CBR15Passport country (Japan)
Manga and I have an interesting relationship. I appreciate it, and it does its own thing. But occasionally that thing has me going along for the ride. And the series by Naoki Urasawa, Asadora! has me riding (so far) all six volumes. (This volume is translated by John Werry)
While slower than the others, this is a good build-up for volume 7 (planned for October 2023). And while these “in-between novels” are a nice way to give you more information about the interesting cast of characters, it sometimes is a smidgen off putting. However, it does help me figure out if I think these characters are likable or not. And with volume six, you get to see a piece of history you might not be familiar with. First, some of Japan’s history (a bit about the war still, and how people are still reacting), plus a bit about the culture of the people, and second the year of 1964, when the Olympics are being played. The combination of real and fantasy (we are chasing a monster after all, as people run marathons in the street) gives it a little more kick. Not only are we getting history but a theme of, “What if there was a monster? What would Japan do to make sure it is never known? What lengths would be taken to hide the fact that they are not the “monsters” the world just a few decades prior thought the Japanese people?”
One of my biggest issues is two girls who Asa is friends with. Their story seems to pull away from the story a bit. With the three of their stories, plus a fourth friend trying for the Mexican Olympics in four years, I lost focus on Asa and the monster. However, I am curious to see where they go (hopefully nothing bad happens to the girl who is trying to become a singer, and the one trying to be a female wrestle makes it). I would say this story is thoughtful and a thriller/horror book that can work for slightly older teens and adults, plus even people not into manga, or the thriller/horror genre. And if you are worried about “gore” like some of the authors other works, so far, there has been very little, just the traditional black and white (occasionally color for shock and importance to the story arc at that time) fantasy action.