Thanks to its animated adaptation broadcast twenty years ago, Spica x 2 established its author Kou Yaginuma in Japan… And yet, the series remains a missed opportunity with France!
In the “near future”, in 2010, Japan ships Lion, its first manned shuttle, towards space. Alas, the event that the whole nation was waiting for turns into a fiasco: no sooner has she taken off thanshe washes up on the ground, in a village, causing numerous human losses in addition to the crew. Among them, the mother of Asumi Kamogawa remained in a coma for five years before dying of his injuries. One year old at the time of the tragedy, Asumi is now 14 and is being raised by his father, a former aerospace engineer. By listening to his storiesthe young girl always dreamed of being an astronaut in turn despite a physical handicap (born premature, she is very small,. A desire all the stronger as she grew in the presence of the ghost of Mister Lion, pilot of the shuttlethat only she is capable of seeing…
It is very difficult to define Spica x 2 – this unclassifiable side contributes to its charm. The initial postulate, quite harsh, would suggest a pretty tough drama, with the childhood trauma of Asumi who, as a little girl, only knew her mother in a coma. But Kou Yaginuma quickly imposes tenderness which counterbalances this first sensation, through the human relationships between the characters, and a rounded line. All sprinkled witha touch of fantasy, with the spectral presence of Mr Lion! Finally added an educational dimension particularly worked: the manga in fact returns to the history of aeronautics, but also describes the oh-so-rigorous journey of aspiring astronauts. Without forgetting many lessons on astronomystarting with its title, which refers directly to the double star Spicalocated in the constellation Virgo.
At the origin of Spica x 2, there are five short stories developed by You Kaginuma in 2000. From this framework, the mangaka developed his manga between 2001 and 2009 in the pages of his magazine Comic Flapperfor a total of seize volumes. The reliability of scientific information convinces NHK to broadcast the animated adaptation in twenty episodes, starting November 1, 2003. The public channel will do it again with a live adaptation of seven episodes in 2009 ! In France, the manga will be translated by Clair de Lune editions…during only four volumes : since June 2015, the series has been interrupted, probably due to catastrophic sales. While the manga market has evolved in France, we hope that a publisher will one day give it another chance. this little-known title but nevertheless full of qualitiescapable of satisfying a public that is now more curious and demanding.
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