Saturn Apartments

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Saturn Apartments
Saturn Apartments v1 cover.jpg
The cover of the first volume of Saturn Apartments
土星マンション
(Dosei Mansion)
Genre Science fiction, Slice of life story
Manga
Written by Hisae Iwaoka
Published by Shogakukan
English publisher Viz Media
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Ikki
Original run October 30, 2006August 30, 2011
Volumes 7 (List of volumes)

Saturn Apartments (土星マンション Dosei Mansion?) is a 7 volume manga series written and illustrated by Hisae Iwaoka. Saturn Apartments has been seralised in the Shogakukan's seinen manga magazine Ikki from 2005 to 2011. It has been collected into 7 tankōbon volumes. Viz Media licensed the manga series for English-language publication in North America and as of November 2012, have released 6 volumes of the series. Saturn Apartments is licensed in Taiwan by Taiwan Tohan Co and Kana in France.

Plot[edit]

It is a work of science fiction set in a distant future, where the Earth has been evacuated and humanity now inhabits a man-made ring-shaped city orbiting 35 kilometers above the planet's surface. The ring is divided into floors, of which there are three; the first being the living space of everyday workers, the second being dedicated to agriculture, and the third being the dwellings of the upper class. The plot follows the life of a young man called Mitsu, whose job as a window cleaner allows him a glimpse into the lives of the ring's inhabitants, as he attempts to learn more about his father's disappearance while working in the same job.

Characters[edit]

Window Cleaners[edit]

Mitsu
The main character of the story, Mitsu works as a window cleaner because he takes joy in it and because he wants to learn about his father's ill disappearance at work. He tends to be of a very calm nature, and he is very dedicated to his job, something he is aware of as being a dangerous and low-paying occupation. He is somewhat inexperienced and insecure of himself.
Jin
Jin is Mitsu's superior and occasional supervisor who has had plenty more experience working as a window cleaner. He tends to speak gruffly and is externally of a brash nature, however he is caring for his co-workers. He lives with his wife, Haruko and his a close friend of Tamachi (even though they dislike admitting it).
Makoto
A co-worker of Mitsu who has a grudge with him for "replacing Tamachi" and for "having it so easy" in terms of work.

Other Characters[edit]

Haruko
Jin's wife. Haruko is frail and prone to blackouts due to what is described as an autoimmunity deficiency caused by a lack of sunlight in the lower levels. In a flashback it's revealed she dislikes hospitals due to an accident that led to her sterility. This doesn't stop Haruko from being cheery and from participating in public agriculture.
The Kageyamas
A family of three that occasionally house Mitsu. The family is integrated by the bald and boisterous Mr. Kageyama, his wife, and their daughter Fuyo.
Tamachi
Tamachi worked as a window cleaner until he had to take up his family's business in the upper levels. He was the former partner of Aki (Mitsu's father). It's revealed that he has a slight feud with Jin. Tamachi frequently hires Jin to clean windows above gardens. He works in a bio-gas plant and lives with his wife.
Sachi
An acquaintance of Mitsu who works as a "falling objects researcher" . She was originally mistaken as a man by Mitsu. She and her pet cat live outside of the ring on a small cabin, and the exposure to solar radiation gives her constant sunburns.

Manga[edit]

Volumes[edit]

Saturn Apartments has been seralised in the Shogakukan's seinen manga magazine Ikki from 2005 to 2011, as well as being published in 7 books. Viz Media licensed the manga series for English-language publication in North America and as of November 2012, have released 6 volumes of the series. In May 2013, Viz released volume seven in the U.S. [1] Saturn Apartments is licensed in Taiwan by Taiwan Tohan[2] and Kana in France.[3]

Chapter list[edit]

Chapters are called "floors".

