Unlike Rescue Wings, Umizaru is a lot less realistic but still gets the same messages across. In fact, the similarity between the two is uncanny. Both feature newbies who hook up with girls in the publishing industry. Both use a lot of sea, wind and waves in their disaster settings. But Umizaru has two things that RW doesn’t – lots and lots of giant explosions and lots and lots of mucus and tears. Everyone seems to be permanently crying in Umizaru!
I’m still at book 8 so I shan’t review the series now. Actually, I bought another set of Umizaru because it’s Christmas and we all know tis the season to give! What better present than a complete set of super duper good manga!?
Besides Seamonkey, I also got the complete Karakuri Circus manga, Rash!!, miscellaneous random short titles that I can’t remember but are by famous artists like Hojou Tsukasa and replaced many missing issues of manga that my "friends" borrowed but never returned. Man, Karakuri Circus is 42 volumes long and that set me back quite a bit. Remember the figurines from this series that I reviewed a while back? The girls, Shirogane and Talanda, are top notch in both cuteness and firepower. No wonder they were immortalised!
My camera phone is pretty shit. I hate camera phones.
Ok I digress. What I really wanted to talk about in this post was how Umizaru left a sour taste in the mouth thanks to a moment’s sloppiness by the artist. While I’m sort of proud that my home country, Singapore, is featured significantly in the story, the inaccurate depiction is very annoying especially considering how other aspects of the series is so detailed.
Look at the scans.
This is a scene from the pirate arc. The Japan Coast Guard engages in a tripartite exercise with the Indonesian and Singapore Coast Guards. The mission is based in Singapore. The crew get some shore leave and go stuff themselves full of local fare. This part is pretty accurate, for we do have lots of places that look like that. It’s not like we can’t afford proper chairs and have to sit on logs though haha. It’s part of this retarded desire to add nature into the concrete jungle.
What is great about this scene is that the food depicted (partly chopped off cos I didn’t want to risk my book binding) was true to life. You get stuff like satay (skewered meat), curries, popiah (spring rolls but a bit gayer) and the hairy dude is munching on what seems to be a crab. Or Darth Vader’s head. Considering how most people are familiar with only watered-down versions of foreign cuisines, this much is pretty good already.
But the next scene spoils everything.
Look, three flags are raised! Let’s see, the rightmost one is Japan’s. The middle is Indonesia, with its red and white. And the third is… the PHILIPPINES!! Not to mention the acronyms of the participating countries – JP, HI and NP. Go figure.
With google as accessible as oxygen these days, it is incredible that such a mistake could slip pass.
One final note of irritation, all the Japanese are drawn white but everyone else has tanned or dark skin. Someone needs to start teaching Geography in Japanese schools right now.