Under Your Radar: Nagasarete Airantou

Serves you right, you shitty dad! I am now FREE!

14-year-old Ikuto Touhouin runs away from home after an argument with his father, and gets on a boat. A storm then knocks him overboard, and he ends up on an island. But not just any normal island. This is Airan Island, where the supernatural is commonplace, animals can talk, fruits and vegetables are enormous, and there’s no contact with the outside world due to a barrier that only weakens during storms.

130 years ago, in the middle of World War 2, a ship called the Airantou crashed onto the island and brought the first set of humans to the island. During the storm before the one that brought Ikuto in (which was back when most of the people still on the island were kids), all of the human men ended up being washed away from the island while in the middle of a fishing competition. As such, all that’s left are a bunch of girls, and they need Ikuto’s help to avoid dying out. So begins the light-hearted slice of life comedy, Nagasarete Airantou (“Nagasarete” means “Cast Away”, “Airantou” means “Blue Orchid Island”, which makes me question why a ship would be named “The Blue Orchid Island”).

The series basically follows Ikuto’s daily life on the island with a girl named Suzu, who’s in great need of company in comparison to everyone else, since she’s living in a house away from everyone else with no one but a pig around.

The entire series basically runs on Ikuto’s interactions with all of the girls around him, and the things he finds out about them. Ikuto’s personality boils down to not liking being told something is impossible, getting ridiculous nosebleeds and passing out whenever something remotely erotic happens, and keeping his distance from most of the girls (due to the belief that they’re only after him because he’s the only male). He’s also good with a wooden sword.

What are you doing in this series, Kirito?

While the nosebleeds start out funny, they start to slowly edge toward being annoying after a while, so it’s a good thing that this manga’s monthly. What is surprisingly not annoying is how the rest of the series is executed. While the nosebleeds are a cop out from Ikuto getting anywhere with the girls, the character interactions make sense, the characters are adequately developed, everyone’s personal issues are believable within the setting and shown to us without being milked too hard, etc. I found it to be a rather nice touch when most of the girls admitted that they were originally after him because he was the only male, but then legitimately fell in love with him as time passed.

This is the pig I mentioned. I’m not joking.

The art style on the animals is also interesting. They all look more like stuffed animals than actual animals. That said, given how the artist showed real animals in his art style, I must ultimately agree with the artist’s decision to not make them look realistic – the tone of the series would have been ruined. And speaking of the animals, several of them were quite badass. Oddly enough, the chicken being the most badass of all.

A major flaw in this series, however, comes with the passage of time. It’s basically a chapter or more per in-series day, and it’s a monthly series that’s been running for over ten years now. Yes, that translates into a bit over 100 chapters and only a few months having passed in-series. As such, this is a series I’d strongly recommend be taken slowly, not speed-binged. The occasional fourth wall breaking, as they do on milestone chapters, is still good for a few laughs, however.

The series received a 26-episode anime adaptation. But while it was an accurate adaptation content-wise, it felt as if they’d sucked the soul out of the series. The one-time ending theme Pu~! featuring Tonkatsu is best ending, though:

The series has never received an official English release in any form, but it runs in Monthly Shounen Gangan, the same magazine by Square Enix that ran Fullmetal Alchemist.

Don’t I saw it often, that I truly don’t like it when my life is pushed around!?