Twin Spica, Vol. 1

Kou Yaginuma, Author . Vertical $10.95 (188p) ISBN 978-1-934287-84-2

While replete with giant robots, alien invasions, and incredibly creative mecha that fires the imagination, many Japanese sci-fi entries use their fantastic trappings as an accent to the fascinating and all-too-human protagonists of their narratives. This effort from Yaginuma (Asumi ) utterly involves readers in the dreams and ambitions of young Asumi Kamogawa, and it's easy to see why the series was a smash hit in its native land. Thirteen-year-old Asumi lives in Japan in 2024 as the country's space program is resurrecting itself in the wake of a launch tragedy 10 years earlier, and Asumi aims to be among the first wave of young astronauts to take Japan into the stars. Raised by her construction worker father, Asumi is the apple of her dad's eye and he will do everything in his working-class power to make her dream of attending the Tokyo Space School come true. The relationship between father and daughter is very moving, and Asumi's interaction with her equally ambitious schoolmates is also compelling stuff. There's no action to speak of, instead each page contains more genuine emotion than an entire space fleet's worth of similarly themed stories. Opening with a strong introductory volume, this series shows great promise and bodes well for future installments. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/19/2010
Release date: 05/01/2010
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-1-934287-86-6
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