Sazan & Comet Girl, by Yuriko Akase, is an action-packed space-opera that features vibrant, full-colour artwork and a diverting story that feels like it was plucked out of a bygone era. Strap on your spacesuits and get ready to blast-off into adventure!
Sazan is a bright and idealistic young man who loves outer-space and enjoys his construction job because it gives him the opportunity to go off-world for work. One day, he stays late on the job-site and accidently misses the last transport back to Earth. He settles in to spend a miserable night at the station and that’s when he’s spotted by Mina, a lively and charming bounty hunter, who offers him a ride home. It should have been a quick and easy drive back to Earth, but Mina lives a dangerous life and it isn’t long before trouble shows up in the form of a motley crew of pirates who want to capture her! Sazan finds himself in the middle of a thrilling chase and witnesses Mina’s amazing fighting prowess, as she handily defeats her would-be kidnappers. Rather then being frightened, Sazan is excited by the experience and more then a little taken with the strong and beautiful Mina, so, when she finally manages to deliver him back home, he immediately asks her out on a date. Mina is thrilled that he wasn’t frightened off and it seems like this chance encounter could be the beginning of a lovely romance, but Mina isn’t an ordinary bounty-hunter and it soon becomes clear that hanging around her means courting disaster. Mina is actually a powerful being who’s been dubbed: The Comet Girl, because she’s constantly pursued by people who desire her energy, resulting in a wake of destruction wherever she goes. None of this matters to the love-struck Sazan, however, and, when Mina is forced to flee into the cosmos by her enemies, he sets off in search of her. Not all of Mina’s foes will be as easily defeated as the pirates, however, and both Sazan and Mina are soon drawn into a perilous battle where the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance!
Sazan & Comet Girl has a very nostalgic feel to it, despite the fact that it’s only a few years old. This is partially due to the character designs, which employ a style that’s reminiscent of the art found in older manga and anime series. Sazan has a sort-of stock male protagonist look to him and Mina’s design feels inspired by heroines like Cutie Honey, what with her short-cropped, pink hair and her impractical fashion choice of always wearing a bikini.
The story feels like a classic sci-fi adventure and both the old-school aesthetics and the narrative come together to masterfully evoke the feeling that you’re revisiting a timeless tale of heroism and daring-do from decades past.
Put simply, this manga is a ton of fun.
It’s exciting and humorous and filled with epic space battles and narrow escapes. The story even tackles some higher concepts, such as the pitfalls of being ruled by fear and how anger and a desire for revenge can erode your reason and humanity. Despite the presence of these heavier themes and some very dramatic moments, the story always remains light-hearted and entertaining, thanks to the wacky and loveable cast of characters.
Sazan is naïve and out of his depth in a lot of ways, but his kindness, determination and ingenuity allow him to accomplish amazing things. Mina is a super-powered bad-ass who also manages to be vulnerable and empathetic, despite all of the hardships she’s endured. Then there’s the crew of scrappy pirates, whom Sazan hitches a ride with and manages to win over to his side and who’re secretly all big softies who just want to be taken seriously. I loved the camaraderie amongst the pirates and Sazan and Mina’s adorable romance and I had a great time rooting for these unlikely heroes to defeat the bad guys and save the day.
Since it’s so evocative of classic, science-fiction stories, the plot of Sazan & Comet Girl is somewhat predictable, but I didn’t find that this hampered my enjoyment of the story. Rather, I found it satisfying, maybe even comforting. This was a delightful romp through the stars that celebrates love, friendship and hope and I loved every minute of it. I’d recommend it to any sci-fi fans who’re are looking for something fun and optimistic.
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10
For more information on this series, visit Seven Seas Entertainment’s website.
What did you think of this series? Let me know in the comments.