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Manga Review: Twin Spica Volume Two by Kou Yaginuma

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Twin Spica Volume Two is a manga by Kou Yaginuma, and it was published in North America by Vertical, Inc. in 2010. There isn’t any kind of a rating printed on this volume, but I would personally recommend the Twin Spica series to manga readers who are 12 or 13 years of age and older.

Volume Two starts out with Asumi heading off to the Tokyo National Space School. “Mr. Lion” sees her off, and tells her not to cry when she’s in Tokyo. At the entrance ceremony, Asumi runs into Kei, one of girls she was assigned to be with during one of the tests in Volume One.

Over the course of the volume, Asumi is reunited with Marika, the other girl from the test in Volume One. She also runs into Fuchuya, her classmates from her hometown. Asumi is also introduced to Shu Suzuki, one of Fuchuya’s partners in the test.

As the group begins to take their classes and learn what the expectations are, it’s more grueling than they had anticipated. Physical fitness is highly stressed, and the students are expected to run 20 laps a day and spend one hour on stationary bikes. Later in the volume, swimming also becomes important. During one of the swimming sections in this volume, some information that was revealed in one of the extra stories in Volume One is referenced. I thought this was a really nice touch.

Over the course of this volume, it seems that Professor Sano, one of Asumi’s instructors, doesn’t like her. At the end of the main story in this volume, the reasoning for his dislike is revealed. I found myself being surprised by the revelation.

In addition to the main story, Volume Two also includes three additional stories: “Campanella’s Forest,” “Our Stars, Leaf Stars,” and “Another Spica.” The first two stories are prequel stories that provide background information for Asumi, Asumi’s teacher from her hometown school, Fuchuya, Asumi’s father, and “Mr. Lion.”

I really appreciate the inclusion of these particular stories, because they provide more background on the series for the reader without bogging down the narrative of the main story. “Another Spica” seems to be the Yaginuma’s attempt to insert himself into the Twin Spica universe; personally, I haven’t enjoyed the “Another Spica” stories are much as the others.

Twin Spica is a riveting read, and I found myself really caring about and rooting for the characters in the series. Yaginuma’s art and writing style really contribute to make the characters believable and relatable. I especially felt really bad for Asumi when a bombshell was dropped on her right at the end of the volume. Things look rather bleak for Asumi continuing on, so I’m interested to read Volume Three to see what will happen to her next.

If you enjoy dramatic stories that feature young people with science fiction thrown in the mix, then I really think you would enjoy Twin Spica. I would highly recommend this series to manga readers, and I can’t wait until I can get my hands on a copy of Volume Three so I can continue following the adventures of Asumi and her classmates.

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About Lesley Aeschliman

Lesley Aeschliman is a freelance writer who began writing on a full-time basis in 2007. She has served as the Anime editor at BellaOnline.com, and she also writes and maintains two blogs: Lesley's Musings... on Anime and Manga and AeschTunes.