Twin Spica

The sky is no limit

Twin Spica

by Kou Yaginuma

Graphic Novel/Manga
Paperback, approx. 200 pages, 5 1/2 x 7.5 inches

Vol. 1: 978-1-934287-84-2 Buy; e-Book Vol. 1: 978-1-939130-25-9 Buy.
Vol. 2: 978-1-934287-86-6 Buy; e-Book Vol. 2: 978-1-939130-26-6 Buy.
Vol. 3: 978-1-934287-90-3 Buy; e-Book Vol. 3: 978-1-939130-32-7 Buy.
Vol. 4 (e-Book only): 978-1-939130-45-7 Buy.
Vol. 5 (e-Book only): 978-1-939130-46-4 Buy.
Vol. 6 (e-Book only): 978-1-939130-53-2 Buy.
Vol. 7 (e-Book only): 978-1-939130-56-3 Buy.
Vol. 8: 978-1-935654-13-1 Buy; e-Book Vol. 8: 978-1-939130-60-0 Buy.
Vol. 9 (e-Book only): 978-1-939130-62-4 Buy.
Vol. 10 (e-Book only): 978-1-939130-73-0 Buy.
Vol. 11 (e-Book only): 978-1-939130-72-3 Buy.
Vol. 12: 978-1-935654-34-6 Buy.

Volumes 1-10: U.S.$10.95 / CAN$12.99;
Volumes 11-12: U.S.$13.95 / CAN$15.95;
e-Book Volumes: U.S.$4.95

The debut series from one of Japan’s brightest manga stars, Kou Yaginuma, Twin Spica expresses a sense of humanity through the advances of science and technology. Endorsed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA, Japan’s version of NASA), the sixteen-volume manga series has spun off animated and live-action TV series each broadcasted by NHK (the Japanese PBS).

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.

Before 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.

Click here to preview the introductory story “Asumi.”

A Publishers Weekly Big Graphic Novels of 2010 Selection

“I knew Twin Spica was going to be good from when Vertical first announced its license of it. I didn’t realize just how good it would be… The single-page panels, or the two-page spreads, carry with them a sense of gravity and awe that forces you to stop and inspect all the details in Yaginuma’s amazingly clean artwork… Some of the conflict [in the first volume] had me crying, almost uncontrollably. I had to put the manga down and walk away from it for a good while because of how hard it hit me.”

“Ultimately, the manga surprised me. Reading about Twin Spica’s lead trying to go into space, I got choked up. It is more sensitive and naturalistic than other space academy manga (even ones I’ve liked)…”
Ain’t It Cool News

“It’s easy to see why the series was a smash hit in its native land… The relationship between father and daughter is very moving, and Asumi’s interaction with her equally ambitious schoolmates is also compelling stuff… Each page contains more genuine emotion than an entire space fleet’s worth of similarly themed stories. Opening with a strong introductory volume, this series shows great promise and bodes well for future installments.”
Publishers Weekly

“[Yaginuma]’s work fuses Twin Spica with both a sense of childhood nostalgia as well as encouragement to venture beyond. Replace ‘space exploration’ with the goal of your choosing and you have the recipe for an inspiring parable of progress… It’s refreshingly divergent from the majority of the manga on shelves at the moment.”
Otaku USA

“Yaginuma’s matter-of-fact storytelling and understated art fill this tale with a gentle sense of wonder. The characters’ doe eyes and lightly sketched style would be more at home in a slice-of-life series than a sensationalist sci-fi adventure, but that contrast is exactly why Twin Spica stands out. Rather than reaching for the stars with an outspoken gesture, it looks inward, to the depths of the human soul where we find the courage and will to explore.”
Anime News Network

“It has a really timeless, very classic manga feel to it… A very good read, with plenty of challenges for a nice assortment of likeable characters… I’m looking forward to following the whole thing.”
Comic Book Resources

Twin Spica is grounded in realism, and takes slow, purposeful steps in laying out its story, illustrated in a classic style that avoids both outrageousness and cutesiness. Because the work is a natural charmer with a protagonist you care about deeply shortly after the outset, this first volume gets you hooked in no time; the remaining 15 can’t come out fast enough.”

