http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/twin_spica.jpg
[[caption-width:287:Kei, Marika, and Asumi]]

An accident caused the Japanese space program's manned rocket, the Lion, to crash in to Yuigahama. [[PluckyGirl Asumi Kamogawa]], who was one year old at the time, survives the incident, protected by her mother [[MissingMom Kyouko]], who is badly burned and falls in to a coma.
Five years later, Kyouko dies without ever having regained consciousness. After the funeral, Asumi meets a [[SpiritAdvisor strange man]] wearing a lion head from a mascot costume and playing a harmonica. Although she doesn't believe him at first, he is the ghost of one of the astronauts killed in the Lion incident. Between her teacher and her father telling her that dead people become stars, and talking with Lion-san, she decides to become a "[[{{Malaproper}} rocket driver]]" when she grows up.

To that end, Asumi applies to the prestigious and expensive [[ElaborateUniversityHigh Tokyo Space Academy]], to enroll in the newly created astronaut training course. During the rather unusual [[ThresholdGuardians entrance exam]], she meets [[RichBitch Marika Ukita]] and [[{{Meganekko}} Kei Oumi]]. At the same time, her childhood friend [[UnluckyChildhoodFriend Shinnosuke Fuchuuya]], who has followed her to the school, meets Shuu Suzuki, and the five of them eventually form a group.

Since this is a whole new area of study for this level, the teachers and administrators are feeling out what needs to be done and learning as much as the students are. This leads to some rather odd training scenarios combined with the more expected. It doesn't help that one of the [[SadistTeacher teachers]] knew [[SinsOfOurFathers Asumi's father]].

The main story line covers Asumi and the others during their time at Tokyo Space Academy, but there are numerous [[{{Flashback}} flashbacks]] to earlier periods.

The anime is only 20 episodes long, with a [[NoEnding non-ending]]. It follows the manga fairly closly until the end of the anime, but only covers part of the first five volumes, most of what was out at the time. Given the length differences, many of these tropes only apply to the manga.

A LiveActionAdaptation produced by NHK aired in the summer of 2009. Vertical has released the entire manga in the US, but it's not in print anymore due to low sales, so some physical volumes might be very expensive nowadays. They are available from Amazon as Kindle e-books.

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'''Tropes applied in this series:'''

