Twin Spica, Volume
By Kou Yaginuma
Vertical, Paperback, 9781934287934, 208pp.
Publication Date: November 2, 2010
List Price: $10.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Asumi is now in her second term at the Tokyo Space School. After struggling to be accepted into this elite program and some hardships once she was admitted, she quickly found herself developing her skills and her character through the many trials the school administered. Despite her diminutive size, Asumi has a huge heart and equally powerful drive and she will not accept failure as an option. So when she is confronted by protesters demonstrating against Japan's space program, she is torn by the memories of her past, which include her deceased mother, and the dreams she is working so hard to attain.
Born in 1973 in the Iidabashi district of Tokyo, comic artist Kou Yaginuma made his debut with the Twin Spica pilot story The Fireworks of 2015 (originally published in the July 2000 issue of Media Factory's Comic Flapper magazine). That heartfelt story coupled with Yaginuma's warm artwork won the young artist won over many comic fans on his way to becoming the year's biggest new artist.
He followed his debut with a follow up mini-series called Asumi focusing on the early childhood of Twin Spica's young heroine Asumi Kamokawa. The Asumi series was such a runaway success Media Factory signed Yaginuma up to pen Twin Spica for Comic Flapper in the Fall of 2001.
Since Twin Spica's debut, Yaginuma has drawn promotional illustrations for the NHK, Japan's PBS. He has also worked with Japan's brightest young animation director Makoto Shinkai drawing the cover art for the novelization of Shinkai's internationally recognized one-man CG movie Voices of a Distant Star.
Twin Spica is Yagunuma's English language debut.
A Publishers Weekly Big Graphic Novels of 2010 Selection
“I knew Twin Spica was going to be good from when Vertical first announced its license of it. I didn’t realize just how good it would be… The single-page panels, or the two-page spreads, carry with them a sense of gravity and awe that forces you to stop and inspect all the details in Yaginuma’s amazingly clean artwork… Some of the conflict [in the first volume] had me crying, almost uncontrollably. I had to put the manga down and walk away from it for a good while because of how hard it hit me.”—Japanator
“Ultimately, the manga surprised me. Reading about Twin Spica’s lead trying to go into space, I got choked up. It is more sensitive and naturalistic than other space academy manga (even ones I’ve liked)…”—Ain’t It Cool News
“[Yaginuma]’s work fuses Twin Spica with both a sense of childhood nostalgia as well as encouragement to venture beyond. Replace ‘space exploration’ with the goal of your choosing and you have the recipe for an inspiring parable of progress… It’s refreshingly divergent from the majority of the manga on shelves at the moment.”—Otaku USA
“It has a really timeless, very classic manga feel to it… A very good read, with plenty of challenges for a nice assortment of likeable characters… I’m looking forward to following the whole thing.”—Comic Book Resources
“Twin Spica is grounded in realism, and takes slow, purposeful steps in laying out its story, illustrated in a classic style that avoids both outrageousness and cutesiness. Because the work is a natural charmer with a protagonist you care about deeply shortly after the outset, this first volume gets you hooked in no time; the remaining 15 can’t come out fast enough.”—Bookgasm
“A touching and beautiful tale of a young girl’s dream… The art in this book is fantastic, done in a simple yet charming style. Not a lot of detail is used, but none is wasted and emotion is portrayed beautifully here.”—Mania.com
“I am hooked. Totally and completely hooked. The strength of the story comes from the solid, likable characters, and the charming, engaging illustrations. Grade: A”—Manga Maniac Cafe
“With art that would make Studio Ghibli proud, this story moved and impressed me. I look forward to more volumes from this series with anticipation. A+”—About Heroes
“Twin Spica’s first volume is charming almost immediately and grips you with an attachment to Asumi and her story… The manga also excels at being able to keep us engaged during the less frenzied sections as well. I am sold and look forward to reading the rest of this amazing narrative.”—Reverse Thieves
“Twin Spica may be the book to really keep an eye on this year.”—Wednesday’s Haul
“The real story is all about Asumi’s longings… She’s portrayed as a character first and not simply a plot marker representative of a particular faction—e.g., 'the humans' or 'the Japanese.'”—Genji Press
“Twin Spica is told with an uncommonly graceful blend of optimism and melancholy. Kou Yaginuma takes his sci-fi premise seriously, and he treats his characters with warmth and intelligence. Strongly recommended.”