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Manga / Children of the Sea

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Not the Black Sabbath song.

Ordinary grade school girl and Tomboy Ruka finds herself thrown into an increasingly bizarre quest along with two other boys, Umi and Sora. Rather than the normal summer she might have wished for, she ends up caught up in the midst of what might be a massive mythological quest involving the origins of the boys and what the sea really is. Others interested are Jim, a tattooed surfer with a mysterious past, as well as Anglade, a young prodigy and scientist. Along with a lot of the scientific community at large, they seek to find out why aquariums around the world are losing fish under strange circumstances, as well as the other unique phenomena the boys appear to be causing.

Children of the Sea, as a Daisuke Igarashi work, is replete with a lot of Scenery Porn and a strong environmentalist theme. Apart from Witches, this is his first major series, and probably the only work of his English speakers are likely to be familiar with. Children of the Sea has been nominated several times for the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize and has won others, notably for its quality of art.


A film adaptation by Studio 4°C under the direction of Ayumu Watanabe and with music by Joe Hisaishi released on June 7, 2019 in Japan. GKIDS has licenced the film for release in the U.S. with plans to screen (in both Japanese and English) later in 2019, and Madman Entertainment has picked up the Australian & New Zealand rights, premiering it at the Sydney Film Festival on June 15, 2019.

Tropes present in Children of the Sea:

  • Ambiguously Brown: Umi, especially when compared to his brother. Turns out they aren't blood-related, though how they ended up together is a mystery.
  • Ambiguous Innocence: Sort of. Used with Sora and Umi to further show their otherness.
  • Caught in the Rain: In a non-romantic sense, Ruka and a seagull that might be Sora.
  • Creepy Child: As mostly benevolent examples, both Sora and Umi have elements of this, though Sora more neatly fits it. And so do the other "sea kids" we see examples of.
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  • Friend to All Living Things: Umi and Sora Though the tie might be more malevolent than assumed, since those sea creatures also eat Sora.
  • Little Girls Kick Shins: Ruka messes up a player on a rival soccer team in a roundabout of this trope, though she isn't a little girl anymore.
  • A Storm Is Coming
  • Tomboy: Ruka.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Sora, in spades.


Example of: