I remember all the hype this series got when it was first announced. It was going to be the next big title, a really great superhero story that was also part romance between an ordinary guy and the super talented heroine. Well, the series swerved that premise right off the bat in chapter 1 and it felt like the series never recovered. Now I got to binge the whole series so my experience may be different than someone reading weekly but I can get why the route the series ended up taking wasn’t as exciting. It was fairly different than I had expected even knowing the twist. It’s a good series but I can definitely see why it was cancelled, you can only bait and switch the audience so many times.
The series starts off by introducing us to Reisuke who is a super average guy in every way. That’s his complete character personality but then one day he is saved by a superhero. She quickly erases his memory and goes back to saving the world but for some reason he is still able to remember her. Why? Because he has fallen in love! The power of love is able to negate the memory erasure and so after trying again the heroine decides to let Reisuke hang out with her. Her name is Kareri and she’s never been able to open up to anyone before. Since her life is so crazy and full of danger, being with someone ordinary like Reisuke puts her at peace. They decide to have a kid together…and then she dies stopping a meteor from hitting the Earth. Now Reisuke will have to raise their child by himself.
So of course this is the big switch that nobody wanted. Everyone was hoping for a fun story about a couple raising their kid and a lot of adventures from there. It would almost be something like Spy X Family at least on the surface level but very different with the superhero angle. Well, that’s out the window and chapter 1 ends with Reisuke realizing that he now holds the worlds future in his hands. The writing for the series is awful like this whole line when his wife just died but we’ll go into that later.
The series quickly changes gears because a chapter or two later we find out that Kareri is still alive but trapped in stone. So yeah the plot’s changing again. The actual plot of the series is that Reisuke has to find a way to get into space and save her but to do this, he will have to teach Mamoru (Who is still a baby) how to control his powers. So lets get into the lore here. Kareri was an “EarthChild” which is why she had superpowers. This just randomly happens to people of Earth where occasionally they’ll be born with powers.
How occasionally is “occasionally?” well, there have only been a small handful of these types in the last few decades. There can only be one primary Earthchild at a time and they are given their powers to save the Earth from a world ending threat. It is then their destiny to die against this threat and the power moves onto someone else. If the user somehow survives past their allotted time then they will naturally start to lose their powers as the next user gets it. So one of the themes here is people telling Reisuke not to save his wife since he will be defying destiny. If he listened to them then he would be an F rank main character so fortunately he doesn’t.
The series is 27 chapters long and this plot takes close to 20 chapters. We then get a final arc that’s about 5 chapters long but lets talk about this saga some more because I think it’s probably where the series doomed itself. This is already far too many plot changes. Usually you need to have some kind of focus before you get into the next arcs but the author didn’t really seem to plan things out all that much.
It also feels like the chapters go in circles a whole lot. For example, at one point Reisuke takes their kid Mamoru over to space to save Kareri but then he realizes that Mamoru wouldn’t recognize her in the stone. So they head back to Earth and waste some time talking to her parents where we get a whole subplot about how their memories were removed. We then head back into space again and here’s where the ping pong starts. Reisuke goes outside to save her but…he fails so he has to head back to the station. Then he goes out to save her again and succeeds, but dies in the process as she wakes up. Then she risks her life to save him and fails so she goes back to the space station. Then she goes back out again to stop a new thread and Reisuke comes back to life and helps her out.
It’s a really long sequence of repetitive steps before the arc is over. A lot of these were for big cliffhangers to make you think that one of them really was going to die but that never felt very likely. Why introduce the twist of her still being alive if she was going to die right? What took us past chapter 20 should have only lasted until around chapter 10-15. There was just a lot of unnecessary steps here like failing the mission only to try again in 2 chapters and succeed this time. There wasn’t a lot of point to that.
After a while I thought that the series would just end with this arc. I’m glad it didn’t since the final arc is a bit more exciting. I never became a big fan of any of the characters either. There was one that I liked at least but for the most part the others could be annoying a lot of the time and it’s hard to succeed without great characters. Lets start off with the main character Reisuke.
