Asamiya Aoi is a mysterious, innocent-seeming young girl who is traveling through a futuristic land with the help of her father's sketchbook. While she may seem naive, she can be surprisingly tough and resourceful. One day, Aoi encounters a young woman named Kyoko. She shares her travel plans with Kyoko and shows her the sketchbook. Kyoko can't believe her eyes! The sketchbook is more like research notes than casual sketches, and it is full of accurate maps and information that she could use to make loads of money. With the original plan of finding a chance to steal the sketchbook, Kyoko feigns concern over Aoi and joins her on her travels. As the two girls encounter and affect the lives of various people on their journey, will Kyoko be able to learn more about this unusual young girl?
IN A FEW WORDS
Travel, post-apocalyptic, soft mecha, optimistic, and a plot that encompass the Earth.
A good start, but a last volume that feels rushed.
REAL REVIEW (please do not think that a few words are enough for you, you deserve better, so read it!)
After reading this, I came to think that Science Fiction might really be my favourite genre. I have yet to be disappointed by a work whose setting is a futuristic or post-apocalyptic world.
This manga in particular has many upsides. First, it is based on a post-apocalyptic civilisation, and yet optimism in mankind is shown all along. There isn't much devastation, so some
of the emotionally tired readers might try to soothe their mental wounds after too much gore seinen reading - which, as you guessed, was my case. Post-apocalyptic yet optimistic is a combination rare enough to be worth first place in this list.
I just said it's comforting. But do not get me wrong, please: Asamiya-san no Imouto has nothing to do with romcom and their cast of stereotyped characters ; neither has it with 4-komas and their dedication to show the cuteness of the heroin and the bluntness of the man in charge. On the contrary, the main and the cast of supporters aren't really the main focus here : they are made charming enough, but the point of the manga isn't there.
Which leads to the third point of interest. This manga is short. So the plot has to go quickly, which makes everything a little rushed and put a little too much emphasize on the "truth of the world". But well, that's to be expected. And this is actually a positive aspect: the plot has much more to give. It shows potential precisely because it is good.
I mention the art, which fits the manga exactly: clear, bright and round for the characters, and it has a simple yet efficient design for the mecha. Not extraordinary, but to my liking.
About the narration overall: the first book places the setting, the two following develop the plot.
End of the "proper" review.
The following are rather subjective, but still spoiler free. If this manga awakened some deep thoughts in you, it might prove interesting to read.
If the last two volumes won't leave much of a mark in my long-term memory, I will remember the first volume.
What made my day, and gave me much to think about, is unexpectedly something that could be coincidental - but I believe inwardly that it was purposefully made that way. I want to speak about the setting. The backgrounds, and the travels in the beginning, in the form of a slice of life series of meetings, give somewhat the feeling that this world has more or less the same level of technology as the current world, but works differently. This world isn't mostly big cities. As the main characters travel, they come across little coastal towns, drive on land and on sea, meet people that are travelling too. This world give the feeling of a scattered civilisation, one that let a big place to travel and adventure. That's rather refreshing. People are also mostly benevolent and open. Even the military is nice!
Would the world be a better place if we came back, not to nature, but to a rural habitat ? Keeping the commodities of the current life, but leaving aside the complex urban way of life that make us all machines more than being able of choice. Would that make each life closer to an adventure ? I was glad I could see a little of that utopia in that manga.
There aren't much things to criticize about the first volume in comparison to the two following. Some spite about these two: Why the rushed plot ? Why is it SF and yet there are practically no backgrounds ? Why even though the first book was seen from the point of view of a supporting character, which worked just fine, the other are seen through the main, which takes away the natural unravelling of the mysteries linked to the discovering of the world ? Why so many lolies ? Why are the bad people in power old men, while good people in power are lolies ? Why are successful examples of inhuman experiment in ALL the fucking sf stories all lolies ?
Seriously, why lolies ?
Hope my non-native English wasn't too hard for you.
That's all folks, thanks for reading this to the end !