very interesting.
this song is frequently repeated throughout the manga linking sea with sky and seems to be a key leading to the solution of the mystery presented in the manga
 Add to the very good storytelling and artwork some science (biology, oceanology, astronomy) plus mythology and the supernatural plus enviromental worries plus some philosophical notions and you get Children of the Sea.
Left: the main characters of the story, Ruka, Sora, Umi. Right: The fish emits light and disappears.
Why I mated the TED talk about bioluminescent organisms and Children of the Sea should be obvious to the readers of the manga and it’s quite clear from the above image, too. In the story some spotted species after emitting light literally disappear in front of the eyes of everyone. Until now I knew that sea animals emitting light were trying to lure attention to hunt or to mate. In the manga this doesn’t seem to be the case. Edith Widder explains that bioluminiscence has to do with signs of help, too. It makes much more sense, if interpreted this way, doesn’t it? So my guess is that the disappearances and the light from the animals as well as from Sora and Umi are a signal of help from the Earth’s ecosystem. I ‘ve got the feeling that this ‘show’ and/or ‘birth’ stated in the manga means a kind of apocalypse- a destruction and rebirth of the planet and the life on it. Let’s see what comes next… I hope the next volume will come out soon.

Take your pen and write your story, co-traveler~

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