Island in a puddle vol 2 by Kei Sanbe
It’s Nagisa’s birthday, but the killer Kuromatsu, in Minato’s body, doesn’t know that. Despite being a wanted man, Minato (trapped in the killer, Kuromatsu’s, body) leaves a cake for his sister and a hopeful note. Minato tries to figure out how he can keep his sister the safest, and he determines he has to stay away from her while trying to figure out what Kuromatsu may have done to warrant the police and monsters to be after him. Meanwhile, Kuromatsu struggles at school and navigating who is Minato’s friends. He also recognizes someone the kids know as “Detective,” someone who has worked criminal jobs with Kuromatsu.
Sanbe loves his tragic characters. Not only are the kids' lives horrible because of their absent mother, Minato-in-Kuromatsu finds another woman in a terrible situation, who helps him but is being physically abused by a man she recently met and can't seem to shake. Good on little Minato for helping her out of that situation, but there is so far no redeeming adults in this story. While we're watching Minato and Nagisa's childhood be ruined by abandonment, Kuromatsu-in-Minato thinks to himself how these kids still have a decent life, so it really made me wonder how horrible Kuromatsu's childhood was. Definitely don't pick this up for readers who need some happiness in their life! I'm not sure I would classify this as murder-mystery like Sanbe's beautiful Erased is, but there's definitely some mysterious elements to what's going on with this body-swap and some of the other hitmen.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
Reviews of previous volumes in this series: vol 1
Publication Date: July 19th, 2022
ISBN: 9781646514519 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Suspense, Mystery, Family, Kodansha
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