Ryu Mizunagi hits the reset button on her work about Honoka and his Princess/Protector Ayaka…but has everything truly gone back to square one?
Story/Art: Ryu Mizunagi
Translation: Ko Ransom
Production: Risa Cho, Melissa DeJesus
What They Say:
With the battle with Weekend over, Honoka and Ayaka head out of town in search of the truth behind their unique bond and to uncover the secrets of their past.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
In form and function this volume is both a restart and one, long, lengthy tease. The restart coincides with the complete restoration of the town to how it was before Weekend launched her attack on it, with magic even overwriting the memories of all the normal persons in town. Back is the slice of life series of vignettes with more of the light-hearted comedy that marked the early volumes in the series. Sometimes the punchlines are a little weak (it is revealed that Ayaka only wanted to take out Weekend because the test her class was trying to take was ruined by the mad magic bomber, not in order to protect Honoka or save the townspeople), but it’s nice to have a less threatening mood in place.
So, this volume offers us the latest (doomed to fail) attempt by Kasumi to separate the Princess from Honoka; the further adventures of the Furry-ear Clan, Medusa’s students (minus Tanpopo), who try (and fail) to take down Ayaka; and a mysterious giant penguin that causes havoc briefly before disappearing, along with the memories of all who see it. In addition, there’s a fairly good quotient of fanservice as Honoka and Ayaka go to a hot springs (though this is a very tame onsen visit that would not require much if any steam for an animated version).
And then there is the “tease” I mentioned above. All throughout this volume, it’s noted that something is not quite right. Honoka is not quite the wimp he was once before (his test grades and athletic ability are far higher than before he rebuilt the town). Ayaka and Honoka both suspect it’s related to the seals on his body. Since Honoka knows that once the seals are gone, Kazane may come to kill him, he decides that if the world is going to end soon anyway, he might as well uncover the memories of his childhood that were erased. Ayaka has been doing some digging into their past on her own and so they pursue the only lead she has: a key to a building on her family’s ancestral estate. This volume is just a tease, however, as it ends merely with the two of them sneaking onto the family property (it appears that Kazane and her daughter are not welcome in the Kagari family compound). We have to wait for the next volume to learn anything more.
As a return to form, this is all rather pleasant enough, even if there is still some unease after that tense and dramatic arc involving Weekend’s plan to take Honoka’s power. And that unease does not entirely go away as we are shown glimpses of the mystery involving Honoka’s early days and his connection to Kazane and Ayaka. All we know is that some kind of terrible event occurred in his childhood (allegedly Honoka fell off a cliff and survived) and his memories of it were lost. The humor is back in full force as is the overdone brother complex of Kasumi, though it’s all played purely for laughs at her expense. Much better for Kasumi is her role in foiling the penguin, which itself contains some hints as to the larger mystery of Honoka.
Peace and quiet return to the town as everything is back to normal for Honoka Takamiya and Ayaka Kagari. Gone are the bombs and destruction, back are the students hovering over Kagari and calling her “princess.” Yet something is not quite right and Honoka knows that the loss of his seals means the end for him and Ayaka. So the two set off in search of the memories which were erased from them, when they met as children. The mystery of Honoka and Ayaka’s past is teased…but not revealed in this volume. The comedy and light touch are back, though the deeper mystery floats constantly in the background, only teased in this volume. We must await the next one to learn what happened those many years ago.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B
Package Rating: B-
Age Rating: 14+
Released By:Vertical Comics
Release Date: October 13th, 2015