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Cover featuring Matsuri

Cover featuring Matsuri

As the title suggests Rocket Girls: The Last Planet is a direct sequel to Rocket Girls, and starts some months later with Yukari’s fourth flight going typically wrong. NB: This review will contain some spoilers.

The Premise

More of the same, with added geek girl in the form of Akane Miura a nerdy A-grade student at Yukari’s old school.

The Questionable

More of the same, with the supernatural playing a role in Yukari and Matsuri crash landing at Yukari’s old school.

Matsuri is also Yukari’s half sister [1], and her behaviour plays into the somewhat dubious presentation of the Solomon Islands natives.

The Ewww…

Once again: more of the same [2].

The Shout Outs

Not quite so many this time, but the Apollo Program and the Shuttle Program definitely get nods.

The Not So Good

The translation by Alexander O Smith didn’t seem quite as snappy as Joseph Reeder’s work on the previous volume.  Although The Last Planet is still easy reading, the turn of phrase wasn’t quite as humorous, and didn’t work as well for me.

The other issue was that the introduction of Akane seemed to sideline Matsuri as a character.  This almost reached the point where, despite being the cover girl this time, Matsuri felt like a minor character.  This is a pity, as I quite like all of the Rocket Girls as characters, and I would have liked some more balance here.

The Good

On the other hand Yukari’s character development in this volume is excellent.  The second flight in The Last Planet is Yukari’s fifth overall [3], and this makes her role as Akane’s leader and mentor easy to believe.

Akane is an interesting character that balances the other two nicely.

The physics are still reasonably good, and no new unobtainium has been introduced. Mr Nojiri is sticking with the previously established rules of his universe, and this is good to see.

The Summary

Despite my concerns with the translation, The Last Planet is still a fun fast read, and one that I’ll be happy to come back to.

The planned review of the Rocket Girls anime is on hold for the moment while I deal with some review copies kindly provided by Hanabee.  The next review is likely to be Toradora Part 2, followed by Arakawa Under The Bridge.

[1] One of many half siblings as it happens, but the only one to join the SSA.

[2] You may be detecting a theme here. There is only the second example in The Last Planet as Akane manages to dodge the press conferences.

[3] It isn’t stated how many flights Matsuri has had, I presume at least three.