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Kagerou Daze Vol. #04 Light Novel Review

3 min read

kagerou-daze-volume-4-novel-coverA love story in the eyes of the beholders.

Creative Staff:
Story: Shizen no Teki-P (Jin)
Art: Sidu

What They Say:
A certain boy and girl meet on a certain endless summer day. They thought they were alone, misunderstood by everyone, but the powers they hold in their eyes lead them to a group that does understand them: the Mekakushi-dan. They’re not alone anymore, but now they have a new mystery to solve: What is the phenomenon of the “kagerou daze,” and who is the shadowy figure behind it?

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
In this volume of Kagerou Daze, we’re treated to post Mekakucity Actors content. Unlike the anime, which took liberties in creating a resolved ending, this volume goes more into depth about the powers that would normally show up in the series. While we get a bit more mainline content, the main characters take a backseat to a new person named Azami and her love story. It definatley makes for a good story but shows a frustrating detail about Kagerou Daze as a series.

Some of the more interesting questions receive answers in this volume. We get to see Konoha’s abilities at work, as well as certain resolutions about Ene’s past. What consumes a signgificant portion is Marry’s family. We get to see a bit of Mary’s family revealed through her grandmother, Azami. Reading Azami’s story reveals an endearing love story that finally explains an integral part of the series.

The story feels heartfelt. A bit cliché, having an immortal/mortal love story feels natural for Kagerou Daze. Azami, having significant powers that come from the snake, goes through an evolution from aloof to caring, hits harder when she comes through two realizations. The first realization of her forcing out the one that cared about her through a contract.

Having Azami go through the emotional rollercoaster works spectacularly because of her natural progression of a character throughout this volume. She hated Tsukihiko because of previous experiences with humans who isolated her, calling her a monster. However, her heart changed as he proved himself to her, showing devotion she never thought was possible. That leads to a proposal that, with the page structure for the volume, communicates this rollercoaster elegantly with a nice wrap up of a proposal/acceptance on two different pages.

The second realization comes from the eventual realization of Tsukihiko’s days departing. It is within that context, we get a revelation of the powers that Azami has, with enough context to understand what it means in the concept of the story to the Mekakushi Dan.

In this respect, that is what makes Kagerou Daze so frustrating. Taking four volumes to finally get into origins of the powers (at least a part of it), does not feel like it’s rewarding the readers at all. A lot of these details could play out sooner, and could build up with more interweaving narratives. Instead, we get an info dump. In this case, the content is good enough on its own, and broken apart between chapters. At the same time, it feels frustrating that this method is how Shizen no Teki-P decides to proceed for information reveals.

Unlike a lot of volumes, the page setup communicates more feeling than in most works. Many readers will thumb through only to see certain blacked pages. That difference once reading through the story hits a sense of communicative elements to the audience that printing rarely takes chances on. It works well enough to bring readers into that certain part of this volume’s story and makes this volume, and series, a bit unique for doing said printing liberty.

In Summary:
This volume is short but good. We get answers about issues that cropped up thought out the series so far. We get names for these plot devices and how they are used in context. Most of all we get a good love story that drives a narrative forward and even shows how one of the concepts “death” plays out in this series. For those who held on to the series up until now, they have finally been rewarded, and hopefully more rewards come through in the next volume.

Grade: B

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: July 19th, 2016
MSRP: $14.00

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