By Kou Yaginuma
(Vertical, Paperback, 9781935654346, 400pp.)
Publication Date: March 6, 2012
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In this final installment, graduation looms for what is left of the Tokyo Space School's first class. As the teens focus on their final days in school, many of them take the opportunity to finally share some long hidden feelings and settle a few differences. And finally, Japan's first student astronaut is selected! Will Asumi finally be able to drive the rocket of her childhood dreams?
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.
“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
“It’s easy to see why the series was a smash hit in its native land… The relationship between father and daughter is very moving, and Asumi’s interaction with her equally ambitious schoolmates is also compelling stuff… 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.” —Publishers Weekly
“[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
“Yaginuma’s matter-of-fact storytelling and understated art fill this tale with a gentle sense of wonder. The characters’ doe eyes and lightly sketched style would be more at home in a slice-of-life series than a sensationalist sci-fi adventure, but that contrast is exactly why Twin Spica stands out. Rather than reaching for the stars with an outspoken gesture, it looks inward, to the depths of the human soul where we find the courage and will to explore.” —Anime News Network
“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 refreshing alternative to both the staid shojo works and dark science fiction manga I have read recently…clearly poised to become a sure-fire hit with fans of both genres.”
—Tim Maughan Books
“It’s hard for me to describe how much I enjoyed reading this first volume. It’s touching without being melodramatic. The drama is well done and very compelling. Like life, it doesn’t pull any punches, but it still has an uplifting feeling about the future… Whether you’re interested in space travel or science fiction or not, the characters and drama of this title are just too compelling to pass up. 10/10” —Comics Village
“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
“Though this series finished its run in seinen magazine Comic Flapper just last year, its simple artwork and wistful tone make its first volume read like an instant classic… Though the story’s foundation is set firmly in hard sci-fi, it is its heroine’s poignant and occasionally whimsical inner life that really defines its voice… Hopeful, charming, and tinged with sadness, Twin Spica leaves us wanting more. Highly recommended.”
—The Manga Critic
“This delightful comicbook epic has everything: plenty of hard science to back up the savvy extrapolation, a believable, likable cast, an enduring mystery, tender moments, isolation and teen angst, dawning true friendships, all wrapped up in a joyous coming-of-age drama with supernatural overtones and gobs of pure sentiment. This tale reinvigorates the magical allure of the Wild Black Yonder for a new generation and is a treat no imagineer with head firmly in the clouds can afford to miss.” —Comics Review (U.K.)