“Kou Yaginuma has created a fascinating alternate future for Japan, where tragedy becomes the foundation of both the protagonist’s story and her country’s entry into the space race… Asumi’s single-minded dedication to her childhood dream is admirable. As soon as I finished this book, I found myself already longing to read more.”
i ♥ manga!

“A refreshing alternative to both the staid shojo works and dark science fiction manga I have read recently…clearly poised to become a sure-fire hit with fans of both genres.”
Tim Maughan Books

“A touching and beautiful tale of a young girl’s dream… The art in this book is fantastic, done in a simple yet charming style. Not a lot of detail is used, but none is wasted and emotion is portrayed beautifully here.”

“I am hooked. Totally and completely hooked. The strength of the story comes from the solid, likable characters, and the charming, engaging illustrations. Grade: A”
Manga Maniac Cafe

“With art that would make Studio Ghibli proud, this story moved and impressed me. I look forward to more volumes from this series with anticipation. A+”
About Heroes

“It’s hard for me to describe how much I enjoyed reading this first volume. It’s touching without being melodramatic. The drama is well done and very compelling. Like life, it doesn’t pull any punches, but it still has an uplifting feeling about the future… Whether you’re interested in space travel or science fiction or not, the characters and drama of this title are just too compelling to pass up. 10/10”
Comics Village

Twin Spica’s first volume is charming almost immediately and grips you with an attachment to Asumi and her story… The manga also excels at being able to keep us engaged during the less frenzied sections as well. I am sold and look forward to reading the rest of this amazing narrative.”
Reverse Thieves

Twin Spica may be the book to really keep an eye on this year.”
Wednesday’s Haul

“The real story is all about Asumi’s longings… She’s portrayed as a character first and not simply a plot marker representative of a particular faction—e.g., 'the humans' or 'the Japanese.'”
Genji Press

“Though this series finished its run in seinen magazine Comic Flapper just last year, its simple artwork and wistful tone make its first volume read like an instant classic… Though the story’s foundation is set firmly in hard sci-fi, it is its heroine’s poignant and occasionally whimsical inner life that really defines its voice… Hopeful, charming, and tinged with sadness, Twin Spica leaves us wanting more. Highly recommended.”
Manga Bookshelf

Twin Spica is told with an uncommonly graceful blend of optimism and melancholy. Kou Yaginuma takes his sci-fi premise seriously, and he treats his characters with warmth and intelligence. Strongly recommended.”

“The storytelling is direct and simple without being didactic, filled with the kind of characters that younger readers will recognize and embrace as true to their own experiences. At the same time, however, Twin Spica’'s subtexts are rich enough to sustain an adult’s interest as the supplemental stories ‘2015: Fireworks’ and ‘Asumi’ attest… A beautiful, thought-provoking book for star gazers of all ages.”
The Manga Critic

“This delightful comicbook epic has everything: plenty of hard science to back up the savvy extrapolation, a believable, likable cast, an enduring mystery, tender moments, isolation and teen angst, dawning true friendships, all wrapped up in a joyous coming-of-age drama with supernatural overtones and gobs of pure sentiment. This tale reinvigorates the magical allure of the Wild Black Yonder for a new generation and is a treat no imagineer with head firmly in the clouds can afford to miss.”
Comics Review (U.K.)

“I plan on purchasing all sixteen volumes as they come out, and helping out the dwindling manga companies still hanging on by loose threads here in America. In all honesty, Twin Spica is a perfect demonstration of good choice and foresight I never expected to see from a domestic publisher… Twin Spica truly inspires a side of me that I thought died along with the rest of my childhood. I highly recommend this manga to just about anyone with a sweet tooth.”
Anime Gerad