Story/Art: Etorouji Shiono
Translation: Caleb D. Cook
What They Say
Koinzell engages again with Glenn’s knights, but their spells have critically weakened him. Just as capture seems imminent, Aht rejoins the fight! Despite her injuries, Aht is determined to prove to Koinzell that her devotion can be an asset and not a hindrance in battle, even if it costs her life.
Meanwhile, the deeply paranoid Barestar sends an army against the city to kill the hero-killer – at the price of citizens’ lives! The knights of the Order of the Seven Lances face a difficult choice: follow the will of the hero Barestar and allow the soldiers to pillage the city, or fight to protect the people alongside Koinzell, the very man they were sent to kill!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Following up from last volume, the battle continues to rage on, but Koinzell actually finds himself in quite a bind when he’s caught in barrier! However, Aht is able to break free and destroy it, though this puts her in the middle of a battlefield while seriously injured. Amazingly though, she actually manages to fight better than before, which is cool to see as it means someone other than Koinzell is allowed a little attention for once. That doesn’t last long, though, as she’s quickly taken out by an environmental hazard of all things, which is a little lame. This of course forces Koinzell to retreat with her, but though it looks like she’s heading for a tragic death, he instead shares his power with her! Though this is of course done in a silly, over the top sexualized manner, it is a cool change that I was certainly glad to see.
As things progress, Elsaria finally wises up and realizes she’s fighting for evil, and the people also start to rebel as a cruel army rains down upon them. It’s all a good bit larger scale than most past chapters, and it’s definitely good to see as far as changes of pace go. Of course Koinzell does step in and singlehandedly change the tide of battle, but what’s really cool to see is when Aht joins in, not only reinvigorated, but now able to fully fight alongside our hero! As things continue to progress, Barestar brings in a fully equipped floating castle with a death laser that he starts using to raze the town, which is finally enough for people to actually rally behind Koinzell for once. And once more, like with the last hero, we get a look at the man behind the “hero” and how he fell, which is certainly appreciated and helps to make it all the more poignant when the raving coward finally goes down.
In a surprising sudden appearance, though, Ichfeis appears in the aftermath for a showdown. It’s a bit out of nowhere, but it works well as a “proper” finale to the arc, as Barestar himself didn’t really put up much of a fight. And fortunately what we get in the process is a rather intense battle that both pushes Koinzell to his limits and solidifies Ichfeis as a serious rival. Finally, the volume comes to a close with some wrap-up in the aftermath, including a very odd reappearance of a character who had disappeared for a while.
With this volume, we get a ton of action and some nice moves towards actually expanding the cast in meaningful ways. Elsaria and company do get a good bit of focus, but it’s Aht who really steals the show, and I was really happy to see how her character was treated throughout the book. Of course that isn’t to say there aren’t some downsides, as one character is essentially written out of the cast without too much fanfare, and though Barestar gets a nice moment right at the end, he’s not the deepest or most developed villain, honestly. And of course the aftermath feels a little on the weak side, though at least some of it was necessary. Still, if you’re looking for some serious action, then this volume has it in spades, alongside some nice and much needed changes of pace.
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Age Rating: Mature
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: September 22nd, 2015