During a summer trip to the beach with her mother, four-year-old Tokiko is saved by a mermaid after wandering into the ocean. Years later she returns to live in this town by the sea with her father, and is drawn to a boy in her sixth grade class that stirs this old memory.
This manga, as it name suggests, "A Blue Fish Scale and the Town of Sand", is taking place in a small, coastal town, a quiet and calm place. And as much as anything in it, the whole manga can really relax you, and let you contemplate about moments from your own past. The whole concept of this work is not really about the end of it, but it's mostly about the feelings and emotions of the small cast, presented in it along their lives.
For it's story, the manga is just 2 volumes, which is relatively short, but I think it's wrapped up
well. But as I mentioned above, the end goal is not really the highlight, it's more like a background for the characters to interact and develop themselves and their relationships.
As for the art, I think it's fitting just great with the concept of the work, it's minimalistic, the round and curved figures and shapes are dominant, reinforcing that feel of calmness, relaxation and serenity. I loved the fluid way the art is conveying the thoughts of the characters in well-made dream sequences, and in the same time the fast change from thoughts to talking or generally interacting with something. In short, the simplistic character design works great for this type of story, where the subconcios, the thoughts and feelings of the characters were more significant and paramount.
The characters are few in count, but not all of them were developed. Still, those who are, are well-crafted, for alot of them you can get why they think, feel or react to some topics in a certain way, and also the main character, Tokiko, is very well portrayed emotionally and is easily to grow on you, you could feel empathy towards her. The struggles she has in her mind are surely understandable and relateable for every type of audience, be it younger or older, which gives this story flavor and appeal to a broad demographic. The characters are mostly children, but the story is weaved in a more calm, mature and nostalgic, even melancholic vibe.
I personally enjoyed this story alot, it made me reminice about the past, and made me contemplate about the nowadays. It's a slow paced story, with few if none action, it really breezed into my mind and let me dive deep into my own memories and thoughts, and it's calm and quiet atmosphere made this small trip of a manga very enjoyable read. I do reccomend it if you're looking about relaxed, but mature story, but in the same time I'm not sure anyone would like it instantly, it's mostly coming down to if you are interested in the themes this work is talking about.