His gimmick of being totally ordinary gets old fast but the guy also whines a whole lot. He cries in almost every chapter since he wishes that he could be stronger and often makes the wrong call like putting power inhibitors on his kid before realizing how crazy that is. Then he runs towards death on multiple occasions before being pulled back by the other characters who remind him that dying would be bad for his kid. They have to remind him of this numerous times. The reason Reisuke takes these risks is he gives up on controlling Mamoru’s powers and wants his kid to have fun even if it means dying in the process. That’s just not a very good option.
Almost every chapter will have him giving up before someone gives him a speech about how great he is and then he gets up to get the job done. I figure this must be what it’s like for people who watch CW’s The Flash. Yeah Reisuke ends up saving the day in the end but a lot of the time it’s cheesy. Remember that time he actually died? There is never an explanation given for how he is able to come back to life aside from his love for his family.
Apparently this love is so strong that even death cannot claim him which is…..not a great explanation. Everyone also respects this guy a whole lot considering how he’s always breaking rules and causing a fuss. One character who slaps him ends up thinking of him as a very mature hero by the end. Nobody can stay mad at this guy. I like some of his qualities though. I like that he’s determined to save his wife no matter what. I think he can come up with good ideas sometimes (Rarely) and that he is determined.
These are all great qualities but the way he executes them can be awful. There are several times he basically decides to go no a suicide mission because he figures it’s better than doing nothing so the other characters have to remind him that it is worse than doing nothing since he has a kid to look after. Eventually they talk him down and come up with a real plan each time. There’s also one moment where he takes off his helmet in space and it’s supposed to be an emotional moment but you just wonder how he’s not dead yet.
The author is actually bold enough to claim that taking your helmet off in deep space may not destroy you and cited some scientific paper about a one time exception that supposedly happened in real life. I didn’t bother googling that so maybe it’s legit but I have my doubts. The romance here is also really cringe at times but I’ll get into that more later. Needless to say, I wasn’t very impressed by this guy.
Then we have Kareri as the main heroine. I think she could have been a lot cooler as well. Her character arc is fairly classic as she used to be super cold and efficient at her job but after meeting Reisuke and falling in love with him her whole life started to revolve around him. She couldn’t help but talk about him nonstop, she was a lot nicer while being a hero and she gets flustered whenever someone brings him up. Pretty much all her scenes with Reisuke have one of them closing their eyes in embarrassment or covering their eyes because they can’t handle this.
I think we should have seen more of Kareri’s actual missions before getting together with Reisuke. That’s probably the riskiest thing about having them get together in the very first chapter. Yes there are some time skips so it’s not like they immediately got married but since it’s off screen it feels like we didn’t get to know the cold version of her. So when we learn about how she used to be a lot more serious through exposition and the occasional flashback, it doesn’t hit as hard.
Her powers are also kept rather vague. Basically all Earthchildren have the same ability which is telekinesis and it seems to be just strong enough to accomplish whatever goal they need to. It just seems inconsistent as sometimes she is really strong and other times she isn’t. It’s clear that this isn’t an action series with how none of this is thought through all that much. I guess just roll with it as it’s not too important and it’s not like there are any traditional supervillains either.
The main supporting character from the government is Yuma and he’s an agent of Waste. (Yes that’s the main organization’s name so Reisuke can’t help but make a pun about Trash later on) Their job is to watch over the Earthchild and ensure that he/she is able to complete the mission. In the first chapter this guy is ruthless and almost insanely aggressive as he starts to force Reisuke to lose his memories and is tossing out insults left and right.
Then Reisuke gives a speech and he immediately switches up to being more of a soft spoken nice guy. It’s such a dramatic shift that even Reisuke comments on this. For the rest of the series Yuma is actually the encouraging member who tells Reisuke to believe in his marriage and drive to save Kareri. He’s all on board for helping people and making Waste less of a shady organization. It’s all just such a drastic character change that they should have removed his role in the first chapter. We even get a flashback from his POV for chapter 1 later to do some damage control but I wasn’t buying it.
