Revelations abound in this latest volume!
Story/Art: Stan Lee and Hiroyuki Takei
Translation: john Werry
What They Say:
Future events that led to the creation of Ultimo and Vice turn out to be part of the tragic past that haunts Musashi, a mysterious police-officer from the 29th century. Back in the present, a funeral service is about to begin, but it seems the deceased went to the grave possessing a cosmic secret that may have given Ultimo the edge and tilted the battle in favor of good…is it too late to go back, again?!
Though Musashi and Fusataro try to confront each other with words at first, with Musashi even revealing his opponent’s musical background, it doesn’t take long before they decide to settle things with their Doji instead. Rage’s powers seem so formidable that Sophia doesn’t even stand a chance, but Musashi manages to use the rules of the Hundred Machine Funeral to gain the advantage he needs. Unfortunately, the match ends in a draw when Sophia runs out of power, forcing Vice to step in and finish the job.
Meanwhile, we are treated to a flashback to Musashi’s past in the future, where we learn that his rash actions brought about the death of everyone he cares about, tying his fate to the Doji fight in the process. Back in the present, Yamato and Ultimo step into the fight, confronting Vice in order to prevent the death of their ally. God Ultimo’s powers of time manipulation allow him to control the battle even against Vice’s overwhelming force, but unfortunately it drains too much power, forcing Ultimo to create a situation that causes Vice to back off.
Later on, Rune draws close to Kiyose, planning to lure her over to his side and gain access to Pardonner’s powers. In the process, Kiyose ends up healing Chichibu Jun, and we learn that he has the potential to act as Vice’s master. As the volume comes to a close, Akira goes on a rampage only to be confronted by a surprising opponent: Makoto. Not only that, but she acts quite differently than normal, wearing a rather cruel face. Furthermore, she shows that she is able to use a more powerful version of fusion, and even reveals that she is the daughter of Dunstan. Even though she reveals all this, she displays just how easy it is for her to hide her true nature by easily wiping Akira’s memory.
There’s definitely plenty of action in this volume, and we even get to see some of the side characters a little more fleshed out, but the true show stealer here is the book’s big reveal. As much as it’s interesting to see Mushashi’s past, the end of the volume contains probably the series’ best twist yet. With it, we see a lot of depth and intrigue added to a character that seemed just a little flat up until this point, making her into perhaps the most interesting Doji master in the process. It’ll definitely be interesting to see where the series goes from here, as this volume did a great job of shaking things up.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B+
Package Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B+
Age Rating: 16+
Released by: Viz
Release Date: January 1st, 2013