Asadora!, Vol. 2

Viz Media. Apr. 2021. 208p. ISBN 9781974720101. pap. $14.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
The second volume in the latest ongoing epic by acclaimed creator Urasawa (20th Century Boys: The Perfect Edition, Vol. 11) opens in 1959, as the unlikely duo of shamed World War II pilot Kasuga and sixth-grader Asa pilot a stolen airplane above the wreckage wrought by a typhoon; they’re in search of Asa’s family. Instead, they spot the tentacle of what appears to be a colossal monster; before they can investigate, Kasuga’s health falters, forcing Asa to land the plane on her own. Surprisingly, she proves a natural pilot, and upon landing sets out on a dangerous mission to convince the airplane’s owner—a dangerous criminal—to transfer ownership to her. A five-year leap finds Kasuga and a teenage Asa running a small business towing advertising banners across the sky. When a shadowy figure from Kasuga’s time in the military appears and inquires about the creature they spotted years earlier, Asa’s curiosity leads her to cross paths with a researcher who has a similar interest in unimaginable monsters.
VERDICT Answers remain elusive as to how Asa’s story connects to the modern-day kaiju rampage depicted in volume one of the series, but Urasawa’s masterful storytelling and brisk pacing result in an entertaining page-turner.
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