There are two next door neighbors from Waste in Todoroki and Kasuya but even though they’re introduced as if they will become big characters, they don’t get to do much. Maybe they would have been bigger if the series had kept on going. They seem decent enough even if they’re trying to get Reisuke to give up his kid as well. These guys are definitely relentless that’s for sure.
Now for the first character who is actually rather solid we have Albert. His gimmick is that he thinks the world is one big adventure and that makes him the main character of the story. He believes that he is the true main character but to a lesser extent everyone else is the main character of their stories. He has some very minor abilities which were used as a big cliffhanger but after that he never looks as impressive with them again. He is mainly here to give Reisuke some encouragement when he’s feeling down but at least he is actually convincing with it.
I can actually get behind this guy and root for him. He wants to help people out too but isn’t as wishy washy as Reisuke is. Albert also has the saddest character backstory in the series by far. I have to say that his brother was also a terrific character and I would say he’s the best in the series if we count him. The guy only appears for a chapter after all but he was great. That’s definitely the right way to complete your mission and defy destiny.
After that we’re introduced to Maromi who is on the space station and she’s a super whiny character. She literally writes in a journal about how Earthchildren are unfair because they can do whatever they want and she has to work hard to succeed. Maromi has barely met any of them and is still so jealous the whole time. You can understand why she is jealous to an extent but it’s a terrible first impression when that is her whole focus for her first chapter. Couldn’t she have had some positive character traits to balance that out? She never ended up growing on me but don’t worry, she gives Reisuke a pep talk later on as well.
That about wraps up the character cast from that arc. So lets head onto the final arc now which is really rushed but it’s interesting. So of course Reisuke saved Kareri and they were now at peace so we get a time skip of around 6 years. Mamoru is older now and can use his powers. They’ve also figured out that Reisuke is an amplifier with the power of love. Physical contact with his family makes their powers stronger and likewise the farther away he is, the weaker they get. So he has to be around at all times and the 3 of them stop threats together. One person doesn’t like this though…Earth.
Earth appeared earlier briefly but the planet takes the form of a high school girl as its avatar. Basically she explains to Reisuke that he’s getting in the way since she controls destiny and Kareri was supposed to die. This is the scene where she keeps murdering him but he keeps reviving because of the power of love. So she returns for vengeance and is once again trying to murder him. The climax of the series is the 3 characters fighting Earth but they have to be careful because if they destroy Earth….well they’ll have destroyed Earth.
That said, she’s shown to be far above them so that’s not much of an option anyway. She can cause natural disasters on a whim and her avatar is for visual purposes but can’t really be hurt anyway. Earth also points out that she has time on her side and can attack 24/7 for years and years until they die from exhaustion. Realistically I don’t see them being able to fight for more than 3 hours nonstop with how much power she had. Of course this leads to the power of love and the climax is…a family meeting at the dinner table with Earth invited.
It’s a very cheesy ending but I was expecting it since the series is all about sitting down and chatting. Earth was also shown to be way too powerful to be stopped. Regardless I did like the arc because it was interesting to have Earth itself as the main villain. I thought that she was a very fun villain. The whole thing is a bit contrived though because you can’t tell me that she couldn’t have found a way to bump Reisuke off during those 6 years. Just have a big piece of hail randomly fall down while he’s walking one day or an Earthquake happen to murder him. There are plenty of opportunities given how many powers she has.
I also like how the lollipop she is always eating is a mini version of Earth. Just a stylistic thing that’s kind of fun. So that’s the series in a nutshell and as you can see I had quite a few problems with it. It also has that annoying tendency to have someone narrate from the future the whole time. The narrator is confirmed early on to be their kid Mamoru. You can see why this is bad right? It confirms that he survives the first arc since he’s talking from the future and we even flashback to the future a few times. From the way the dialogue goes we can also confirm that at least the father dies but with just a little bit of analysis you can see that they both lived.
