Manga Review: Twin Spica Volume Eight

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

Twin Spica Volume Eight is a manga by Kou Yaginuma, and it was published in North America by Vertical, Inc. in 2011. There isn’t any kind of rating printed anywhere 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 8
Written by: Kou Yaginuma
Publisher: Media Factory
English Publisher: Vertical
Release Date: July 12, 2011

This volume of Twin Spica is basically a turning point for many of the main characters in the series. Asumi finds herself having to say goodbye to the planetarium that she liked to visit, as well as to a character she had become friends with. Asumi also finds herself wrestling with the fact that she is wishing that things would stay as they are and starting to fear what the future will hold, since they’re now starting into their final year where they know the group of friends will still be together at the Tokyo Space School.

Shu is invited to apply for an astronaut position in America that’s being opened up for a Japanese astronaut. He first has to struggle with whether or not he potentially wants to become separated from his friends, and if he does, how he will overcome the obstacle of getting his father’s signature in order to have permission to take the test and apply. We also find out a little more about Shu and his past as he’s wrestling with these isues.

On accident, Asumi and Marika learn that Kei has feelings for Shu; however, neither have let on to her that they know. In this volume, it appears that Fuchuya has come to realize that he has feelings for Asumi.

This volume of Twin Spica was a compelling read, and I really didn’t want to have to put it down. So much is going on that really develops these characters even further than they’d already been developed previously. Knowing that there’s still four more volumes of Twin Spica to go, I’m very curious to see what will be happening to these characters before the story reaches its conclusion.

In addition to the main story, there are three additional stories included in this volume: “Giovanni’s Ticket,” “Guide to Cherry Blossoms,” and “Another Spica.” “Giovanni’s Ticket” is the shortest of the three, and it takes place during Asumi and Fuchuya’s childhood. Fuchuya has built a trolley, and he, Asumi, and another girl go for a ride on the tracks. It’s a simple little story, and I’m not entirely sure how much this really adds to the Twin Spica universe; perhaps this story will be mentioned and become important in one of the last four volumes of the series.

“Guide to Cherry Blossoms” sees a young woman named Kasumi Suzuki trying to find an art museum displaying artwork done by a former classmate of hers. The bulk of the story is a flashback to Kasumi’s time in the ninth grade when she knew this person. Kasumi is designed to look like an older version of Asumi, and a character appears who looks like an older version of Fuchuya. It takes a couple of ideas from Twin Spica and utilizes them for a different story. It’s a sweet little story, but it’s not directly related to Twin Spica.

“Another Spica” focuses on the mangaka, Kou Yaginuma. It has him showing a manga he drew to a supervisor of his at his part-time job, and the manga he shows is Fireworks: 1990, which is a revised title to one of the additional stories included in the first volume of Twin Spica. While the “Another Spica” short stories are my least favorite part of the Twin Spica volumes, this particular “Another Spica” story is probably the best one I’ve seen yet.

I really enjoy reading Twin Spica. After I finish a volume, I want to read the next volume to find out what happens to the characters. In some respects, it’s a little disappointing to know that there’s only more four volumes; however, from how the story has been progressing, twelve volumes should be enough to tell a satisfying story. I hope that when I finish reading the twelfth volume that I will be proven correct.

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

Additional posts about Twin Spica:

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