A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Children of the Whales is an anime series concerning a society of supernatural and human residents living on an isolated island in the middle of a fantastic sea of sand. Slower-paced than many anime shows, Children of the Whales has a melancholic tone and underlying sadness that may be attractive to more sensitive teens. However, it still has a fair amount of violence, frightening images, and death-related subject matter.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In CHILDREN OF THE WHALES, young teen Chakuro wonders about the origin of his mystical homeland known as the Mud Whale, an isolated island on the vast Sea of Sand. Home to both supernatural beings known as "the Marked" and humans, the Unmarked, residents of the Mud Whale are mysteriously required to suppress their emotions. When a floating island passes near the Mud Whale, Chakuro and a small team investigate and discover a wounded woman who tries to attack him with swords she controls by telepathy. Her stories of the outside world cause serious repercussions in the strict rules-based society of the Mud Whale.
Is it any good?
This series features an imaginative, dreamlike universe with a number of little details that help it feel lived in and real. Unfortunately, the storytelling is somewhat awkward. Significant events occur with very little preceding context, leaving the viewer with questions that may only get partially answered if addressed at all.
Also, the mythology of the series is quite complicated. Keeping track of all the various factions, powers, and allegiances, many of which have unique, nonintuitive-sounding names can be very difficult. Fans of high fantasy who are used to assimilating this kind of specialized nomenclature will fare well here. Those who have less patience for intricate world-building may find Children of the Whales more frustrating than enjoyable.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about anime. How is it different from American animation? How is it the same?
Why do the residents of the Mud Whale suppress their emotions? Have you encountered other stories where characters are forced to live without emotions? What is it about this idea that's so compelling to storytellers?
The characters of Children of the Whales have a unique vocabulary with words like "thymia," "apathiea," and "lykos." Do made-up words like this help immerse you in a story or do they keep you at a distance?
For kids who love animated adventure
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.