German manga artist Nana Yaa has created a fresh take on the tale of Midas with Goldfisch. Morrey Gibbs lives on a flooded world packed with strange and dangerous mutated creatures called “anomals.” Traveling with his anomal otter friend, Otta, he meets up with a young inventor named Shelly. Morrey is on a desperate mission to reverse a Midas-like curse and rescue his brother, while dodging treasure-hungry artifact hunters.

The first volume shows us Morrey, his twin brother, and artifact hunter father—who apparently ships out for long periods of time, leaving the boys to their own devices. The next chapter jumps right into the action with Shelly coming across Morrey and Otta. When the trio gets attacked by some vicious anomals, Shelly finds out about Morrey’s ability. There is a bit of exposition in which Shelly explains the extraterrestrial event that caused the Earth to flood and oceans to fill with contagious mutagens. Any humans or animals exposed to the unfiltered water for too long will mutate (except for Morrey, who, for some unexplained reason is immune.)

Volume 2 introduces us to a new ally, Zaka, and fills us in how Morrey gained his cursed ability with tragic consequences. The boy’s father was also apparently in possession of a special treasure map and there are a whole host of hunters who want to get their hands on it.

Goldfisch is a well drawn manga with lively characters that are dynamic on the page. There is a lot of close up action, but the artist hasn’t neglected the background work. I felt a little thrown into the deep end of the story with the first volume, but as the story gets fleshed out we learn more about what has happened to Morrey, his brother, and their missing father. This is a straight-up, action adventure with the appropriate amount of comic relief. The second volume packs a much bigger emotional punch than the first. Morrey is dealing with a lot of regret and guilt, but he’s determined to set things right. The action sequences are well paced and there is plenty of plot to follow as Morrey learns more about his curse and especially about his father.

Both volumes have extra material: Character designs, introductions, notes from the artist, and notes keeping the reader up to speed on the plot, as well as some luscious, full-color art panels. Goldfisch is rated for teens 13+, but it is an ideal title for middle grade manga readers and any library collection.

Tokyo Pop has released the first two volumes in English with a third on its way. The publisher also recently announced that the manga is in line for an anime adaptation.

GoldFisch Volumes 1-2
By Nana Yaa
Art by Nana Yaa
vol 1 ISBN: 9781427857675
vol 2 ISBN: 9781427858191
Tokyo Pop, 2018
Publisher Age Rating: Teens 13+

 

  • Lisa P.

    | She/Her Library Associate in Youth Services

    Reviewer/Editor

    Lisa is a library professional and part-time comic shop employee in Central Wisconsin.

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