Andromeda Stories, Volume 3
By Keiko Takemiya
(Vertical, Paperback, 9781934287040, 208pp.)
Publication Date: March 4, 2008
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In this final chapter of the epic outerspace series, King Ithaca and the entire government of the Cosmoralian Empire have been transformed into cyborg minions of a machine army determined to destroy all indigenous biological life. The King's wife, Queen Lilia, and her son, the rightful Cosmoralian heir, Prince Jimsa, have become refugees in their own dominion, along with a band of resistance fighters, The Murats. The resistance effort is led by a healer known simply as "The Old Man", who explains that the future of humanity rests in the messianic destiny of their leader incarnate, who will be known unto them by a red dragon-shaped birthmark. Meanwhile. knowledge surfaces that Prince Jimsa's twin sister, Affle, who bears this birthmark, survived despite being ordered to death at birth by the Cosmoralian Empire because it was believed royal twins would presage doom.
Keiko Takemiya was born in 1950 in Tokushima, Japan. She made her manga debut in 1968 with The Sin of the Apple. As part of one of the first seminal women manga collectives (the Magnificent 49ers), Takemiya founded what is now known as yaoi--the explosively popular gay homoerotic sugbenre of shojo manga.
Takemiyas thematic diversity ranges beyond yaoi, however, from Sci-Fi to music appreciation and, in 1980, she won the 25th annual Shogakkan Manga Awa for To Terra... (published in the US by Vertical). Currently, she is a professor of Manga Arts at Kyoto Seika University's Art Department.
"A truly cosmic conclusion to this most cosmic of space operas." - Advanced Media Network
“Takemiya's illustrations are consistently exhilarating. The best way I can describe them, at in regards to these titles, is to say that they possess a kind of elegant fury. Small moments can deliver interpersonal shifts with precision. Large ones, from interstellar battles to emotional meltdowns in a cosmic scale, blast off the page.” —The Comics Reporter
"my top pick is Keiko Takemiya’s Andromeda Stories (Vertical, Inc.), a totally awesome mixture of sci-fi paranoia–the machines are taking over!–shocking plot twists, and taboo-busting romance. Takemiya’s artwork is flat-out gorgeous; her gloriously old-school character designs, dynamic layouts, and meticulous attention to detail put her on equal footing with manga gods Osamu Tezuka and Hiroshi Hinata."- PopCultureShock
"Takemiya is one of Japan’s revered 49ers for a reason. She knows how to tell a story with her art, bringing out the subtlest of emotions and dramatic moments. From the opening pages when the winged goddess is brooding over the Cosmic Egg with sword-bearing angels in attendance, you know you’re looking at something special."- Manga Life
"Intended for young adult readers, this is a satisfying, classic story with stylish old-fashioned artwork. Takemiya's art flows well and is full of colorful details: the weird landscapes look like 1970s fantasy illustration or rock album covers, the costumes are sumptuous, and the silent mechanical invaders are mysterious and chilling." - Otaku USA
“I fell in love with the clockwork body snatchers and space opera storytelling she employs.” - Same Hat Blog
“There’s scarcely another title out there, new or old, that shoots this high and this far with its vision, so pick this up.” - Anime Advanced Media Network “Any first volume is hard to judge, but based on the potential of the story, the historical place of the creator, and Vertical’s excellent publishing record for manga, this volume is recommended for all manga collections.” - Library Journal
“May be the best manga I've read all year. A+," - Comics-and-more.blogspot.com