Instead of being destined to die, this time the cute manga’s star is destined to fly.

Ordinarily, a good storyteller wants to keep his tale’s ending a secret right up until the very end. But manga artist Yuuki Kikuchi bucked such conventional wisdom when he told you, right in the title, what was going to happen to the protagonist of The Crocodile Who Dies in 100 Days.

Serialized at a rate of one four-panel chapter per day on Kikuchi’s social media accounts, The Crocodile Who Dies in 100 Days was a surreal experience for readers, a simple slice of life story with an intangible but unavoidable sense of dread. And while many fans hoped against hope for a last-minute plot twist or title-related loophole, at the end of 100 days, the crocodile did indeed die on March 20.

Last week, though, Kikuchi began serializing a different manga on Twitter, this one called Flying Away Azarashi (“Flying Away Seal”), and it’s bilingual, with English and Japanese versions going up at the same time!

Once again, Kikuchi is completely forthright about what readers can expect: a story about a seal who, whenever he’s not actively holding onto something that’s heavy or bolted down, will float away.

▼ Click on the image for the full chapter

But even though he’s fully aware of his condition, the seal regularly suffers lapses in his concentration. While out for a ride on his unusual one-wheeled scooter, he spots a tasty-looking bowl of ramen sitting on the sidewalk and reaches down to grab it…with both hands. Actually, food seems to be a particularly strong temptation for him, considering what happens when he cooks up a batch of fried rice.

Other distractions he’s faced so far include a balloon, a startling aggressive cat, and the opportunity to say hi to a friend. Invariably, the encounters end with Flying Away Seal drifting towards the clouds as he dejectedly murmurs “Oh maaaan.”

Most of the time, the chapter closes with the seal making a non sequitur (“I am right-handed.”) or offering a simple observation about the state of the world (“Fried rice tastes better when it is warm.”) However, he’s also used his end-of-chapter panel to make the profoundly uplifting declaration “As long as I live, I can become stronger.”

This actually isn’t the first time for Kikuchi to post Flying Away Azarashi on his Twitter account, but the new posts are in celebration of the creation of the seal character plushies pictured earlier in this article. However, this is the first time for an English version of the manga to be posted, likely in response to the overseas attention and admiration The Crocodile Who Dies in 100 Days got. And while Flying Away Azarashi may not have the level of suspense that Crocodile did, it still has a lovable character with a deep love for the simple pleasures in life, so here’s hoping he has a nice, long life to live.

Source: Twitter/@yuukikikuchi via Otakomu
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