Two things come to me on reading the second volume of Twin Spica. One, this is a gem of a series that deserves the broadest possible audience. Waste no time picking it up if a) you want to read a story that assumes the best and most ambitious in humanity, rather than its worst or most cowardly; or b) you have even the slightest interest in manga as something more than a way to show creative ways for people to get sliced in half.
Two, if Vertical Inc. editor Ed Chavez’s job description includes being on the lookout for titles like this, he has the best job in the world. He’s constantly scouring the planet (well, Japan) for manga that have that special Vertical something, and Spica has it in spades. It’s not so outlandish as to be alienating; it’s deeply felt without being sappy; and it plugs into something that people on both sides of the Pacific can tap into without needing a cross-cultural dictionary to decipher.