Saturn Apartments

Saturn Apartments


Book - 2010
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"Far in the future, humankind has evacuated the earth in order to preserve it. Humans now reside in a gigantic structure that forms a ring around the earth, 35 kilometers up in the sky. The society of the ring is highly stratified: the higher the floor, the greater the status. Mitsu, the lowly son of a window washer, has just graduated junior high. When his father disappears and is assumed dead, Mitsu must take on his father's occupation. As he struggles with the transition to working life, Mitsu's job treats him to an outsider's view into the living-room dioramas of the Saturn Apartments"--Cover, P. [4].
Publisher: San Francisco, CA : Viz Media, [2010], c2006.
Edition: Viz signature ed.
ISBN: 9781421533643
Branch Call Number: YA GN Iwao
Characteristics: 184 p. : chiefly ill. ; 21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Thorn, Matt
Erbes, Eric


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Jan 19, 2019

Not what I was expecting after reading the blurb. Focuses mostly on Mitsu, Jin, and their work, not on the slices of life/outside look at their society that I was expecting. Also left me with questions but I'm not sure I'm invested enough to read the next one to get the answers.

Popsugar 2019 Prompt #20 - A book set in space

Feb 13, 2017

Quiet, thoughtful, initially slice-of-life manga about Mitsu, a young man who takes a job washing the windows of a station in near-Earth orbit. All humans live there, having abandoned the Earth to keep it as a nature preserve. Mitsu's father died doing the same job, and the story (so far) mostly revolves around Mitsu's attempts to learn more about his father by following his vocation.

<i>Saturn Apartments</i> is kind of like Makoto Yukimura's <i>Planetes</i> in that it focuses on the lives of working class people in a science fiction setting. It's more about characters than human colonization of space, though, especially as Mitsu begins to interact more with his coworkers and their families, and upper-class clients of his window-washing company.

The art is a little funny, with characters of all ages drawn with toddler proportions, i.e. big heads, small bodies. Older characters do look a little less toddler-y than junior high graduate Mitsu, so I adjusted pretty quickly. It's more than made up for by the amazing perspective work with rooms, both large and small, and the exterior of the station during work shifts. Several times I had to stop just to gawk at a specific panel.

The personal growth, relationships, and vignettes about people on the station are so intriguing that I would have been happy reading this series just for that for more than its seven books. However, a larger plot started emerging later in the series where some working-class people on the station began a project to drop a manned craft down to Earth. Without spoiling, I can say that this project ends up intersecting with the class tensions on the station in an interesting and dramatic way that involves every character we got to know over the series. Every bit of character development for them was important to the series conclusion, which was was 100% satisfying. Very skillfully told.

PimaLib_Teens Mar 19, 2015

Science fiction writers don't seem to be very optimistic. I'm not judging, I'm just saying. The future is always more of the same human mistakes, just with spacesuits. And yet we keep reading it. It must be because mistakes are more interesting than perfection. (There, I've just handed you the perfect excuse the next time you mess up on something.) Iwaoko has written a science fiction manga filled with characters that could live next door to you, living with the same small joys and problems as we do now.

Saturn Apartments reads like a series of interconnected short stories, each understated and moving. The art is simple but eloquent – much is said in a tilt of the head or a sideways glance. And there's a cat in a spacesuit! What's not to love about that?

Roxannajayc May 30, 2012

A wonderful story of potential utopia - the story follows Mitsu a window washer on his home planet of saturn.


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Aug 03, 2017

Kathryn17 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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