How can one lone man stand against the gates of Hell opening?
Story/Art: Kaori Yuki
Translation/Adaptation: Camellia Nieh
What They Say
Backed into a corner with no way out, Sorath glimpses a fleeting glimmer of hope. But what does it hold for him……?!
At the “Ziggurat,” the giant broadcasting tower everyone has been talking about, Etsurou’s true identity is revealed as……Garan?! Sorath is stunned by the reappearance of the best friend he thought he had killed…and by the traps Garan proceeds to set for him!! What will Sorath do when Garan’s machinations break up his team?!
The past and the future become still more inexplicably intertwined in this volume of Kaori Yuki’s black-magic fantasy!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Demon From Afar is still suffering from that old demon, pacing issues. Everything that happens in this volume feels breathless, but not in a good way. It’s rushed, frantic, and confusing. Scenes shift in the blink of an eye. When a moment of calm comes it’s often for a strange aside which does nothing for the overall plot, wasting valuable time.
The situation at the broadcast is wrapped up. The demon pulling the strings vanquished and ends with Etsurou dropping the pretense that he’s just a media mogul. Sorath proves himself to his watchdog Resh, and gains his blade back. He also learns what he is, what his destiny is, and the burden that he bears.
When answers come in this volume they provide Sorath only a cold comfort. He confirms that Nonoha harbors the soul of Noelle. Nonoha herself is only a confused child who is eventually tricked into the arms of her father and hidden away from Sorath. Garan himself is utterly convinced that Sorath betrayed him and stole his love. Sorath is still wracked with guilt over killing Garan. How is Garan back from the dead? Was Garan reborn as Etsurou? It’s not exactly clear. Leice joins up with Garan, just as she once did, but why? Logic is not playing a part in the plot.
Perhaps the strangest part of this story is the tonal whiplash between scenes. At one point Resh questions Leice about her motivation in regards to Nonoha. In response, Leice goes on at length about the experience of childbirth. (This is what passes for humor in this series.) As odd as that is it only becomes stranger when moments later she mortally wounds Resh at Etsurou’s orders. Allegiances shift so suddenly in this series that it makes your head spin. There’s no real reason for Leice to even obey Etsurou/Garan!
It’s not all hopelessness here. Toa, who is an interesting bright spot in this plot, manages to escape from harm. The same can’t be said for what became of the soul of Kiyora. As this volume closes out the gates to hell are opening. Garan seeks to use his daughter to free his father, now a lord of hell himself. Sorath was once feared as a force which could destroy the world, and he might not be strong enough to save it.
Sorath learns what he is, and who his companions were and what they meant to him. Toa turns out to not be as important as she first appeared. Etsurou’s continued existence remains a complete mystery. However, as the story of Demon From Afar begins to ramp towards its conclusion it starts to come apart at the seams. Why the rush? Melodrama stands in for pacing to provide impact. Scenes dash by in a blur. The next volume is the conclusion to Sorath’s twisted tale of fate, good, and evil. Hopefully it all gels in the end because right now it’s a bit of a hot mess.
Content Grade: C +
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: December 15th, 2015