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Children of the Whales, Vol. 1

(Children of the Whales #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  1,171 ratings  ·  196 reviews
In this post-apocalyptic fantasy, a sea of sand swallows everything but the past.

In an endless sea of sand drifts the Mud Whale, a floating island city of clay and magic. In its chambers a small community clings to survival, most dying young from the very powers that sustain them.

Chakuro is the Archivist for the Mud Whale, diligently chronicling the lives and deaths of hi
Paperback, 200 pages
Published November 21st 2017 by VIZ Media LLC (first published December 16th 2013)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,171 ratings  ·  196 reviews

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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
this was such a nice and calm story until the end came in like a wrecking ball. consider me shook.
[Shai] Bibliophage
Probably because of the translation from the original Japanese manga, that's why the story and dialogues are not that good. The beginning is a bit bland or maybe because, I repeat, from the translation.

I can't help it, but I fell asleep on the four consecutive nights that I've tried to finished the first half of this manga. However, the best part starts on Chapter 3 and it continues to get better as the story continues.

Thanks to VIZ Media LLC and Simon & Schuster for the reading copy of this.
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more manga and graphic novel reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

In an endless desert floats the Mud Whale, an island city of clay moving by magic, containing a small community where most die young their life spans cut short by their own magic. Chakuro diligently chronicles these deaths determined to leave a better record than those who came before. When a scouting party he's a part of discovers a young girl who knows more about their island than they do, everything changes...

Jananie (thisstoryaintover)
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
OMG. WHAT. THAT WAS SO GOOD. was not expecting that. definitely going to continue, I'm so curious. Loved the main character Chakuro and super intrigued by the world!
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga
4.5 stars

This was an excellent start to what promises to be a fascinating and compelling fantasy manga series <3

CotW follows Chakuro who is the archivist on the Mud Whale (a floating island in an ocean of sand) and documents everything that happens on the island to preserve the island's history for future generations. Chakuro is one of the "marked" which means he wields Thymia - a power fuelled by emotions - and results in a reduced lifespan (approx. 30 years).

On one of his expeditions, he enco
Victoria ♡
May 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Re read this recently as I just finished the anime, the art is beautiful, but I’m just not sure on the story.
GrilledCheeseSamurai (Scott)
Interesting story. A floating island called the Mud Whale drifts across the sandy wastes. 90% of the population on the Mud Whale have a type of magic fueled by emotion. Those with the 'mark' rarely live past the age of 30.

Up to this point no one on the Mud Whale knows why they are there or where they come from. They haven't even seen another person besides those they live with on their floating Island.

Until now...

3.5 🌟's out of 5.
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-the-book
I don't often read manga. I picked this one up when I was browsing a shop with a friend and she suggested it to me ( ages ago haha) and it was great! Fluffy start and getting to know the world. It is mysterious and intense at the end!
Derek Royal
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the first Abi Umeda I've read. Here, she creates a complex, deeply layered storyworld, one that, at times, challenges immediate comprehension. There were several times that I had to back and reread sections so as to better taken in the nuances and details of the people and setting. But this is to the narrative's benefit, not a criticism. To some degree, this is a post-apocalyptic story, but one in a world that is not our own. I'll definitely go on to read future volumes.
Pauline Fireheart
My first manga. Thanks to my little brother for this one :)
Kayla (BOOKadoodles)
A #GetGraphic Read—I haven’t been this shook by an ending since watching episode five of Attack on Titan. Broaden your horizons and try manga, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.
Gorgeous illustrations, compelling characters and story. I would definitely keep reading if I had a shorter to-read list! I see the anime is also on Netflix, so I might check that out...
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
ordered vol 2 & 3 immediately, i think this is a manga series I will absolutely love ...more
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Okay, there was a lot going on in this manga, but it didn't take away from how good it was. And by a lot, I mean the many characters that filled the pages, along with the factions and names given to each gift. Well, if you can call it a gift, because for most of those on the Mud Whale (an island vessel adrift the endless sea of sand) their life spans are extremely short.

There was a lot of mystery when it came to this book and how they all came to be floating through the sea of sand. There was e
Online Eccentric Librarian
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Children of the Whales is about as close to a Miyazaki movie as you are going to get. From the character designs, to the subtle characterizations, the random fantasyish setting, the innocence of children and machinations of adults, the intrusion of war into that innocence, and a subtle beauty. That influence is all over Children of the Whales to the point where this feels almost like an homage.

Story: In a world where
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga
Interesting world concept, beautiful art. Enjoyed it. Looking forward to seeing where it is going.
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
i really loved this! it was kinda nostalgic in a way, because it’s been like almost two years since I watched the anime. i wished it made me more emotional though. like the anime.
Anniken Haga
Another one of the mangas suggested to me by the manga-guy at the comic shop, and one I am sure I will continue reading!

