Aki Irie takes readers for a field trip across the globe and back with their new series slice-of-life mystery Go With The Clouds, North By Northwest.

Kei Miyama is a seventeen year-old boy who, after his parents’ deaths and dropping out of high school, goes to live with his grandfather in Reykjavik, Iceland. While there, to make ends meet and pay for the rent that his grandfather insists he pays, he does odd jobs as a private investigator, such as tracking down individuals or finding lost items. Miyama stands out amongst the island’s population due to being of Japanese descent, but also because he, like his grandfather, has a mysterious ability. Miyama is able to “talk” to cars and other electrical items which helps with his different jobs. However, Miyama becomes on edge when he is unable to get in touch with his closest living relatives in Japan. Immediately, with his grandfather in tow, the two return to Japan to find answers about Miyama’s little brother. It seems the more the two of them uncover, the more questions they find.

The first thing that might catch a reader’s attention are the front and back cover of Go With The Clouds, North By Northwest. Artwork that looks as if it were freshly painted with watercolor and in the Icelandic language wraps around the book. Both of such continue within the manga itself, with the characters speaking the language briefly at moments. As for the artwork, the Icelandic countryside comes alive in both the color and two-tone pages giving the reader an idea of how the island-nation looks, even prompting a sense of wanderlust similar to Miyama’s own life. The story continues to unfold with the backdrop changing from one continent to another, and more questions being asked concerning Miyama’s brother, his aunt and uncle, and the folks in Iceland that Miyama has come to know. Irie’s manga has echoes of other mystery manga such as Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, leaving the reader wanting to know more at the end of each volume, particularly with the cliffhanger pulling you back in.

The first three volumes of Go With The Clouds, North By Northwest are available for purchase from Vertical Comics right now. The fourth volume is due to hit shelves in November 2020.

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