Cover Image: Asadora!, Vol. 1

Asadora!, Vol. 1

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Member Reviews

A young girl is kidnapped in late 50’s Japan, during a typhoon, while something else is going on.  This book had a very  Miyazaki feel to it and I could see it being animated..  Asadora is not annoying and you actually get to like her as the story progresses and I liked that the kidnapper actually has a backstory you can empathize with.  I am actually interested as to how the mystery connects in each period.
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As we start this story, Asa Asada, a young girl from a large family (she's one of eleven children, soon to be one of twelve), has been sent to get the town doctor; her mother has gone into labor. A storm is one the way, and through a series of events, Asa ends up sheltering in a shipping container with a WWII fighter pilot, Haruo Kasuga, who has fallen on hard times, and was caught in the act of burgling by Asa. The storm is the Isewan Typhoon, the strongest, deadliest typhoon to ever make landfall in Japan, and Asa's home, along with much of the town, are destroyed. Through another series of events (I'm not going to explain every detail, because it's just too much- Urasawa weaves so many little details in!), Kasuga finds a plane, and he and Asa come up with a plane to drop food and water to survivors, while trying to find where Asa's house was. Along the way, we meet some characters who will be important to the story, we get to know Asa and Kasuga better- lots of character development!- and we get hints of and a glimpse of a mysterious sea creature(!), who doesn't play as much into the story as you'd think, but will definitely not be forgotten. Even though the story is about a devastating natural disaster, the tone manages to stay hopeful, and the human interactions, the drama, the coming together, will make you want to cheer. The pace is good, evenly paced, and Tezuka's artwork is gorgeous and perfect for the story. I'm not sure what I was expecting this story to be like, something kinda cutesy going by the cover, but this turned out to be moving, emotional, adventurous, just an all-around great story, I'd definitely recommend it.

#AsadoraVol1 #NetGalley
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Urasawa delivers again with a fun start about a little girl and kidnapper who end up as heroes. Some brilliant art work, compelling characters and some really good dialogue and pacing. Highly recommended.
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The characters in this volume are so well developed and nuanced. The illustration style lends itself to developing the characters more, giving them all their own unique appearances. I cannot wait for the next volume.
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I've loved every Urasawa I've read and this one is no exception. I can even say it's my new favorite of his !

The character of Asa is fantastic. You love her right away. She's fierce, bright and has a certain good naïveté. I liked the story, it's got multiple interesting elements and I see many directions this tale could go into. I also appreciated that usual Urasawa style with a hint of unexplained (magical?) mystery.

Onto the next volume !
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This book is so GOOD! From the first page I was instantly intrigued by what was going on. The characters are so wonderfully complex and so immediately relatable. The character designs really help with this and every person has a unique and interesting look. I love how the author manages to make the book so depressing and so hopeful at the same time. This is actually one of the longer books I’ve read for the Best Comics, but I was so invested in the plot and characters I ended up finishing it really quickly. Very nice!
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Naoki Urasawa is well known for his realistic premises and impactful storylines. He is the mind behind award-winning titles like 20th Century Boys, 21sth Century Boys, and Billy Bat. It’s always interesting to see human interactions from his perspective. Even though the topics he tackles are surprisingly mundane, the way he tells the story is unique. There’s always a certain twist, and he always seems to encourage his ordinary readers to do something extraordinary.
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My review for Booklist is here:

The review is also cross-posted to my Smithsonian BookDragon blog here:
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Asadora! appears to be a series where if you buy the first volume, you're going to have to keep buying the series, because I have no idea what is going on but I sure am curious! Urasawa's art is always just a little off-putting, but in a way that still works well for his stories. If his work circulates well in your library, I highly suggest Asadora! as well.
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I didn't take to this straight away as I found the characters were not rounded out enough and the plot jumped ahead in places without much preamble. I did like the theme of helping others and being part of a community. The ending made me curious to know what could possibly happen in the next volume.

