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Manga in Minutes: Triton of the Sea, Vol. 2

Triton of the Sea, Vol. 2Triton of the Sea, Vol. 2
Created by Osamu Tezuka
DMP, 436pp
Rating: Teen (13 +)

Osamu Tezuka’s tale of watery adventure and vengeance comes to its conclusion with Triton of the Sea, Vol. 2! Poseidon’s children have all fallen at the hands of Triton and the final showdown between the two rivals shall commence… or will it? Twists and turns send Triton’s tale into some rather unexpected directions in the final volume of the series.

The second volume of Triton of the Sea continues the series pattern of odd twists, turns and shifts in its main focus. After the first volume set everything up, the pay off should be at hand, but Tezuka throws in a few interesting twists that promise to take the story into some fascinating territory. Sadly, this isn’t too be, and instead the middle of the book is slow and meandering as it shifts the focus to Triton attempting to raise a family. By the time Tezuka brings things back to the thrust of the series, Triton’s rivalry with Poseidon, it’s far too late and feels like a forced attempt to give the entire thing some closure. Triton himself is a fairly interesting protagonist. While he’s driven by the need to avenge his family, he never comes across as terribly dark or brooding, even in his angrier moments. His dolphin allies, the mermaid Pippin and other characters help the series maintain a certain light, adventurous feel despite dealing with some serious and potentially grim themes.

Tezuka’s artwork is as solid as ever. His cartoony style lends itself to some of the more humorous moments, and allows for some very expressive characters and designs. The panel to panel flow is easy and clear to follow, and some of the action scenes are surprisingly intense. Much like the first volume, there isn’t a whole lot of the playful, layout tricks, or fourth wall breaking humor and visuals that crop up in Tezuka’s work from time to time. When they do turn up they’re quite the treat though.

In the end Triton of the Sea was an enjoyable but very uneven piece of Tezuka’s work. The constantly shifting focus tends to kill any momentum the series manages to build up, and at times it feels as though Tezuka was struggling to maintain interest in the work itself. As a result, the series sometimes feels unfocused and adrift as it shifts direction as quickly and as often as the seas it takes place in. It’s arguably at its best when it’s doing the adventure/revenge schtick, and its during the chapters that focus on those aspects of the story that it really shines.

Triton of the Sea, Vol. 2 is available now from Digital Manga Publising. Review copy provided by the publisher.

2 Comments

This series is suprisingly and disappointingly weak for Tezuka, both in story and art. It wasn’t until I found out HOW it was originally published that it finally made sense to me: it was a daily newspaper strip, published one page at a time. That accounts for the really strange pacing and complete shifts in story and weak art. Some chapters in the book seemed to end really abruptly, and that’s because it wasn’t written as chapters to begin with. He was more than likely making it up as it went along. For example, Triton’s brother was meant to be the main character, then was awkwardly written out because Triton was more popular.

@Bahamut – I thought the art was ok, nothing spectacular but it wasn’t offensively bad by any rate. The daily newspaper strip publication schedule would definitely explain the weird pacing and unevenness that plagued the series though. And yeah, the weird shift from Triton’s brother to Triton is just one glaringly odd piece to the series. I thought that there was some good stuff underneath all the bumps and potholes though.

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