Sea View Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translation Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 16 and Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 978-1569705841
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Sea View

Sea View Vol. #01

By Danielle Van Gorder     May 28, 2009
Release Date: December 16, 2008


Sea View Vol. #01
© Digital Manga Publishing

Will Kei's search for his grandfather be successful, or will Kei find something else instead?

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Ayumi Kano
Translation: Sachiko Sato
Adaptation: Sachiko Sato

What They Say
Kei's grandfatgher is a well-known architect, and the young boy cherishes every letter from his beloved relative... until the notes suddenly stop. Now, Kei must visit his grandfather's distant island home and solve the mystery for himself! Upon arriving, he meets the shy and aloof Michiru, a serious student at the school where Kei's grandfather once taught. Michriu may have the answers to Kei's burning questions... but will he cooperate? Can these two young men follow the clues and find their vanished hero?

Sea View sets sail for uncharted territories, and you won't need a map to find plenty of hidden treasure! Good-nature Kei and quiet Michiru are as different as night and day, but their shared love of Kei's distinguished grandfather brings them together for the most challenging voyage of their lives. If they stick together and follow the twisting trail, the boys may even find that good luck and a special friendship are waiting just around the corner.

The Review!
Packaging:
DMP has done an excellent job on this book overall.  The print quality is excellent, with sharp, crisp line reproduction and dark blacks, the paper is a brighter white than some of their recent releases, and the blacks are dark and even.  There's the usual color wraparound dustjacket, and several ads in the back for other new and forthcoming DMP titles.

Art:
Characterized by clean lines and high contrast, the art here is beautiful and evocative.  The eyes were what caught me the most.  Initially, they seemed flat and lifeless, but as the story progressed it became obvious how much emotion she manages to pack into them with just a few lines, and how much of her characterization is expressed in the art itself.  Subtlety is definitely the name of the game.

Text/SFX:
All sound effects are subtitled on the page in a font similar to the original.  The translation flows smoothly without any notable rough spots.

Contents:
Kei has come to the island in search of his grandfather, but what he found instead was an eccentric roommate and a mystery.  Nobody seems to know what happened to his grandfather, or at least nobody who's willing to talk about it.  His address is listed as unknown, and it's like he just vanished off the face of the earth.  The only connection to him that Kei has are the blueprints that his grandfather sent every year, blueprints of various buildings that he designed on the island.  When Kei finds a model of one of these buildings in his roommate Michiru's room, along with the original of one of the blueprints that his grandfather sent him, Kei gets upset at the seeming deception.  But there's more going on than is immediately obvious, and Michiru may be hiding a great deal behind his quiet, awkward exterior.

In "Thou of the Blossoms," Isumi is a photographer who has been invited to take pictures of the famous Ichimura gardens.  This is a rare opportunity, as the Ichimura family never allows outsiders in, but the next head of the family, Akira, seems less than thrilled by the whole process.  When Isumi finds their rumored private garden by accident, he starts to understand a little more about Akira, but they're interrupted by another reporter who brings and old trauma back to light.  Will the fragile connection that Isumi and Akira made hold, or will old hurts drive them apart?

Comments:
The atmosphere in this book is incredible.  The stories themselves weren't extraordinary, but something in the execution turned simplicity into art.  Anyone looking for graphic sex or nudity should look elsewhere, as there's absolutely none to be found here.  Instead, the focus is on the slow development of complex emotion between individuals, layered and complex and poignant.  It's not going to be for everyone, and on first read I didn't really enjoy the stories, but a second, slower read really brought out some of the subtler moments. 

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