Manga Review: Asadora! Volume Four

Asadora! Volume Four starts bringing together the various plotlines introduced in the series up to this point.

Asadora! Volume Four
Written by: Naoki Urasawa
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 19, 2021

The volume opens with two fishermen seeing the mysterious creature, and this is an important plot point that sets the stage for what is going to happen in this volume. However, right after this the focus shifts to Asa taking care of her siblings and trying to get them out the door to school. But it seems that just about anything that can go wrong is going wrong, and so chaos ensues. Asa can’t focus on any one sibling to notice that anything could potentially be amiss. It doesn’t help that Yone suddenly shows up and has left home due to a disagreement with her parents. They don’t know about the meeting with the talent scout that’s supposed to happen that day, and the argument she had arises over trying to get tickets for the Olympic opening ceremony.

As Asa and Yone head off to school, they see A-Kura standing out in the rain. It turns out his car had been towed while he was at breakfast because the authorities are cracking down on traffic violations due to the Olympics. Asa has a good laugh at this turn of events, but as we see later, this is going to cause some serious issues.

Meanwhile, Kasuga discovers that a reporter has been snooping around the hangar and has taken pictures of Asa. Kasuga has a confrontation with the reporter, and it leads to a chase between the two of them in the rain. It culminates into a car chase, with the reporter hitting someone walking down the road. While this gives Kasuga the opportunity to make a deal with the reporter for the pictures and negatives, this event is going to have negative repercussions for what happens later in the volume.

At the Enoshima lighthouse, B-To is trying to contact A-Kura about a sighting of the monster but is unable to get through to him because of his car being towed. Since he is not in possession of the car, A-Kura is unable to hear the calls being sent to it. After being unable to reach A-Kura, there are attempts to contact Kasuga… but because Kasuga is chasing after the reporter, he is unable to be reached as well. The gentleman in charge of the entire operation takes it upon himself to pick up Asa at school. After Asa is picked up, they can’t simply go to the airfield right away, because Asa was supposed to pick up her younger brother from kindergarten since Kinuyo is working an important catering gig. When they pick up her brother, he is dizzy and has a high fever. Asa didn’t notice he wasn’t feeling well due to all of the chaos of the morning. At this point, you can see that the tension is already high because Asa really needs to be getting to the airfield. When it looks like they have to lose more time in order to take Asa’s brother to the hospital, A-Kura shows up with his car after getting it back. He offers to take the child to the hospital so Asa can be taken to the airfield for her mission. As these various distractions come up, the reader can just feel the tension building. I found myself wondering if Asa was going to be able to make it to the airfield on time.

But prior to all of that, Miyako tries talking to Asa at school about Yone, because she thinks their mutual friend is hiding something. Asa tries to play dumb, but Miyako still has her suspicions. As we see later in the volume, Miyako follows Yone after school. Just as Miyako sees Yone meeting up with the talent scout, Miyako has a run-in with some men. With a shot we see at the end of the volume, it hints that something may have happened to Miyako. Hopefully the next volume will at least give the reader a hint as to what happened. But as I read the part with Yone meeting with the talent scout, I still couldn’t shake the feeling that this talent scout is not to be trusted. I have some serious concerns about what this scout’s true intentions are for Yone. The last we see of her, Yone is accompanying the scout out of a restaurant to an audition.

Nakaido, meanwhile, discovers that amongst what he thinks is garbage in his mentor’s old notes, is a description of what the monster’s weakness is. He is brought to the airfield, armed with his newly found information. Since Kasuga is unavailable, Asa will have to pilot the plane on her own. And it’s stressed to her to not use any of the plane’s weapons on the monster unless her life is at risk. Nakaido realizes there’s a second seat on the plane and demands that he accompany Asa because he has valuable information. The two of them take off in the plane, and right at the end of the volume, they see the monster up close and personal.

Phew! A lot of important plot points take place in this volume. Not only that, but the urgency of the situation is perfectly captured by Urasawa throughout the entire volume. I also thought the fact that it’s been raining for days prior to the start of this volume, and the fact that it’s raining throughout this entire volume, helped add to the atmosphere and the sense of urgency that’s present in Volume Four. I was so engrossed by what I was reading that I just wanted to keep going and not stop for any reason.

Even though a lot of events are taking place in this volume, there are enough cliffhangers for the various storylines at the end of this volume that I found that I really want to be able to read Asadora! Volume Five in order to find out what’s going to happen to the various characters.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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