Story/Art: Kazue Kato
Translation/English Adaptation: John Werry
What They Say:
Mamushi and Todo now have both eyes of the Impure King and are headed for the temple that was once the center of the Myodha sect. Mamushi wants to seal the eyes away, but may be too late to realize Todo’s true purpose – the awakening of the Impure King! Meanwhile, Rin learns more about Father Fujimoto’s connection to Tatsuma and the origin of the Kuma Sword. Rin will need the weapon and all of his strength to face the terrible power of the Impure King!
The flashback continues with Father Fujimoto being quickly knocked out, apparently already being quite injured. Fujimoto wakes up and runs away from Tatsuma, only to find himself in a room full of sickly people. Furious at the sight, he tells Tatsuma to stop simply praying and to remove the toxins, something he immediately sets about doing. He tells Tatsuma once more to give him the sword, but Tatsuma’s father appears and says they must kill Fujimoto. Fujimoto flees, but Tatsuma follows and gives him the sword, marking them as allies.
Back in the present, Todo and Mamushi reach their destination, the body of the Impure King. Todo takes the eye and prepares to dispose of Mamushi, but Tatsuma suddenly appears and confronts him. In another flashback, we see that Tatsuma entered into a pact with Karura when his father died, when the creature offered its flames to seal the Impure King in exchange for keeping its existence secret. Even with this great power, though, Tatsuma is unable to stop Todo from awakening the Impure King. The monster bursts forth, and Tatsuma is forced to use his secret move, the Aeon Wave Flame, to contain it. Weakened by the powerful attack, Tatsuma is unable to stop Todo when he appears and swallows Karura, forcing its power into his body.
Reacting to Tatsuma’s letter, Shura gives Rin the Koma Sword, but he is unable to draw it due to his fear. Mephisto suddenly appears before the group, and announces the Vatican has decided that Rin is to be put to death after placing a powerful lock in front of the door. Shura and Yukio rush off to battle the Impure King, but not before leaving the task of breaking out Rin to his friends. Everyone but Shiemi is stopped by Mephisto’s lock, but Shiemi is able to break through and help Rin recover from his funk in the process.
Reunited, Rin and friends rush to the battle field, only to find Tatsuma and a diminished Karura. Karura offers to transfer the Aeon Wave Flame to Suguro, but Tatsuma protests, trying to protect his son. However, Suguro insists and the transfer occurs. As the volume comes to a close, Yukio finds himself confronted by an strangely young version of Todo.
This volume is an interesting one, spending a good bit of time on both Suguro’s father and Rin’s father figure. It’s a bit jarring to be so removed from the main plot in the middle of the action, but fortunately it relates back to what is happening in the arc, so it doesn’t feel entirely disconnected. As for the rest of the volume, it’s certainly nice to see Rin get closer to his friends, and a few nice moments are included in the process. As the volume comes to a close, we seem to finally be reaching the climax of the arc. Hopefully the author will be able to bring things to a satisfying conclusion, even with the rather unorthodox enemy our heroes are faced with.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: A-
Package Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B+
Age Rating: 16+
Released by: Viz Media
Release Date: April 3rd, 2012