I received this arc from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
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Such a wonderful manga that really had a great twist at the end. The main character is extremely loveable as is the older man. I can't wait to read more!
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This is the third book by Urasawa that I've read and I'm really coming to love his quirky, heartfelt stories with a hint of the fantastic.  He clearly cares about people and community and human potential and giant monsters, and this story has all of the above in just the right amounts (plus a huge heap of tragedy).  His art style is somehow simultaneously realistic and caricatured, which keeps you a bit off kilter (or maybe it's the kids who are more realistic and the adults who are caricatured, which is an interesting thematic marker).  It's hard not to root for all of the characters.  The start of the story is totally different in tone from most of the book so it will be really interesting to see where this goes.  Recommended!
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I have been a fan of Naoki Urasawa for since the early 1990s when I first read Yawara! and Monster, so I was really excited to read his new (at least new to me) series. Urasawa is so good at conveying the emotions of the characters both in his art and through his writing. Despite the hardships around her, and the fact that everyone forgets about her, she still tries to see the best in others. I'm really excited to read volume 2 and 3.
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Naoki Urasawa's work rarely dissapoints and Asadora is no exception. This volume quickly establishes a fascinating mystery that creates a constant building tension in the story. Our protagonist Asa is also thoroughly enjoyable, being a nice change of pace from the older male protagonists that you'd usually expect in Urasawa's modern work. This is the first time that an Urasawa series has been released in English while it's still ongoing in Japan, and with numerous questions arising by the end of this volume, I'm curious to see where the series will go from here.
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Compared to the last manga I read for Viz, this one was fantastic. I shouldn’t have expected anything else from Naoki Urasawa, because at least this first volume was almost perfect. Great character work, very good art, and a positive an enthusiastic background, and a great well being for Japan’s response to national disasters. After watching Japan Sinks this past year and who knows how many things like it, it’s nice to see something with a positive approach to disaster in some form or another. Would definitely recommend it right now before I jump into major details. I have a feeling I’m going to spoil a lot of things because I just enjoyed it so much.

This volume of Asadora features a girl by the name of Asadora. In the night of when her mother is about to go into labor to a child in the count of the double digits, Asadora runs out into the streets of Nagoya to find a doctor. She is ignored by other members of her family because she doesn’t stand out. A doctor that sees a typhoon coming, gives her a rain coat, and she gets immediately kidnapped by a thief searching for money. A thief that is an old man and a WW2 vet trying to find his way through poverty.

The amazing thing about this turn of events is how it doesn’t go the direction the reader thinks it should. The old man did kidnap Asadora mistaking her as a child of the rich doctor, but the truth reveals so much more about each other. Both of them are two peas in a pod and are unwanted, but still have a hope for the future. While being safe from the disaster outside, the two bond and raise each other up. Asadora sees the value in the old man and the old man raises up Asadora because of the value she sees in her. It’s not creepy at all because all so wholesome and interesting.

Following those events is just as good as this character talk because it continues all of this with more meat and material too it. Asadora wants to go home and the old man can fly a plane that he knows a person has, so Asadora could have easily just gone home and nothing else. Yet, she convinces a stiff restaurant owner and town around it to deliver rice balls to people who lost their homes. It’s so good. It just makes me happy to talk about it. It shows the strength of people who have gone through nature disaster with a warm spirit. That isn’t something that goes from US Disaster media. That does lead to the massive cliff hanger for the next volume, a giant foot monster foot print. I wonder what kind of manga this actually is.

The manga arc is gorgeous too. Very natural, very detailed, very realistic which adds weight everything that is put into this manga considering that this follows what we know as a natural disaster. That’s kind of important to give the reader impact when there is animation or us seeing the disaster happen in the manga in the first place. I also really dig the character designs. Naoki Urasawa is a person that gives people an origin, so every character looks Japanese. GAh, i can keep going on and on. Please read Asadora if you can get the chance.
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Asadora! Volume 1 is an intriguing book setting up a real mystery for future volumes.

I really enjoyed this manga! It's been a while since I've been able to find a manga that isn't mostly romance (that's just kinda how the mangas available in my town go as of right now - trends and all). Asadora is a tale about a young girl named Asa trying to help her small town after a vicious storm/tsunami/potential monster attack happens. She is kidnapped by a man trying to desperately help himself but they soon become quick friends after some misunderstandings. They see the devastation in the area and go to help whoever they can. 

The worst part about this book is that it ends on a cliffhanger. Now I really want the sequel! I need to know what's happening! I am invested! What a cruel way to leave it... But also so very good.

I highly recommend this manga if you want an engaging read with some mystery in it. If you want a one and done, don't grab it though. This series is definitely gonna be a binge worthy one.

Five out of five stars.

Thank you to NetGalley and VIZ for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.
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Known for his long, ongoing mystery narratives from Monster to 20th Century Boys, mangaka Naoki Urasawa doesn’t fall into the trap of his stories being driven by a mystery box, but rather by their characters, who show both the light and dark within a humanity. This is often why shows and films by J.J. Abrams tend to suffer from the concept of a mystery box, as they often drive the narrative without a clear through line planned ahead.

Although there is often a hook early on in Urasawa’s stories that will grab readers’ attention, what is interesting about reading the first volume of Asadora! is that its hook happens at the very end. Set in 1959, there is the Asada family, made up of eleven siblings living in the Port of Nagoya. As one of the younger siblings, Asa rushes to get the doctor so he can help her mother, who is labor, as a typhoon is raging at the same time. When Asa encounters a burglar, she pursues him, only to be kidnapped by said burglar. Thus, an unlikely friendship is formed.

