REVIEW: ‘Sazan and Comet Girl’

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Sometimes, you read something that captures you from the very beginning and doesn’t let go. This was the case for me upon reading Seven Seas’ new omnibus release of the full-color manga Sazan and Comet Girl by Yuriko Akase. The series was nominated for the 12th Manga Taisho Awards in Japan in 2019 and ended up ranking fifth. Billed by Seven Seas as an “homage to energetic space operas of years past” this manga did not disappoint, in fact, it excelled in making me feel nonstop joy and nostalgia. Sazan and Comet Girl is translated to English by Adrienne Beck, adapted by Ysabet MacFarlane, and features layout and lettering by Karis Page and Gwen Silver.

The story is your standard boy meets girl; girl turns out to have superpowers and be from space. Sazan is a blue-collar worker from Earth who commutes to space every day to help build residential mini-moons for extraterrestrial creatures. One day he misses his train back home, but a woman named Mina pulls up on her bike and offers him a ride back to Earth. They get pulled into a high-speed chase when Kidd and the Picnic Pirates declare they are out to get Mina. Chaos and courtship ensue. Eventually, Sazan realizes he has feelings for Mina, and right when he wants to declare them, she is revealed to be the Comet Girl, a woman who brings destruction everywhere she goes. Not one to be deterred, Sazan stows away on the pirates’ spaceship for a highflying adventure to track Mina down.

The plot is relatively simple, but that isn’t meant in a bad way. It is executed near flawlessly, and with endearing characters and fantastic transitions, it almost felt as though I was watching a movie play out on the page. If you are a fan of shows like Firefly, the recent adaptation of Vagrant Queen, or fun animated films such as Atlantis, Treasure Planet, or films from Studio Ghibli, this manga will likely evoke similar feelings.

Sazan is fun to follow throughout space. He uses his engineering smarts and overall space geekery to assist Mina. Kidd and the Picnic Pirates are also a great supporting cast for the two. They are the classic merry band of misfits. Mina’s own backstory is surprisingly tragic, but the sadness isn’t dwelled upon. Her attitude and excitement towards making friends feels genuine because of where she’s been.

Lastly, Akase’s art might be the ultimate highlight of the piece. Evoking a slightly older style in character design, and drenching everything in vibrant pastel watercolors, reading this manga was a sci-fi dream. Mina’s opalescent cotton candy hair when she uses her powers was a personal highlight for me. Page and Silver’s layout and lettering work must be applauded here. Sound effects utilize color, scale, and even different fonts to pop off the page in such a complementary way to the art, it couldn’t have been easy to adapt to English.

Reading Sazan and Comet Girl was a cinematic experience. Nostalgic and joyous, anyone who loves the less doom and gloom side of sci-fi will have an absolute blast. Seven Seas absolutely knocked it out of the park with this release.

Sazan and Comet Girl is available wherever books are sold.


Sazan and Comet Girl
5

TL;DR

Reading Sazan and Comet Girl was a cinematic experience. Nostalgic and joyous, anyone who loves the less doom and gloom side of sci-fi will have an absolute blast. Seven Seas absolutely knocked it out of the park with this release.