Another fantastic volume in what is shaping up to be a wonderful series
Writer/Artist: Kou Yaginuma
What They Say
Asumi is going through her growing pains right now. She knew this new challenge wouldn't be simple. Mentally and, even with her petite frame, physcially, she was prepared for almost anything the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) could throw at her. Emotionally, however, she's light-years away from being able to even take more than a few attacks on her long-suppressed past. But when Asumi is at her lowest, a longtime friend - of the invisible sort - pays a visit, and as he is struggling with his own past she realizes that there is no way she cannot move forward. Nothing can keep Asumi from taking off!
As the volume opens, we find Asumi pondering the words of Sano, that her father was responsible for the crash of “The Lion.” However, a quick pep talk from the always interesting Mr. Lion explaining how everyone involved with the Lion feels responsible and it was no one person’s fault helps to raise her out of her funk. She returns to school soon after, and we see that Mr. Sano himself was ironically also involved with The Lion. It turns out that he proposed a large amount of cost cutting measures on the project, but these were rejected due to opposition from Asumi’s father. Kei soon goes to confront Mr. Sano about what he said to Asumi that unbalanced her so badly, which causes the already stressed man to lash out with a speech about how the program is far too competitive to worry about friends. The other faculty soon comes down on him for this, but it turns out he has already given up and turned in his resignation. When confronted for a final time by a fellow teacher named Mr. Shiomi, he snaps and lets
loose his feelings of anger for not only being removed from the project, but being haunted by the tragedy ever since despite fact that he couldn’t do a thing about it. Mr. Shiomi responds by telling Sano that his anger is misplaced, as Asumi’s father was also removed from the team and the budget was drastically cut. This shocks Sano, but he still chooses to leave the school, and as such Mr. Shiomi is placed in charge of Asumi’s class. Upon hearing this, Asumi rushes to meet Mr. Sano before leaves the school, and manages to eliminate the hostility between them in the process.
For the rest of the book, we are treated to a story in which our main group of students use their vacation time to visit a “Cosmic Communications Center” in the mountains. Along the way, we learn a good bit about Marika and her past. Things get a little dangerous before everything comes to a conclusion, but everyone ends up significantly closer as a result.
The bonus story covers the tale of a young Asumi meeting a boy who loves to draw, but is unfortunately quite ill.
Another solid volume for this series, wrapping things up between Asumi and Mr. Sano and significantly fleshing out Marika’s character. Mr. Lion remains a fantastic character that tends to steal the show, but a good number of characters get there moments in this volume, and the mystery behind the crash of the Lion continues to slowly come to light. All in all, a fantastic book that should easily leave you wanting more.