Original Story: Reki Kawahara
Art: Hiroyuki Aigamo
Translation: Jocelyne Allen
What They Say
After meeting Sky Raker and learning about the Incarnate System, Haruyuki manages to defeat the merciless Dusk Taker, Seiji Noumi in real life. After ending Seiji’s time in Brain Burst, Haru and friends look toward their next challenge: the Hermes Cord Race!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
After a little bit of foreshadowing about what’s to come, we get to see a brief defense battle starring our heroes. It’s fairly short and not terribly involved, but it does at least involve a rather amusing strategy with Ash Roller’s bike, so that’s fun. But after that, we focus on the main issue of this volume, which is Raker considering herself a hindrance due to her legs, and thus not wanting to take part in the race. They do actually get the idea of using Chiyuri’s powers to heal her legs, but that apparently doesn’t work due to her own feelings and will on the matter. But even so, she does at least agree to participate in the event in the end.
Next up, Kuroyukihime ends up staying over at Haruyuki’s place, and it’s about as trope-y as you’d expect, with its slow and awkward advancing of the relationship between them. Though we at least do get a decent look at Kuroyukihime’s feelings and regrets, which is something. Oh, and a kind of meh duel between the two of them is jammed in there as well, before things inevitably devolve into the sorts of gags you’d expect. Plus we also get some kind of awkward stuff about the group being their “family,” which feels just a tad forced.
At last, the race itself kicks off, and… we honestly don’t get too much here. Just a tiny bit of exchanging fire, and Raker working up the nerve to pull out her jetpack thing rather than considering herself useless. And before you know it, it’s left on a somewhat weak “cliffhanger” for next volume.
With a low amount of action and only a so-so emotional core, this is definitely something of a weak entry in the series. It’s pretty much all about Raker’s arc of building up some confidence, and that does work to some degree, but it’s nothing exceptional. And then what’s left of the volume is just kind of bland, with some generic bonding between Kuroyukihime and Haruyuki I suppose being the biggest other event. Mostly, though, it’s just a whole lot of setup for the race, and what little of that we get here doesn’t really feel worth all the buildup. Maybe once it truly gets rolling that’ll turn things around for next time, but for now, this book remains more than a bit on the bland side.
Content Grade: B-
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B
Age Rating: Teen
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: March 21st, 2017