Story/Art: Etorouji Shiono
Translation: Caleb D. Cook
What They Say
The moons out of sight, Koinzell must rely on his friends to cut down the cruel Chiliarch Fargo and reach the “Hero” Schtemwolech. At one time, Koinzell would have counted Schtemwolech among his closest friends, but there is no trace of the once honorable warrior left in the traitorous landgrave. As the voices of Schtemwolech’s innocent victims cry out in their agony, Koinzell is touched to his very soul, and his rage transforms him into an instrument of judgment upon the man he once called a comrade!
Collects Japanese volumes 4-5.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Faced with the twisted Fargo and cut off from the power of the moon, Koinzell finds himself in quite a pinch. With some help from his friends, and more importantly Geranpen, though, he’s able to break through the monster’s defenses. With that, Koinzell is finally able to come face to face with Schtemwolech. Though he once considered Schtemwolech a friend, in the present day he’s become an abomination who has used the lives of others to power himself up. Though this makes him a bit more of a threat, Koinzell is able to beat him down, and breaks him mentally by revealing his identity. Just as our hero is about to deal the killing blow, though, the “Hero” has his mind controlled slaves jump in to protect him. Pushed to his limits, Koinzell erupts in a new powerful form and rampages forward, putting Schtemwolech’s puppets out of their misery until the cruel man is the only one left. With no doubts left in him, Koinzell finally slays the man, taking out the first of the Seven.
In the aftermath of the battle, our heroes flee the scene, though Geranpen stays behind and accepts death. Furthermore, much to Peepi’s disdain, the “Hero”, as well as Fargo, are given proper burials as the people weep for their loss. Koinzell is also drained from his battle, leaving him stuck in a smaller form than before thanks to all the energy he used up. Meanwhile, the Batterygrave Barestar becomes quite agitated at the fact that one of his fellow Lances was taken down, and starts to become rather paranoid.
As the volume continues, our heroes find themselves trapped in the free city Jullas-Abllas. Not only Barestar’s troops, but also the elite troops under Elsaria Rahnclave push to hunt down Koinzell. When Aht steps in, will she prove an aid or a hindrance to Koinzell? And will this fight end in pointless bloodshed, or will Koinzell be able to escape before it comes to that?
With this volume, the plot finally starts moving in full, and it’s better off for it. For the start of the volume, we finally see a confrontation with one of the Lances, and it doesn’t disappoint. The encounter is full of action and more of the twisted cruelty that the series has been so good at displaying. But perhaps more importantly, the book also doesn’t shirk away from showing the complexity of Koinzell’s relationship with Schtemwolech. Though his quest may be one of revenge, our hero definitely still has a history with these people and was indeed quite close to them, and that fortunately isn’t forgotten. Meanwhile, the rest of the book really starts to dig into the effects of Koinzell’s quest, and the pressure really buckles down around him. It’ll definitely be interesting to see the dynamic change, as Koinzell shifts more and more into the hunted as well, rather than just the hunter. All in all, this is another great volume, and one that certainly shouldn’t be missed.
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Age Rating: Mature
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: May 19th, 2015