REVIEW: ‘Asadora!,’ Volume 2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Asadora Volume 2

Asadora Volume 2 is written and drawn by mangaka Naoki Urasawa (20th Century Boys) and is published by Viz Media. Within the first volume, the commentary on a disaster-ridden village during post-war Japan. Volume 2 has Asada continue to aid her village alongside her new friend, Mr. Kasuka, and we follow their lives into the future. 

The theme of this volume is growth and mystery. Within the first chapter of volume one, there was an inkling about a potential kaiju that could be involved within the story, but it isn’t until Asadora Volume 2 that the plot point starts to make sense. We follow two different storylines where Urasawa takes us to luscious and green forests. There, a special team of research scientists is attempting to track down a creature leaving huge footprints in the forest. 

Asada grows into her strength and tenacity in this volume. Urasawa is a great writer for creating a main character who is so strong-willed even in the face of true peril. There is a scene where Urasawa has Asada interact with a criminal who is willing to kill her for substances Asada had found. Without so much as a blink, she kept her head up and attempted to swindle a deal out of him. I love this interaction because it shows that Asada doesn’t care about life if it means she doesn’t attempt to get what she wants. Her efforts are to get a plane so she can fly and save people, as she did in Volume One. While she may have started as a strong character already, Urasawa has a great grasp on pacing and tone, making it feel as if the disaster that she endured previously has truly changed her as a person. 

There is a time skip where we are taken to Asada at the age of 17. While the main story plot isn’t progressing quickly, Urasawa takes readers into a glimpse of her future life, where she continues to make strides as an airplane pilot and a student. Throughout her regular day-to-day life, she keeps thinking of an image she thinks she saw in the water that could possibly be a monster. This is how the kaiju story plot begins to get integrated. While kaiju are always interesting, the integration of this plot element makes the pacing of Asadora Volume 2 feel disjointed as this wasn’t present until 2 /3 of the way into the volume, with the rest feeling similarly to Volume One. 

While the writing falls a little weak, the artwork and lettering in this manga are crisp and clean. The photorealism of the artwork brings to life this character-driven story while placing our characters in beautifully drawn cityscapes. As opposed to shading, mangaka Urasawa uses stippling to create depth and dimension, making Asadora! Volume Two look unique amongst current releases. With attention to detail, this volume looks simple and beautiful. The lettering never blocks any of the landscapes or settings present throughout the book. Text bubbles and dialogue flowed naturally and never got in the way of appreciating Urasawa’s art. 

While Volume 1 certainly packed a stronger punch, Asadora Volume 2 sets up a long narrative involving Asada possibly discovering a kaiju. The social commentary may have taken a backseat, but instead, readers were treated to gorgeous art, an intriguing mystery element, and continued strength in character development with Asada. 

You can purchase Asadora Volume 2 using our Bookshop affiliate link here. 

Asadora Volume 2
3.5

TL;DR

While Volume 1 certainly packed a stronger punch, Asadora Volume 2 sets up a long narrative involving Asada possibly discovering a kaiju. The social commentary may have taken a backseat, but instead, readers were treated to gorgeous art, an intriguing mystery element, and continued strength in character development with Asada.