Manga Review: Wandering Island V 1 by Kenji Tsuruta

May Contain Spoilers

I noticed this title on the library’s catalog website and put in a request for a network library to send it to my library. I love this service, and if you are a huge library fan and you aren’t taking advantage of the Holds system, I highly recommend that you do so. I put in a request on Monday and had the book by the weekend. When I return it, an interlibrary van returns it to the lending library. I am so grateful that several libraries in our network have well-stocked manga collections!

I actually really liked this quirky little manga about a young woman who runs an air delivery service in Japan’s outer islands. What I didn’t like was how let down I felt at the end, which leaves you hanging, and then noticing that the next volume isn’t even released in Japan yet. The artist is notoriously slow, and his meticulous illustrations make that understandable. But I dislike when series are licensed when the next volume isn’t even a speck on the horizon. I will never remember the plot of Wandering Island, or if I enjoyed it, and the fact that I just happened to check this out blind, means that I probably won’t be aware of when the second volume is released. If it ever is. Sigh.

Mikura’s grandfather has just passed away, and when the grieving Mikura discovers years’ worth of journals tracking the mysterious Electric Island, a place she has never heard of, she is obsessed with finding it. That is the plot in a nutshell. Mikura’s painstaking efforts to pinpoint the location of a floating island, her misfortunes when she thinks she does find it, however briefly, and her struggles to keep the delivery business running despite her lack of attention to delivering packages to her clients.

All of Mikura’s adventures are explored through Tsuruta’s intricate illustrations. The artwork is highly detailed and make this manga a standout. The story is slowly played out, as Mikura chases one red herring after another.

Dark Horse did a fantastic job presenting this book. It’s slightly oversized, has a heavy cardstock cover, and an extensive Notes section. The translation flows well, and the typesetting is unobtrusive. This is a very well made book, and if you are a collector, it’s well suited for showing off on your bookshelf.

Grade: 3.75 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

Mikura Amelia is a free-spirited young woman living alone with her cat, who operates an air delivery service, flying her vintage seaplane to Japan’s small island communities located hundreds of miles out into the Pacific. When her beloved grandfather passes away, she discovers he left her an undelivered parcel, addressed to an island that doesn’t exist…or does it? To answer the question, Mikura flies off in search of the truth behind the Wandering Island!

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