As a society, we’re mesmerized by dinosaurs. The giant prehistoric creatures have been the subject of plenty of movies, TV shows, books, and comics. But the most famous piece of dinosaur media is Jurassic Park. For dinosaur fans who wished that Jurassic Park showed more of the park’s day-to-day operation, or for those who once dreamed of having a pet dinosaur, then Dinosaur Sanctuary is a must-read manga. Written and illustrated by Itaru Kinoshita and featuring Shin-ichi Fujiwara as a dinosaur consultant, Dinosaur Sanctuary is currently being serialized in Comic Bunch magazine. However, the first volume recently arrived in America thanks to Seven Seas Entertainment.
Dinosaur Sanctuary is set in an alternative universe where, in 1946, a remote island full of dinosaurs was discovered. People quickly set about breeding them, and soon the animals were a common sight. In fact, this event triggered a dinosaur boom, in which dinosaurs once again marched to the forefront of pop culture. Dinosaur zoos started to spring up around the world.
The Delightful World of Dinosaur Sanctuary
One such park is Enoshima Dinoland, as while it still has some guests and a dedicated crew, the finances are looking bleak, and parts of the park are falling into disrepair after a devesating incident shifts the public’s perception on the prehistoric creatures.
However, despite their lack of cash, the park hires a new keeper, Suma Suzume. While Suma is clumsy and absent-minded, her passion for dinosaurs and helping people may help her smooth over the staff’s tensions and work out a way to keep Enoshima Dinoland’s doors open for another season. And this will allow Suma to complete her true goal, educating people about the true nature of dinosaurs and their place in nature’s hierarchy.
One of the manga’s highlights is the art style. While the people and environments are drawn in a traditional manga style, the dinosaurs are drawn more realistically, capturing the majesty of these massive, legendary creatures. Despite the realism throughout the series, the artwork still manages to have the dinosaurs convey loads of emotion through their body language, adding to the perception that these are beloved creatures. This fascinating art style helps add a grounded feel to the manga, which plays into the book’s general tone.
What Makes Dinosaur Sanctuary Such a Great Manga?
One thing that sets Dinosaur Sanctuary apart from other dinosaur-based series is its tone. The manga has a fantastic slice-of-life feel that captures the challenging but rewarding nature of working in animal care. For instance, in the first chapter, we see the crew of Enoshima Dinoland having to deal with a visiting school party as well as plenty of enclosure cleaning, both of which come with their own issues.
On top of that, the series doesn’t shy away from the challenging parts of operating an animal facility, especially in terms of healthcare and daily tasks. The characters are all engaging, and the art helps convey the natural drama of the setting. Suma Suzume is flawlessly written, and her enthusiasm and passion leap off the page, making it impossible to not root for her, as her inexperience allows her to set up situations where other characters can teach the audience about dinosaurs and the park without it feeling like you’re being crushed under constant exposition dumps. This all comes together to create an engaging manga that will pull readers in.
Dinosaur Sanctuary is an excellent manga that will delight long-time dinosaur fans and those who love unique slice-of-life scenarios. It is full of outstanding art, relatable characters, and a fun storyline that will leave you desperate for more dinosaur action and a chance to see how the park will change and how the staff’s relationships will evolve in future volumes of Dinosaur Sanctuary.