Voices of a Distant Star by Makoto Shinkai is a science fiction manga based on the animated film from 2002 that follows the perspectives of Mikako Nagamine and Noboru Terao. In the year 2046, Mikako and Noboru (both age 16) were classmates and very good friends when suddenly Mikako was chosen to become a pilot and fight the alien species “Tharsis."
Now on Mars, Mikako (eight years away from Earth) tries to stay in contact with Noboru through texting, but as she gets farther away it begins to take longer for her messages to send. The more time she spends in space the more she realizes how scared she would be returning to Earth and trying to deal with all the time that has passed without her, since she wasn’t aging and everyone else was.
Meanwhile, Noboru checks everyday waiting for a message and he struggles with loneliness since Mikako was his only friend and they were planning on going to the same school together. As time passes, he begins to hear from his friend less and less until he starts to think that she has just moved on and forgotten about him. Noboru, now age 25, tries to start over and forget about Mikako until one day he receives a message from her that was sent eight years earlier. When he realizes that she has been trying to message him all this time, he sets out to try and see her again, not knowing if it will be in space or on Earth.
I love this manga! The art in each panel was very detailed and beautiful, the writing is also very well done. So many of the scenes gave me the chills because even though it’s science fiction you can still very strongly feel the same emotions as the characters while reading. Honestly, I’ve never really been a huge fan of sci-fi mainly because I feel like a lot of the stories repeat themselves, but this story was very unique and kept me interested.
I definitely recommend this manga to anyone who likes the genres of: drama, sci-fi, and fantasy! This book is not a series so it's quick to read.
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