Story/Art: Gamon Sakurai
Translation: Ko Ransom
What They Say
Soon to be animated as a three-part theatrical feature, in this volume the hit on-going series further fleshes out its intriguing cast. Learn how the female demi-human “Izumi” came on stage, how a trustworthy friend who left it spent his days, and more.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Thanks to the new situation they find themselves in, Kei and Ko are forced to put themselves through some serious training in order to get into better shape. Meanwhile, Ko gets a crush on Izumi, and Ogura helps our hero learn a little about his ghost. This all works as a means to flesh out Ko and Kei’s characters and play them off one another, and of course jam in a ton of exposition. Though I can see how this was necessary, it really is a shame as it feels like the first time the series has grinded to a halt. Which isn’t to say it feels useless or boring, it’s just certainly quite a bit slower than the rollercoaster that the series has treated readers to so far.
After this, though, we get to Izumi’s past, and it’s absolutely fantastic. Thanks to her abusive father, we get to see her get absolutely beaten down and her life destroyed, which makes for some powerful scenes. Thanks to her monstrous dad she learns that she’s a demi-human, and in the same moment is finally forced to run away. Finally, Tosaki meets up with her as she’s completely broken down, and we get one more bit of tragedy in her life before finally seeing her have a powerful rebirth in more ways than one.
To wrap things up, we actually get a look at Kai after all this time. He’s now in prison thanks to his actions earlier in the series, and his chapter is spent showing his interactions with a fellow inmate who’s guarding a secret. It’s a great little bit of story, and shows that Kai really is the nicest guy in the series, as well as a character who’s simply fun to watch.
This volume is a bit of a mixed bag, dropping a lot of the high stakes action so it can take the time to flesh out some characters and concepts. Ultimately this was likely a necessary step, but it unfortunately leaves the first half of the volume feeling more than a little slow. Though there are some important ideas thrown around, it’s hard to say that much of what appears in that part is terribly exciting. Fortunately, though, the back half manages much better, giving some attention to two characters that’ve been sort of low key so far. And of course they’re both fantastic stories, which really helps to salvage the volume and keep it from feeling like too much of a low point for the series. Ultimately, this is likely the weakest volume so far, but that’s more of a testament to how good the series has been up till now. Even if it’s not the thrill ride past volumes have been, it’s still a solid tale with some real high points, and absolutely something worth reading.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: A
Package Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B+
Released by: Vertical
Release Date: August 25th, 2015