I've looked at Children of the Whales a bunch of times but never bought it - my fear of spending money on yet another manga I wouldn't enjoy - until Adam suggested it to me.
He thought I would like this manga because of the art style because I like A Bride's Story, Vol. 1, and he was right.
While the art isn't as detailed in this book as in Bride's, it is still pretty amazing!
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review of the TV anime series

Children of the Whales / Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau

This was another one that surprised me. I decided to watch it, not knowing anything about the manga, because I was drawn to the concept of little island-nations that literally move around in a sea of sand. The Mud Whale is one such island, and the people are mainly divided into two: those who can use thymia (basically--magic), and those who can't.

I did no reading/research before I went into the series, so I kind
Judi Easley
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: YA fantasy readers, dystopian
Recommended to Judi by: Dani, book reviewer
First thoughts: I really need to start remembering whose blog I was reading when I find a book I want to read. This is a perfect example. The review was for Volume 14, I think, the latest one out. But I wanted to read the first one in the series, of course. So I got busy looking for the first volume and completely forgot about making a note of the name of the reviewer. I think it was Dani, Perspective of a Writer (
A wonderful story, the beginning of a c
Maja Madsen
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
4,5 intens stars

Chakuro a 14 year old boy, he is the archivist on the Mud Whale
They live on an island in an endless sea of sand. One day an island is coming and stuff stars to happen.

Wow that ending was action packed. It was a bit confusing at some point but it really took a turn and I really like it. The art style was amazing and the characters precious.
Jun 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: manga
3.5 stars

Review to come :)
Apr 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Read for the OWLs Magical Readathon, covering the prompt of Defence Against the Dark Arts: "Grindylows" - Read a book set at the coast or at sea

I mean this is pushing that prompt a little as it’s technically an ocean of sand... but l’m counting it
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020, manga
This was a solid start to a series. I really really enjoyed it. Definitely will keep reading this series ^-^
The art-style in this manga is absolutely stunning! I also really like what we've gotten to know about the characters have seemed okay so far. The world also seems so interesting, I can't wait to see what the next few volumes will add to the world, because so far I really, really liked what has been shown of the world.
I think the pacing of this volume is what stopped me from giving it 5 s
Morgan AC Mott
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Much to my pleasant surprise I was super into this manga. Dystopian fantasy - lost civilisation living on an endless sea of sand, unsure of their history. Magical, touching, suddenly gets insane in act IV and finishes at a fever pitch. The author has crafted an intricate world into which you are easily pulled.
Katie Greenwood
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**Actual Rating 4.5/5**
To begin with this was a cover buy. I picked it up and I absolutely adored the illustration. Then I read the synopsis and I knew this was coming home with me. It sounded absolutely fantastic. This manga is set on a floating city known only as the Mud Whale (to begin with) which had been built up over years by clay and magic. A magic with a deadly cost. Those imbued with the power known as Thymia have a very short life expectancy, almost as though the magic burns up the per
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga
4-4.5 stars.

I picked this series up on a whim, since I've recently gotten quite into Manga, and this first instalment did not let me down 😄

I like the characters (already obsessing over Ouni - he's a badass and those are my kind of characters), the world is really interesting, the art is amazing... I love it all^^ I'm not sure why I don't feel like I can rate it 5 stars, maybe it's just that I'm still getting used to the format of Manga so it takes a little bit of effort to read it correctly, but
F.D. Gross
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga
Imagine existing over an open sea of sand. Where all you know is the existence of your small clan of less than 600 people, and have never met another living human being. There is a scene painted towards the end of the book where the main character, who logs everything in his journal, describes their life on the Whale, the vessel that allows them to float on the sand sea. It was so beautiful written and coupled with beautifully drawn landscapes, that in itself made the book worth reading despite ...more
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's either post-apocalyptic or pre-civilization but either way, the elders are keeping secrets from the citizens.

This is one of those books where you just have to nod your head and go with it at first because it hits you with a lot of new concepts right off the bat. The general plot is somewhat straightforward but leaves enough unsaid to keep the reader guessing.

And the cliffhanger ending...
Keith Hendricks
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Children of the Whales has an intriguing pitch: when psychic children drift through an abyssal desert on a tumbleweed city state called the Mud Whale, their nomadic way of life is less metaphor than noble lie...

Full review through this link (spoilers):
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Other books in the series

Children of the Whales (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • Children of the Whales, Vol. 2
  • Children of the Whales, Vol. 3
  • Children of the Whales, Vol. 4
  • Children of the Whales, Vol. 5
  • Children of the Whales, Vol. 6
  • Children of the Whales, Vol. 7
  • Children of the Whales, Vol. 8
  • クジラの子らは砂上に歌う 9 [Kujira no kora wa sajō ni utau 9]
  • クジラの子らは砂上に歌う 10 [Kujira no kora wa sajō ni utau 10]
  • クジラの子らは砂上に歌う 11 [Kujira no kora wa sajō ni utau 11]

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