Young Magazine (2007-Present)
Written and Illustrated by Takeshi Okazaki
Summary: Yamada wakes up on an uninhabited island after falling off the cruise ship his class was on in the middle of the ocean during a thick fog. Alone, he begins building a raft and finding ways to survive until he discovers a female classmate has washed ashore as well. The two learn to survive together until one of their teachers washes ashore and generates animosity between the three of them. After nearly two weeks of living on this island Yamada is swept up by a fog out only to regain consciousness while being rescued in the middle of the ocean 15 minutes after he had originally fallen overboard. What is this new reality Yamada finds himself in? No one believes him about the island he stayed upon with his classmate Imaise Chika and their teacher Shibata. But when Shibata shows up unscathed and with no memories of what happened it’s now up to Yamada to discover the truth for himself and find the missing Imaise.
Review: Wow, that was probably the largest summary I’ve ever written for these reviews but it deserves it because that’s essentially the plot of the first 10 chapters which kickstarts this story of time time travel, survival, and friendship underway. I definitely went into this series blind not sure what to expect. The plot of school kids surviving on an island appealed to me because I haven’t seen it in a while and I felt it would be a good relaxer story before started something heavy again.
What I got however was something heavy as about halfway through the first ten chapters this already interesting tale of two kids fighting their hormones while trying to survive turned into a time travel epic once Yamada found himself in a hospital recounting his tale to those who would listen but all of which fell on deaf ears.
I like Yamada, he’s a really good kid and I enjoy Okazaki tackling the idea that Yamada was a goofball a school but forced himself to grow up in the few days he was on that island in order to survive. And while Yamada does have some of those manga tropes attached to him overly excited male yelling a girl to do something to cover herself up more so he doesn’t get all aroused, his efforts here feel a bit more warranted on a deserted island in the horrific situation these two kids find themselves in rather than in other manga where women are just throwing themselves at the guy and he’s denying them.
Chika, who I like a lot, doesn’t throw herself at Yamada and is just trying to live peacefully as well without getting taken advantage of. But she’s a realistic girl as well which was a nice breath of fresh air going into this manga. We get to know quite a bit about these two in their few chapters with one another and even a bit more so with Chika once her track coach/homeroom teacher washes up. The animosity building up because of his current relationship with her older sister. Another nice twist on the norm because Chika doesn’t like her senpai, she just wants him to treat her sister with more respect.
Ultimately the most interesting aspect of this story comes with the insertion of time travel, or in this case a “time slip” where both Yamada and Shibata somehow slip back in time and therefor their destinies play out differently while Chika is still condemned to that island and therefore Yamada uses clues from his new future to figure out how to get back to Chika and that’s where we leave off on chapter 10.
It proves how resourceful Yamada has become since being stranded on that island and I’m quite interested to see what comes next. The only real thing I feel this series does wrong is taking so long to introduce the new story element and when it does, it does it in a sudden jarring way that feels very unnatural at first and forces the reader to take a double take at what they just read in order to make sure they didn’t missing anything.
The art is great. I really like how everything looks and I feel the character’s have good, innocent designs to them. The more grown up characters look older and the younger character look younger. The island definitely looks peaceful when represented on paper though we have yet to discover if it truly uninhabited or not. Who knows what we’ll get with the island itself but I’m looking forward to what comes next no matter what.
Final Score: 4 Buddhist Statue Sculptors out of 5
Derrick is a born and raised otaku with a love for comics, anime, manga and movies. The full list is pretty long, but that’s just the basics. Stories set in space are his bread and butter.
You can find more of his writing at IndieComix.net