Manga Review: Twin Spica Volume Three

Article first published as Manga Review: Twin Spica Volume Three by Kou Yaginuma on Blogcritics.

Twin Spica Volume Three 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 Twin Spica to manga readers who are twelve or thirteen years of age and older.

Twin Spica Volume 3
Written by: Kou Yaginuma
Publisher: Media Factory
English Publisher: Vertical
Release Date: September 7, 2010

Volume Three sees Asumi return home, after being told by Professor Sano that it was her father’s fault that “The Lion” had crashed. Her father isn’t home, and she notices that mail has piled up in her mailbox. One of the pieces of mail is an invitation to a wedding for Asumi’s former elementary school teacher.

“Mr. Lion” is watching the wedding from a distance, and Asumi finds him. She feels guilty about the fact that “Mr. Lion” died in the crash and wasn’t able to marry her teacher. Her guilt is magnified by the fact that she thinks it’s her father’s fault that the crash happened. “Mr. Lion” assures her that no one really knows what caused the crash, and that no one person was responsible. With encouragement from “Mr. Lion,” Asumi returns to the academy to resume her studies. “Mr. Lion” also decides to go with her.

This volume also includes some major character development for Asumi’s friend, Marika Ukita. The reader learns why Marika seems to be so distant from the other characters in the series.

In addition to the main story, Volume Three also includes two additional stories: “Asumi’s Cherry Blossoms” and “Another Spica.” The first story is a prequel story, and it focuses of Asumi and Fuchuya when they were younger. In this story, Asumi meets a classmate named Takashi Shimazu. Takashi likes to draw, but he’s been hospitalized since he was very young. One day, Asumi asks to see what Takashi has been drawing. He tells her that he’s trying to draw a cherry tree that hasn’t bloomed since “The Lion” crashed. He tells her that once the tree blooms, he’ll show the art to her. This was a very touching and moving story, and I actually cried at the end. Even though I could predict what was coming, I still choked up anyway. To me, “Asumi’s Cherry Blossoms” perfectly demonstrates Yaginuma’s storytelling abilities.

In “Another Spica,” the author talks about his time at school, and a character makes an appearance near the end of the story who looks like she could be an older version of Asumi. Again, “Another Spica” doesn’t truly add anything to the actual story. While the “Another Spica” pieces aren’t bad, they’re definitely my least favorite part of the manga.

Both the main story in Twin Spica Volume Three and “Asumi’s Cherry Blossoms” were riveting reads. In this volume, I really appreciated getting to know the character of Marika better; as a reader, I find that I can care more about her than I had in previous volumes of the series. I think there’s still more to Marika’s background that hasn’t been revealed yet, and I hope more will come out in Volume Four.

As I read this series, I continue to be impressed by both Yaginuma’s writing and art style. Twin Spica continues to be a strong series, and I would highly recommend it to manga readers. Now that I’ve finished Volume Three, I want to be able to read Volume Four in order to find out what happens next.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Twin Spica Volume Three that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Additional posts about Twin Spica:

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