High thrills in a high place!
Story/Art: Akihisa Ikeda
Translation: Kaori Inoue
English Adaptation: Annette Roman
What They Say:
What’s the best strategy to rescue a kidnapped friend from the sinister organization Fairy Tale’s floating fortress in the sky?
A. Turn tail and run the other way
B. Keep pushing on despite the odds
C. Send in the clowns
Apparently nearly killing himself and those around him was totally worth it, as Tsukune finds himself in possession of some sweet new powers. For now, it looks like he’s gained the ability to use magic to punch super hard, meaning that not much has changed, but according to Tohofuhai there’s still much more for him to learn. Kurumu is able to get a little closer to Tsukune, and then our attention is turned to Moka on the blimp. Aqua tests Moka in order to figure out how much she knows, just in time for the ship to arrive at the “Hanging Garden,” Fairy Tale’s floating fortress. After explaining that escape would be impossible, Aqua drags Moka into the depths of the fortress, where Alucard now sleeps. Meanwhile, Gyokuro Shuzen, the leader of Fairy Tale, watches over the scene while evilly scheming.
Skipping forward a month, we found our retrained heroes landing at Fairy Tale HQ, assisted by Hokuto. Things seem to be going smoothly, until the group finds themselves in the middle of a large gathering where Gyokuro is giving a speech. It is revealed that Gyokuro is Koko and Kahlua’s mother, and that she possesses impossibly powerful sensory abilities. As such she quickly picks out the intruders from the crowd and sends a pillar in their direction, only for Tsukune to destroy it with his new abilities. This creates enough of an opening for the group to escape from the crowd, but they are still trapped in enemy territory, with their every move being carefully monitored. Hokuto then decides to separate from the group so he can try to escape, but the others decide that they have no choice but to carry on. To make matters worse for our heroes, all of Fairy Tale’s branch leaders happen to be gathered at the Hanging Garden, and as such Gyokuro decides to dispatch them.
It isn’t long before one of the branch leaders, Raika, finds the group. This powerful electricity user appears to be quite the opponent, but Ruby decides to face him alone, allowing the others to preserve their strength. Even with a new set of tricks up her sleeves, will Ruby be able to take down this seemingly invincible foe, or will the others be forced to step in after all?
As the volume comes to a close, Fang-Fang and Yukari find themselves face to face with another formidable foe, once more separated from the rest of the group.
With this volume things seem to finally be reaching a climax as our heroes clash directly with the enemy forces. The new villain introduced here certainly leaves an impact rather quickly, and the new underlings do a good job showing off their prowess as well. However, the main characters have powered up quite a bit as well and have plenty of new abilities to show off. This makes for some rather exciting action, most noticeably in the large fight occupying much of the back half of the volume. In addition to providing plenty of thrills, this brawl also does a great job fleshing out a character who has felt a little unnecessary in the past, which is great to see. Hopefully the next few volumes will live up to the promise shown here, as this arc certainly seems to be off to a great start.
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A-
Package Rating: A-
Text/Translation Rating: B
Age Rating: 13+
Released by: Viz Media
Release Date: November 6th, 2012