The idea of this series is simple, a girl growing up in Japan during the late 1950s to mid-1960s. We see her ups and downs, all the while she deals with the government and trying to stop a sea creature so the Japanese can put their best foot forward so close to the end of the War, a war that left as many scars as the storm and monster have.
Asadora! Vol. 4 by Naoki Urasawa is a continuation of their not so horror graphic novel (but does have supernatural and some horror/thriller) with Volume Four. It is the continuation of the story of previous books that is set mid-1960s Japan in the days before the Olympics are to start. I am interested in this story as there is some interesting action, even if it is a slow build, but this one was slower than usual. I only wanted to finish it for the backstory to books five and six. (After reading four, I finished volume five as well and the story started moving again. Hopefully six stays with the flow as it seems like every other one does become a bit slow, as build up for the one after it.)
The buildup includes our young aviatrix having learned to fly, she is dealing with money issues and the friendship drama of her school friends, not to mention her mixed-up, mashed up family. Several years after the typhon that took most of her biological family, Asa is still determined to stop the thing that added to the mess; a sea creature that is periodically spotted off the coast of Japan even all these years later. And still make it home in time to help with the restaurant her foster mother runs.
Asadora! Vol. 5 continues with an almost conclusion to our gal Asa’s story! (Well, there is an ending, but still there is more to go as there is a volume six). There are a few new people introduced, a few new stories and an interesting open ending. The action moves faster than it had in volume four and no, you cannot start here, but do allow yourself to read the first four even if the story seems slower in parts. However, this edition has some scenes that the sensitive reader might not be okay with (two friends of Asa find themselves in some very adult situations.)
There are a couple things I would have liked explained more, but it might be due to this being a translation and American audiences are not familiar with the women’s (I am assuming either judo or some form of wrestling) underground scene of the sport we see. The other piece is the relationship the academic character has with Asa would have been interesting to explore a little bit more, but it does have a nice tie-in with a previous part of the story the man played earlier.
This series is for at least 13 and up (I’d even say 14 as there are some mature themes). But adults might appreciate the historical elements a smidgen more.