My rating (so far): 4 out of 5 stars
Another multi-step review here. I find these quite interesting to write and read back through at a later date, though I hope they’re not too disjointed for people who aren’t me to enjoy. Anyway, onwards and upwards!
EDIT: this is actually as seinen series, however seeing as it struck me as shojo-y I’ve decided to leave my original notes as they were.
After reading vol. 1:
(Rating: 3 stars)
Shojo sci-fi manga about a schoolgirl who wants to go to Tokyo Space School and learn to fly spacecraft. I’ve read to the end of volume 1 and so far its engaging enough to make me want to get hold of more. Its a bit on the sentimental side rather than straight up quirky and fun, but the art style suits the themes involved, and the characters are so far easy to understand and get on with. I would also recommend this for younger readers.
After reading up to vol. 6:
(Rating: 4 stars)
I’m really enjoying this series now! I would say if you liked volume 1 at all then its well worth giving the next few volumes a chance to pull you in further. This series is basically about the yearning some people have to travel into space, and astronaught training, mixed with a high school slice-of-life shojo manga, mixed in with some deaths and ghosts.
A big plus of this series is that, alongside the everyday lives and loves of our main characters, its not afraid to tackle some pretty serious questions about whether we should put humans into space. It starts off by detailing a massive shuttle crash and the impact that the subesquent deaths and injuries have on some of the main characters of the story. Plus, the students at the Space School have to deal with people protesting their training as a waste of money and too much of a risk to life.
Not that the everyday lives and loves of the characters aren’t important though. Although the overriding theme of space travel is an interesting and compelling one for me, its the drama amongst the characters that keeps me hooked. Each person in the main group of high school friends is believeably flawed, but you can’t help but root for all of them in their own way.
The fantasical, ghostly, aspects of the series are perhaps the part that I could do most without, however they’re not as overwhelming as volume 1 led me to believe. Although overall I find that the more fantastical elements don’t mesh as well as everything else in the series, I do quite like the connection that some of the living characters still have to the dead throughout. The series seems to inextricably link space travel with hardship and death, which only makes the striving of the students for their goal of outer space more compelling: they know full well the hardships involved, and yet they still want to achive their dreams anyway.
This series has 16 volumes in all, so I guess there will be at least one more update to this review once I’ve finished the whole thing – here’s hoping I can bump it all the way up to 5 stars next time :)