Twin Spica Vol 1 by Kou Yaginuma Manga Review

 

Title: Twin Spica Vol 1

Author: Kou Yaginuma

Publisher: Vertical

ISBN: 9781934287866

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Vertical’s website:

In a Tokyo of the not-too-distant future a young girl looks up to the stars with melancholy in her heart and hope in her eyes. Thirteen-year-old Asumi Kamogawa’s life has been tied to those stars; her future may very well be among them. And she is not alone… Asumi is one of many young people with ambitions to some day head off to space for Japan’s first manned mission.

Before liftoff, like any true astronaut she must show the right stuff and overcome odds to pass numerous physical and mental trials if she even wants to be considered in the running for a rare spot in the elite Tokyo Space School.

Wow!  This book kind of snuck up on me, and I wasn’t really expecting much from it.  I’m not all that wild about space travel, and though the cover is cute in an unassuming way, it didn’t shout out to me to read it.  Once I glanced at the first interior illustration, however, my entire opinion changed.  The drawing of Asumi reading a book about stars with a contented smile on her face made me want to know more about her.  After spending the length of this volume with her, I am hooked.  Totally and completely hooked.  The strength of the story comes from the solid, likable characters, and the charming, engaging illustrations.

Asumi is captivated by the stars, and she always has been.  She longs to journey amongst them, learning their secrets and treasuring their beauty.  Her desire to travel into space drives her to always try her hardest with her studies, and while her determination fills her with hope and fuels her dreams, it also causes her a great deal of sadness and trepidation.  She is afraid of how her widowed father will react when he learns that she wants to go to Tokyo to attend school.  Dreams of space exploration have already robbed him of his wife; how will he feel now that the heavens have cast their siren spell on his daughter?

Twin Spica tells a tale of wonder and the magic of discovery.  It is the story of chasing dreams, and the heartbreak and joy that take you to the end of your goals. Asumi is facing the greatest challenge of her life, but she is embracing the hardships along with the triumphs.  Her eagerness is infectious and her emotions resonate throughout the book.  With a winning combination that mixes winning personalities and engaging art, Twin Spica delivers a solid, entertaining read.

Grade: A

Review copy provided by Vertical

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