Story/Art: Toshiaki Iwashiro
Translation: Camellia Nieh
What They Say:
Dragon Ageha returns to the treacherous Psyren world, where he and his fellow players are instantly under attack. To survive, they’ll have to use every resource they can. But Ageha’s crew are showing signs of fever, meaning their psionic powers are awakening at the worst possible time!
When the mysterious sniper turns out to be Tatsuo, the friend that Hiryu was looking for, Hiryu screams out his name. This unfortunately draws Tatsuo’s attention and in turn his fire, bringing the danger to our heroes. As he also possesses a mask that can emit a sound which repels the giant worm, things look hopeless for Ageha and company. Fortunately, Tatsuo’s powerful gun comes with a weakness: it can only shoot a limited number of times before needing to recharge. After dodging Tatsuo’s assault, the group begins forming a plan during the down time. However, matters take a turn for the worse when Oboro’s powers begin coming online, leaving him helplessly sick. Kabuto says to leave him behind, but quickly changes his tune when his powers also begin awakening.
When Tatsuo finishes charging ahead of schedule, Sakurako heads out in order to protect the others. She is able to mind-jack Tatsuo’s messed up brain, and finds memories of him being defeated by the taboo and dragged to a tower. It is there that a taboo nucleus was implanted into him, bringing him to his current monstrous state. She is able to force Tatsuo to use up the rest of his shots, but is unable to bring him down, and returns to the others completely exhausted.
Using the time that Sakurako bought them, our heroes devise a plan to bring down Tatsuo and reach the exit. Sakurako distracts the worm by running from safe spot to safe spot, and Ageha approaches Tatsuo head on. When Tatsuo of course takes him down, Hiryu uses the opening to grab his former friend with his psi powers, which take the shape of a dragon’s tail. Though Hiryu is able to bring Tatsuo down, he gets too close afterwards and tries to snap his old pal out of it, only to be stabbed through the chest.
Furious, Ageha summons out his psi, which forms a giant pitch black sphere. It begins devouring everything it touches, including Tatsuo’s psi, but it is completely out of Ageha’s control. After obliterating the landscape, it shots out and stabs through Tatsuo’s taboo nucleus before disappearing.
The battle is won, but Ageha and Hiryu are left in bad shape. Luckily, Oboro’s powers have finally awakened, and actually allow him to heal his allies. Tatsuo then revives, but with his human mind intact. As it turns out, Ageha’s assault destroyed the taboo suppressing his personality. After telling of how he was controlled by the strange humanoid leader of the taboo, Tatsuo urges everyone to go back to the present, claiming he’ll follow behind. Of course, this turns out to be a lie, as Tatsuo didn’t want Ageha to feel like he was responsible for his death. Nearing death and alone in the strange world of Psyren, Tatsuo nonetheless remains hopeful that he will find a way to survive and reunite with Hiryu once again.
Things really seem to be picking up as of this volume. With a heavy dose of combat, a little bit of emotional back-story, and some intriguing bits regarding the still enigmatic villains, this book has lot to offer. Most importantly, however, we finally get to see our hero really get involved in the action, and he does so with quite a bit of flair. With the world of Psyren continuing to open up and more and more characters being introduced, this series is starting to become truly interesting. Hopefully as the series continues, it will keep on striving for even greater heights.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B+
Package Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13+
Released by: Viz Media
Release Date: March 6th, 2012