Children of the Whales is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Abi Umeda. The manga is licensed in North America by Viz Media. An anime television series adaptation by J.C. Staff aired in Japan from October to December 2017, and was released globally on Netflix in March 2018.
An anime adaptation of the series was announced in the February 2017 issue of Mystery Bonita on January 6, 2017. The anime adaptation, which was later confirmed to be a television series, is directed by Kyōhei Ishiguro and written by Michiko Yokote, with animation by J.C.Staff, character designs by Haruko Iizuka and music by Hiroaki Tsutsumi. It aired from October 8 to December 24, 2017, on Tokyo MX and other channels. It ran for 12 episodes and will have two OVA. It was released globally by Netflix in March 2018. The opening theme song “Sono Saki e” is performed by singer-songwriter RIRIKO, while the ending theme song “Hashitairo” is performed by rionos.
- The protagonist of the story. Chakuro is a Marked boy who works as an archivist for the Elders in the Mud Whale, hoping that his records will improve life for future generations. Curious and gentle, he sometimes dreams to see the world outside the Mud Whale and immediately befriends Lykos after finding her on the abandoned island.
- A mysterious girl found on an island that was about to be scavenged by the Mud Whale’s people for resources. “Lykos” is not really her name, it is actually a term used to describe a mysterious creature that feeds off the emotions of anyone that comes near it. Chakuro simply calls her “Lykos” for convenience’s sake. At first, she is reluctant to speak to anyone but with Chakuro’s help, she learns to express herself more openly.
- Another Marked one who is said to possess the greatest potential for thymia in the Mud Whale. He is the leader of the Moles, a group of young people who gained their name because they often break the rules of the Mud Whale and thus spent a lot of time imprisoned in the belly of the ship. Obsessed with leaving the Mud Whale, Ouni has earned a reputation as a troublemaker. When Lykos is found by Chakuro, Ouni sees the opportunity to escape the Mud Whale. He later awakens an unknown power after seeing Nibi die.
- An Unmarked one who works as an assistant for the Council of Elders. He is Chakuro’s friend and Sami’s elder brother, he often gives them advice for how they can help the Mud Whale’s people. He often clasps his hands, which Chakuro notes is his way to suppress his emotions.
- A girl who often helps in the everyday activities of the Mud Whale’s people, as a member of the Vigilante Corps.
- An imperial soldier of the Allied Empire who stands out for his excessive emotions.
- A mysterious man and the leader of the Vigilante Corps.
- Chakuro’s friend and Suō’s younger sister. She seems to harbor feelings for Chakuro and becomes mildly jealous of Lykos upon seeing how close she and Chakuro become. When a mysterious group of soldiers attack the Mud Whale, she shields Chakuro from their bullets and dies. She returns as a spirit, kisses, and confesses her feelings to Chakuro before disappearing.
- A girl, member of the Moles.
- An Unmarked woman and mayor of the Mud Whale.