Book Two of Planetes by Makoto Yukimura was just as good as the first one. Hachimaki gets into the training program for the Jupiter mission and we see him train his replacement on the junk-clearing crew. We meet some of the scientists who will stop at nothing to get people out to Jupiter and some terrorists who want to stop them. It’s excellent science fiction, and I’m very glad there are a bunch more volumes to read.
I found a manga I really like! Planetes is a science fiction story about three astronauts who work on the trash detail, cleaning debris out of Earth’s orbit. Hachimaki wants to be an exploration type astronaut with his own ship some day, Yuri lost his wife on his first trip up to space and Fee is the working stiff who pilots the ship and keeps them safe.
There are five stories in this first volume and they cover a good range, from the romance of junk-collecting (complete with last second rescue) to the psychological trauma of surviving an EVA accident. The stories have enough giant-mouth screaming to still feel like a manga book, but it’s all in the service of really solid science fiction. I don’t think there are as many volumes of this at the library as Death Note (which I tried reading but it didn’t do anything for me – consider that my review) but I’m going to grab what there is and keep reading.