Manga Review: Fly Me to the Moon Volume Four

Fly Me to the Moon Volume Four sees a major life-changing event happen for Nasa and Tsukasa and depicts how they deal with this situation.

Fly Me to the Moon Volume Four
Written by: Kenjiro Hata
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 9, 2021

The volume opens by finishing off Nasa and Tsukasa’s visit with Nasa’s parents. It was amusing just how hard Nasa’s dad was trying to sound hip, as well as his struggle with how exactly to have a conversation with his new daughter-in-law without anyone else around. After Tsukasa says she heard that he’s an archeologist, Nasa’s father becomes excited and takes her to the room that he works in. Tsukasa and her father-in-law have a conversation about Nasa, and Tsukasa seems to show a genuine interest in the books he has. She flips through one and chuckles at the content, saying she’d be embarrassed if someone published her love letters. Nasa’s father is taken aback because he hasn’t been able to read what it says. When Nasa later stumbles in, it was nice to see that Nasa’s father knows his son well, after Nasa acts and reacts in the way his father had said in the conversation he had with Tsukasa.

But getting back to that book for a moment, there are other instances where Tsukasa seems to be well versed in ancient history, even though she claims to hate it. Her claim is that she’s good at memorizing facts and information. But while she and Nasa are out exploring historic sites in the Nara area, Tsukasa rattles off more facts than I think one would simply know from memorization. There’s still a lot about Tsukasa that’s still a mystery, so I think there’s somehow more here than Hata is letting on at this point. Hints are potentially being dropped, though, for the idea that Tsukasa isn’t everything that she seems to be on the surface.

When they return home, they discover that the apartment building they live in was hit by lighting while they were gone and burned the building to the ground. They suddenly find themselves homeless, but Nasa isn’t bitter or angry about the situation. In this crisis, he keeps a cool and level head, which impresses Tsukasa. But they get lucky when they go to the bath house owned by Nasa’s friends, because it turns out they have a separate flat that’s not being used. They are given an offer to stay there until they can find somewhere else to go.

Most of the remainder of the volume is spent in their temporary digs. We get some fun throwback to geek culture here, because this flat used to be the “geek den” for Nasa’s friends’ father (who ran out on the family for a younger woman). They discover an old computer which Nasa is able to fix up and work. He spends time programming a game for Tsukasa with a programming language that’s on par with BASIC. For someone my age, the references to BASIC and the kind of game he programmed takes me back to my childhood and made me feel nostalgic. This nostalgia may likely be lost on younger readers, though.

In this volume, Nasa’s friend Aya, who’s had a crush on him, finally finds out that Nasa and Tsukasa are married. She was oblivious to the ring on his finger and other signs that should have said something, and she only found out because her mother said it out loud. I think Aya’s reaction to finally finding this out was meant to be funny, but I just didn’t quite see the humor in it. I’m glad she finally knows, even if she had to be told point-blank. But I didn’t entirely like how Hata decides to portray her reaction.

We get one of those awkward scenes of Tsukasa and Nasa interacting with each other when he takes her out clothes shopping since her wardrobe has become more limited due to the fire. There’s still that awkwardness between them, even though they’re married. It’s not entirely clear how long they’ve been married at this point, but hopefully at some point the series will show them moving beyond this awkwardness. But then again, considering they got married well before they truly got to know one another well, this awkward stage could take a while to move past from. Depending on my mood, though, these scenes either come across as sweet and wholesome or just overly saccharine.

Near the end of the volume, Nasa gets a call from their previous landlord, saying they are working at building a new apartment building where the old one was and offering to let them rent one of the units for the same cost they were renting the old one. While this is a nice gesture on the landlord’s part, I’m not sure this entirely realistic. While insurance money will probably help with the landlord’s rebuilding cost, I don’t think it would cover all of it. Realistically, the rent would probably have to be at least a little higher for the landlord to start making back whatever money they had to put into rebuilding. But then again, I don’t know what the Japanese laws are in this regard, so I could just be looking at this through a Westerner’s lens due to my ignorance of the way the Japanese would handle this kind of a situation.

But the landlord gives them a map to the model apartment. They get the address wrong, so they end up looking at a luxury apartment by mistake. But by seeing this apartment, they decide that at some point in the future, they want to work their way up so they can afford that kind of apartment. I guess it gives them a goal to strive for in the future.

The Fly Me to the Moon manga series can be overly sweet and simplified at times, but maybe during troubled times such as these, a series like this is needed. While it may not entirely appeal to me, I can’t truly say that it’s a bad series. In fact, I think it’s a well-done series for the audience that it’s being aimed at. If you’ve read and enjoyed the previous three volumes of Fly Me to the Moon, then this volume shouldn’t disappoint.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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