No. Japanese release date Japanese ISBN North American release date North American ISBN
1 October 30, 2006[4] ISBN 4091883397 May 25, 2010[5] ISBN 1421533642
  • 1. Earth (地球?)
  • 2. Work (仕事?)
  • 3. Lights (灯り?)
  • 4. A Place Far Away (遠い場所?)
  • 5. An Ocean (ウミ?)
  • 6. The Green Room (緑の部屋?)
  • 7. Beneath The Mask (仮面の下?)
  • 8. Artifice (造り物?)
2 June 29, 2007[6] ISBN 9784091883667 November 16, 2010[7] ISBN 1421533731
  • 9. A Small Room (小さな部屋?)
  • 10. So Close And Yet So Far (近くて遠く?)
  • 11. Holiday (ヤスミノヒ?)
  • 12. Dinner (食事会?)
  • 13. Night Festival (夜祭?)
  • 14. Where I Am Now (今いる場所?)
  • 15. Out Of Reach (手の先に?)
  • 16. Glitter (キラリ?)
  • 17. A Room Full Of Flowers (華の部屋?)
3 March 28, 2008[8] ISBN 9784091884084 May 17, 2011[9] ISBN 142153374X
  • 18. Alone In Her Room (ヒトリの部屋?)
  • 19. Symbols (記号?)
  • 20. An Empty Room (空の部屋?)
  • 21. The Everyday View (いつもの風景?)
  • 22. A Room With A Roof (屋根のある部屋?)
  • 23. Cleaner (掃除屋?)
  • 24. Use (使いみち?)
  • 25. The Long Way Around (遠回り?)
  • 26. A Voice That Travels (届く声?)
4 January 30, 2009[10] ISBN 9784091884367 November 15, 2011 ISBN 1421533758
  • 27. The Test (試験?)
  • 28. His Role Model (目標の人?)
  • 29. His Own Road (続くみち?)
  • 30. Sanctuary (聖地?)
  • 31. Yukishima (幸嶋?)
  • 32. His Last Day (仕事納め?)
  • 33. Saku (さく?)
  • 34. Stars Aligned (星の並び?)
  • 35. Thoughts (想い?)
5 November 30, 2009[11] ISBN 9784091884886 May 15, 2012 ISBN 1421541297
  • 36. The Egg Woman (たまごの人?)
  • 37. A Wide Window (広い窓?)
  • 38. Under The Window (窓の下?)
  • 39. What He Realized (手にしたモノ?)
  • 40. A T-Shirt And A Resolution (シャツと決意?)
  • 41. The Swallowed-Up Voice (包まれる声?)
  • 42. Yukishima And Fried Chicken (幸嶋と唐揚げ?)
  • 43. The Beginning Room (始まりの部屋?)
  • 44. The Druggist's Diagnosis (薬屋の見立て?)
6 August 30, 2010[12] ISBN 9784091885258 November 20, 2012 ISBN 1421541300
  • 45. The Guiding Thread (導く糸は?)
  • 46. The Ship You Will Ride (君の乗る舟?)
  • 47. The Flat Ground (平たい地?)
  • 48. Hope (希望?)
  • 49. Looking At The Shadows (影を見て?)
  • 50. Confused One (戸惑う者?)
  • 51. Smoke (?)
  • 52. Confusion (混乱?)
  • 53. Light And Shadow (光と影?)
7 August 30, 2011[13] ISBN 9784091885562 May 21, 2013 ISBN 142155268X
  • 54. Quiet Procession (静かな行進?)
  • 55. Crossroads (交差点?)
  • 56. The Place Of Memories (思い出す場所?)
  • 57. Promise (約束?)
  • 58. Change (変化?)
  • 59. The Same Place (同じ場所?)
  • 60. Unveiling The Ship (舟のお披露目?)
  • 61. Each Of Their Thoughts (それぞれの想い?)
  • 62. End Of The Connected Paths (繋がる道の先?)
  • 63. To The Surface (地上へ?)
  • 64. Homeland In The Sky (空の故郷?)

Reception[edit]

Matthew Warner enjoyed the interesting world presented in the manga, and praised the 'simple, yet gorgeous art style'.[14] Johanna Draper Carlson compares the protagonist, Mitsu, to Charlie Brown, as they both have rounded heads and small eyes, and are "dealing with a grim life".[15] Later, she describes Mitsu as being a typical 'plucky young manga hero' who improves at his work, but is also noted for his talking to his upper-class clients.[16] Greg McElhatton compares Iwaoka's artwork to Travis Charest and Sean Chen, praising the details of the work.[17] YALSA included the first volume of the series on their 2011 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list.[18]

References[edit]

External links[edit]