Upgrade to a better browser, please.

Worlds Without End Blog

SF Manga 101: Twin Spica Posted at 6:36 PM by Glenn Hough


Glenn Hough (gallyangel) is a nonpracticing futurist, an anime and manga otaku, and is almost obsessive about finishing several of the lists tracked on WWEnd. In this series on SF Manga Glenn will provide an overview of the medium and the place of science fiction within it.

twinspica6From the Big Dipper, take the arc to Arcturus.  Drive a spike to Spica.

The star Spica in the constellation of Virgo is actually thought to be a binary star system about 262 light years away from Earth.  Twin Spica.  But even this is in doubt.  There may be more stars in that system; it might be up to a quintuple system.

And no, the lead character of Twin Spica is not from this system.  It’s where thirteen year old Asumi Kamogawa is looking to go.  To the stars.

The publisher says this about Twin Spica:

In a Tokyo of the not-too-distant future a young girl looks up to the stars with melancholy in her heart and hope in her eyes. Thirteen-year-old Asumi Kamogawa’s life has been tied to those stars; her future may very well be among them. And she is not alone… Asumi is one of many young people with ambitions to some day head off to space for Japan’s first manned mission.

Spica1Before liftoff, like any true astronaut she must show the right stuff and overcome odds to pass numerous physical and mental trials if she even wants to be considered in the running for a rare spot in the elite Tokyo Space School.

Have you ever sat and talked to or listened to someone on TV who was in their early 20ies or teens during the height of the Apollo era?  Do you hear the passion in their voice, still, after all this time?  Do you understand that for them, space was not a trivial thing?  It meant something.  It was a striving, a growing, a throwing off the shackles of the past for something nobody had tried to do before.  We’d dreamed of it certainly, but never before had the physics or technical knowledge been ours so that we could try.  Space was our future and we were going for it.   Space mattered then, in a way it does not matter now.  And the spirit we had then, is what moves Twin Spica.

Read the rest of this entry »