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Rocket Girls Paperback – September 21, 2010
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Rocket Girls, as the title and the anime-influenced cover perhaps suggest, plays knowingly on the fun pulp elements of sending fit young teenage high-school girls in skin-tight outfits into space, the whole story playing out with all the improbability and speed of a manga book - which is by no means entirely a bad thing. The circumstances surrounding the disappearance of her father on the first night of his honeymoon turn out to be strange enough, but Yukari Morita's journey to search for him in the Solomon Islands, and eventually finding him in the jungle as the chieftain of an island tribe, stretch credibility even further. All of the this is however taken completely in its stride by all the parties involved, and it should be by the indulgent reader as well.
There is however a larger Japanese presence on the island (and it's sure to be established that it's not exactly a coincidence that her father is there also) - a Space research and development agency operates there, attempting to put an astronaut up into space.Read more ›
The differences between the novel and show are mostly cosmetic for the first two thirds or so of the book, though the overall tone is more serious. To me it read more like a classic scifi novel from the Heinlein or Clarke days, with a lot less of the fluff that the anime sometimes had. Naturally, it covers some plot points that the anime glossed over, the media reactions and Yukari and her parent's relationship coming to mind most of all.
The last third or so of the book is where the differences start to show, but not in a bad way. I can understand that the anime had to cut parts of it for time, but its a shame they did all the same.
Overall, a nice read. And at ~200 pages quick and easy enough to get through in an evening.
Oh, I should mention this was an impulse buy with no other research than having read the description of the book. Only later I found that there was an anime based on it, Most of my light novel purchase are made because i'd seen the show first. Not so this time.