Nasa Yuzaki has advice for new parents: don’t give your baby a name like Nasa. His parents thought they were being cute naming him that, but he spends his life being mocked because his name sounds like the acronym for National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
So Nasa becomes determined to make a name for himself and get people to stop making fun of him. He studies extensively to get into a good school. Then, one day, he spots a girl he thinks is so cute he finds himself walking toward her and not looking before crossing the street. Of course a car comes barreling at him. The girl shields him from the impact, but she seems okay. Even though he should be going to the hospital he follows her and asks her to go out with him. She says she will, but she can only be with him if he marries her. He agrees, she disappears, and years pass.
Then she shows up again on his eighteenth birthday, ready to get married. And she tells him her name for the first time: Tsukasa.
Nasa thinks that Tsukasa reminds him of the Japanese story of Kaguya, a princess from the moon. It’s not clear if Tsukasa is an unusual human, or if she’s some sort of otherworldly being. The manga is chock-full of outer space references, from Nasa’s name to talks about Tsukasa’s possible connection to the moon.
The first volume doesn’t tell us a whole lot about the characters, but it flows as a quick, easy read. Mangaka Kenjiro Hata, who also created Hayate the Combat Butler, shows off his skills as a storyteller, because even though the first volume says so little, it easily pulls readers into the ride. The unusual story is told in a charming, friendly way, with Hata using humor to make Nasa so relatable. From the very beginning, when Nasa gives his advice to new parents, the manga has a warm, accessible feel.
The manga also includes multiple short bonus stories, and a short interview with Nasa and Tsukasa. An anime adaption and OVAs have been made in the franchise.
Story & Art: Kenjiro Hata
Publisher: VIZ Media
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.