That unlikely friendship is not the hook, but it does set up a dynamic that reflects on the setting that is post-war Japan. On the one hand, you have the unnamed burglar who used to be a pilot during the Second World War and afterwards, struggled to get a job and to support his family. Meanwhile, you have Asa Asada, part of an extended family living in poverty, feeling left out. When the storm occurs, which is the factual Typhoon Vera that occurred in 1959, the two team up to find their home damaged and search for any survivors including Asa’s family.

As a piece of historical fiction, Urasawa doesn’t negate the tragedy of the event as his detailed background art showcases the damaged reality, but this is not a depressing read. What make the book lively are the characters, from our feisty young heroine to the former pilot, both of whom are determined to feed the survivors by parachuting rice cakes and water from the pilot hijacking someone else’s plane. Contrived as that sounds, the characters themselves are so much fun to read that it’s hard not to complain, even some of the other players such as Asa’s friend who is hoping to compete in the Olympics is less interesting.

For much of this volume, you are reading a period drama, and yet there is an element of magic as suggested from the initial pages of present-day Tokyo under attack, to the animal-like rumblings heard during Typhoon Vera. Only in the final two pages do Asa and the pilot discover a giant footprint of a Kaiju, and suddenly the story delves more into the realms of fantasy. This is where Urasawa shines once again as an author of mystery, and it will be curious where he goes from here.

Although you don’t have an instant idea about what the story actually is until that reveal at the very end, this first volume of Asadora! is a wonderful character-driven piece of historical fiction.
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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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This is a charming story about a little girl and a would-be burglar/kidnapper who become heroes in the aftermath of a huge storm. The story is a long way from finished and I can't wait to see what adventures are in store for this unlikely pair.
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Asadora! is the newest series by esteemed mangaka Naoki Urasawa, who is also the creator of many other well-known and celebrated series, such as 20th Century Boys and Monster. Like a lot of his work, Asadora! is full of mystery and highlights the plight of everyday people that, though ordinary, do remarkable things. While it showcases his masterful touch and style and has similar themes, Asadora! is different from anything he’s done before thanks to its tone and feel.

Asadora! starts out foreshadowing future events to come in Tokyo, but quickly flashes back to 1959 to tell us the story of Asa and her life in the town of Port Nagoya and the people that live there. There she lives with her large and still growing family. Since she is one of many children, the townspeople constantly call her by the wrong name. As a result, she feels not only forgotten by her own family but by the town as well. The only person who calls her by the right name is Shōta, who is in junior high and is training to run in the Olympics.

With her mother in labor, Asa runs through town to find a doctor in the midst of a typhoon.  While on her way, she crosses paths with former pilot turned burglar, Kasuga. She tries to stop him on her own, but a series of events leads them to join forces.

Asadora! is a mysterious, monster story, but it's also very historical as well since it's set in post-war Japan and explores the effects that war still has on the characters in this story. And this is not just showcased by those who’ve been to war themselves, but also those from the younger generations who are indirectly affected by it as well. You have Kasuga, who was a pilot in the war and now struggles to make ends meet, but you also have characters like Shōta, who’s being pressured by his brothers and father to achieve the dreams they didn’t get to fulfill because of the war.

The characters introduced in Asadora!’s first volume is one of its biggest strengths; Each has stories of their own that are extremely well told, but how they interact together and how their issues and stories influence one another is even more expertly conveyed. There’s a lot of depth to the people in Asadora!. They’ve already overcome, or are still overcoming, a lot on their own, but they are going to have to come together yet again to face the hardships that are to come in the wake of a natural disaster.

While heavy issues and elements are explored in the first volume, the overall tone of the series remains bright thanks to Asa and her endless compassion for others. She sees the best in people no matter what they’ve done and helps them see the good within themselves that, while buried, was there all along. Because of her and her interaction with the characters, there are a lot of touching scenes in the series that make it a joy to read.

Another highlight of the series is Naoki Urasawa’s artwork. I have to mention how incredible the colored pages in the beginning look, but the black and white pages are strong as well. The textures featured throughout the panels in the buildings and landscapes are beautifully done. The expressions these characters have really bring their personalities and emotions to life, which made me that much more connected to them. There are panels that really make an impact visually but emotionally as well, and this is a strong reason as to why Naoki Urasawa’s work never ceases to amaze me.

Asadora!’s first volume featured a story that was full of hardship, but it also saw people rising up to be the best they could be. The mystery that is threaded throughout makes the series intriguing, but it’s also heartfelt due to the stories of its characters as well. While I’m still not quite sure as to where this one is headed, the first volume set it up in a way that made me invested in its story and it revealed just enough to keep me interested. There are sure to be a lot of twists and turns along the way and I’m excited to see how this one develops and continues to surprise me in the volumes to come.

Thank you to Netgalley, Viz, and Naoki Urasawa for a copy of Asadora!, Volume 1 in exchange for an honest review!

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