What They Say:
Nanami has gone back in time in order to find the fallen kami who cursed Tomoe, but the past is a lot more violent than she expected. Before she can even start her search, she has to deal with suspicious villagers and a mortally wounded Tomoe!
Content: (please note that the content portion of a review may contain spoilers)
in the past, Nanami has rescued the Tomoe of 500 years ago and brought him to the mansion of Yukiji, the woman Tomoe loved in the past. Intent on affecting as little of the past as possible so her future doesn’t change, Nanami only tends to Tomoe when he’s asleep (so she thinks). With Nanami’s involvement remaining mostly secret, Tomoe manages to confuse her and Yukiji. Intrigued and secretly touched by the woman who saved him, upon recovery he begins following and helping Yukiji. But, there’s an unforeseen obstacle in the potential Yukiji/Tomo love story — Yukiji hates yokai.
Meanwhile, Nanami tries to hunt down the fallen kami who cursed Tomoe so she can learn how to remove the curse and save his life in the present. After losing track of the kami after coming so close, she’s waylaid by Akura-oh in an awfully convenient turn of the story. Having heard that Tomoe is in love with a capital woman, he enlists Nanami to guide him around the capital so he can determine what’s gotten his friend so distracted. Wary at first, Nanami obviously becomes found of Akura-oh, seeing him as a god friend to Tomoe and potentially a good person. Then, when she’s being mugged, he retaliates by brutally murdering her attackers. While the scene’s not as shocking as it could have been, it’s probably the scariest thing Nanami’s seen since becoming part of the supernatural world, and it’s enough for her to realize how dangerous this place and people are.
Nanami’s time travel story takes an awkward break in the middle as she’s pulled back to the present by Mikage, ostensibly to give her body a rest before she returns for another try. This results in a cute chapter of all the friends Nanami’s made showing up to offer encouragement and tokens for her return trip (which turn out to be largely useless and cumbersome). But mostly it’s fluffy filler that adds little to the story.
The volume finishes off with some lighthearted tales, obviously set before these chapters. The stories are fun, if a smidge perverted, and a nice break from the unevenly paced past plot. I do wish they revealed more about the characters; instead, they reiterate Nanami’s insecurities.
This story arc may have come on suddenly, but with it Suzuki is finally answering the questions about Tomoe’s past: what happened with him and Yukiji; how was he cursed; and what kind of yokai was he (not a very nice one it would seem). The pacing is a little uneven, with slow parts and overlong character interactions mixing with too-quick scenes, and then being broken up by filler. Still, this storyline is sweet and engaging, and some new suspicions about how Tomoe’s love life really unfolded makes disappointments in other aspects of the plot easy to overlook.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: A-
Age Rating: 13+
Released by: Viz Media
Release Date: June 3, 2014