By Atsushi Suzumi
Published in the US by Del Rey Manga
Slugline: More little kids who exist to force the plot along.
Gimmy is a mechanic of a desert village that depends on a nimbus tree, a giant magical tree that provides the village's water. In exchange for water, the tree's goddessAmefurashi asks for dolls. Gimmy as the village's handyman is asked to make the doll, but is so caught up in the details that he blows the deadline for the doll's delivery. Gimmy's younger siblings Mel and Mil run off and pretend to be dolls to appease the goddess, with Gimmy climbing the tree to recover them. On the way he finds an annoying young girl named Sora and discovers too late that she is actually the Amefurashi. Gimmy tries to make a deal to get his siblings back, but while working out the deal Ciel, another amerfurashi without a tree steals Sora's tree's heart. Without it, the village will no longer get water so Gimmy decides to help Sora get back her tree's heart.
For once none of the characters are stupid. While they make mistakes, there are mistakes that are believable and match their character traits. Gimmy is a little too perfectionist for his own good, Mel and Mil are impetuous and Sora has a hard time understanding what the heck the humans want or are even actually are saying. The only concern is with the plotting, with the story first looking like it will be about howGimmy is going to convince Sora to return his siblings and only later it being about Gimmy and Sora teaming up. Ordinarily it would be better if the story didn't feel the need to switch tracks, but this feels like a mostly organic change rather than desperate flailing around to find something to do.
Amefurashi, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.