Considering that the “will they live?” question is supposed to be massive with the constant cliffhangers, this removes all of the tension. I never liked future narration as a concept and it doesn’t work at all here. The other big negative as I mentioned is that the romance isn’t written well at all. It’s one of those romances that is super over the top with both characters constantly blushing because the other one said something so bold. Wouldn’t they get used to it after a while? No, every time they talk you’ll have Reisuke hiding his face in embarrassment because he said his true feelings or Kareri saying something nice and then blushing right away.
I might be spoiled from reading/watching romances that are a lot more subtle and feel more realistic but this one could be hard to read with those pages. There was no variety either, it’s the same gags for all of their dates and character moments. A lot of the dialogue didn’t make sense either like Kareri asking Reisuke if he was embarrassed to have her as a girlfriend when he panicked at her using her powers in the open. No…he just pointed out that people don’t know she has powers so that could cause an issue. It’s like she jumped to a really crazy conclusion there.
The writing in general is bad though. Like I mentioned earlier, in chapter 1 right after she seemingly dies, Reisuke has this inner monologue where he is stressed because now he has to raise the kid on his own and this kid is the future of humanity! Is this really what you would be thinking of right away? It’s a little bold to come to that conclusion too. There are too many speeches here and Reisuke is such an annoying main character even though he should be good. The series goes in circles a whole lot during the first arc and all of this add up to the series being cancelled early.
So, what should it have done to avoid being cancelled? Well, right off the bat I would say that they shouldn’t have killed Kareri off in the first chapter. That just destroys the premise and makes no sense. If you’re going to do that, do it much later in the story so we can see the dynamic first. If you have to bump her off though, rescue her by chapter 10. Cut out the visit to the parents and training the baby at the abandoned beach. We go right to a plan to save her with the other Earthchild and then we jump to the time skip with Earth’s revenge. Fast forward after that and Waste can be the main villains as they try to weaponize the fighters.
You could then jump into their shady history of speeding kids up from the age of 1 to 11 and all of that other stuff. It would make the series a bit more fast paced and cut right to the action. It wouldn’t resolve the writing issue as you would just need another writer for that but I think it could have captured people’s attention more. Now this probably sounds like a brutal review with all the shots I’m taking here but I wouldn’t call this a bad manga still. It’s basically a 6 on the large scale.
The reason for that is that it’s still an interesting manga and an easy read. I blasted through the whole series in one day. Well, it’s only 27 chapters so that’s not super impressive but still it was enticing enough for me to keep going. It also helps that the art is really solid. There are the occasional moments where there’s a small mistake or a character is off model but for the most part I was quite impressed. This looks more like a veteran manga than a new one.
While this wouldn’t fit the bill as an action manga since there aren’t a lot of fights, it can still be a good adventure. I liked a lot of the concepts that were brought in like Earth which could have gone into more interesting things had the series kept on going. Death’s waiting room is also an intriguing concept although it probably brings more problems than fixes when you really think about it. There would have to be more of a plot twist about Reisuke for me to ever accept how he kept defying death like that.
One thing that also earns it points is how the series is very anti-destiny. Every time the Earth talks about destiny or other characters do, Reisuke just keeps yelling that he’ll defy destiny and all of that. He never takes no for an answer and keeps on fighting until his family can have a happy ending. That’s always the right approach to me because someone talking about destiny shouldn’t deter you at all. Call their bluff and keep on fighting, it’s the only way to go!
Overall, Earthchild was definitely very different than I imagined. If it ever bothered to stick to the main setup of the two parents raising their superpowered kid then this could have actually been solid. The series just got a little too ambitious before immediately backpedaling and then being caught in a circle. I don’t think I’ve seen a manga so unsure of what to do before but maybe that’s part of what keeps you reading. You’re just wondering how long they can possibly stick this out for. Personally I was expecting the rescue to take up the whole series by the end. The script is also so cheesy that you may get a few chuckles in there at times. I absolutely see why it was cancelled but reading it as a mini series, it’s a good read. I’d recommend this if you’re looking for a fun sci-fi romance to check out. Just don’t read it for the actual romance but instead for the emotional journey of seeing how far Reisuke will go to save his wife.