Manga romances have been my life-support during lockdown. From the more adult josei and yaoi titles to the more wholesome shojo, I’ve been reading just about every single one I can. Now, with Fly Me to the Moon Volume 1, the debut manga for the series published in English VIZ Media, there is a new level of wholesome achieved. Written and illustrated by mangaka Kenjiro Hata, Fly Me to the Moon puts marriage first in the timeline and readers watch as it develops into a relationship. The debut of this series coincides with the news Crunchyroll announced this past weekend at the Virtual Crunchyroll Expo which shared character art of the upcoming anime.
In Fly Me to the Moon Volume 1 we meet Nasa Yuzaki who has always felt connected to outer space. Named after N.A.S.A. – yes, that N.A.S.A – our protagonist has grown accustomed to being bullied for his name. But instead of letting the bullies get to him, he has instead vowed to shoot past the stars and be more memorable than the organization responsible for being the first on the moon. A tall task, he’s thrown off course when an accident introduces him to the mysterious Tsukasa. She’s cute, she reminds him of Princess Kaguya, and she also has strange powers. So is she the moon goddess herself? Or something all together?
Smitten with her at first sight, he asks her out, but she has other plans. Instead of a date, Tsukasa agrees to be with Nasa only through marriage. While he agrees, Tsukasa disappears quickly after and leaves him to spend the next few years pining over her and throwing all of his plans for success out the window. But, when he’s 18, the mysteriously cute girl shows up again and the story really kicks off – because their marriage does.
Fly Me to the Moon is adorable but it is also very much stuck in the manga trope of a hapless boy coupled with a superpowered, capable, but cluelessly cute girl. While this trope can take on disturbing forms like Yuna and Yuki in Future Diary, I’m very happy to say that this manga avoids the most problematic elements of the trope. While this is one that bugs me to no end, especially learning Tsukasa is 16 years-old from the character information page featured at the end of the book, overall, Tsukasa and Nasa are wholesome. Genuinely, take the most wholesome anime romance you know and dial up the awkward and cuteness up to 10, and there you have Fly Me to the Moon.
The two lead characters are written to showcase the awkward sexual tension that happens when you’re in a room alone with someone you’re attracted to but it never crosses a line into vulgarity or ecchi comedy. Instead, it remains focused on the cuteness of it all and Nasa and Tsukasa’s ignorance of what being a couple means, let alone what being married means. Additionally, this title offers up a slice of life more so than it does pure romance.
Overall, Fly Me to the Moon Volume 1 is adorable and one that I recommend for people looking for an adorable manga. It isn’t revolutionary or groundbreaking, but it does the job it sets out to do which is to introduce you to the characters and get you to feel for their blooming romance.
Fly Me to the Moon Volume 1 is available from booksellers now.
Letterer and translator information was not available via credit page in our review copy of the title.
Fly Me to the Moon Volume 1
Fly Me to the Moon Volume 1 is adorable and one that I recommend for people looking for an adorable manga. It isn’t revolutionary or groundbreaking, but it does the job it sets out to do which is to introduce you to the characters and get you to feel for their blooming romance.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.