Saturn Apartments by Hisae Iwaoka

How do you convey the joy you feel when you finish a wonderful book or series?  That wonderful sunshiny bursting through feeling, that holding the book over your heart and dancing around the room feeling.  That hoping everyone loves it as much as you feeling.  I don’t know if I can, but I’m going to try, so forgive me if I don’t quite succeed. 

Saturn Apartments is my second favorite manga series ever-right after Image   

I don’t know if it’s a coincidence that they both deal with space but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they both deal with friendships and celebrate the small moments in life.

Saturn Apartments is a story of the life and work of a window washer in a future Earth where all of humanity is now living in a ring orbiting the planet.


Mitsu, an orphan following in his father Aki’s footsteps, becomes a window washer even though it is an extremely dangerous job and the cause of his father’s death. Window washers clean the outside of the ring, which is orbiting 35 kilometers above the planet, wearing spacesuits.  As far as anyone knows Mitsu’s father fell from the ring to the planet below.

You wouldn’t think this would be the basis for such quiet moments of happiness and elation but I loved every volume and found my heart would race when I’d notice the next volume sitting on the shelf at work waiting for me to read. 

This is a series to savor, a series to read leisurely.  You have to be willing to allow it to wash over you and grow with it, much like Mitsu grows older and finds his place in the world during the course of the series.  If you’re looking for flash or fireworks this is not for you but if you want lovely unique art and a story that will occasionally make you cry I promise you will find it here.






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