Writer/Author: Kou Yaginuma
Translation/Adaptation: Hiroko Mizuno , Tomoe Tsutsumi, Rina Nakayama
What They Say:
Asumi and her friends have been granted some well-deserved time off. As the gang begins to realize how close they have become over the past year, they decide together to head off to the home of two prime members of this now tight star-gazing circle: Yuigahama. Back in the home town of Asumi and Fuchuuya, the gang slowly get to learn more about the Lion Disaster and the sad tale of the Kamokawa’s.
The volume opens on our group enjoying the sights of Asumi’s hometown and getting settled in. After a bit of fun at the beach ends on a sour note, Marika ends up running off and disappearing. Upon discovering this, Asumi begins frantically searching for her, eventually deciding to follow a hunch and look for her at the rocket deep in the mountains. There, she finds a bloodied Marika who finally tells Asumi her secret; she is actually a clone of the original Marika, a fact that she constantly struggles with. However, her friends tell her that she’s simply the same Marika they’ve always known, and the one that they became friends with in the first place.
From there, we see Asumi’s father confront what happened to his wife, see the gang help cheer up Marika, and learn a little more about Marika’s past. In the final story, Asumi makes a promise to attend a performance Kiriu is in, but is caught off guard when the school assigns surprise training. In this exercise, the students are locked in separate prison cells, and given a week in which to work together and escape in groups. Unfortunately, this means that unless everyone finishes early, Asumi will have to break her promise to Kiriu. Sensing Asumi’s desperation, and using a little ingenuity and teamwork, everyone is able to finish early, allowing Asumi to keep her promise, even though she makes it back a little late.
Once more, we get an absolutely stunning volume from this series. Marika’s story finally comes to light, and the way it’s presented does a great job of bringing across the pure emotions of her situation. Meanwhile, Asumi’s father and Kiriu get a little bit more development, and Asumi manages to display both the impressive strength and incredible frailty that is so central to her character. What we’ve received here is once again fantastic, something that doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon.
Content Grade: A+
Art Grade: A-
Package Rating: A-
Text/Translation Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Vertical
Release Date: May 3rd, 2011