Comic Picks By The Glick

WIBR: Saturn Apartments vol. 1

June 4, 2010

Providing further proof that there exists no premise that can't be made into a manga is the first volume of Hisae Iwaoka's "Saturn Apartments" which is a pleasant slice-of-life look at window washers in the upper stratosphere.  In the future, mankind has evacuated Earth in order to preserve what's left of it and everyone now lives on a giant ring that encircles the planet.  Mitsu is one of its inhabitants, a young boy who has followed in his father's footsteps to become a window washer so that the ring's inhabitants may have a clear view of where they used to live.  While I'm a sucker for realistic, character-driven sci-fi like this, the uniqueness of the series' premise is offset by the familiarity of its characters.  I doubt it would shock you to know that despite being parentless, Mitsu is remarkably self-sufficient and assured, and that his superior is a grizzled veteran who used to work with his dad, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. The stories themselves are marginally more distinctive as they at least help to flesh out this interesting world.  I'll be looking forward to the next volume to see how it develops, but those of you looking for "something like this only better" should check out Makoto Yukimura's "Planetes" if you haven't already.

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