Wandering Island Vol. 1 Review!

Jondee here on Electric Island (Dendo shima),

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I’m a fan of Kenji Tsuruta, his Spirit of Wonder published by Dark Horse was brilliant, and now he has Wandering Island from Dark Horse Manga. It is in the handy manga size with a cover featuring our heroine, Mikura Amelia, a lanky girl with two long braids on her plane. She wears her usual black bikini top and pants. Tsuruta’s mastery is not just the detailed manga art, pretty girls, but in world building. In this case, the islands of Japan, specifically Oshima. He brings in the concept of a wandering island, called Electric Island, which reminds me of Gulliver’s Travels. The first pages are in color where Mikura has landed her plane to bring a delivery to a director. She swims with a dolphin when she gets a call about her grandfather and rushes off. The rest of the manga is in black and white which is perfect because her days with her grandfather was her life and now it is bleak. She wants to keep the air delivery service that was started with her grandfather, Brian, and tells that to her parents. Mikura returns home to her cat Endeavour slumped on the floor looking at photos of her grandfather. She receives a package from her grandfather and begins working out the location of Electric Island on a map. I sense this is really to find her grandfather or the missing piece of his legacy. Mikura begins asking around the island for sightings of the island and mysteriously finds current entries in her grandfather’s journal!

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She takes Endeavour along on her days long look out for the island including getting towed by a ship. There is a sighting of an unusual whale pod and Mikura takes flight. She enters a cloud around the sea and finds the island! Some black sphere appears from the sky and strikes the water crashing her plane. Mikura wakes up, battered and bandaged in the ship, she recovers on the island and starts running only to find the islanders lied about the sightings. Mikura is back to flying, but increasingly gets obsessed about the island, distracted and with rings around her eyes. The power goes out in her house, but she doesn’t care, and has worked out that the island moves in a cycle of three years. Not only is her power out, but also her clothes, not in an exploitative way, this is Mikura by herself. She talks to the principal of the Mikurajima school and finds that her English teacher, Mr. Ryugo, contacted her grandfather. Mikura meets up with her friends at the Yokoguka Bar, she is back in her black dress, her friends suspect she’s pining over Mr. Ryugo. Drunk, she sleeps it off in her plane. Time passes, it is July 7th, 2 days before the island’s return. Mikura gets a small package from the director, her necklace recovered by the dolphin! She believes the island’s cycle is connected to the return of the necklace. Mikura resolves to find the island, takes along Endeavour, and flies to her destiny! Brilliant art and story, Five Endeavours out of Five!

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