cover image Asadora!, Vol. 1

Asadora!, Vol. 1

Naoki Urasawa, trans. from the Japanese by John Werry. Viz, $14.99 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-974717-46-0

Followers of Eisner winner Urasawa (the 20th Century Boys series) will recognize familiar tropes in this promising series opener: a looming monster apocalyptic threat, well-researched Japanese history, and cinematic framing within the rich landscape of 1959 Nagoya. Asa Asada’s mother is in labor, and Asa has been tasked with finding the family doctor despite an approaching typhoon. One of 11 siblings, Asa is sure she won’t be missed when she is kidnapped by war veteran–turned–criminal Haruo Kasuga. Forced to take shelter from the storm together in a cargo container, Asa and Kasuga later emerge from the crate to discover a destroyed town, and that they’ve drifted far away from Asa’s house. Forming an unlikely alliance, Asa convinces Kasuga to help typhoon survivors and find her way back home. Urusawa excels in focusing on human drama and multifaceted characters, and the storytelling is matched with dynamic, classic realist manga artwork influenced by Osamu Tezuka. Equal parts heartwarming and mysterious, this first volume will be a sure hit for Urasawa fans. (Jan.)