Manga / Kabu no Isaki

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The sky isn't merely a cheap blue ceiling. It's something dreadfully high and deep.

In a world that's mysteriously ten times bigger than ours, most places are in the middle of nowhere. Kabu no Isaki is a Slice of Life Manga about some people who live in this world, and get around by flying a small airplane: a lightweight Piper Super Cub. Written by Hitoshi Ashinano, the author of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, it launched on Afternoon in 2007 as a oneshot before semi-regularly updating as a full work until ending on January 2013.

There are no fights or villains, but this series makes just flying to the next town into an adventure.


This manga contains examples of:

  • Childhood Friends: Isaki and Kajika, despite Isaki being a good four years older, having been neighbors their whole life.
  • Child Prodigy: Kajika states that she learns a lot of things faster than Isaki does, including piloting the Cub, which explains why she's much more capable of piloting an aircraft on instinct while being bad at math homework. She's somewhat worried Isaki's habit of borrowing the Cub when she can't will allow him to one up her in this regard. Though it would make sense that she's better considering she's actually his older sister.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: The concept of flying is used to illustrate expanding your own boundaries when you grow to have the means to do it.
  • Cool Airship: In Chapter 3, there's an airship that's on a four-year mission to study the surface of the earth. The crew are only too happy to have a visitor fly up, even if he's just there to deliver food.
  • Cool Plane: The Super Cub and Sayori's Pitts Special. Special mention goes to the Lockheed C130 Hercules, or Blacknose as it's nicknamed. Isaki and Kajika always try to witness a swarm of them fly overhead their area every month. Further along the story they get to ride in one, and to their surprise it's autopiloted by a personable AI.
  • Cool Big Sis: Shiro to Sayori. And to the other main characters as well from time to time. Actual sister to Kajika.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Shiro. She opens them occasionally, but never very wide, or for very long.
  • Flight: One of the central themes of the story.
  • Foreshadowing: There are a lot of prolonged shots of Isaki riding his scooter, including when he gets a vision on Mt. Fuji of him riding it while contemplating to going atop a regular Mt. Fuji, which directly ties into the ending where the Cub is an actual scooter and the whole story was a Dream Land.
  • Girl of My Dreams: When Shiro hopes to Isaki before his 45 seconds are up that they will be beside each other again in the penultimate chapter, Isaki happens upon her and they meet each other's eyes for a brief second in the final chapter.
  • Little Stowaway: Kajika did this in the opening chapter when Isaki flies the Cub towards Tokyo Tower. Further stowaway attempts are often thwarted because the extra weight legitimately wastes more fuel than it would without her on.
  • Love Confession: It can be interpreted as such when Sayori asks Isaki if he would join her delivery company. However, Isaki rejects the offer when he feels he can't leave the Cub or Kajika behind just yet.
  • Mysterious Woman: Shiro counts as one, considering there's also a lot even her sister doesn't know of her. Comes full frontal when she reappears in the real world and Isaki sees her.
  • Never Gets Drunk: Shiro pours herself quite a lot of tequila... at 3:00 in the afternoon. Which is about three hours after she normally wakes up. She doesn't seem much affected by it. Tolerance, perhaps?
  • No Hero to His Valet: Shiro is a very popular person in various locations and a legend among pilots, but to Isaki, Kajika, and most of the locals, she's mostly a lazy individual who will sometimes shirk responsibilities and be a bit irresponsible.
  • Oblivious to Love: Kajika to Acchan's feelings for her, which she plays off as a pure intent to get her to join the Athletics club. Apparently everyone knows it but her.
  • Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Death: Mountains and plant life aren't the only things that became ten times larger, lighting strikes and even hail are incredibly deadly if the weather permits.
  • Potty Emergency: On particularly longer fights, Sayori doesn't last very long and often rushes her landing very dangerously to hurry to the nearest bathroom.
  • Ridiculously Difficult Route: The journey towards Gotenba includes a path that involves weaving through incredibly narrow openings in between two mountain ranges, with only two pitstops in the entire route. Though it's very dangerous for amateurs, as long as they know the Tate Road within the path they have a good chance of making it through.
  • Scenery Porn: Everywhere! As with Yokohama, it's usually more important than the dialogue, because a lot of what makes this manga special is the sense of wonder it evokes. It's meant to be read slowly.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Not in-cast, but it's stated that Sayori is essentially the only female pilot in her area. There is also the fact that we barely see any other female pilot outside the main cast appear. The fact that Shiro has such a reputation among pilots as a woman is partially why Sayori idolizes her.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Played with. Two sets of people are told they resemble one another without being related to each other: Shiro and the Gotenba Station Manager, and Isaki and Kajika. The latter more often when other people see them together for the first time.
    • This comes on its head when it's revealed Kajika is actually Isaki's older sister, and that the Kajika he knows in the story is only part of a dream.
  • Sweet Tooth: Shiro has a particular affinity for a brand of ginger drink that's apparently too strong for any of the other characters at first. Isaki getting used to the flavor can be taken as a sign of his growth.
  • Tokyo Tower: This one is more than three kilometers tall. It looms out of the clouds like something from another world.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: It's a Dream Land, and the Cub is a metaphor. Though some aspects of it like the ginger soda bottle and Shiro herself are present in the real world, it's never explained what quite happened and whether or not people like Sayori existed in the real world as well.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: It is a fact that aside from the people involved in studying it and Shiro, rarely anyone laments on the fact that the world was suddenly ten times larger than it originally was, and no one cares about the enormity of places like Mt. Fuji.
  • Webcomic Time: Isaki laments how a days-long trip to Mt. Fuji felt like it lasted more than 5 months.
  • World Tree: These are pretty common when the world is ten times its normal size.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Manga/KabuNoIsaki