As a young girl, Ruka sees a fish turn into light and disappear at the aquarium where her father works, but no one believes her. Years later, the mystery of the ghost of the sea unfolds before Ruka and a pair of mysterious young boys, Umi and Sora. Both boys were raised in the ocean by dugongs and can hear the same strange calls from the sea that Ruka does. After being suspended from her handball team, Ruka becomes caught up in the boys’ world, which seems to ease her feelings of loneliness.
This gentle tale of oceanic adventure reveals itself slowly, building upon the inherent mystery of the sea, as the kids become involved in the worldwide mystery of disappearing fish. Igarashi creates characters that are interesting on multiple levels and relatable for both young and adult readers. The art style is simplistic and almost delicate, but it’s fitting for the overall feel of the story. Igarashi is an award-winning mangaka whose work is much in the mood of Miyazaki, and this nature-centered tale shows why.
320 pages full color paperback
VIZ Media, 2009