Asadora!, Vol. 1
by Naoki Urasawa
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Pub Date 19 Jan 2021 | Archive Date 01 Jul 2021
VIZ Media, VIZ Media LLC
In 2020, a large creature rampages through Tokyo, destroying everything in its path.
In 1959, Asa Asada, a spunky young girl from a huge family in Nagoya, is kidnapped for ransom—and not a soul notices. When a typhoon hits Nagoya, Asa and her kidnapper must work together to survive. But there’s more to her kidnapper and this storm than meet the eye.
When Asa’s mother goes into labor yet again, Asa runs off to find a doctor. But no one bats an eye when she doesn’t return—not even as a storm approaches Nagoya. Forgotten yet again, Asa runs into a burglar and tries to stop him on her own, a decision that leads to an unlikely alliance.
A Note From the Publisher
🍙Releases 3 times a year for 3+ volumes. 🍙Series is ongoing.
🍙Urasawa’s previous best-sellers are Monster: The Perfect Edition (9 volumes) and the first edition of 20th Century Boys (24 volumes).
🍙This masterful tale of mystery and suspense will appeal to fans of Urasawa’s previous works, such as best sellers Monster and 20th Century Boys, and fans of other established auteurs such as Inio Asano (Goodnight Punpun) and Taiyo Matsumoto (Tekkonkinkreet).
🍙A premium product: includes rare color pages and gatefold flaps.
🍙Naoki Urasawa won the Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material — Asia in 2011 and 2013. He was also an Eisner Hall of Fame nominee (2019).
🍙National trade advertising in School Library Journal, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly and more
🍙National online advertising campaign for both conventional pop culture and core manga markets
🍙National social media campaign across VIZ social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube
🍙Goodreads giveaway and campaign
🍙Premium Netgalley promotion
Average rating from 30 members
This is a series brimming with humanity through the unlikely duo of a child and her kidnapper. Both characters are engaging and sympathetic despite their backgrounds and insecurities – Asa, a young girl coming from a family of twelve, feels insignificant, from citing her mediocre name to even going so far as to say “I bet no one has noticed I’m gone” after getting kidnapped; Kasuga, an older man who kidnaps Asa for ransom, was once a World War Two captain of a Type 1 Attack Bomber now relegated to a bum out of luck, needing money to make a living again. What I think stands out most is how both protagonists go out to make an impact in their otherwise disparate situations. I love seeing Asa persistently push for help and aid those affected in the typhoon while Kasuga goes out of his way to show that he was – and still is – a hero of the sky. Asa and Kasuga’s chemistry yearn for significance amidst obscurity – both bicker about the situation at hand and continue to instill hope in each other. This is especially true when both awake to see a devastated town. A tearful Asa confronts Kasuga’s hopelessness not with inspiration, instead, teetering despair - “Didn’t you get your crew back from the war alive? And now you’re giving up? Is that what heroes do? Am I gonna give up?” Kasuga gently lays his hand on Asa’s shoulder and reassures her “yeah…I’m a hero…” This writing evokes a cry for help and this volume gently asserts optimism in a wasteland. And just when the reader thinks this story can have its conclusion, there is more to the disaster than meets the eye. In other words, there is the prospect of a continuing series. "Asadora" cuts deep in the emotional jugular with scalpel-like precision, and I trust Naoki Urasawa's hand in weaving the narrative.
The cliffhanger had me hooked. I need to know what happens next. Overall, great story about human survival.
It’s a little bit difficult to give a robust review to just the first volume of Asadora! Not only because it is just laying groundwork for the series, but because this is a Naoki Urasawa book. If you are familiar with any of his other series such as Monster or 20th Century Boys, you know that his series have lots of twists and turns and even the focus and flow of the series can turn on its head when you least expect it. Even with all of that though, this was a solid opening volume and not only gets the reader firmly grounded in this new series, but gives us some of those comforting Urasawa clues that we are going to be in good hands going forward. Like much of his other work, we can already see themes of aging, childhood, and familial expectation shaping up. And like in series such as 20th Century Boys, we are given the time period clues to let us know the frame we will be starting in. There is only a brief opening on 2020 before bringing us back and spending the bulk of the volume in 1959 and introducing us to Asa Asada. But that brief glimpse lets us know that it won’t be long before we are spending time either in 2020 or leading up to that particular point in time.
So, solid first volume. Now it is just the waiting game to dive into volume two, which I for sure will be doing.
Thanks to Netgalley and Viz for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Manga master Naoki Urasawa's latest series, Asadora!, finally begins making its way to English-speaking readers courtesy of Viz Media. Urasawa is a versatile creator, dabbling in genres including adventure and sports, but is best known for mystery thrillers like Monster, 20th Century Boys, and Pluto. Asadora! combines aspects of those stories with the youthful charm of Urasawa's recent single-volume story Mujirushi: The Sign of Dreams. It follows Asa, an often forgotten daughter in a family with 12 children, abducted by a war vet who recently hit rock bottom. When a typhoon strikes their working-class neighborhood, the two bond over rescue efforts, but they also hear a strange sound in the night, like the cry of a wounded animal. Though they brush it off as the sound of the wind, the light of day reveals clues that it is something else entirely.
Urasawa's impeccable craftsmanship is on full display here. He builds this volume primarily on conversations between Asa and her captor. Yet, the story never drags or bores, thanks to Urasawa's dramatic and varied panels and the unmatched expressiveness he infused into his characters. The mystery that underlies this story is only beginning to unfurl by this volume's end, and yet Asadora! Vol. 1 capably stands on its own as a thoroughly thrilling ad touchingly human tale of people at the bottom rising to the occasion.
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