Cooro is a young boy who is known as an +anima - a human who shares the characteristics of an animal. He has the black wings of a crow, and can fly - but he does not know where he came from. We first see him as a baby, falling from the sky through the roof of a human household. Presumably the humans raise him, but then eleven years later, he's traveling on his own in search of others of his kind.
Cut to a circus, where a pretty young mermaid - apparently another +anima - is starring in the sideshow. The circus manager, an overbearing, controlling type, seems to be holding her against her will. Cooro is caught peeking through the tent, and when the manager discovers his wings, he forces Cooro to be part of the act, too. But a boy who can fly is difficult to hold captive - and Cooro is determined to rescue the mermaid as well. But that particular +anima has a few surprises in store for the crow boy...
This is a sweet, humorous manga of adventure and discovery that introduces and interesting cast of characters, several of whom have just a bit of trouble getting along. Thus far it does not delve very deeply into the characters or their motivations beyond their desire to find other +animas. My library shelves this in the teen section, but - at least as far as this first volume goes - I think it would be appropriate for younger (ages 9 to 12) readers as well. This is an enjoyable start to a light-hearted fantasy series.
+Anima, Volume 1 by
Natsumi Mukai (Tokyopop, 2006)