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Twin Spica, Volume 02: 06/24/11
I was introduced to the Twin Spica manga series by Kou Yaginuma via the 2010 Cybils nominations. The translation of volume 01 made it to the short list. Having so enjoyed the first volume and being interested in starting a new (to me) manga series, I have decided to keep reading the series as I can get my hands on the volumes.
Volume 02 is the first one set in the space academy proper. It's Asumi's first day and she's promised the Lion she won't cry. She's living in a dormitory and is working part time to pay for her expenses.
Asumi quickly learns that she's the odd one out at the school. She's the smallest person ever admitted. The training suits they've ordered are all to big for her and the school doesn't want to spend extra on a custom suit that will probably never be re-used after she either drops out or graduates (an event they don't think is likely).
As she struggles to fit in and the administration tries to figure out what to do with her, secrets of her past as well as more history on the rocket crash come to light. There are two extra stories at the back of the book that delve further into these backstories that are well worth reading.
I really like plucky Asumi. She reminds me a bit of Betty of Ugly Betty who despite her talent and drive never quite fits in at Mode. Asumi's the same way. She's the most determined, best prepared and often times best athlete but her diminutive size throws everyone off and she's treated like a quixotic child instead of a serious student and future astronaut.