* TheAce: Subverted. Shuu is initially played up as a BrilliantButLazy [[TheAce Ace]], but after becoming TrueCompanions with Asumi and co. he admits that there are quite a few things that Asumi is better than him at.
* AirplaneArms: Young Asumi does this a lot
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: Asumi pretty much suffers from this throughout her whole entire life, and for the stupidest of reasons which really flummox this troper.
* AnimeThemeSong: The music pre-dates the anime, but the lyrics for the opening were written for it
* [[spoiler:AnyoneCanDie]]
* [[spoiler:ArtificialHuman: Marika]]
* AttentionWhore: Shuu is frequently accused of doing this by shaving his eyebrows. [[spoiler: In reality, he does it because he has his father's eyebrows and is trying to distance himself from him.]]
* BackStory: Everyone except Kei.
* BeachEpisode
* BigFancyHouse: Marika. Shuu's family has one as well, but he lives in a dinky little apartment
* [[spoiler:BigSleep]]
* BrokenBird
* ButNowIMustGo: [[spoiler: Lion-san in the second-to-last chapter.]]
* CherryBlossoms: One of Asumi's flashbacks covers this in detail
* [[spoiler:CloningBlues: Made worse by the fact that human cloning was banned by international treaty in this world]]
* ComingOfAgeStory
* CoolChair: The multi-axis chair
* CutShort: The anime
* DefrostingIceQueen
* DiscretionShot
* DrillSergeantNasty: The instructor doesn't do very much yelling, but he always has a hearty laugh when he's giving students even ''more'' TrainingFromHell on top of what they already did (to the point that the students - Kei especially - have taken to calling him "Ogre".)
* ElaborateUniversityHigh: Tokyo Space Academy
* EndingTheme
* FatalFlaw: Asumi, who [[spoiler:nearly drowned as a child, is afraid of water. Which is something of a problem, given that they have to be able to swim in full flight gear and do a lot of simulated zero-g work in pools]]
* FestivalEpisode
* FirstNameBasis
* {{Flashback}}: Numerous
* [[spoiler:GeneticMemory: Current Marika sometimes remembers things the original Marika knew]]
* [[spoiler:GoOutWithASmile]]
* TheGlassesGottaGo: Kei switched from glasses to contact lens after she had successfully enrolled in the school, hoping to make herself more attractive.
* GovernmentConspiracy: [[spoiler:The real cause of the Lion incident is apparently corner-cutting and outsourcing of what was supposed to be the first manned rocked designed and made entirely in Japan. Which TheGovernment has been trying to keep under wraps.]]
* GreatEscape: One of the stranger class projects involve one of these
* HeelFaceTurn
* [[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend He Is Not My Boyfriend]]: [[LonersAreFreaks Asumi]] to protect Shimizu from bullying
* HeroicBSOD
* IllGirl: [[spoiler: And a couple of Ill Guys, too]]
* InvisibleToNormals: Lion-san
* IncurableCoughOfDeath: Started with [[spoiler:a nosebleed for one. Possibly building to a straight version of this with another character. For the [[CloningBlues second time]].]]
* IntrepidReporter: Ichimura, [[spoiler:who recognizes Marika during the media attention surrounding Shuu after he's been selcted to participate in a Shuttle mission, and starts investigating.]]
* IRememberBecause: Asumi remembering their room number in the closed environment adaptation test due to the number corresponds to the distance in light-year from Earth to Spica.
** FridgeLogic: It's weird though that a lot of other participants are ''not'' able to remember a simple 4-digit number, especially since they had to search for their rooms first.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold
* {{Landlord}}: Ringo
* KidsAreCruel: Kasane's problem
* LonelyRichKid
* LonersAreFreaks: Marika until she [[DefrostingIceQueen becomes]] a {{True Companion|s}}. Asumi in middle school.
* LuminescentBlush
* MagicRealism: Lion-san brings this to the table in an otherwise fairly realistic sci-fi series.
* [[spoiler:MeaningfulFuneral: Where ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_Flohwalzer Neko Funjatta]]'' is played]]
* MeaningfulName: "Asumi", when written in kanji, would mean as much as "view into the future"
* {{Meganekko}}: Kei, until she switches to contacts
** She only wore glasses in the first volume of the manga. After after she had successfully enrolled in the school, she [[TheGlassesGottaGo ditched them]] so that she can be [[BeautifulAllAlong more attractive]] So it's really a subversion. Sorry, no glasses girl for you!
* MementoMacGuffin: The pin of Asumi's mother
* MissingMom: Asumi's mother, among others
* {{Motifs}}: The harmonica is featured prominently, both musically and visually.
* MundaneDogmatic
* NeverGotToSayGoodbye
* NextSundayAD: Started publication in 2001, the Lion incident happening in 2010. This leaves a list of space travel disasters and ISS's deorbit date mentioned early in the series {{Jossed}} by reality.
* ObsoleteMentor: Lion-san's advice to Asumi ranges from helpful to worthless. Justified in that he was an astronaut before any established training regime, and the new course at the Tokyo Space Academy is the first attempt to establish one
* {{Ojou}}
* OneNoteCook: Asumi never seems to make anything other than riceballs or curry
* OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent
* ParentalAbandonment: Done in various ways, from dead parents to ones that are simply never mentioned
* PensieveFlashback
* PerpetualPoverty: Asumi. Kei is surprised to find out she doesn't even have a cell phone
* PerpetualSmiler: Shu, [[spoiler: though it seems like he crosses over into StepfordSmiler most of the time.]]
* PlotBasedPhotographObfuscation: In the opening credits, no less.
* PluckyGirl
* ThePowerOfFriendship
* ThePromise
* RebelliousPrincess: Sort of. Marika and [[spoiler: Shu]] are the kids of a wealthy businessman and a politician respectively, and are going against their father's wishes by training to become astronauts (the latter is even disowned for it.)
* ReplacementGoldfish: [[spoiler: Marika is cloned to be a replacement of the original Marika]]
* RichBitch
* RousseauWasRight: Even the SadistTeacher is just misguided. Although there is that whole GovernmentConspiracy thing that hasn't been resolved yet
* SadistTeacher: Sano to Asumi. Kei's view of the phys ed teacher
* ScaryShinyGlasses: Sano
* {{Seinen}}
* SelectiveObliviousness: Asumi doesn't have much room in her head for anything besides space
* SempaiKohai: During their second year, another girl, Mikan, moves in to the dorm Asumi stays at. Due to Asumi's appearance, it takes Mikan a while to acknowledge Asumi as sempai
* SinsOfOurFathers
* SittingOnTheRoof: Shuu likes to do this for stargazing
* SleepCute
* SliceOfLife
* SpiritAdvisor
* StandingInTheHall
* StylisticSuck
* TeamShot: For the {{Eyecatch}}
* TeamSpirit: Not quite played straight, since the point is made repeatedly that few of the students will actually be able to go in to space, but no-one can go in to space alone
* ThemeTuneCameo: The ending theme is frequently played on a harmonica by Lion-san
* ThereAreNoTherapists
* ThresholdGuardians: The closed-environment test of the entrance exam
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Shuu has a fondness for Chinese Honey Orange juice
* TrainingFromHell: The astronaut training program likes to push the students physically. Especially with jogging, obstacle courses, orienteering, and more high-tech things like pressure chambers and the multi-axis chair
* TrueCompanions
* {{Tsundere}}: Fuchuya is a RareMaleExample.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend
* UnwinnableTrainingSimulation: The final 3rd year test is so utterly grueling and unrelenting that nobody was expected to pass it (in fact, the instructor eventually tells the people taking it that the test is all about finding each person's limit, and how far they can go beyond it.) [[spoiler: Indeed, in the end, nobody manages to clear the final leg of the test.]]
* WeirdnessCensor: Usually involving Lion-san
* WhamLine: [[spoiler: "Shuu passed away earlier today."]]
* WholeEpisodeFlashback: Several
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